Saturday, 21 September 2019

AWI Cavalry and Dragoon units

I have a reasonable collection of Peter Laing 15mm American War or Independence (AWI) miniatures. I brought them way back in the late 1970's shortly after I started work. I started painting them, but never completed the painting until I dug them out of their boxes in 2015, and finished off what I have started some 35 years earlier.

The figures in action
Most games only have 8-12 units per side so the existing armies are quite sufficient for all units types except cavalry/dragoons
Generally I have sufficient miniatures for infantry and artillery, but I am a bit light on for cavalry, with both sides only having one cavalry/dragoon unit. Each unit with a mere 5 figures. Ideally I would like to have some more cavalry so I can play all of the scenarios in the books "Seven Steps to Freedom" and "Wargamer's Handbook of the American War of Independence".

Two enjoyable war-game related books covering the period
British Units
American Units
As Peter Laing miniatures are no longer manufactured, secondhand miniatures are the only option and are unfortunately a bit of a rarity to obtain on eBay. The alternative was then to purchase some other 15mm AWI. One of the problems with other manufactures is the level of detail they have compared with Peter Laing miniatures which are of their time and are much simpler figures.

A question to the MeWe Peter Laing group of other wargamers and collectors of Peter Laing figures regarding possible alternatives helped determine my next steps. They are a helpful group and I soon discovered some of the original miniature ranges were intended to be ‘N’ gauge and are smaller 15mm. Later rangers were truer 15mm miniatures. So with that in mind I began looking at 12mm miniature producers. In the end I settled on 10mm AWI Range from Pendraken Miniatures hoping that most miniatures are a fraction larger than their stated 10mm size.

A couple of weeks ago the figures arrived. In the parcel with the cavalry were some wagons along and a couple of mortars and crew which I had also selected. Comparing the cavalry showed the miniatures to be a fraction smaller, but overall the proportions looked similar. The slight difference in height would be disguised during basing with the addition of 1mm card to the figure's base.

A comparison of cavalry miniatures. Peter Laing 15mm cavalry are painted and the unpainted are Pendraken 10mm cavalry. This shows how the Peter Laing ranges started as being undersized.
The Pendraken mortar will be a nice addition.
A comparison of artillery crew shows the difference. Fortunately I have just enough  spare AWI artillery crew to  man the two mortar units.
The artillery pieces and wagons will work out fine, but I will use my last few Peter Laing artillery crew to man the mortars. The 10mm Pendraken crew are just too smaller scale to be used. All in all a good outcome as I will add two cavalry units to both armies, a couple of mortars with neutral painted crew so they can be used by either army, and a couple of wagons.

Peter Laing miniatures on the left front unit. I chose not to mix the figures and the original cavalry will remain.
A side on comparison. Peter Laing cavalry unit at the front.
Over the next week I will be getting back to my English Civil War campaign which has been paused now for a couple of months.


  1. Very nice, I love this period. Kallistra do good 12mm figure for AWI, they have a well rounded range and are reminiscent in stature to old 15's.

    1. I may well get a few to see how they fit as ideally I would like to have a Highland unit. Thanks.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you it is alway nice to get the older miniatures on to the tabletop.

  3. Good to see the Peter Laings in action. If you can find old strip Minifig 15's they are an even better match.

    The Scruby N gauge I got from Historifigs are slightly taller and skinnier than Pendraken and may be another option. Not that the Pendraken won't work.

    1. Ross, I was going to suggest Scruby N Gauge figures too.
      They can be found at:

    2. Thank you both for the suggested alternatives and links. Most interesting.

  4. I still love the simpler figures from 'back in the day'. I almost think that the modern quasi-perfection of sculpted miniatures loses that toy soldier look so easily - that is part of the charm.
    Great collection

    1. I too prefer the simpler toy soldier look. They also have the benefit of being easier to paint, especially at the 15mm scale.