Friday, 23 November 2012

Forward... into the past... that never happened!

So there I was... minding my own business in the 21st century, when all of a sudden, a thought hit me... and Andy... and Martin... and Kevin... and Rob: "Shouldn't we do an 'Imigi-nations' campaign?" The common thoughts hit it usually means divine intervention or rather tasty beer. Still this was something I'd secretly wanted to do since... well, since I was knee-high to a prat, as it were.

So what rules to use? After much discussion and a few knock-down-drag-out friendly conversations, we decided on Warfare in the Age of Reason. (Maurice and Koenig Krieg were considered, and I'm sure most of you, my gracious readers, have your own favourites, but we've got to start somewhere.) Next, maps. Since Martin is a graduate student studying economic geography, we'll leave that to him who is an expert-in-training. Next, Figures. ("Dig in, boys; it's going to be a long war." he says to himself.) Andy and I have extensive 15mm collections for the 7 Years War. Andy has a large collection of 25mm figs for the French and Indian War in North America. But it's an "Imigi-nations" campaign and we want to paint up the figures as we please, not impress Prussians, Russians, or Swedes as troops of our postage stamp empires! Some new figures are being released... but not for SYW and they are not cheap.

What to do? I spelunk into my old documents and find something I never considered. 20mm figures for the SYW and the AWI (American War of Independence) by Frying Pan & Blanket Amalgamated of Minnesota. They've been around for a long time, but do they still exist? What do the figures look like? They have no Web-presence (e-mail address or website) so how do we contact them? There is a fan-run website that has a few photos and list the all the ranges FP&B produce [] but even he says all correspondence is by surface mail... y'know, with stamp and envelope. HOWEVER, their figures are boxed 24 infantry (including 2 officers, 2 colour bearers, and 2 musicians) or 6 cavalry (6 horses, 6 riders, and 6 dismounted cavalrymen or 6 command - like the infantry with no dismounted). There are some variations for light troops and such. Artillery is boxed 4 crews of 6 and the range of ordnance is extensive. Best of all the figures are white metal of the usual sort and cost... wait for it... $9.95 US a box! Are you kidding me? $.41 a figure for metal? So I ordered a sample. A while later (I think they mould to order, so there's little stock on hand), a package arrived. The folks at FP&B were most gracious and friendly and acually called me to say when they were shipping. This might be out of the ordinary, but it was great to have them do that.

So I painted and here's what some of the troops look like: (the good photos are courtesy of my wife, the scummy ones are mine.)

To give you an idea of the size, here you can see me adjusting the ensign of the cavalry unit
(Box #151 - 18th Century Horse command)

British line infantry in overalls for Rob's British North America-style army
(Box #161 British line infantry, marching, hide pack, overalls)

A rear view of the British. The officer is carrying a musket, so it's a late war figure.

Prussian-style German infantry - Hessians, I suppose. Very good for SYW Prussians
(Box #112 German Line Infantry, tricorns, marching)

The command stand close up. Age of Reason calls for 12 figure battalions, so a box from FP&B
gives you two battalions for less than $10! 

Germans showing the detail on the backs - knapsack packs for the rank and file, aguilette for the officer,
"Swallow's nests" for the drummer.
Box #107 Continental Line Infantry, Tricorns, uniforms, marching painted up as a Pennsylvania battalion
in "Quaker Brown." They'll serve in Rob's army.

The command - the flags are moulded in a draped position which makes them a bit hinky for painting.
Box #103 Highland line infantry, bonnets, kilts, defending
This the first unit for Beth's Scot's style army. She wanted green coats with a MacGregor tartan.
I did my best.

Back view of the Scots. They are behaving themselves. No "Braveheart" kilt flipping today.

A second Scots outfit - Green with lighter green facings AND a regimental mascot!
A close-up of the officer, ensign, and MacTavish. The unit includes drummers, no pipers
(Deep sigh)

A close up of the back of the 2nd Scots unit.

Jagers for my army - These are the dismounted version of the 18th Century horse. I decided to turn them
into light infantry since we probably won't dismount our cavalry. I only had nine figures, so I'm a stand
short until then next order. I added an officer who came with the mounted command.
They're carrying a short firearm which I now declare to be a rifle. So let it be written; so let it be done!

The Jagers and their wolfhound mascot, Mitzi. This is actually a 15mm figure from a now defunct range
whose name I can't remember, but the sculptor or producer of the line was one Jamie Fish. I've heard
he'd passed on, and I still like his figures. I think my Imigi-nation will be the Grand Electorate of
Saxe-Fredonia under the enlightened rule of his grace, the Grand Elector, Rufus I Glühwürmchen.

Native Warriors (Box #132 - Woodland Indians - 7 poses)
Rob intends to make these his light infantry. I've added a few figures from the dismounted batch of
Box # 509 - Plains Indians Mounted from the Pony Wars range.

Various Braves

... with warpaint...

... and head dress (From Box 509)...
... shirts and leggings.

A tribute to a reenacting friend - Aaron immortalised in pewter.

From Boxes #150 & 151 - 18th Century Horse and Command - painted as a dragoon regiment.
The Fredonian Dragoons are renowned for... something or other, I can't remember, but
they're renowned!
The dragoons pass in review!
Ensign and trumpeter of the dragoons. I'm rather pleased with the results.

The trumpeter close up. I decided to use reversed colours - red coat with medium blue facings- for the
regimental musicians.  I want to do a regiment each of heavy horse and hussars, but the reversed colours
may not hold for them.
A Saxe-Fredonian general office who appears to be aping an American War of Independence officer.
(Box #106 British or Continental Officers, mounted) FP&B generals come with horses who have the saddle
and horse furniture attached. With the other cavalry, except for the mounted Indians, the horse furniture
is attached to the rider.

From Box #509 - Plains Indians, mounted.
Rob says he wants to use these as his light cavalry. I'm gong to stick to hussars.
From Box #106 - His Grace, the Grand Elector of Saxe-Fredonia, Rufus I Glühwürmchen
A close up of His Grace. I've GOT to remember to paint that mustache!
Not the most detailed figure ever, to be honest, but it has character.
An extra officer. So is he an engineer/sapper/miner? An official of the Electoral Committee on Secrets?
(the EKG - That's the Electorate's uniformed secret police.) A cadet from the University's Reserve
Army Training Service (the RATS)? I don't know. Check back later when I get more figures.

In general, the bunch of us are satisfied with this range of figures. There are holes in it, but that's easy to make up. Unpainted they look a little spindly, but even a fair paint job adds lots. Other ranges offered include the Seven Years War (British, Austrian, French, & Russian, theWar of 1812, the Legion of the United States for Tippecanoe, and the Pony Wars of the later 1800's. I'd say look into this range of figs. Since they are 20mm, they stand alone, but as metal figures, they can hold up to the plastics available and I don't think you can beat the price.
The Electorate will be recruiting soon! Christmas is coming and I'm tough to buy for.

"Hail, hail, Fredonia! Land of the Brave and Freeeeeeee!"
(I love having a national anthem already composed.)


  1. Splendid 20mm figures.I'm glad you and yours are doing some imagination gaming .It is such fun.Sadly I fear it would be expensive to get these figs sent over here to the Duchy of Tradgardland,sorry Scotland.
    best wishes

    1. Glad you like them, Alan. Should I make you "Colonel" of one of the regiments? You don't have to be present to be "Inhaber" of an outfit.

    2. Shipping costs depend on the size of the order. Here is the shipping breakdown as of a few years ago:

      Shipping and Handling
      Value - Shipping
      $50.00 - $4.50
      $75.00 - $5.00
      $100.00 - $6.00
      $200.00 - $10.00

      Canadian Customers add $2.00 to the above. Worldwide surface mail add $6.00 to the above. Worldwide airmail: 30% of order value.

  2. Never heard of these figures, there are some really nice poses, love the little Scotty dog!

    1. Thanks, Ray. The figures aren't well known and they're a little difficult to get since they have no web-presence. I do like the "support arms" pose for that period. The figures could be placed on their stands very close together.
      As to the dogs, they're a different range and they were just sitting around. I have one more wolfhound, a goat, a sheep, and a pig. I'm not sure a pig would make a good mascot!

  3. The only web presence I know of is the fan site that I created.