EXCERPT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Monday, June 11, 2018

Finding the Fantasians


Meriam Webster: Fantasia: (2) a work (such as a poem or play) in which the author's fancy roves unrestricted.

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Les Chasseurs de St. Jean.
Well, my imagination is not totally unrestricted, though the restrictions are self imposed, so there will be Fantasians but no Fantasia, as there were Fenians but no country called Fenia bordering on Canada. In effect I am going to embark on a whimsical bit of alternate history, using the name Fantasians rather than Fenians to avoid confusion with the actual history.

This Fantasian unit was partly inspired by the uniforms of the Canadian Voltigeurs in 1812 and partly by various US, CSA, and British, Volunteer units.

This alternate history is based on the following proposals or assumptions:

1) The Fantasian movement was better led and organized than the historical Fenians and operated with a still angry US administration exercising a blind eye thus allowing them to mount larger, more effective raids and incursions into Canada.

2) Her Majesty's government was fully preoccupied with other matters and was unwilling to risk hostility with the US over anything less than an outright US invasion and therefore left the new Dominion to largely defend itself.

3) The Fantasians were in league with a renewed but very minor Patriote movement in Quebec, as the Hunter Lodges worked with the original  Patriotes in 1837/38's, and with Riel and the Red River Metis. However, the rest of Canada is still celebrating Confederation and eager to prove itself.

4) The original idea remains of armies that look like they were cobbled together from a range of boxed sets of toy soldiers in department stores in the '50s and early 60's though not necessarily sets that really existed.

The Papal Zouaves are still waiting in the wings but the next onto my painting table will be the remnants of my original Ft Henry Guard set which were converted to War of 1812 figures when I was 16. They were replaced via Soldierpac in the late 90's when I first started a 54mm Fenian Raid collection but were sold to a friend when I had to downsize. So, it's reconstruct time to be followed by some mould making.

27 comments:

  1. I'm really enjoying this setting so far!

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  2. I'm just hoping a squadron of RCMP Lancers mounted on moose are one result from all of this.

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    1. One can always hope but best breathe while you are doing so,

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  3. Looking forward to more of this.

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  4. I really enjoyed the back story and the figures look splendid in their grey uniforms. Are we to see irregulars in the army in hunting shirts etc or perhaps some First Nations allies?
    Alan

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    1. Both rather out of place in the East in the 1870's but out west there will be some Metis in hunting shirts and First Nations.

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  5. Clever idea - I like the Bearskinnd (?) Chasseurs

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  6. That is a great looking unit. If you look at pre ACW militia units, many of them wore bearskins; however they usually wore swallowtail coats. Still, they might give ideas for other Fantasian units.

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    1. We're 20 years on from coatees, not sure yet if I have space for another bearskin cap unit. Once I get the Zouaves and other planned units done, I'll see.

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  7. Ah Ross those Bearskins :) May I ask what make those Guardsmen are, they are such lovely figures.

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    1. To be more precise they are Miniature Molds homecast copies of Britain's. The appropriate precast parts can be bought from London Bridge or Dorset.

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  8. I like the result. I have been thinking of painting these figures in khaki but they look good in grey. I have already painted some grenadiers in blue for my Ruritanians.

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    1. Khaki or Butternut would be an interesting contrast.

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  9. Think my armies will probably get another 'grey' unit or two - it looks good.

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    1. It seems to have been common with volunteers so doubly fit my purposes as well as looking good.

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  10. Yes- a great start - I can see where you are going with this fine Project.

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  11. Classic Toy Soldier look.

    Will you have back-story and tales for the individual men and units as well?

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    1. Probably not, have neither the patience nor the imagination.

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  12. It looks like the Fantasians already have a bit of an edge tactically speaking; they have learned to have half of the men kneel whilst in formation, thus presenting only 75% of their battalion front to the Canadians. I would expect that they might get a saving throw when using this cleaver ploy, say save on a 1 or 2 on a D6?

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    1. Yeah but they only move at 1/2 speed?

      Anyway, they learned it from the Brits, they've had kneeling and prone figures for 20 years.

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  13. They look great Ross. A superb 'flight of fancy', haha!

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