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.
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.
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.
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).
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.