Dutchies do AWI update 3

Jasper O: The holidays seem to provide lots of time to be creative and get in a few games. I’ve been diligently plugging away at units which I hope to show you next time, and have had several great games of Land of the Free (one here), most courtesy of Rob R. A few photos accompany this blog, for more check out the Land of the Free Facebook page.

Jeroen: Over the last month I finished my first unit of militia. This month’s update is about the decisions made during the process. After undercoating, I selected the colours for the unit. Usually, I paint a single miniature as a test for a regiment or army, but since I wanted my militia to have a mix of uniforms and civilian clothing, it had to be a test stand of 6 models. The scenario uses stands as units, so it has to look good as a stand and as a unit of four stands for use in larger games. 

The key to a good looking unit is to keep the palette limited. This avoids the unit becoming a bright and incoherent mix of all colours of the rainbow. Since the few uniforms included in the unit would be red, faced green, I decided that I would complement this with a limited set of shades of brown and I kept from using blue and blue greys. All colours are used on two or three models in a stand, which really unifies the stands whilst allowing sufficient variations between models. In the end, I did not only reverse the uniform colours of the drummer, but added a few more ‘old fashioned’ green uniforms to make the unit look more diverse.

The second basic decision was on the unit bases. I did not want my militia ranked up like an organised regiment, since that’s not what they’re supposed to be! So normally ranked trays wouldn’t do. I had some ideas how to make a militia tray and in the photo you can see that these ideas have really taken shape.  During a playtest session for one of the scenario’s of the AWI project, I discussed my ideas with a fellow AWI enthousiast who works wonders with MDF (www.patslasercuttings.nl) . The next day, I was presented with a sample and over the next few days, we fine-tuned the design together. Within the week, the finished product arrived on my doorstep. Great service!

The resulting tray is 64 mm square, with a 2mm bottom layer and a 1mm top layer with six holes for the 20mm washers I use. It can be used in four directions, each giving a different look to the stand. Additionally, the top layer of the tray can be glued on upside down for even more variation. In all directions, the tray looks as two ranks of three miniatures more or less randomly spaced, so all tray orientations can be mixed in a unit. On the trays and bases, I glued some small stones and fine sand, which I gave a drybrush and finished with a selection of tufts, static grass and moss.

Jasper L: We playtested the Stono Ferry scenario with the Muskets & Tomahawks rules. And it was a good thing we did so! For the two British players it was too static. Just too much waiting and shooting. For the four American players, on the other hand, it was too slow to get to the action. But it probably will work very well, with some alterations in the deployment, layout of the table and objectives. To be continued somewhere in the early spring.

I also ordered and received a very nice book. An illustrated encyclopedia of Uniforms from 1775-1783: The American Revolutionary War. This book has a lot of information and images, giving me lots of inspiration

On the painting side of the project, right after the last blog I went ahead with the indians. I finished the chief relatively quickly and started working on the rest. I tried a few things on my mounted officers. But then last week, some project-partners-in-crime showed some really nicely uniformed models. Inspiration! I dropped painting the indians and started working on my uniformed guys. I know it would probably be best to focus on finishing one unit at a time. But when it comes to painting I am terrible at staying focused on one model or unit (who is?).

To finish my part of today’s blog, I can tell you my models, especially the indians, have survived several murder attempts of their lead selves. For convenience I left my models in the cabinet above my workspace, and apparently our cat thinks the cabinet is a fun place to jump into. So after a couple of heroic defensive actions from my models against the cat, resulting in several bent muskets, they became veterans and got promoted to a permanent spot on my workspace.

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