Der Resin Kavalier

Friday, January 18, 2019

Reinforcements (Part 1)

In my last post, I described ongoing and imaginary campaign in post-1783 North America. Over the next couple of entries, the armies involved will make their appearance, along with some solo as well as multiple player games.
In a series of earlier posts, I looked at several manufacturers. One I omitted was the figures provided by HaT Industries, mainly because at that time, they were hard to come by. Well, apparently their production has resumed and they are much more widely available. Of particular note are the Prussian Seven Years War sets (9400, 9401, and 9402). The heads for musketeers, fusiliers, and grenadiers are included with each set. They make great Hessians/Brunswickers for the AWI.

HaT Hessian Grenadiers
 The photo above shows  most of the Grenadier Regiment von Rall (or at least my interpretation of it). A couple of grenadier figures, and the Drummer are still on the painting table almost, but not quite, done. The one below shows another from the same set, but with a fusilier cap.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!

Well, as the new year begins, so too does the new campaign season! In earlier posts, I described two battles, both of which ended in a victory for the United Provinces against the Royalist Forces. Like any good campaign, there has to be some background as to the whys and wherefores of the whole exercise.

The whys, of course, are less important than the wherefores, as the whole thing is an exercise in imagination. But context is important so let me briefly explain how this war between two powers and their allies came to be. With that in mind, we begin with the historical Treaty of Paris in 1783 ending the American War of Independence (AWI), recognizing the United States as an independent nation,  and setting the boundaries between the new American nation and the remains of Britain's North American empire.

But what if...

In my alternate history, things are considerably different. Britain, France, Spain, and the American provinces were both financially ruined and in a state of exhaustion. Bankruptcy loomed, so everything previously agreed upon regarding North America (going back to 1740) was up for negotiation. Another "Great Game" was afoot!

The following terms were ultimately negotiated: the original thirteen colonies, along with the Republic of Vermont, were split into a northern federation which included New England and Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.The southern colonies of Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia became a united confederation.

The lands to the west became unincorporated territory, belonging to the indigenous peoples living there.

Spain was confirmed as sovereign over Florida and Louisiana, along with some previously owned Caribbean islands.

France received Quebec, a portion of the former Arcadia, and one or two Atlantic islands.

Britain retained its other Canadian provinces, including Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and Labrador.

Nova Scotia remained a British territory and became a homeland for displaced Loyalists, albeit with some local autonomy.

The German Princes of Hesse, Anhalt, and Brunswick, having placed the King's treasury in serious debt, received as payment the territory northeast of the St. Croix River. This led almost immediately to a crisis as each prince felt it should be named for his lands. Some rolls of the dice (2 out of 3), the turn of a card, and it officially was named: Neu Braunschwieg.

Now, how could this possibly lead to more conflict?


Friday, December 14, 2018

Recruiting a 54mm Army (Part 6), or,
Sometimes you just need to improvise!

In the last installment, I took a look at Armies in Plastic (AIP) American Revolution Cavalry. Unlike some of their other sets this one's interpretation of light cavalry in the AMR (or AWI) is problematic. There are only five figures in the set: one officer, one bugler, two swordsmen, and some fool shooting his carbine, possibly at a circled wagon train. Now, granted these are toy soldiers and not specifically designed for collecting or gaming, but carbines were rare during the AMR, at least among the Americans. As for the tricorns they are wearing, few units, militia or otherwise, wore such headgear. The only exception I am aware of was the Connecticut Light Horse.

So what to do? Slice and improvise! The pictures below show this same basic AIP unit with new headgear and arms (literally) to give a better impression of American Light Cavalry. The heads and some of the arms are extras I purchased from All the Kings Men, now sadly out of business. Other arms were just cut off and swapped, and the seams filled with modeling putty as necessary.

I did find another source, however. Irregular Miniatures ( offers an extensive line of 54mm parts, headgear, and figures. I have not done business with them, but it might be something worth looking into. As always, I welcome your comments!

This photo and the one below shows the original figures pictured in my previous posting. The heads and arms have been replaced or swapped.

And here's the new unit, ready for action in a uniform similar to the 4th Continental Dragoons (artistic license freely included).

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Recruiting a 54mm Army (Part 5)
The Cavalry

It's been awhile since I last sat down to write another edition of Der Resin Kavalier. Some might offer an excuse, but I'm retired, I don't need one. It has been a busy late summer and fall, and with Christmas only about two weeks away, I thought it was probably time to publish 'something'. So here we are, writing about finishing up your army with the cavalry.

First off, I hate painting horses. Back in the day, I convinced my eldest that painting horses was fun--just slap on some shade of brown paint. Give it a black tail and mane. Finish up with a green base, and it's done: ready to glue one of Daddy's toy soldiers on it. Back then, of course, Scruby figures were the most widely available, so highly detailed models was more dependent on the painter than the sculptor.  British figures, such as Minifigs or Hinchcliffe were few and far between on this side of the pond.

I've talked about figures for war gaming the American Revolution (AMR) in 54mm in my earlier posts for this series. Some of the figures are quite detailed and paint up well. When it comes to infantry or artillery, there is a lot out there and a wide variation of price points. Sadly, with regard to cavalry, there's not much. But there is an answer: conversion. And just like Airfix figures were converted into a myriad of different types and armies in the past, we can do the same thing and we're going to use my favorite candidates, Armies in Plastic (AIP).

Below is the basic AIP American Revolution Cavalry set, in this case Militia. But like all the AIP sets, the same figures are used with other sets, only the color of the plastic changes. In this case, militia is molded in brown. French on the other hand would be the same figures, but in white plastic; British red, and Americans in dark blue. There are five figures in each set, none of whom looks much like a historical AMR light cavalry figure. One of which, the fellow firing his carbine, is probably next to useless in an AMR context. Next time, I'll show you some modifications to increase both their usefulness and accuracy.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Overall view of the start positions. The lack of Royalist artillery would be critical.

The Triple Line

Being a Report of the late battle between the Forces of His Majesty and the Provincial Rebels

Recently, I have been reading Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames, with the idea of having a few small battles with my 54's and trying out various rule sets. In an earlier post, Keith Flint's  Honours of War (published by Osprey) was tried at Huzzah 2018. This time I am trying a variation of Charge! that I found posted on Keith's blog (listed on Der Resin Kavalier as one I follow). Stuart Asquith, a pioneer of war gaming modified the original to meet his current needs of more limited space, something with which I am quite familiar. I modified them somewhat more, and the following battle report presented takes a scenario from Neil's book, but using Charge!

The game lasted 8 turns, and the end result was decisive. To begin with, Neil's book has a chapter on solo play, something I had to revert as I am on a summer hiatus from my local club, Old Colony Wargamers which was useful. Armies are chosen based on a random die roll. In this scenario, the Blue Army (Provincial Rebels) had 6 units. The King's forces had 4.

Based on the roll, Blue (Rebels) had 3 infantry units, 1 skirmisher unit, and 2 guns. Red (Royalists) on the other hand had 3 infantry units and 1 Skirmisher. The Royalist lack of artillery would be a major factor in the game. The British ( and some of the Rebel) staring positions are shown below:

Looking toward the British line, the main attack prepares.

Even though the Provincials had to start south of the river, they were aggressive from the beginning. Unfortunately (for the King's forces) according to the scenario conditions,the Royalists could not move until the rebels got within 6 inches of them. I interpreted that as the trigger for all the British forces. As the rebels advanced, casualties on both sides began to mount. A bloody exchange of musketry and artillery marked the Rebel advance. One gun battery was particularly effective.

The initial fight at the bridge saw the destruction of the Provincial Light Infantry.

Among the modifications I made was a morale trigger when the unit reached fifty-percent (for those of you familiar with CLS, this was called a "CE or "combat effectiveness" check). Both sides passed, at least the first time, although the Rebel skirmishers eventually dies to a man. With each additional casualty, checks were made, and inevitably, the failures began to occur. First the royals, then the rebels. But more on that next time, including some notes on the forces involved. (Franconians??)
Rebels surge across the bridge as the British fall back.
The British morale breaks. Now it is up to their Franconian allies to stop the enemy.
The Provincial start to break. The last Rebel unit crosses the bridge as the Franconians advance.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Recruiting a 54mm Army (Part 4),

In the my last posting,  I reviewed different figures for the AWI in 54mm. Today i would like to take a brief look at the artillery that is available and which is suitable for both the AWI as wall as the SYW and Napoleonic era. Since I've already reviewed the figures offered by these companies, I'll stick to the gun models. I'm also going to show just the painted models leaving you to imagine the same in shiny plastic of various hues.

The first of pictures are models from the Armies in Plastic line. These are the most readily available and have enough variety of type to be a very useful addition to your forces. All of the sets have a five or six man crew.

This is a fairly good representation of a French 8-pounder. It's painted in Foundry Miniatures "French Gun Olive Green" triad (# 109). The set also comes with a medium howitzer or light gun barrels.

Here's another AIP offering (above). This, to me, would be more representative of AWI guns, either 4 or 6 pounders. These are also painted in Foundry colors, in this case "British Gun Grey" (#108).

This last is from IMEX British Artillery Set (#710). The American Artillery Set (#711) contains the same carriage but a light howitzer barrel. Interesting enough, the crew figures are different in each set. They could be painted as pretty much either British, Hessian, or American. All of them are well sculpted. I have some pictures of both the AIP and IMEX artillerymen in an earlier post on this blog.

The carriage is painted in Foundry's "French Hussar Sky Blue" (#76). The bronze barrels on all the models was Foundry's "Bronze Barrel" (#103).

In my next installment, we'll put this altogether with a AWI battle report using a scenario from Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames and a variation of the classic Charge! rules. Until then, thank you for your reads and comments.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Recruiting a 54mm Army (Part 3)
or, Build an Army and They Will Come

In my last entry I gave an overview of one of the major sources of plastic 54mm figures, namely Armies in Plastic (AIP). Today I am going to focus on three other manufacturers: Accurate Figures Company, A Call to Arms, and BMC. Most of these can be readily found online and in some of the better stocked hobby shops. Check around for prices because these can vary.

Accurate Figures produces an excellent range of 54mm American Revolutionary War troops. These are from the British Army series, but could easily be painted as well-dressed Continentals. The plastic is somewhat more rigid than than found in AIP figures and I think this makes them both easier to prep and paint. The molded detail, as you can see, is excellent. They also offer American Militia, and of course these can be used for either side. There are twenty figures to a box, two sprues of ten.

 A Call to Arms is a British made line of figures, comparable both in quality and detail as the ones above.  Pictured is a British Light Infantryman, one of sixteen per box. There are four sprues, each having the same four poses. If anything, they are physically a bit slighter than either the AIP or Accurate Figures, but blend in nicely on the tabletop. They also offer British Grenadiers and Maryland Continental Infantry. All are well-done. The Maryland troops particularly interesting because they have a number of different uniforms ranging from standard regimental sets and tricorns, to hunting shirts, to a curious cap that reminds me of a cap worn by the 2nd Canadian or Butler's Rangers.

BMC is the last one we'll look at today. These are sold primarily as playsets. This Fusilier comes from the Yorktown one. They are meant to be toys, and are detailed and priced accordingly. The features are simple and barely raised. It really requires a decent paint job to do them any justice. Personally, although these Hessians aren't too bad, the Contiental/French standard infantry will not likely be seen in any game I might put on. The heads of the figures are oversized and the arms seem way too short. But, they are cheap!

I'll finish up today with the three together (apparently the RSM has other ideas for these lads). Next time I'll talk about the available artillery, "customizing" AIP cavalry, and how to make movement trays, like the ones below.