New postings at the bottom of the page.
This range will see occasional releases between the French & Indian War range, and will probably just keep going on. I've started with the later Apache campaigns of the South West in the 1880s. Alongside these will be releases of civilians of all sorts suitable for the last three decades of the nineteenth century and a little beyond, ideal for gunfights on the streets of towns and smaller settlements as well as skirmishes with renegades and war parties of many nations.
As you can see, the first protagonists to be released will be the US Cavalry of the 1880s and Apache warriors. I'll be adding more pictures on this page and the Studio page, along with details of the appearance and equipment of the US Army at the time of Geronimo and other leaders of increasingly small but deeply feared bands of warriors on both sides of the Mexican border.
The first packs released will be of dismounted soldiers and warriors, we will release packs of mounted versions of each later.
More news and in-depth information will follow.
The first "Soldiers Free" figure for the Western Range. For more pictures of this figure go to the Studio page.
The contents of the first pack of 4 dismounted Apaches. The one on the left brandishes a Richards conversion (to brass cased ammunition) 1860 Army Colt and a lethal stone headed club. These Apache clubs were a clever bit of stone-age technology which had the stone head 'free-floating' from the wooden shaft, the whole being wrapped in rawhide shrunk to fit to give extra impetus to the blow. The other 3 are armed with 1873 army Springfield carbines, 2 carry revolvers in holsters, all have knives. Three of these wear waistcoats (vests) and shirts and pants - which were usually white long under-draws - beneath their breech clouts. The other (3rd from left, is bare-legged and wears shirt and breech-clout only. To use any of these as army scouts, paint their head-cloth red, although dedicated army scouts will be added later. There were occasions when more Apache scouts were in the field in pursuit of 'renegades' than regular soldiers.
The contents of the first 1880s US Cavalry pack. The trooper at the left holds an 1873 Army Colt, standard side-arm of the US Cavalry of this period, and all 4 are armed with Springfield trapdoor carbines, the two in the middle with the breech flipped open to facilitate loading. You'll find painted versions of two of these figures further up this page. There had been lots of changes to the campaign uniform since Custer's days including higher boots than the old Civil War period ones, the introduction of the sandy coloured "tan" campaign hat, the first officially issued gauntlets for the US Cavalry and the issue of the first ever regulation blue shirt (with two breast pockets). Changes to equipment had come into effect, most noticeably on these dismounted figures: regulation issue looped cartridge belts with and without the Mills pattern clasp, half-flapped holsters with a loop through attachment for use with the cartridge belts, and the introduction of the army issue hunting knife alongside privately acquired knives.
The appearance of the US Cavalry at this time gets a lot nearer to that of the "soldiers in dirty-shirt blue" in the classic John Ford westerns that I've loved since childhood than anything that went before.
The contents of the second of our 1880s US Cavalry packs. The two troopers on the left are wearing civilian type hats but these could just as easily be painted in the sandy campaign hat style. The man pointing, I've painted as a corporal by the addition of narrow yellow trouser stripes - no rank chevrons on shirts.
The contents of the 1880s US Cavalry dismounted command pack. The man on the left firing his Army Colt is intended for use as a sergeant, he is wearing his sack coat which is quite handy to facilitate the painting on of chevrons - I haven't sculpted these on, as I don't really like to find sculpted-on chevrons when I'm painting, but without them, we have the choice of varying his rank to first sergeant, corporal etc. The next figure is an officer in sack coat and wearing a civilian hat, he holds an Army Colt revolver. The bugler rests his bugle on his hip, and in his left hand holds a Schofield Smith & Wesson revolver which he has acquired despite this classy revolver being bested by the Colt in trials for general issue. The officer on the right has a Springfield Officers' Model rifle, which, as one might expect, is a better specification version of the models issued to the enlisted men; among other things it featured chequering on the stock, a cleaning rod stowed beneath the barrel and a detachable semi-pistol grip addition behind the trigger guard.
I'm afraid I've rattled off the above details from memory, I'll elaborate at some point later, no doubt.
A character that will be released later as part of a planned pack of homesteaders, more pictures and details on the Studio page.
Two gunfighter characters for a pack of 4 "Hired
Guns & Hard Cases". These two were sculpted at the same time as the first cavalry troopers, a third figure is completed and the fourth is currently work in progress. More pictures and details on the Studio page.