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The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the American Revolution

Idiot's Guide
Idiot's Guide

Next up are a few books on the period. Don’t laugh at me, but i did find The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the American Revolution, which is a very good book for a beginner. I find it contains a lot of straight forward info and is a great place to start. The author is a great writer and it reads easier than butter. I will put up a full review.

I have been a big fan of the Osprey books, as they were gold when painting for the SYW. It turns out not to be so true for the AWI.

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Where to begin?

Thanks for dropping by to check out my work. Most good stories start at the beginning, so here we go.

I have a previous blog having to do with getting into a new period, the SYW. I learned a lot about the SYW during that time, but perhaps most surprising, I found that I really enjoyed the web design. If you look through the site, you will see the design become more focused near the end. I went on to read A LOT about HTML, CSS, PHP, and a number of other web technologies since then. I even started a somewhat successful (some may argue) web design business for game related businesses, called greenermountain.net. Yes, it’s dot net, not com (everyone gets it wrong).

I started painting very young with GW stuff, and eventually fell out of gaming all together. After the birth of my daughter I was looking for something relaxing to do during the long nights at home, as we couldn’t go anywhere for a while. I started to paint with the old GW models again and quickly ran out of money! I figured there had to be more out there for me. I found BF and FOW through their large online community. I loved the smaller scale, moving from 28mm down to 15mm, but I soon became disenfranchised with the whole arrangement of a set of rules designed to sell models. The price of the models also began to rise as the new LW rules also dropped points so you could field even more models (and the company sold more models for each force.) I figured again that their must be something else out there for me.

Baccus
Baccus

I discovered a scale called 6mm about this time. Now I had never thought about something this small before, but you could get a whole whack of models for a pretty reasonable price. I found Baccus Miniatures online and had a great look around. I ordered some samples, gave them a go and whey-hey, I was satisfied. I needed a period to cover, and I wanted something different. I was tired of green and brown from my WWII experience, so I looked at the 18th century. I knew enough about Napoleonics to stay away from it. That left the SYW, with all of it’s pageantry, for me to take a look at. It looked like a challenge, and that’s what I wanted. I also was a fan of Sam Mustafa’s Grande Armee rules and he had just released Might and Reason for the SYW. So great period, great rules, and great figures, it’s a go. That lead to the SYW6mm site, which was good fun for a while. I then became the proud father of two more girls at the same time. Now, having twins is not conducive to any kind of free time, and I haven’t picked up a brush from the day they were born.

Now, after 6 months, I have the odd 15-30minutes every day or three with which to choose what I do. I wanted to try something new as I had hit a point in my SYW stuff where I could use a change, it was becoming a bit monotonous. Too many blue coats I presume. Also, I had enough experience with 6mm to know what I wanted to do next time (doesn’t that always happen?).

I knew I wanted to document this in a blog as well, as it helps to slow my painting pace so my finances can catch up with the lead purchases. But this blog I wanted to be a little less focused. For instance, I will speak my mind this time around, as I tried to keep the old blog all business.

I knew what I wanted in the new period:

  • greater variety in my painting
  • more figures in a unit
  • less obscure period for me

Two for Tea?

2 For Tea
2 For Tea
WJ
WJ

It was perfect timing for Two for Tea to enter my life. I was reading the newly-back-online Wargames Journal site and found an article with some stunning 6mm figures from the American War of Independence. Bob Barniston wrote a warmaster variant for the AWI and it looked simple and fast, two things I like. I moved to New England three years ago, so there are many AWI sites within a days drive, in fact the entire Saratoga campaign took place within a three hour drive from me!! Very exciting, as I plan to visit the sites this summer. Check for less obscure period. Now Bob used the standard 20mm x 40mm warmaster bases with 16 figures on a base. I plan to use 30mm x 60mm for my bases and pack 24 figures on a base. For 72 figure units, so check for bigger units. The AWI also offers a wide variety of units to paint, as there were a wide variety of unit types fighting wearing just about anything. There is also quite a bit of leeway for me in my painting which is what I didn’t want before, but now felt I was ready for. So greater variety in my painting, check!

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Slap on the Paint

I forgot to mention another great thing about the American War of Independence. It’s almost completely an infantry war. I hate tanks and have never painted a horse and enjoyed it. I have three forces painted for WW2 and nary a tank in them. I think there is less of the rock, paper, scissors dynamic with the mostly infantry forces involved. That should leave battles to be decided by maneuver instead of hardware.

I eased myself into the new period by painting some figures from my old period. I had enough Prussians sitting around for a unit of Brunswickers from the Saratoga campaign. They are the same figures in the Baccus catalog. They had already been undercoated, so I started to do some research on the proper colors. This was not as easy as I thought it was going to be. The AWI suffers from a lack of definitive information on unit uniforms and many other specifics. I did manage to find ONE site that had a few very low resolution images of Brunswick uniforms. I got the proper colors and slapped up the first unit.

I used the figures for three of my old units to make the first AWI unit, the Brunswick Musketeer Regiment Von Riedsel. A basic blue coat, white pants uniform that I have painted hundreds of times. This unit had yellow turnbacks, which I dislike because they don’t show up well against the flesh color. In 6mm you want some contrast. I am hoping these guys will do double duty as Hessians when I leave the Saratoga campaign. Let’s see if I ever finish it before I get carried away!

Then it was on to ordering some new troops and references for myself. I dropped by the www.baccus6mm.com site, which I must add is very utilitarian and in need of modernizing. It seems to be optimized for 800×600 pixel screens despite the “best viewed on 1024×769” disclaimer at the bottom. I just want to say that I can’t say enough good things about Baccus and Pete is a GREAT guy and his products are AMAZING despite the antiquated site. It did receive a much needed shopping cart recently, which any serious web company needs, if things are difficult for people to use, they will go elsewhere. People are lazy, pure and simple.

Back to the ordering. FIrst up, some Patriot forces. I ordered a militia unit and a continental line unit to get the ball rolling. I plan to order three patriot units and when those are finished, then three evil empire units. I have found that if I have a great deal of lead around, I get bored and stop painting for months at a time. So small, manageable units is the way to go for me.

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OK, I’ll do it.

Well, I have given up on designing my own blog to show of the project.   I recently started a web design company for games companies and to be honest, when I have finished working on this stuff, I can’t bare the thought of starting work on my own site for fun.  So as my options were to find and easy way to get my work on the web or not put it up (the option I have been exercising these past many months) I have decided to take the plunge and go with a WordPress blog.

The other large reason that I wanted to find a web based solution is that I am switching my home computer to Ubuntu from Windows.  It is no possible to run DreamWeaver (my preferred web creation software) on Ubuntu with full functionality.  So by using WordPress, I am able to maintain the site from anywhere.

So, here it is.  I will be slowly migrating my old content to this new platform and then adding the 10 plus units that I have finished since my last post.

I’ll see you as soon as I get the bugs worked out.

Patriot Militia
Patriot Militia