French and Indian War: Civilians and Working Pioneers from Redoubt Enterprises

I’m always on the hunt for different kinds of figures, poses and little stories to tell by scouring through the offerings of as many manufacturers I can find. I’ve been adding more figures from Redoubt Enterprises to my French and Indian War collection, and I’ve found a number of their civilians to be good additions.

A pack of six figures of standing and firing settlers has a nice amount of diversity in poses. Two men stand at the ready, two are firing and another is waving them on in encouragement. My favorite in the set is the sculpt of the rather distinguished gentleman with a pistol extended at arm’s length to calmyly fire. I also like that half the figures are not wearing hats like the vast majority of figures found for this 18th-century colonial era.

Another kind of figure that is hard to come by is basic laborers, like those so important to the wilderness campaigns of the FIW period. Luckily, Redoubt has a very specific set of working pioneers found deep into their exetensive catalog. The package comes with two men moving fallen timber and another swinging an axe. All three wear the heavy leather aprons that worn by men doing this rough forest-clearing work.

Overseeing them and on guard are three soldiers, also included in the pack. I’ve painted them up as somewhat generic British provincials, and I usually field them with other colonial units. The six of them together on the table can find their way into a number of scenarios, especially as the lead units in the Braddock Expedition at the Battle of the Monongahela.

Combined with my wagons and other workers, these figures create opportunities to tell more of the story of the FIW. Beyond soldiers, it was the average settlers who were rallied to work or fight for both the French and British during the war. It’s great to discover more figures to act as characters in these tabletop wargaming dramas.

French and Indian War: Civilian Workers, Guides and Pack Animals from Fife & Drum Miniatures and Wargames Foundry

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Ask the average person to describe an 18th-century army in the North American colonies during the French and Indian War and you’ll probably get a lot of images of tricorne hats, muskets and guys in regular uniforms marching in lines across open fields. The role of civilians often doesn’t come up, but their importance was of the utmost to armies of the period.

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Map of Braddock’s Road (John Kennedy Lacock, 1912)

When British General Edward Braddock set off into the Ohio Country wilderness in 1755 to lay a planned siege at Fort Duquesne, his column of some 2,000 soldiers also contained civilians. These men (and a couple dozen women) served as scouts, laborers, wagoneers, animal herders, cooks, blacksmiths, carpenters and all manner of other roles commonly found in the era.

On the Braddock Campaign, scouts included backcountry notable, local landowner and fur trader John Fraser. Among the hired teamsters were Daniel Morgan and a young Daniel Boone. The wilderness expertise of these historic figures and those whose names are since lost was key in navigating the miles-long column as civilian laborers hacked their way through the woods of Southwestern Pennsylvania at a rate of just a couple miles a day.

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I found a bunch of civilian figures in the flea market are at this year’s HMGS Cold Wars convention. At just a buck or two each, I managed to snag a nice variety of workers from Fife & Drum Miniatures plus some pack animals and a mounted scout from the Old West line from Wargames Foundry. The metal sculpts provide a lot of unique models which were a nice break from regular poses of the FIW French and British soldiers I’ve been collecting over the past year. Painting the civilians and pack animals also allowed for some less historical freedom and creativity.

My finished figures are going to come in handy as I build out some Braddock-themed scenarios in the coming months. Having completed a few, I’ll also be looking to add more civilians to my forces in support of the masses of troops on my FIW game tables.

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Minden Miniatures laborers from Fife & Drum Miniatures

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Scout and pack animals from Wargames Foundry

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