Wednesday, December 3, 2014


I've just posted a new figure set for sale--28mm Robbers.
These are meant to represent one of the notorious gangs of thieves that plagued banks, railroads, and stagecoach lines. The James and Dooling-Dalton gangs spring to mind.

These characters wear long dusters--not the layered canvas anachronisms worn in low-budget Hollywood movies and TV commercials, but the garment that Westerners called a "duster." It was more like what we would call a "lab coat" today; a simple, white linen coat meant to protect your suit from dust. It had only a simple collar, no lapels, and certainly not the cape over the shoulders that modern trench coats and Nashville "dusters" have. I've included several variations, some more fancy than others.

Another historically-accurate feature of these figures is the headgear; more specifically, the face-gear. Real stagecoach robbers wore gunney-sacks over their heads with holes cut out for the eyes and mouth. I've given you figures with these, and some with the more familiar bandannas, both over-the-mouth and pulled down.

Several of the robbers carry shotguns and rifles; "longarms" were more popular than pistols among these criminals, and they were part and parcel of their costuming strategy. The long coats aided in concealment of a longarm until the trap was spung. Particulary popular were fearsome sawed-off shotguns, a real conversation stopper when it's pulled out.
Now I have to "steal" some time to do some painting!

All the Best

PS.  You can find them in the shopping cart here.

Friday, October 3, 2014


TCL strikes again with a collection of 28mm laser-cut wood building kits representing the adobe buildings of the Southwest. 
About to be released are three items. The first is a large hacienda or cantina with an arched doorway, an interior wall, and a set of stairs that lead to the roof.

The second design is a more modest house, but not small by any means. It includes a pueblo-style ladder leading to the roof.

Either kit can be enhanced by adding a building addition, sold separately.

The buildings come unpainted and unassembled. I've collected photos of the constituent parts and I'm using them to illustrate instructions for assembly.

Stock will be coming in any day now, so be watching!
These will go great with Knuckleduster's Banditos:)

Forrest Harris

Friday, May 23, 2014


Knuckleduster's 93rd Highlanders
There can be fewer acts of valor in the face of overwhelming odds than the 93rd Highlanders' storming of the American advance redoubt at New Orleans. As the British Army was being bled white by withering fire, the 1st (flank) company of the 93rd surprised and overwhelmed a redoubt next to the river on the American right. Unsupported and exposed to a hail of lead from the US 7th Infantry, the detachment was mowed down. The remainder of the regiment, which should have been behind them, were inexplicably ordered on a futile and suicidal march across the middle of the killing zone to join another group assaulting the American left.
The main body of the regiment was observed standing at the canal in front of the the American position without the ladders and fascines they were promised in order to cross the the water and scale the works, awaiting orders which would never come from the silent lips of their dead commanders, "unable to go forward, too proud to retreat."

So we have here, as is so often the case, lions used like dogs. C'est la guerre. Fortunately, the only widows gaming produces are tin widows, so we can send our little men on any doomed mission we can dream up with a clear conscience!


The 93rd assembled in Plymouth, England for the expedition. They were ordered to wear trousers due to a shortage of kilt hose (socks) and a feeling among command that kilts were "ill-calculated for severe service" (maybe it was really a shortage of Bond's Gold Powder). Tartan arrived from South Africa in time to be made up into trousers ("trews"). Their bonnets were considerably simpler than those worn in the Peninsular War or at Waterloo, and certainly a far cry from the Lady Ga-Ga getup worn in the Crimea. A simple blue tam was worn with a wide, red-and-white checked band around the bottom. A pom ("tourie") topped off the cap, white for grenadiers, green for lights, and red for everyone else. 

The tartan was the Government Sett. I own and occasionally wear a kilt of this pattern, so you would think painting it would be easy. Think again. I am very much a novice when it comes to painting tartan, but I gave it my best. I painted them blue, then green stripes, then a light green highlight at the junction of the green lines, then a thin black line down the center of the green. A far cry from the Crystal Brush competition, but it gets the job done and looks good at arm's length.

The 93rd is an essential unit to have if you're planning on gaming the Battle of New Orleans. They were critically important on the day of the battle, and they took part in a hotly-contested night battle during the lead-up to the battle.

I'll leave you with a joke a musician friend of mine from Northern Ireland often tells. Do you know the difference between a kilt and a skirt? If you're wearin' underwear, it's a skirt!

Forrest Harris

Saturday, March 1, 2014


A sometimes overlooked pack in the Knuckleduster catalog is the "Frontier Justice" set (OW28-310). These six figures include an undertaker (complete with greasy combover), a Sheriff, a prisoner waiting to be hanged, a doctor rushing to the scene of the crime, a judge (or minister) making sanctimonious pronouncements, and last but not least, the hangman himself.

Let's start with him. I used as my inspiration the dour George Maledon, who pulled the gallows lever for the infamous "hanging judge" Parker at Fort Smith, Arkansas. Here's George as he appeared alongside George Clooney in the 1896 issue of GQ:


....and here he is as I have immortalized him in tin pewter:

Of course, these figures properly belong with one of TCL's laser-cut gallows:

The rope is not included in the gallows kit; I made mine from some string that came with a model ship. I never found time to build the ship, but the string has come in handy many times!

Poor fella'. No DNA testing in the Old West. Ben Franklin once said, "It is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved." They apparently were not great admirers of Ben Franklin in Fort Smith. Of course, the characters brought in by the US Marshals from the Oklahoma territory were unlikely to include many "innocent persons."

The auld judge said, "Now McCafferty, go prepare your soul for eternity . . . "
Why not add a character from the "working men" set to the grisly scene. Here is a gravedigger regarding the whole affair while leaning thoughfully on the handle of his spade:
"Why may not that be the skull of a lawyer?"
Happy gaming,
Forrest Harris