Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Great lead-pile reduction strategy 2: the Americas

Goodbye, 4th Virginia

Time for another look at, as the old TV commercial (only people who work in TV call them commercials in Britain, everyone else calls them adverts) said, "the fish that John West reject."  Appropriately, we sail across the ocean to the New World and explore the many hundreds of figures we have bought for conflicts in the Americas. This time we will look at them in chronological order.


I was at Salute a few years ago and Gripping Beast were selling a box of  37 "limited edition" Skraelings for Saga.  I am one of those people who is totally unable to resist anything dubbed "limited edition" even though the description is often "a mere puff" (as those familiar with Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company (1892) will appreciate).  These figures were sculpted by Bill Thornhill of Musketeer Miniatures (now Footsore Miniatures) and are now available from them (so not limited at all, in fact). I have based some and even started them but having spent all day in Canada House I don't have the energy to dig them out to find some to photograph, so here is one I didn't prepare earlier.   Now this is an absolutely ideal example of a set of figures I should sell but, I really, really want to play Saga, even though I think it might be too "gamey" (like a pheasant that's been hung for too long - no, actually, nothing like that at all) for me.  So the Skraelings will remain!


My sole painted conquistador

When I was at school we had to do a school history project over the summer holidays.  What I selected, from a long list, was one on the Conquistadors; in particular, Cortés and Pizarro.  I really went to town on the illustrations but I still didn't win a prize (as I had hoped) due to my terrible handwriting (I missed all my joined up writing classes when I was at junior school as I was off for a month with pneumonia).  So when Foundry came out with their Mark Copplestone-sculpted Eldorado figures I bought the whole lot.  Of course the Incas and Aztecs never really came out, apart from the odd pack.  When other firms like the Assault Group came out with suitable figures I realised that painting all those Aztecs would be a major pain.  So I painted just one figure and they have sat there in my plastic drawer units never since.  Ideal for eBay.  Except they are also ideal for skirmishes and I am minded to pitch them against the Copplestone castings Brazilian Indians as Portuguese.  Just right for Donnybrook!  So they will remain too!  Oh dear!

The French in Canada

When the Copplestone Glory of the Sun figures came out depicting late seventeenth century troops I bought some automatically, without knowing what exactly to do with them.  Having thought about them for a number of years I realised that I still don't know what to do with them but painted one up as a member of the French Régiment de Carignan-Salières who were sent to Quebec in 1675 to protect the settlers from the Iroquois.  Here would be a good subject for skirmishes in the woods, I thought.  Except in reality most of the Iroquois had died of smallpox so there were no battles.  In addition, getting pre-flintlock armed Indians was a problem  so that project will be no more.  I will sell off the other French I have.


The easiest decision here as regards retention.  I have painted enough for pirate games and they have seen action four times (a lot for me!)  In fact, I even did a bit of work on some more this morning.  Mostly Foundry, plus some Black Scorpion for the increasing pirate babes crew.  Lots (well all) of new North Star too.

The French Indian War

Now, I played a game of Muskets and Tomahowks at Eric the Shed's and so I won't be getting rid of the Galloping Major figures I have.  However, I have a lot of the Conquest/Warlord games figures and although I have painted one (above) I think, even though they are superior figures to the GM ones, I will get rid of these as they are too small to match with GM and North Star.  I hate mixing figures of different sizes in my armies!

American War of Independence

I don't think I have that many troops for this left (some part painted militia bought after my visit to Boston - above) but I still have some books.  This is big battle stuff, largely, and the uniforms are a right fiddle.  Anyway, this period has been so comprehensively covered in the blogosphere by Giles Allison that doing anything on it is pointless.

Latin American Wars of Independence

Although I have only finished one figure, I do have a bunch under way on the workbench and Orinoco Miniatures has just released another group of figures, so this will remain.  It means I can do Napoleonic style uniforms without doing Napoleonics!

Mountain Men 

This was another case of buying the whole Foundry release.  I have painted half a dozen and really like the figures but haven't touched them for years.  Still, this would be a good basis for some skirmish games and there are rules in one of the Warhammer Historical Old West supplements, which I have got buried somewhere.  You could also use them for skirmishes with Mexicans on the borders of California.  So these are staying!

Texan War of Independence

Given I have finished a whole unit of Mexicans, and am working on some more, then these are going to stay!  The only issue I have over the Texans is that the initial Boot Hill Miniatures release are a different scale from the Mexicans (annoyingly).  The recent ones are fine and I can use Artizan for the Texan heroes.

American Civil War

Despite some of my first Airfix wargames being ACW I just can't face painting the numbers of figures you need.  Also, I wanted to do First Bull Run but there are several key uniform types you can't get and with the Perry brothers messing about with nonsense like the British invasion of the 1860s it seems unlikely they will ever do them.  So anything ACW will have to go.  Clears a lot of bookshelf space too!

Old West

I have painted precisely one figure for the Old West (this not Sharon Stone figure) but I might have some unpainted ones somewhere too.  This is very much a possible project for the future, especially with all the excellent buildings available these days.

I'm slightly surprised at how many Americas forces I have been collecting and how many I can't bear to part with but getting rid of ACW and AWI will free up some bookshelf space even if it's not going to effect the lead pile that much.  Some of my ACW and AWI figures are painted or part painted so I suspect that may effect their value on eBay as I would never buy painted or part painted figures.  Maybe I will just chuck them out as no-one would buy any of my painted efforts!.


  1. If you start going on about J A Pye (Oxford) Ltd and Others v Graham and another [2002] I may cry.
    You may be surpised what EBay allows you to see. Painted or otherwise.

  2. I can see your point in all your choices its a shame you couldn't reduce the pile that much but maybe this will help you decide which figures to paint next.

  3. I understand the pain but I understand the problem of "clutter". I am being very ruthless - I may end up with about 6 projects in total.

  4. "Maybe I will just chuck them out as no-one would buy any of my painted efforts!"... just one word... bolleaux (in the French)... put them on Ebay!