Friday, December 3, 2010


By now, most of you will have seen the new 28mm 1812 figures I am producing. The War of 1812 was a sideshow in the great Napoleonic Wars, but an important one for Americans and Canadians, the latter taking great pride in the defense of their border, and the former who wreaked just enough havoc to declare victory and go home to try their luck thirty years later against Mexico, an adversary with much better weather.

These figures are Lower Canada Milita in round hats from the new Knuckleduster collection (I am ever-so-slowly painting samples to photograph; sculpting always takes priority). These troops were drafted by the Lower Canada  Assembly who entitled them The Lower Canada Select Embodied Militia, which is certainly catchy, but difficult to fit on product label.  They took part in a number of battles, including Plattsburgh and Chateauguay. Like most Canadian militia, they were ordered to wear red coats and dark blue-grey trousers (not the grey trousers worn by regulars in the Peninsular and Waterloo campaigns), and like most militia units of any nationality, they were chronically short of supply, especially early in the war. They often had to resort to expedient uniform modifications, such as the use of "round hats" (top hats) instead of shakos and olive green coats (see figures on the left) instead of red.

Here are their officers:

In truth, by late 1813, most militia would have received proper uniforms with shakos, but I've always been of the opinion that exotic uniforms are much more fun to push around on the wargame table, and as long as there is the merest historical excuse for using them, I will choose dashing round hats over mundane shakos any day.

In a pinch, these figures will also do for Royal Marines, although to be technically correct, you may want to add the strap that reaches from the brim to the crown on each side (this would be a delicate operation, to be sure, and I'm not sure what material you would use).

The Lower Canada Militia should not be confused with the Upper Canada "Incorporated" Militia that took part in the Niagara campaign. Officially titled the Volunteer Battalion of Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada, they were made up of volunteers from the Upper Canada Militia who served for a longer period of time than the Sedentary Militia. By the time of Lundy's Lane they marched in full British gear, including Belgic shakos, red coats, and blue facings.

[Editor's Postscript:  There are perfectly respectable researchers who portray the Incorporated Militia in Stovepipe shakos with green-faced red coats, issued in 1813. The issue of the shako is unclear at best (see my post on the subject) and the cloth for the blue facings was not sent until just prior to the Niagara campaign with instructions for regimental tailors to make the necessary alterations.]


Stuart Asquith, The War of 1812, A Campaign Guide to the War with America, 1812-1815, Partizan Press, 2008.

Philip Katcher, The American War, 1812-1814, Osprey Publishing 1990

And that august repository of all useful knowledge, Wikipedia:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Comparing Knuckleduster's New Banditos to Artizan

Knuckleduster has just released a set of six 28mm Banditos. Because no single manufacturer makes enough Banditos to build a collection of figures for a large gang which are to scale with one another and in which no single pose is used twice, figures from different sources must be mixed. In my collection I happen to have a few Artizan figures, and I have placed them alongside my own sculpts so you can see how they match in scale and "heft."

The three figures you your left are Artizan.

The figure on the left is from Artizan's set AWW001,
Ill Buono, Ill Brutto, Ill Cattivo

If the Artizan figures weren't already based, I might have been able to give you an even better comparison, but I didn't have the heart to pry them off the stands! As it is, I think they are reasonably well matched, and could be mixed in one "unit."
Artizan makes two packs of three banditos each plus the Mexican from AWW001. The other large collections of banditos I've been able to find are from Black Scorpion miniatures, although I don't have any. They are beautiful figures, and if someone would like to photograph one of theirs alongside one of mine, please send me the photo and I'll post it.

Adios, Amigos!
Ol' Knuckleduster

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

February Greens

Here are some new 28mm greens. I'm going to make the master mold Thursday morning, and thought I'd snap a few pics before they get roasted in the vulcanizer!

The first set are Federal Marshals who hunted outlaws in the infamous "Indian Territory," which is now Oklahoma. They included the illustrious Heck Thomas (suspenders, firing winchester), and were a diverse force, including Native American police (the "Light Horse") and an African-American lawman, Bass Reeves (pointing). This set includes six figures (2 views below).

The second 6-figure set is a collection of outlaws. They include a couple of masked bandits, a Hillbilly of sorts, a leader with a bald pate (can you guess who he is?), and one loading a scattergun and wearing a Mississippi gambler's hat.

Once I start casting these, I'll round up a batch to photograph and post on the site.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Scratchbuilt 28mm Town

Recently I saw a YouTube video of a western town built by Viv Chandra of the Battle Bunker in Australia. I was inspired to post some photos of my own 28mm town, some of which is scratch-built, and some of which is resin. I furnished many of the interiors with an eclectic mix of pieces and parts from fantasy and historical manufacturers. Here it is, the town that got me started in Wild West gaming: