Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Kinda obvious this was coming, heh?

Indeed, Indians are an important part of any French & Indian war project (dah). I must admit I was a little wary of painting them. I haven't painted a lot of large flesh surface in the last couple of years and my technique changed immensely since my days of painting an Ancient greek army. Moreoever there's the whole 'red skin' thingie that you really want to get right; overdone it just looks silly.

As usual the figures are by Conquest, their early (now discontinued) Woodland Indians pack. I believe some of these sculpts were reintroduced into the Woodland Indian War Party box sets but many have I'm afraid disappeared for good. I got mine from a helping fella over at TMP. They sure are not easy to get a hold of. Mind you the new ones are just as nice...but one just can't have too many of these guys...

When I first started the project the Militia and the Rangers were my favourite figures but the Indians have grown on me. I really enjoyed painting them, a lot more than I thought.

Now before anyone says anything (I can hear you from up here) yes I know they lack war paints. As it was my first batch I wanted to work on the skin before moving on to war paints. I intend to slowly incorporate more warpaints in future batches. Not a fan of painting tatoos I have to say. I find they just look bad on 28mm figures, unless painted by the very best (which I am not). Your mileage may vary on this...Anyways most of my Indians will be used as French allies (Hurons). who were rarely tattooed.

So yeah, here they are. My very first Indians.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Milice Canadienne II

A second batch of Canadian militia. Figures by Conquest. Those figurers are actually advertised by Conquest as Compagnies Franches de la Marine, but really they're was no difference between militia and Compagnies Franches in campaign dress, other than the colours of the tuques. I avoided using the figures in Bicornes or semi-uniforms to represent militia, as these will be used for my Compagnies Franches. 

I used the same techniques as my last batch. I really like the animation of these figures.

So that makes 16 Canadian militia. Another 8 and I think I'll have enough for a start. Although I might go for some Indians first...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

La guerre de la Conquête (my FIW project)

(I felt like writing this part in French too, it seemed appropriate. The english version follows. I'm usually too lazy to write in both language, so apologies to any Francophone reading this blog, but don't expect this to become a normal occurrence!)

La guerre de la Conquête est une époque que j'aime beaucoup, évidemment tout d'abord parce que c'est LE conflit qui a façonné le Québec et le Canada et que mes ancêtres y ont combattu, mais aussi simplement parce que c'est une époque fascinante.

Cela faisait longtemps que je voulais vraiment m'y mettre mais les figurines disponibles me laissaient de glace. L'arrivée des figures Conquest a changé la donne. J'ai l'intention de peinturer les deux côtés du conflit, comme à mon habitude. Toutefois, contrairement à mes projets Napoléoniens et de la Guerre de Trente ans, je ne suivrai pas un ordre de bataille préçis pour créer mes forces. Habituellement, je suis du type à tout planifier dans les moindres détails, en sachant exactement ce que je vais peinturer, dans quel ordre, etc. Pas cette fois-çi! Je vais probablement y aller au goût du jour, et peinturer ce dont je suis dans le mood de peinturer.

Bon, je dois quand même avoir un genre de plan, quand même...chasser le naturel et il reviens au galop quoi, alors l'idée est plutôt de me baser vaguement sur les forces en présence lors de la Monongahela. Plus tard, je rajouterai possiblement des troupes du siège du Fort Carillon, question d'avoir des Highlanders en kilt et des réguliers français.

La "bataille" (ou massacre, au choix) de Monongahela est assez représentative des premières années de la guerre. Les forces françaises sont composées majoritairement de miliciens Canadiens, de Compagnies Franches de la Marine et de beaucoup d'amérindiens alliés à la cause française. Les forces britanniques, elles, misent sur les soldats réguliers et les milices coloniales. La petite guerre y est particulièrement à l'honneur, alors que les forces canadiennes utilisent l'embuscade et évitent les batailles rangées comme la peste.

En me basant sur cette bataille, je souhaite créer deux forces versatiles qui me permettront de jouer différents scénarios de skirmish. Pour les français, cela signifie donc quelques compagnies franches, un peu plus de miliciens Canadiens, et beaucoup d'amérindiens ! Comme précédemment mentionné, je n'ai pas l'intention de me casser la tête avec ce projet, alors pour l'instant le plan est de peinturer une vingtaine de miliciens canadiens, une dizaine de compagnies franches et une quarantaine d'amérindiens. Pas trop compliqué.

Pour les Anglais, ça commence avec les Redcoats. Les miens représenteront le 44th Foot, présent à la Monongahela (les pauvres). J'aime bien les distinctives jaunes, pas d'autres raisons. Je pense que 24 miniatures représentent bien un bataillon. Ensuite je diverge un peu de la bataille de la Monongahela puisque j'ai besoin de miliciens/colons américains, et si possible aussi des civils, pour plusieurs scénarios de FIW. Je compte donc peinturer une vingtaine de colons américains, incluant quelques civils. Après ça, on verra ! 

Pour l'instant, les deux règles (qui semblent excellentes d'ailleurs) que je compte essayer sont Mousquets & Tomahawks et This Very Ground. Mais bon, les modes changent, les règles aussi...

For reasons I would think obvious I really like the French & Indian war (FIW). For a while I avoided it mainly because I did not like the choice of figures available (which is very important to me). The fantastic Conquest figures convinced me to invest in it. As I usually do, I intend to build forces for both side of the conflict. However, this time I will not follow an Order of battle or any precise plan. For you see I'm usually somewhat anal when starting a new project, planning everything I need, the order in which I paint what, etc. Not this time! 

Well, ok I do need some basic of a plan. So the project is loosely based on the Monongahela. I might add later on elements from latter battle, probably Ticonderoga,  in order to field French regulars and Highlanders in kilts. Obviously.

The battle of Monongahela is pretty representative of the early war. French forces are made-up of Canadian militia, Compagnies Franches de la Marine and a lot of allied Indians. British forces are mostly made-up of regulars and colonial militia. Skirmish is the name of the game, as the Canadians  use ambushes and avoid open battle like the plague.

The goal is to create two versatile forces which will allow me to play various FIW scenarios. For the French that means some Compagnies Franches, a little more Canadian Militias and a whole lot of Indians! I intend to keep things simple for this project so let's figure about 25 Militas, 15 Compagnies Franches and 40 Indians as a start. Nice and simple.

For the British, it starts with the Redcoats. Mine will represent the 44th foot, present at the Monongahela. I just like yellow facings...I'm thinking 20-24 figures for a battalion sounds about right for a start.Then I have to leave the Monongahela since I need some random militia/colonial types (including some civilians) for many FIW scenarios. I intend to paint about 20 of those, plus a couple of civilians. After that, we'll see!

The goal is to try Muskets & Tomahawks and This very Ground; both seem like fine rulesets. Of course, new shinier rules comes out all the time...