Monday, September 16, 2019

New Book and a "Holy ****!" Moment

    Before going on vacation I saw on another blog a book" Armies of the War of 1812" by Gabriele Esposito, with uniform illustrations by Olivier Millet. I've seen the illustrations on Mr. Millet's blog; unfortunately it is in French. Finding this book was money well spent. Besides having all of Mr Millet's uniform illustrations, Mr. Esposito has translated it to English. I dare say it might be the best uniform book I own.  Unlike other books that shows a select number of uniforms, this book has examples of most of the major units, along with the different states and Canadian Provinces militia uniforms. It might be a little pricy, but I think it is money well spent.

  I have had little interest in wargaming recently. My personal life right now leaves little time for it; although next month one of the more time consuming matters will no longer be an issue.  Still, what free time I have has been watching tv or being on the computer. I decided to try going back to painting (pictures, not toy soldiers) for a break from my stagnant wargame projects. I have 2 small plastic tool boxes that I use  when I take toy soldiers on vacation for painting. I decided to use one for my new painting supplies. As I was going through one I took out a clear plastic container. When brought into the light, "HOLY ****!" I realized they were  2nd generation War of 1812 militia that I didn't remember owning, including several militia officer figures I've been searching for. They were 15 militiamen and 4 militia officers. While I might not have any immediate plans for them, it is good to know that I have these new reinforcements.

The new book. If you want to see some of the uniform plates, Google "Olivier Millet, War of 1812".


The newly discovered Minifigs militia.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

One Project Actually Completed

   Before leaving for camping, while researching militia uniforms, I came across a Sotheby's catalog for an auction of a militia collection. I did find several copies of it on Ebay, but waited until we got back from vacation to buy one.  For me it was money well spent.

     I also made a mold of a converted Zinnbrigade figure. The figure itself came out usable; however the musket would not cast, no matter what I tried. In the end I used toothpicks for muskets.

  After two weeks, I still haven't decided on what to do for a project. However, while looking for War of 1812 wargame ideas, I came across The Perfect Captain website. This website have many free rules sets. All they ask is for a donation to one of the different charities they support (they use the honor system). The one set of rules that caught my eye was "Battle Finder". It is a set of rules for campaigns. It also comes with 64 maps for the campaign system. I did print out the rules and maps.
   I was trying to figure out how to mount the maps while eating a bowl of cereal.  I figured cardboard would be too thick. However it dawned on me that the thin cardboard the cereal came in might be the answer.
    This morning I took a glue stick, maps and cereal box into the basement. After covering the printed side with the glue, I placed the paper with the maps into the cardboard. I then used a paper cutter I have to cut out the maps. I am happy with the result; what's more they fit into a box that some recently bought toy soldiers came in. By the way, after reading about the disaster in the Bahamas from the direct hit from Hurricane Dorian, I donated to the Red Cross/Red Crescent.

The Sotheby's catalog.

Tombstone plates, which would be tied to a militiaman's hat.


Militia shakos.
The Zinnbrigade conversions, with a left lower arm added and the head from "the Brave Tin Soldier" Prince August mold. The light blue clad figure is aSAE ACW figure painted as a 1st Massachusetts militiaman. The next is a Prince August British infantryman painted as a War of 1812 US infantryman. The last two are Minifigs militiamen.


Some of the "Perfect Captain" maps. The brown card is the cardboard backing.

The box which I plan to store them in.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Thoughts on a New Project

      I have done little with the hobby the last couple of months. I try to start a project but lose interest quickly. I did read a couple of books about the Canadian Rebellions of 1837-38, and the Fenian raids. It has me thinking of an imagi-nation game where both sides use militia companies to form their armies.

    I started stripping down my 15mm Minifigs militia, with the idea of 4 man companies. After painting a couple of units, I started losing interest. I realized that at that scale I couldn't paint fine details to distinguish the different companies, such as buttons and hat details. I want to use American militia units as the basis for my games.  For time periods I am thinking either the 1830's or 1880's; these periods saw a large number of Volunteer militias with colorful uniforms and names. Doing the 1880's would be easiest for me; it is easy to find toy soldiers of this period being manufactured. Finding figures that would work for the 1830's is more difficult. What's more, I want an "Old School" look to the figures.

   I have several ideas on how to go with this project, including trying to sculpt my own figures. As my wife and I are leaving on a camping trip tomorrow, I will have time to think this problem out. I also plan to bring a few books for research.


Figure scale from left to right: 15mm Minifigs; 20mm Frying pan and Blanket Amalgamated; 30mm SAE; 40mm home cast, 2 converted Zinnbrigade, 1 Prince August, and a converted Zinnbrigade figure; 54mm Britains.

The look I'm going for. 

To see more shots of these militiamen, look under "Historic Eastfield Foundation".

Thursday, July 4, 2019

In Celebration of the 4th of July

      The War of 1812 was a war that shouldn't have been fought. The fact that the United States came out of it as well as they did (the war changed nothing), it was fortunate. The one great thing that came out of it was the poem that would become our national anthem.

     The last month I have been rereading books on the War of 1812.  I've also been thinking of how I could wargame the war. I have now decided instead of trying to find out of production figures for the project which would in all probability take years to collect, to use Miniature Figurines War of 1812 figures. They are handsome, well proportioned figures.

     It dawned on me that it is possible that I might have some second generation Minifigs War of 1812 militia that I purchased over 20 years ago. The old 2nd generation figures that I own have thin rectangular bases; the new 3rd generation figures have thicker bases that have a more geometric shape.  The old militia figures did have officers, which now I can't find. I foresee a long search though thousands of figures.
I've started some outside painting of Minifigs War of 1812 militia to see if  this is the direction  to proceed with.

3rd generation Minifigs militia with what I think might be a 2nd generation militiaman.


On the left is a 3rd generation figure base; right is what I believe is a 2nd generation figure. I have bought newer Minifigs with the rectangular bases; possibly 2nd generation figures that were good enough not to need to be resculpted?

Thursday, June 27, 2019

3 Generations of Minifigs

     In my last post I mentioned that I was looking for 2nd generation Minifigs War of 1812 Americans.  I was in a rush to get the posting done, so I didn't post any photos of the different between the 3 generations of Minifigs. Below are photographs of an ACW figure from each "generation, to show the progression of detailing of Minifigs.

A 1st generation Zouave; a 2nd generation Marine; and a 3rd generation Marine. Needless to say, the quality of successive generations is easy to see. However, I'm looking for the "Old School" look.

The other side of the figures. Hopefully someone will realize that they have some 2nd generation War of 1812 figures.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

IN SEARCH OF: Minifigs 15mm 2nd Generation War of 1812 Americans

      With my current project being the War of 1812, I still haven't committed myself to one line of figures. While the Scruby's are painting up nicely, I'm still thinking of different figures.

     When I started wargaming, I wanted to do the War of 1812 using the Minifigs that I had, which were 1st generation  figures. During my search, I went online and asked if Minifigs did 1st generation War of 1812 Americans. I was told that they didn't do War of 1812 figures.

     Yesterday while searching for Minifigs, I came across a PDF of a Minifigs catalog, which had 2nd generation 15mm figures. It is well illustrated with photos of the different lines. Under Napoleonics, they had War of 1812 figures. Unfortunately, they had no photographs of the line. If anyone has some of these figures that they could photograph and send copies of the photographs to me I would appreciate it.

  For now I think I have enough 1st generation British infantry to make several regiments of Americans.

The good thing about British Napoleonic infantry is American infantry wore similar Uniforms.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

War of 1812 Project

      In the last few months I still have done little with the hobby. I go to the basement to work, but quickly lose interest.  I finally figured out that part of the problem is the work area. There is no natural light where I work. I decided to make a tray to carry my projects upstairs where there is more light. The project I wanted to start is two  War of 1812 armies, using Scruby N Gauge British infantry for both armies.
    I decided to prime the figures black, then dry brush the primary colors on. The first unit was an American infantry regiment (which I painted in the basement). Yesterday, after work, I used my new tray and brought my paints and primed figures onto the deck. It was a beautiful summer afternoon and before I knew it, had 3 British regiments almost completed.

First Scruby N gauge War of 1812 American Regiment


My outdoors work area.

The British regiments on the paint board.