Thursday, 1 December 2011

Black Hawk, Conquest Miniatures

Regular readers of this blog may be surprised to see these latest figures but I have actually held a long interest in both the American War of Independence (AWI) and the War of 1812, in the latter Native Americans played a very active roll. My own interest actually dates back to a fondly remembered holiday road trip taken with my brother back in the mid 1990’s and involved driving from Boston to New York via Toronto and Niagara.

Along the way we visited numerous locations associated with these conflicts such as Concord, Lexington, Mohawk Valley, Saratoga, Queenston Heights and several fortifications including Forts George, Niagara and Erie.

Probably one of the least well know theatres of war during the Napoleonic period the War of 1812 helped strengthen both the American and Canadian national identities although it is still largely unknown here in the UK.

Therefore to redress the balance ever so slightly there are the first of many figures I am preparing to represent this period.

I won’t insult anyone’s intelligence by pretending to know much about these historical figures so rather than give a detailed history I thought I’d provide a number of useful links instead. from sites such as Wikipedia.

These figures are from the Eastern Woodland Indians by Conquest Miniatures, Item Number: 500-011. Their website is currently being updated so (without permission) I have included a few notes taken from tribal articles that previously appeared on their site (these appear in italics). Hopefully they’ll re-instate the articles once the website is up and running properly.

First up is Black Hawk (1767 – 3rd October 1838). This figure comes in a set of two, the other being Pontiac which I will detail in another post.
Black Hawk
Black Hawk
Black Hawk
Portrait of Chief Black Hawk
by Charles Bird King
The Black Hawk figure is obviously based on this portrait and shows the sculptor’s skill in recreating a historical character.

Following article taken from the Conquest Miniature website, temporary (hopefully) unavailable, covering the appearance of Eastern Woodland Indians by Tim Greene:
Fox Tribe
"The Fox were an Algonquian speaking people who may have originally come from the Michigan Peninsula. They were part of the Fire Nation, a confederacy also containing the Sac, Kickapoo, and Mascouten who were driven into Wisconsin during the invasions of the Great Lakes region by the refugees fleeing from the Iroquois.  The Fox were especially formidable fighters.  In the 18th Century they unwisely chose to single-handedly oppose the French while simultaneously alienating most of their neighbors.   This resulted in the near destruction of the Fox Nation.  The remnants were taken in by the Sacs and became the Sauk & Fox Nation.

Fox men wore breechclout and moccasins in summer with thigh length leggings and a shirt added in winter. Leggings were fairly fitted with fringes at the sides and large pointed flaps at the bottom, which covered most of the foot.  The leggings were seamed up front and had garters sometimes of fur. Geometric quillwork and later floral and traditional moosehair embroidery decorated garments which were lavishly covered, more so than among the Sauk.  Garments could also be painted in bright hues in solids and stripes or figures and designs like the Miami.  Among the Fox the roach was almost universal.  Men shaved the head with a tuft running from front to back left on and a scalplock left hanging from the crown. The tuft was sometimes shaved leaving the scalplock and roach and the top part of the shaved skull was painted red. Some Fox wore a turban of otter fur.  A few sported buffalo horn headdresses captured from enemies like the Sioux and Iowa.  Some Fox wore a tuft from side to side rather than front to back on the shaved head. One segment of the tribe wore their hair long and loose.  Fox moccasins were soft-soled one piece with a seam up the front from toe to instep covered by quillwork.  Flaps or cuffs of men’s moccasins were of exaggerated size and heavily decorated with quillwork or embroidery in geometric patterns, each flap with a different design then reversed on the other moccasin as for the Sauk, Miami, and Potawatomi.  Fox warriors used red and black pigments.  Some Fox chiefs painted by a European artist had their faces painted blue. Yellow, red, and black stripes could be painted on the lower half of the face.  Hands painted on the body meant an enemy killed in hand-to-hand combat."