When I purchased the Trident and Vanguard Miniature ranges from the Miniature Service Centre my interest in the Seven Years War was purely that part of it that occurred in North America; the French and Indian War. Movies, TV programs, magazine articles, novels were how that interest developed. But after I took possession of the ranges and I started investigating a bit further, I realized that there was a lot more for me to familiarize myself with and get to know.

As a gamer I decided the best way to start was to look at the period from a wargamers perspective and ease my way into it that way. I had plenty of friends who were playing the period, some in 28mm and some in 15mm and they all had their preferences for rules, which wasn’t particularly helpful. So I decided to take another approach. Being a wargamer of a certain age the names Donald Featherston and Charles Grant were very familiar to me. I decided the best way to start investigating was to start with some level of familiarity, so I purchased two books by Charles S Grant in his Refighting History series; volumes 8 and 9. Both of these are focused on small actions in the Western Theatre as these aligned best with the figures we carry, French, English and Hanoverians. Seemed like a logical approach.

I’ve also been going through my library, which has a lot of items I have yet to read and came across a couple of other books that I will need to put on the reading list. One, The Seven Years War by Rupert Furneaux, part of the British At War Series,  I think I have already read once, but will have to do so again. The other one, The Seven Years War – A Study in British Combined Strategy I suspect I have owned since the Folio Society published it in 2001 and I haven’t done much more than take it out of the presentation case it came in, a couple of times. I also have the Armies and Uniforms of the Seven Years War – A Wargamers Guide series from Partizan Press; again another set of books I have yet to read properly.

Building Some Forces

When I decided to start in this period I opted to build some fairly standard units to begin with that I would feel comfortable using in generic western theatre scenarios, although I didn’t really have a plan. As I am not the greatest or most productive of painters I engaged some who were; my friend John who has a lot more talent than me, and Miniature Lovers from Sri Lanka who I have used for more than 20 years. Between them they have got me underway with French and British and Allied forces, nothing big just yet, but at least a start. How long before I can get some forces on the table and play some games? Did I mention I’m not that productive? But now that we have moved the business into the new location, I will have more time and will be able to start turning some units out.

For references I use the excellent Project Seven Years War, www.kronoskaf.com, which not only provides uniform information but also history of every unit they identify. It is not always fully complete but for my purposes it is a great source and I use it a lot. I also use the plates you can purchase from Images de Soldat, by André Jouineau (www.imagesdesoldat.fr) which are really well done and provide a good image of uniforms and flags.

An example of the work done by Miniature Lovers in Sri Lanka is this unit based on the regiment of Normandy. Basing and poor photography is all down to me.


I wanted to do something a bit different for the allied forces so searched for a Hanoverian unit that I could get my friend John to paint. I chose the regiment von Block, mainly because they featured in the Western Theatre, and I liked the name! Again basing and photography all down to me (the flag from Images de Soldat and created with MS Paint).

Eventually I got around to painting something myself and I chose a combined British Grenadier battalion. As I have not decided on any rules system I continued with the same basing and pattern of organization that I had started with, so not a specific combined battalion.

Moving on from here I will need to add some more infantry and then start adding some cavalry. I think the AWI British dragoon figures are suitable for SYW British dragoons in Europe, so will add some of those for the British and Allies. For the French I am thinking that the AWI Lauzan Hussar figures are suitable for most hussar types in the French army in Europe. I’d be interested in the opinion of those more knowledgeable than me on that one though.

A Hint of What’s Next

Here is a sight of what is coming next, some more French infantry for the Seven Years War –

One Last Thing

For those of you who have read to this point thank you, and I have a question.

I have been talking with a major vendor in the UK about carrying the ranges to provide easier access for customers there. The conversation has been going on for a over a year and despite lots of positive feedback and interest, there has been no follow through for six months now, so I guess it is time to look elsewhere. So, if anyone in the UK has an idea about a vendor that might be interested in carrying the ranges, I’d be keen to hear some names.

I would also like to find agents in the EU and the USA if possible, so if anyone has any ideas about businesses or individuals I could contact, I would appreciate the feedback.