by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
Braddock's expedition was part of a massive British offensive against the French in North America in 1755. As commander-in-chief of the British Army in America, General Braddock led the main thrust against the Ohio Country with a column some 2,100 strong. With these men, Braddock expected to seize Fort Duquesne easily, as the French garrison consisted of only 250 regulars and Canadian militia, and about 640 Indian allies. The Canadian commander realized he could not withstand Braddock's cannon, and decided to launch a preemptive strike, an ambush of Braddock's army as he crossed the Monongahela River.
The Battle of Monongahela lasted several intense hours. Braddock was shot off his horse and witnessed the near destruction of his forces; of the approximately 1,300 men Braddock had led into battle, 456 were killed and 422 wounded. The French and Canadians reported 8 killed and 4 wounded; their Indian allies lost 15 killed and 12 wounded.
(adapted from Wikipedia)
Oniria Miniatures is a company oriented towards producing high quality small scale figures. After producing the first set depicting Braddock’s retreating forces, the company recently released the second set of miniatures in the same theme: Braddock’s Defeat at Monongahela, Set 2. These two sets are designed to work together and make a 7 figure vignette.
The kit is packed in a hard cardboard box, with zip-lock bag containing all the pieces. The box art is not included, as this particular review sample was sent before the kit was officially launched. However, all commercially available kits include the box art photo.
The kit is cast in white metal and the parts are molded really well; there are some minor seam lines to clean, but other than that the cast looks really good with metal displaying an impressive level of detail. Some of the longer pieces (swords and scabbards) are slightly bent and need to be carefully straightened out. The kit comprises of 13 parts for building 4 full figures:
General Edward Braddock (1 piece):
- complete figure,
Colonel George Washington (4 pieces):
- body with arms and legs, head, right arm with sword, scabbard,
British musketeer (4 pieces):
- body with arms and legs, head, part of uniform, scabbard,
British grenadier (4 pieces):
- body with right arm, legs and head, left arm, mitre, sword in scabbard.
The set is inspired by the Battle of Monongahela, a disastrous defeat of British forces in North America. The basic layout of the vignette shows General Braddock wounded, supported in a sitting position by a musketeer. A chaotic atmosphere of the battle is emphasized by a wounded grenadier on the ground, with Colonel Washington consolidating the British troops and ordering a retreat. The figures are sculpted by Antonio Zapatero Guardini, and present true masterpieces in 28mm scale: the proportions and anatomy are very realistically delivered, with the poses of the figures conveying the action well.
As for the figures being historically correct, I'm far from being an expert in the uniforms and equipment of British forces in the 18th century, but I'll try to describe the garb and gear according to my references. Two British regular line regiments, Halkett’s 44th and Dunbar’s 48th were assigned to Braddock's Expedition. Soldiers from both regiments wore long red coats, red waistcoats, red breeches, brown gaiters and black shoes. The musketeers wore black tricorne, the grenadiers wore famous British mitre with embroidery. Two regiments had slightly different colors of crossbelt and waistbelt, as well as lace coloring. The uniforms and equipment sculpted on these figures look good and are, as far as I can tell, historically accurate. With the uniforms being so colorful, these figures will definitely be a treat to paint.
Braddock’s Defeat at Monongahela #2 (FIWV2) is a 28mm scale figure kit from Oniria Miniatures. The figures are sculpted well, the cast is really good with loads of details in the metal pieces. However, the best part of this set for me is the historial setting it recreates: displayed alone, or together with the first Braddock's Defeat set, these figures depict a well-known scene from the French and Indian War, which changed the course of the war and shaped the history of the North America.