The Making of a War of 1812 US Dragoon Miniature – Part 2

The previous steps as outlined in part one took about three weeks to complete. The next step was applying the primary base for the miniature, this included working with a modified chopstick and an old dental took. Using the before mentioned tools, I worked the pliable dry wall spackle into the base of each miniature taking care to create the perfect ground texture. This part of the project took a full day to complete, next I let them set for another day and a half before they were ready for the next step.

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After a couple of days the dragoons were ready for the first primary coat. This coat is important in that it will establish the shades and tints for the finish product. I use a black spray paint primer for this. Since I use a spray paint, I had to wait for the perfect temperature outside to apply it. I then let them set for another day to make sure that the paint would adhere correctly to the miniature.

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A few days later, I applied the 2nd primary coat. This coat is also black; but applied with a brush highlighting important areas, while thinning out in others. And once again, allowing the miniatures to dry for a couple of days.

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The first area that I work on is the flesh areas; the process takes several coats of paint and wash to create the right look. NOTE: the eyes, hair, and facial detail will come later in the process. The first color is white, followed by a dark pale color and then by a lighter pale color, finished off with a dirty wash.

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Remember that you can pre-purchase one of these limited edition dragoons ahead of time. (Information on how to do that will be forthcoming). There will be a total of 8 Dragoons afoot ($100.00 donation each), and 10 Dragoons on horses ($200.00 donation each), and 3 Dragoons in a miniature diorama ($250.00 donation each). They will be available for RootsTech 2015. Stay tuned to this blog for the next article on the process of making a War of 1812 US Dragoon Miniatures.
This entire project will take me up to RootsTech 2015 for completion. There are many more steps to go before the final product is ready for your display case, thanks for your donation to the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions. Please, stay tuned to this blog for further progress on your War of 1812 Dragoon.

Mike

 

 

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Back to War

Why was the War of 1812 fought?

Great Britain did not recognize United States of America citizenship, nor did they want to allow the newly formed country to expand their territory after the Revolutionary War. As early as 1807 the British, who were in a war with France, were guilty of impressing American seamen or removing them from U.S. merchant vessels and forcing them to serve on behalf of the British. Due to the paradigm of citizenship, Britain did not recognize naturalized United States citizenship, in addition to recovering deserters, it considered United States citizens born British liable for impressments.

The British also encouraged Native American’s to fight against the newly formed country in the hopes of holding or winning the allegiance of the tribes of the Northwest. They had the expectation of forming a British territory to the West of the States, or using them as allies in the event of war. Indian allegiance was held by gifts, and the strongest gift was a lethal weapon. Guns and ammunition, tomahawks and scalping knives were dealt out with some liberality by British agents.

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The western frontiersmen of the Northwest Territory, now known as Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Minnesota, were in frequent conflicts with the Indian Nations from both sides of the American border, which included the Miami, Winnebago, Shawnee, Fox, Sauk, Kickapoo, Delaware and Wyandot. As time passed the Westerners became convinced that the problems they were inflicted with could be solved by getting rid of the British out of Canada.

They started pressing their Senators and Representatives to declare war on Britain. A group called the “War Hawks” – Congressmen from the South and West – were among the strongest voices. Due to Britain’s war with France, they thought it was the perfect time to overcome them in North America.backtowar1

This perceived weakness, and the financial implications of the long war with France,
the British were short on funds and men. The practice of blockading the American trade
vessels and impressing both the American sailor and “recovering”deserters of their own country was common. Thus the merchants joined hands with the Westerners in calling for war.

 

 

Pratt, Julius William, 1888- . A History of United States Foreign Policy, New York: Prentice-Hall, 1955. p. 126
Office of the Chief of Military of History. American Military History, Army Historical Series, Chapt 6, 122 – 123
Tecumseh and William Henry Harrison In 1810. Drawing by W. Ridgway, public domain
Impressment of American Seaman. 1884 drawing by Howard Pyle, public domain.

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The Making of a War of 1812 US Dragoon Miniature – Part 1

This past year at the NGS and FGS conferences, the “Preserve the Pensions – War of 1812” booth, I modified, assembled, and painted War of 1812 Soldier Miniatures. This endeavor resulted in 95 miniature soldiers and 3 artillery groups (5 artillerymen, limber, and gun). If you have not had a chance to purchase one of the soldiers for a donation of $100.00 and/or an artillery set for a donation of $500.00, there is still time as 15 miniature soldiers are left and will be available at RootsTech 2015.

The entire process took many hours and days to complete (8 to 10 months). Due to the labor and material (which I donated), I decided to not produce any more, thus making the ones that were created a limited edition.

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However, with the success of the War of 1812 Soldiers and Artillerymen miniatures, and urging from several friends, I have decided to round out the collection by creating and painting War of 1812 Dragoon miniatures. There will be a total of 8 Dragoons afoot ($100.00 donation each), and 10 Dragoons on horses ($200.00 donation each), and 3 Dragoons in a miniature diorama ($250.00 donation each).

They will be available for RootsTech 2015; but if you can pre-purchase one ahead of time. (Information on how to do that will be forthcoming). I have also decided to take you through the entire process from out of the box, modifying and assembling, painting, to the finishing touches.

So before we go any further we should define just what a dragoon is, and how he is relates to Cavalry and how he is different from Mounted Volunteers. Cavalry were usually men mounted on horses and armed with sabers and pistols. They are trained to fight primarily from the saddle. They were used to scout, flank, and pursue the enemy. Within the Cavalry arm there are several different types of units, such as Heavy, Light, Carabiniers, Cuirassiers, Lancers, Chasseurs, Hussars, Mounted Volunteers, and Dragoons.

Mounted Volunteers are men recruited from a nearby location and are often armed with rifles. They are used primarily as “quick infantry” able to transfer quickly on the battlefield from one threaten area to another. These troops were usually not that reliable.

Dragoons were specialized cavalry mounted on horses and armed with sabers and short barreled rifles. They are trained to harass the enemy from the flanks, and to scout. When attacked, they are supposed to just fade away and appear again usually in the enemy’s rear. These were the “hit and run” specialists. The United States actually trained some of the best in the world. The US Dragoons often credited the Native Americans with the tactics that they used.

In the War of 1812 there were two regiments of Light dragoons; however in 1814 the second regiment was consolidated with the first. After the war (June 1815) the regiment was included as part of the Corps of Artillery order of battle. Several states such as Maryland had State Dragoons.

I started to organize my workshop for this project in early October of this year after acquiring the boxes of Dragoons to modify in order to make them US Dragoons and to position them in some unique poses. The first order of business was to remove them from the boxes. This photo represents a few of them.

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The next step was to organize them in potential figures with all possible material needed to modify and assemble them. The next two photos show the organization and the various tools of the trade needed for this part of the process.

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After the organization, I proceeded to modify and assemble the miniatures. The next photo shows the completion of that portion of the project. They are now ready for the application of the primary base (dry wall spackle).

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This entire project will take me up to RootsTech 2015 for completion. There are many more steps to go before the final product is ready for your display case, thanks to your donation to the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions. Please, stay tuned to this blog for further progress on your War of 1812 Dragoon.

~ Mike

 

 

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