So, the French and Indian war in North America? I’ve got the French, I’ve got some Indians, but for the “war” part you really need some settlers to defend or raid!

Following a good game of Muskets & Tomahawks down at the club a few weeks back I’ve been on a bit of a push to clear out some French and Indian War stuff that’s been languishing in my paint queue for far too long. There’s talk of us getting a campaign running, which is definitely something I’d be up for.

I actually quite like this miniature, but it does show some of the weird proportions in the sculpt. He’s got a massive head and little wee legs. But the face has character, and there’s something about the pose that suggests this settler is a veteran to me.

Redoubt Settlers

Redoubt have a good range of FIW miniatures, and their range of civilians are particularly good. Plenty of folks do black powder-era civilians, but few really look suitable for colonists on the frontier. To be honest, these aren’t the greatest sculpts in the world, for example they all have really massive noses. But they’re ok, maybe this farmstead is owned by the Grosnez clan?

They’ve got a good mix of weapons, include men, women and children, and some of them are really characterful, such as the guy who’s missing an arm. There’s a mix of clothing from work wear to fancy stuff.

In Muskets and Tomahawks civilians basically act as objectives; one side will be trying to protect them, while the other side want to tomahawk them and burn their houses. Charming stuff. I’ve got a few more in the lead pile but these will do for now.

4Ground Log Cabins

Let’s be honest, MDF has its limitations for terrain. However, for representing wooden buildings it’s just the ticket. These two shacks are from 4Ground, and come with quite a nice pattern scorched onto the wood. Or at least they should. One of mine came with the effect, and one without (right).

How it should look (left) and how it shouldn’t (right)

I got in touch with 4Ground’s customer support and received the following reply:

“…the buildings look different due to the fact that the natural wood has burned at varying densities causing more or less scorching, as this is a natural material these products will vary depending on the resin content of the wood. ┬áBoth building have gone through all the processes to make the kit.”

So they’re saying it’s a quality control issue, and wouldn’t budge from offering a small (10%) discount from future purchases. All I really wanted was them to replace it with one that looked right, but they weren’t having it. To be honest this issue and the general mediocrity of 4Ground’s products is one of the reasons I’ve largely stopped using them. There are other manufacturers producing better stuff with better customer service, such as Charlie Foxtrot, Blotz, Warbases and Timeline.

That being said, these aren’t bad little kits. I added a bit of variation to the planks of the plain cabin with some watered down inks, and picked out some of the chimney stones in different colours. I added the shingle roofs as the etched-on ones are pretty pants and show the joins. I added a few bits like piles of firewood and a bench seat, but didn’t base these ones as they only just fit into the box I store them in as is. They’ll do anyway.

What next?

Well, I could do with a few more civilians, and probably some fences. But for now I’ve got these two houses, a wooden barn that will do at a pinch, and some crop fields that should work to make a small farmstead. I’ve also got an interesting-looking Timeline smithy and some Foundry bits to tart it up with.