Enfilade Less Than Two Months Away


We’re about to start week two of Governor Jay Inslee’s Stay at Home self-quarantine.  I confess to feeling cooped up, but I am painting for Enfilade which is only fifty some odd days away.  I check the coronavirus numbers on the Washington Post that are updated regularly. Though the curve is bent somewhat,  cases in Washington state continue to increase regularly.  Though we should get an update for the governor’s ban on gatherings Tuesday, it’s hard to imagine the convention comes off. There simply is no good news.

Even so, I am planning as though the Enfilade is still a go. That means I have to finish my projects. I still have a couple of irons in the fire. The first is the Ploesti project.  I hoped to have them finished by Sunday the 29th, but I just don’t see it happening. All the tedious lining is completed, but there is still lots of detailing to do–plexiglass panels, nose art, exhaust plumes, lettering and numbering and decals.  Everything is a bit slow, because of the size of the miniatures. I’m hoping for Tuesday.

cav 2

The other big project is the the Philippine-American scenario.  This is one that still needs work.  I finished the last of the American units today.  There are still 32 more bolo-armed Philippine figures to paint.  They’ll go fast, once I get started on them.  I will have painted a considerable number of figures for this in the end.  That’s great, wrapping up this project is high on my list.  When the figures for this scenario is complete, I will still have plenty left to paint, but it’s a project I really want to wrap up.

In addition to the figures, however, is still a fair amount of stuff to do.  I have a pair of 4Ground buildings to complete, plus some additional terrain bits to make that are central to the scenario.  I’ve actually made a lot of progress in this area, but I still have a ways to go.

I’m far more concerned about a lack of opportunity to play test these games than I am finishing the work.  The Stay-At-Home rules make things tough, both for places to play and gathering gamers together to play them.  I think the Ploesti game will be fine, but the Philippine game has some moving parts that really need a couple of walks through.


Shiny Objects-My Dance with 1898 Miniaturas.

You’re miniature wargamers.  You know what I’m talking about.  A manufacturer comes out with something new–maybe it’s a period that’s always interested you, maybe it’s an interesting set of rules to go with interesting miniatures, maybe they’re simply the nicest miniatures you’ve ever seen from a period that holds a magnetic attraction on your passions.

I can say, honestly, that I’ve always been attracted by periods and passions and not to figures.  The Hundred Years War, American War of Independence, and a host of other periods have attracted my gaming dollars and the time it takes to paint up a project because I have a deep interest in the period.  Aside-most mainstream interest; War of Independence.  Least mainstream project: Tie between the Lewis and Clark Expedition and The Burr Conspiracy.

About three years ago, at age 61, I was looking around at a last new project.  Let’s just define our terms here, since that often breeds confusion.  By last project, I mean a last new, never begun before new project.  It would mean buying and painting both sides, and all the time that demanded. I was particularly interested in a colonial project.  Osprey had just released Daniel Mersey’s The Men Who Would Be Kings, and I loved Lion Rampant.  Lacking any armies from that period, I was intrigued.

Vols 1

Vols 2

A couple of photos of Old Glory’s volunteers.  State and U.S. Volunteers fought in the Philippine War.  The chief difference between the regulars and the volunteers is that the latter was armed with the 1873 pattern Sprinfield (trapdoor) rifle that fired a black powder cartridge.  Regulars carried the Krag with its distinctive side mount magazine and smokeless cartridges.

My first choice was Egypt and the Sudan.  I was in from Tel-el-Kebir all the way to Omdurman.  The Perrys had a nice range of figures, and I could fill in from other manufacturers, so I was kind of hot to go.  With a conflict lasting from 1882-1898, there would be plenty to keep me busy.

At about this time 1898 Miniaturas appeared on The Miniatures Page.  The photos showed the figures to be truly beautiful, and the announcement that the Spanish company would focus on the Spanish American War AND the Philippine American conflict got my attention.  I decided to follow the range and save my shekels for a future purchase.

At first I was interested in doing both conflicts, but in April of 2018 Lorri and I agreed I would retire after the 2019 school year. That would mean less hobby money along with my reduced income, and I focused instead on the Philippine War. Why?  Well, it seemed more colonial and provoked a real debate in the United States whether our country would join the ranks of other imperialist nations. It had the added benefit of including more state volunteers than U.S. regulars because most of the latter were packed off to Cuba. Those volunteers included an infantry battalion and a battery from Washington state.  I’m such a homer.

I invested some of my summer camp earnings toward the a down payment on the period, and by August of 2018, I had plenty of figures to work for the U.S. invaders and the Philippine defenders.  There were still some holes the 1898 Miniaturas range, but they were still adding some figures.  Last year, they supplemented their excellent collection of infantry with some very nice mounted leaders and an American Gatling gun.

Unfortunately, the death knell of all figure ranges happens when a manufacturer moves on to another range.  The 1898 folks have done exactly that by creating a range of Spanish miniatures for the early 17th century and Thirty Years War period. They’re nice, but not a range I have any intention of doing, and exactly nothing has happened with their colonial range in over a year.

Tiger 1

The Tiger mountain gun.  The gun is quite serviceable, and comes with a mule and two crew.  The crew members aren’t great, but the mule is awesome. The rules call for four crew so I added a couple of leftover volunteer officers from Old Glory.

What does that mean?  Well, there are definitely some bits that are missing.  No American volunteers, sailors or marines.  No mounted cavalry for the Americans.  There are still some weapons that would be nice to have-Colt machine guns, light artillery more maneuverable in the jungles and mountains of the Philippines.  Philippine soldiers in American service-the Philippine Scouts and Philippine Constabulary would be valuable units in many scenarios.

Tiger 2

This is the Colt machine gun by Tiger in being schlepped formation.  I had an extra Tiger officer to add to the three man crew. I liked these guys.  Big and a little goofy, but not bad at all.

Tiger 3

The ready for battle version of the Colt.  Another Tiger miniature.

To be clear, all the miniatures are available.  Old Glory makes all the extra American infantry and cavalry.  Tiger Miniatures has some of the extra weapons bits.  All the figures are very serviceable, but don’t quite match the quality of the Spanish company’s figures.

It’s got to be really hard to sustain a business in this hobby.  Gamers move from game system to game system, and are attracted by new interests and miniature ranges all the time.  A regular customer becomes a former customer easily and predictably. Balancing a company’s offerings with additional and alternatives to attract the maximum number of buyers only makes sense.  But I won’t hide my disappointment that 1898 Miniaturas has not finished what it began.  Yes, the major pieces are there, but there is still plenty to complete the range.

Just in case you’re interested here is what is available for the Spanish American War and Philippine War from 1898 Miniaturas, Old Glory and Tiger Miniatures


  • Regular Infantry-1898, Old Glory, Tiger
  • American Buffalo Soldiers, Infantry-1898, Old Glory
  • Dismounted Cavalry-1898, Old Glory, Tiger
  • Dismounted Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers-1898, Old Glory, Tiger
  • Dismounted Rough Riders–1898, Tiger
  • Volunteer infantry–
  • Mounted Cavalry–Old Glory, Tiger
  • 3.2″ gun and crew–1898, Tiger
  • Artillerists–Old Glory
  • Gatling guns and crew–1898, Old Glory, Tiger
  • Colt machine gun and crew–Old Glory, Tiger
  • Dynamite gun and crew–Old Glory, Tiger
  • Mountain gun and crew–Tiger
  • Marines–Old Glory, Tiger
  • Marine Artillery (one pounder)-Tiger
  • Marines w/Colt machine gun-Tiger
  • Sailors–Old Glory
  • Philippine Constabulary-Tiger
  • Philippine Scouts–Tiger
  • Mounted personalities–1898, Old Glory


  • Spanish Infantry–1898 (many variations), Old Glory (two variations), Tiger (two variations
  • Spanish Civil Guard-Tiger
  • Spanish sailors–Old Glory
  • Spanish Marines–Tiger
  • Spanish Cavalry–Tiger, Old Glory*
  • Spanish mounted infantry-Tiger
  • Spanish mounted personalities–1898
  • Spanish artillery–Old Glory, Tiger
  • Spanish mountain gun–1898, Tiger
  • Spanish Gatling Gun–Tiger
  • Cuban Rebel Infantry–Old Glory, Tiger

*Both Old Glory and Tiger use cavalry interchangeably for Spanish and Cuban rebels.

Philippine Troops

  • Philippine Republic/Native Tagalogs–1898, Tiger
  • Philippine militia w/mixed hand weapons-1898
  • Moros–Old Glory
  • Personalities–1898

A Productive January

It’s been a great painting month.  I spent lots of time focused on those Enfilade projects I’m working on.  I’m kind of a procrastinator about most things in my life, but not about getting convention games ready.  I’ll never forget watching some guys painting figures at their table for their weekend-long Battle of Gettysburg game.  That is not me.

I began the month working on figures for the Rebels and Patriots game David Sullivan and I are hosting.  It’s based kind of loosely on the retreat to North Carolina across the Dan River, leading to Guilford Courthouse.  Sort of like Weitzel’s Mill.

Two of the units I wanted to paint were light companies of the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards that are part of the British pursuit. The figures for both units are Front Rank, from their Light Infantry in slouch hat group.  It’s a pretty thin batch of figures, so there’s not a big mix to choose from.  As I’ve stated before, these figures are very fun to paint, very easy to paint because they’re large and kind of blocky.  They remind me of working with a coloring book, because the lines are so clear. No facing colors or lace to speak of.  I did give the officers Scarlet coats instead of the Vallejo Flat Red, so they could be in regulation dress and be better targets for the American riflemen.

Front Rank Light Infantry in southern dress.  These are painted as the light company for the Coldstream Guards.  Their device is painted on many of the figures’ backpacks in the photo upper left.

Though there’s not a lot to dress them up, I decided to paint their backpacks with crests for each of the different regiments.  The Coldstream Guards were pretty straightforward.  The Grenadier Guards not so much.  Every guardsman was not a recipient, but the majority of figures have their respective crests.

Grenadier Guards light company.  Their devices were more of a challenge to paint and I skipped trying to paint the royal script inside the garter.

I also painted Kirkwood’s Delaware light infantry.  These are Front Rank figures in 1779 regulation dress.  Again, fun to paint.  I didn’t quite get the figure mix right.  Was hoping to add some figures in hunting shirts but didn’t order correctly.  My bad. The biggest distinction for Kirkwood’s troops is the yellow hat lace, so at least I could see them coming.  As their white overalls wore out they resorted to bed ticking for trousers.  I was hoping to have a few more examples of this and remembered what a terrible pain in the ass it was and called two examples good enough.

Robert Kirkwood’s Delaware Regiment was really part of the old Continental Line that served throughout the southern campaign.  It’s the closest Nathaniel Green had to an elite unit, but though it had only 80 or so men.  Kirkwood was a soldier’s soldier, serving through the Revolution, only to die on the Wabash battlefield in 1790.

Back in December I went to the Perry Miniatures site and put together an order for the remaining figures I need for this project–British Legion figures for the loyalist South Carolina Dragoons, Lee’s Legion dragoons, and a handful of riflemen.  Four weeks later, having not received them, I went back and looked at my order, only to discover it tidily sitting in the site’s shopping cart.  Sent in my order the next day, and shipped immediately from the Perry site.  Still waiting, but am watching the mail daily.

While waiting for the Perry’s to arrive I decided to switch gears and begin work on planes for Ploesti.  I don’t have a ton to do but they are big ol’ Scotia B-24D’s.  The models are nice but large, which always poses a bit of a challenge.  The planes often come with their uber-long wings pretzeled and their large stabilizers and double tails needing careful straightening.  I set into this task one evening, only to realize the B-24’s I ordered back in August weren’t the early D version of the bomber that set upon the Romanian oil fields at all, but the later B-24J with the power nose turret.  Still a nice model I can make use of, but it took another order to the UK to retrieve the situation, so I am still awaiting the whims of the Post Office.


This Scotia B-24D is one of ten I acquired from the late Phil Barsdley.  They are spectacular in every regard, including the guns Phil added.  The paint, including “Flying Eightball” emblem and nose art I’ll never be able to equal.


Scotia B-24J in all its raw metal glory.  Note the nose turret. They’ll paint well.

With the R and P figs and the required planes unavailable, I’ve been working on some figures for my Philippine scenario. Because there is a coastal element to the game, I gotta have marines and sailors.  I think I’ve already shared my U.S. Marines.  Like those figures the sailors are offerings from Old Glory.  Not a tough job–because they are in white uniforms with white sailor caps.  Managed to knock out both units this month.  As figures go, they are pretty simple and straight-forward.  they seem a bit small.

Sailors 1

Well, no they aren’t a lot to look at, but if you’re gonna be afloat you gotta have sailors.  Two units of Old Glory Sailors from their Spanish American War range.

They are a pretty simple paint job.  I used Vallejo Grey-White as an undercoat and then painted highlights in straight white.  That’s really all you gotta know.  Simple but reasonably effective.

About the time I thought I could start another unit I got a raging four-day case of the flu.  When I could bring myself to actually go back in my den, I decided to paint some of the heavy weapons I’ll need for the Philippine scenario.  There is a mountain howitzer and crew and a Colt machine gun in both the firing and moving position. I’m about 50% finished with those figures


This bunch is from Tiger Miniatures and include crews for Colt Machine guns as well as a breach loading mountain gun from their Spanish American War range. Under construction.  Hope to be done with the lot by February 2nd.

If I’m able to finish those figures by Friday, I’ll have done 72 figures in the month of January, all 28mm, which is a whole lot for me.  And honestly, it was truly enjoyable.  It’s nice to have about three hours a day to paint.  I can get a lot done.

And the really good news–my Perry order arrived today.


My small, but anxiously awaited Perry order.



Shufflin’ off to Buffalo, er Wazzu

Herd 1

A chunk of my growing buffalo herd. Monday Knight Production buffalo in the foreground, being trailed by a more diminutive Dixon bison.

Taking a week away to attend my final student journalism camp.  It’s been five or so years in Bellingham at Western Washington Universtiy, about two and half hours away from home.  This year, due to construction in Bellingham, and the sweet deal offered by the Murrow School, camp has moved to Pullman in the opposite corner of the state, about five hours from home.  Today is mostly a travel day, tomorrow a work and preparation day, and then journo kids from Wednesday until about noon Saturday when things wrap up and I return home.

I’ve enjoyed my 13 summer camps, but this is last unless there is some awfully strong persuasion to convince me otherwise. Time for me to move on.

One of the projects I won’t be able to work on is my Buffalo Hunt game. I’ve been pretty steadily painting figures for this project.  Chiefly, i”m working on buffalo.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Smyth, a buffalo, is a buffalo, is a buffalo, get on with it already.”

And, of course, you’re right, sorta.  But they really aren’t and I’d like to offer my observations and recommendations. I’ve ordered the beasts in 28mm from five different manufactures, and here you go.


These are perfectly usable miniatures.  They come five to a pack for $15, which is a perfectly reasonable price compared to other manufacturers.  Available as part of Old Glory’s Cowboy range, they are cheaper if you have an Old Glory Army membership.  They are well-cast, with some, but not an unreasonable amount of flash.  There is a variety of types, including what looks to be a calf.  I found them quite easy to paint.  Highly recommended.


I gave two British manufactures a try.  Dixon was very easy to work with.  They have two varieties of buffalo.  I ordered four of each.  With the exchange, they were about four bucks each, plus shipping.  They are clean, well-cast, and easy to paint.  I found them to be a little small, but not ridiculously so.  Might work best with true 25mm figures or as part of herd, or just with other Dixons.  Not bad figures at all, but not my favorite.

Monday Knight Productions

These figures are old school, and part of the true 25mm Desperado range.  They are clean, and I like their size.  They come two to a pack for eight bucks, and I bought four packs.  They lack the detail of other figures, and aren’t super animated.  But I really like ’em.  They were easy to paint, and I like their proportions, though they do seem a tish flat. A little past their prime.  They come with their own large base, which makes them unique.  But I like ’em.

Acheson Creations

These large resin miniatures are from Acheson’s Primaeval Designs of Prehistoric Mammals.  They are called Steppe Bison and at seven bucks a throw, they are the most expensive of my buffalo miniatures. I need 36 buffalo for my project, and I certainly wouldn’t use 36 of these babies. But they are terrific castings–well cast with loads of detail and animation.  I use them as the leaders of each obstinacy (yes that’s what a group of buffalo is called) of six buffalo.  They do require some care.  They do have a little bit of flash, and require some soaking in soap and water to get that release agent off.  If you don’t do the latter, your figures will shed paint. After that, they are much fun to paint.  The absolute best of the lot, if you can afford them.

Foundry Figures

I should just leave this space blank because I don’t have them.  Ordered figures on June 17th, confirmed by e-mail on June 18th.  They are clearly coming by container ship through the Malacca Straits, Hong Kong, and Guam. This service is unacceptably slow by any important manufacturer, but especially one of such importance as Foundry.  Patooey.

This project still has some work to finish.  I thought I had enough Comanche figures, but decided to add another dozen foot figures from Warlord Games.  I still have almost all the Achesons to paint and one more pack of WestWind’s, but I find them fun and easy to do, so no biggie.  The Comanches are another story as they are special orders.  So we’ll see.

State Volunteers in the Philippines

I’ve switched my priorities for the Philippines to painting some Americans.  I’ve been focusing on Old Glory Americans.  Coming 30 to a bag, I can squeeze two units out of each pack.  I only buy OG figure types I can’t get from 1898 Miniaturas.  These include state volunteers, Marines, sailors and some mounted cavalry.

Volunteers 2

Old Glory Volunteers. Though the angles and crevices created by the angles of the rifles can pose some challenges, they are still quite good figures.

The Old Glory figures lack the elegance of the Spanish miniatures, but they are sturdy and representative of the period.  They aren’t as nice as 1898 Miniaturas, but much better in proportion and casting quality than Tiger Miniatures. I also seem to still have an Old Glory Army membership, so when I get logged in they are very inexpensive.

The Philippine-American War is separate from, but very related to outcome of the Spanish American War.  That war, and the subsequent conflict in Asia found the U.S. Army woefully unprepared for the conflict, depending as they did on a small frontier army, dispersed in small units across the country to keep the peace on the borders, near recently pacified native populations.

As the army did during the Civil War, it depended on states to supply volunteer troops as war broke out against a more modern, better-equipped European power with outposts flung, literally, around the world.  We remember Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders as the chief non-regular army unit in Cuba.  But there were others from New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois that served in Cuba from the action Las Guasimas to the siege of Santiago.

With most of the regular army tied down in the Caribbean, and a budding rebellion to quell in the newly acquired U.S. colony in the Philippines, the army turned to the states to supply the bulk of troops.   13,000 of the 15,000 troops deployed to take over Manila from the Spanish were volunteers from California, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, Kansas, Montana, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Washington.

Volunteer troops in the Philippines looked similar to US regulars with the dark blue serge shirt, light blue pants, with light brown drab hats and leggings.  State volunteers were mustered back to the US after the first year of the war in favor of federalized US volunteers, so they tended not to have the later brown khaki shirts and pants of troops that appeared after ’99.

A critical difference between volunteers and regulars was in their arms.  US regular infantry and cavalry in the Philippines were armed with the Krag-Jorgensen .30-.40 magazine rifle or carbine that fired smokeless powder cartridges. There were not sufficient Krags to arm the volunteers, so they were given the venerable 1873 model “trap-door” Springfield rifles. These single-shot weapons fired a black-powder cartridge, which left their owners in a more revealing position when fighting Mauser-armed Spanish and Philippine republic troops, though the equal of those with the rolling block Remingtons also widely used.

Volunteer units performed well in the Philippines.  They participated in the campaigns around Manila, assaulted Philippine trenches and blockhouses, and despite their outdated firearms, usually out-shot and out-fought their often better-armed opponents.

Painting the Old Glory figures require persistence.  Many of the rifles are at unfortunate angles and it is critical to remember to get a brush in those hard to reach places with primer (because your spray won’t get there) as well as your paint colors.  I went with Vallejo Dark Prussian Blue for the basic shirt color, and then dry brushed with a mix of DPB and Vallejo Light Gray.  The blue is very thick, so thinning is advised. The pants are painted Vallejo Light Blue-Grey, and the hat and leggings are painted Vallejo Beige-Brown and highlighted. I’ve gone to using Vallejo Neutral Grey for the metal parts of rifles, rather than gunmetal or something else.  I think that works best for late 19th century firearms.

I’ve also acquired additional figures from OG that 1898 Miniaturas show no signs of producing.  These include U.S. Marines, sailors and mounted cavalry.  I’ve finished two of units of Marines.  Not surprisingly, they very much resemble the volunteer figures.  That’s kind of a OG model for completing their ranges.  Honestly there aren’t a lot of differences–the cap replaces the broad-brimmed campaign hat, the shirts are wrong, I think.  The sleeves would have been longer, though the figures do have a higher collar.  Rifles are correct on the model as the Marines carried the unique bolt-action Lee Straight Pull Rifle.

Marines 2


I have tried to stick to my pledge of twelve figures per week and if you average things out, I”ve sort of done that.

July 8th–12 OG Marines plus 8 buffalo of various manufactures.  Remounted one unit of AWI for Rebels and Patriots (which doesn’t really count toward a painting goal.)

July 15th–Finished 5 West Wind buffalo-didn’t quite wrap up those twelve Marines I was working on.  Did remount four American units and one British unit for Rebels and Patriots.

July 22nd–Finished 12 Marines and 8 buffalo from Monday Knight Productions.

So, 45 figures over three weeks, plus some remounting projects.  I’ll take it.  I’ve also started working on William Washington’s 3rd Continental Dragoons for Rebels and Patriots as well as the next round of volunteers for the Philippines.

Status of the Philippine American War project–Five completed American units, six completed Philippine units. About 35% of project complete not including terrain making.

If you’re on Facebook-and I know many of you are not.

I get it if you’re not as more Facebook stupid stuff is revealed every day.  But there are some interesting miniature gaming groups on Facebook, including a Naval Miniatures group, an Air Miniatures group, and a Northwest Historical Miniature Gaming group.

This week David Sullivan created a Vintage Miniature Wargaming Rules Group that has just been hilarious to watch.  All the rules that posters have shared.  It’s been great.  Only a couple of rules sets have been trashed and most are simply haloed by fond memories.  Great job David. Here are some that I have shared. (Yes, I do actually own them, and lament the passing of many sets I once owned but no longer have.)


Grenadiers, ick

Grenadiers 4

Ack!  Enough already.  I think everyone paints something that makes them crazy and for me it’s British grenadiers of the American Revolution.  Red coats, bearskins and their front plates.  Straps on straps on straps, lace, facing colors brass buttons or silver. Spare me.

I have 36 figures to finish, ideally before March 23rd when we do our first Concord run through.  I have twelve figures about 85 percent complete.  I’m ready to slit my wrists. I’d rather paint an army of Philippine soldiers in rayadillo.

Maybe it is the deadline element.  Maybe it’s just that there are so many bits that need attention—like the musicians, I forgot to mention the musicians.  Gah!! Maybe it’s remembering how great the late Phil Bardsley’s grenadiers looked when we did our Guilford Courthouse project back at Enfilade II in 1992.  Great figures and mine . . . not so much.

Grenadiers 3

In any case, I’d almost rather be painting anything else.  Some F-8 Crusaders need my loving attention.  I have a dozen Philippine infantry all picked out-in rayadillo, of course.  It’s almost time to start painting some adversaries for the Philiippine Republic and I have those too.

One thing that I have learned from all this.  When I finish the 36 grenadiers, that will follow 36 light infantry and 72 militia figures, all for the Concord game.  I started working on these in Octoberish, and I think this is the last time I’ll paint for an Enfilade project.  Rather, I’ll continue painting troops for Daniel Mersey’s games, or Airwar C 21 or Regimental Fire and Fury, but the game will have to find what I have at hand, and we’ll call it good.

Insurrectos with Bolos


The Great Puget Sound Snowpocalypse of 2019 played havoc with the school schedule, but it did contribute to progress on Smyth’s painting table.  I wrapped up the light infantry and militia for the Concord project.  I also began work on the grenadiers for the same battle.


My three painted Philippine units. I have plenty more to do, and probably a fair number more to buy. All Miniaturas 1898, all fun to paint, if a bit of a challenge

But I took some time out to work on a different unit for my Philippine-American War project.  I decided to do one of the Tagalog tribal units.  These unit were pretty ubiquitous, particularly on the islands other than Luzon where firearms could be a bit less plentiful.  In The Men Who Would Be Kings, these are 18-figure units.  No rayadillo to worry about.  Most of the figures would be wearing white.

Miniaturas 1898 has some very nice figures for Tagalog insurrectos, as opposed to the troops in the Republican army.  They have figures armed with just bolos, the long machete-like knives the tribal troops became infamous for.  There is also a pack of fighters armed with mixed melee and missile troops, including bamboo spears, bows and arrows and even a crossbow. I added these troops together with six rifle armed figures to give me the kind of mixed shooter and melee troops I was looking for. I gave them one of the “special” Antonio Bonifacio figures as a leader and standard bearer.

Hard to see the rayadillo in the photos, much easier to see with your eye.  It’s hard to paint, but very satisfying when finished.

The unit was pretty easy to paint.  Most have a first coat of Vallejo Grey-White.  Then I highlight with white and go back and paint the creases with a mix of Grey-White and Vallejo Light Grey.  It provides a decent contrast with the light base color without the starkness of just Light Grey alone.  I also used Vallejo Tan Earth, lightened for highlight, as well as Vallejo Flat Red.  The latter I highlighted with Scarlet, and then lightened for a second highlight.

All this highlighting and drybrushing is kind of new to me, so I’m learning a lot with this project.  But it’s fun and hasn’t turned out badly. I’ve also changed my rifle-painting for this project.  Instead of using metal, I’ve gone to Vallejo Neutral Gray for the barrels and gun furniture, It’s still a darkish color without the sheen of a metal color.  The Philippine troops would have used Remington Rifles with a few of the modern Mausers thrown in.  The Americans would have used Krag-Jorgensen rifles and carbines, with volunteer troops and the Philippine Scouts using old trapdoor Springfields.

I did make a purchase this month.  I picked up a pack of Old Glory U.S. Cavalry from their Spanish American War range.  There isn’t a rush to do them.  I’m sure I’ll stick to the Philippine figures until what I have is done or nearly so. I also picked up their bag of U.S. volunteers.

Originally the Volunteers were drawn from the states, and they served generally quite effectively in the campaign outside of Manila.  They are replaced by regulars and U.S. Volunteers as the battle shifts north and south away from capital.  The difference is the weapons the state volunteers begin the campaign with 1873 “trapdoor” Springfield.  They use it fairly effectively, but it is not a repeating rifle, just a breech-loader, and it fires black powder cartridges. There is a battalion of Washington State Volunteers on Luzon, together with a battery of artillery, and homer that I am, you can imagine what I’ll be painting.

Looking at the Old Glory range, they have a couple more desirable packs.  I’m sure that at some point I will also order a bag each of sailors and Marines.  These troops played a valuable role in the amphibious operations that were necessary in all parts of the archipelago.


With all the snow, we had to postpone our big Concord walk-through all the way to March 23rd.  I’ll have all the troops I need to paint completed by then.  I’m anxious to finish the 36 grenadiers I have left so I can paint–anything I bloody well please.  Got lots I’d like to mess around with.