Tuesday, November 23, 2010

15mm French & Indian War Project.

At Historicon last year, and again at Fall In, I picked up a sizable collection of Blue Moon/Old Glory's new 15mm F&I line. It is an excellent range if miniatures, and they have done an amazing job of creating a complete range. It includes virtually everything you could think of for a F&I range: British, French, Provincials, Indians, Rangers, civilians, militia, officers, Light Infantry, artillery, canoes...even scenery with a complete range of cabins, forts, and homesteads. I always look for one stop shopping when I start a project. I like to be able to use one manufacturer for a complete range. This allows me to do that and then some. It didn't take long for them to release the range either, which is always a plus.

The miniatures are well sculpted and cast with very little work needing to be done for cleanup and prep. The range has a nice variety of poses with enough in each pack of 30 to do units of 10 without repeating. In fact, the Indians are 30 unique sculpts which is impressive. There are only a few models I did not like and will not be using. Considering how picky I am that is saying something.

Also, they are pretty cheap. Especially if you are an Old Glory Army member which gets you that 40% discount. They are usually 30 minis per pack for $14. Not bad.

My few quibbles are that the faces on the Brits and other Europeans are not as crisp and clean as they could be, especially compared to the Indians. The other quibble is that the Provincials uniform is not the one I was looking for. The cuffs are different and actually look like they simply took the marching models from their British Advancing pack and added some command models to make a "unique" Provincials pack. I cannot tell the difference between the models. But that's ok. I found it was an easy matter of using an X-Acto to cut off the cuffs of the British Regulars Skirmishers and then just paint the correct cuffs on. No big deal.

One minor thing that might be more important to other people interested in these minis: they are "tall" 15mm minis. Probably average around 18mm, so they might not mix with other manufacturers. I haven't compared them to others myself though. But, to me that's no big deal since I will be doing all of my F&I in this scale from the same range.

I picked up the following packs:

1 Pack of Indians.
1 Pack of Provincials.
2 Packs of British Regulars Skirmishing.
1 Pack of Militia.
2 Cabins.

I used the command models (NCOs, Color Bearer, and Drummer) from the Provincials pack and combined it with 2 of the British Regulars Skirmishing packs to make a force of 60 men from the 1st Battalion of the Pennsylvania Provincials. These were the "regulars" of the colonies raised to bolster the forces of the King's Army sent across the Atlantic to fight in North America. Each colonial government raised units of Provincials and they provided them with uniforms, equipment, and sometimes muskets (though many Pennsylvania Provincials were asked to bring their own musket and a blanket).

The quality of these units ranged from good to very poor. I don't think the Provincials get enough credit for their efforts in the war. I have heard someone on my Mother's side (Markey) served in the F&I War in PA, but beyond that I don't know. That is something I really want to research. That is kind of surprising to me, considering most of that side of the family was Brethren and non-resistant (meaning they would not fight in wars or resist violence). Somehow this PA Brethren family from Switzerland who came her in 1732 still managed to fight in every American war but WWI.

Anyway...I love the color of the PA Provincials uniforms: Green jackets and red facings and cuffs. Later this was switched to an all green uniform, and even later to blue. But I like the green and red. Very sharp looking. The buff colored leggings finish off the scheme rather well I think.

Company A, First Battalion, 1st Pennsylvania Regiment of Foot.

These Provincials will be supported by 30 men of the Associators Militia. These men were raised as volunteers to fight during the days when the Pennsylvania government, dominated by Pacifist Quakers, refused to fund or raise forces to defend the colony. These volunteers were the first line of defense against the French and Indian raids that struck the PA backcountry like a wave beginning in the summer of 1755 after the defeat of Braddock on the Monongahela.

B Company, Lancaster County Associators (my own made up unit).

The Indians I plan on using as some of the few tribal warriors allied with the British. These will be a tough band of loyal Delaware or Shawnee who lived among the British and were nearer to their trade outposts. They could just as easily be a band of Iroquois who took up the hatchet with the British...or if need be, they can double as French allied Indians (also Delaware or Shawnee) from Western PA, the Ohio Country, or the Pays den Haut.

Mean looking Delaware warband ready to loot the dead and pillage the wreckage. I mean, errr, follow their Sachem to glory and fame on the battlefield.

The two cabins I picked up are generic enough to be used as any farm or settlement in the backcountry. The best thing about them is that they have lift off roofs, which makes placing units inside easy.

Cabin with unpainted snake rail fence. Though it could just be freshly cut timber...

I also did some conversions on these models. Besides cutting the cuffs down and painting the right ones on, I also did a weapon swap to make an NCO. I took one of the pointing officers from the Provincials pack and snipped off the musket arm of a British Regular and added it across his chest like the model on the right. The NCO on the left is just one of the models from the Provincials pack but with the cast spear pole replaced by brass rod. This way, I have two NCOs per unit. I can keep two in the unit or use just one and decide whether I want him armed with a pole arm or musket.

Here is a pic of one of the two Sachems in the pack...or at least Indians that look like they are bossing the others around.

And another Sachem.

Hope you like them! They will be going up against my friend Rob's French from Blue Moon/Old Glory.

1 comment:

  1. I've gotta get some of the Blue Moon Indians, they look superb!! Trouble is I've already got tons from Essex, Mini-figs and others already!!!