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

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