Spencer Smith Figures for Close Little Wars

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As good and simply cast and sculpted on the back as on the front, right down to the raccoon skin tailed hat and knapsacks. (Photo: Man 0f TIN)

Peter Johnstone still sells the Spencer Smith Miniatures range of figures from the 1960s. http://www.spencersmithminiatures.co.uk

They prove interesting and charming toy soldier figures for my favourite rules /  Close Little Wars scenarios based on Donald Featherstone’s Close Wars two page appendix to his 1962 book War Games.

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You may recognise them from the example American Civil War battle photographed for his  books.

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As well as these white metal figures (as yet unpainted) I also have some 30 year old original hard plastic 30mm American Civil War Union troops. For some reason I never bought any opposition, no doubt distracted by another project.

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These packs of Spencer Smith plastic figures seemed a very good deal at the time. The figures are still available individually in metal.

 

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I was especially pleased to recognise these figures in the first Donald Featherstone book War Games (1962) in the Horse and Musket rules for the American Civil War.

Using Featherstone’s appendix 2 in this book to form the Close Little Wars rules I use on the table or in the garden (without a hex scape grid ), there is little role for many if  any massed Cavalry in the cluttered terrain.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/

However here are some fine US or Union Cavalry, again showing their age since schoolboy painting 30 years ago.

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I really like the size, animation and simplicity of these figures. Few of the other SSM figures have survived in my collection, apart from unpainted metal samples, yet  the 18th century figures would work equally well against his small range of natives for French and Indian Wars of the 1750s or American War of Independence in the 1770s.

There is an excellent gallery on his website showing many of these 18th Century figures, including some contributed by Miniature Wargames editor Henry Hyde:

http://www.spencersmithminiatures.co.uk/html/gallery01_0.html

Blog posted by Man of TIN, June 2016.

 

 

 

 

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Author: 26soldiersoftin

Hello I'm Mark Mr MIN, Man of TIN. Based in S.W. Britain, I'm a lifelong collector of "tiny men" and old toy soldiers, whether tin, lead or childhood vintage 1960s and 1970s plastic figures. I randomly collect all scales and periods and "imagi-nations" as well as lead civilians, farm and zoo animals. I enjoy the paint possibilities of cheap poundstore plastic figures as much as the patina of vintage metal figures. Befuddled by the maths of complex boardgames and wargames, I prefer the small scale skirmish simplicity of very early Donald Featherstone rules. To relax, I usually play solo games, often using hex boards. Gaming takes second place to making or convert my own gaming figures from polymer clay (Fimo), home-cast metal figures of many scales or plastic paint conversions. I also collect and game with vintage Peter Laing 15mm metal figures, wishing like many others that I had bought more in the 1980s ...

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