Man of TIN’s More Men of ZINN

I was pleased to find a tiny surprise parcel from the Duchy of Tradgardland last week.

Alan the Tradgardmastre had sent me some spare surplus home cast 40mm figures that he had picked up along the way. I quickly filed the bases flat, cleaned up the mould lines and got them based on MDF tuppenny 2p from Warbases, ready for painting.

I recognised these figures, as I have a small collection of them acquired at random in an online job lot about five to ten years ago. I was probably being lazy at the time, acquiring some secondhand precast home castings (especially painted ones) instead of casting them myself.

Somewhere I’m sure I still have a silicon mould for the standing and kneeling firing infantryman amongst my randomly acquired moulds collection.

They are old Zinn Brigade moulds 40mm figures still available or reissued from Schildcrot

One of Alan’s suggestions was that these figures could be useful for “creative uniform design and tailoring …I thought you might enjoy coming up with some toy soldier uniforms for these fellows.”

This creative colour choice is already part chosen for me as the painted figures I have are in dark blue Prussian uniforms, so I have an Army Dark Blue skirmish unit of infantry, cavalry and gunners already.

My trusty old Ladybird Leaders: Soldiers book suggests Portuguese, British, German …

They could stand in for several dark blue coated nations who adopted the Prussian style spiked helmet from US Marines in late 19th century dress uniforms through to Portuguese 1890s, several South American and colonial units.

Some interesting ideas in Funcken, Uniforms – the 18th Century to the Present Day.

Norway, Portugal, Chile, Brazil, colourful Argentina … lots of late 19th century spiked helmets which my Army Blue could be used as, if you want a change from Prussian 1870.

Wikipedia has some interesting photos and snippets of useful history

“From the second half of the 19th century onwards, the armies of a number of nations besides Russia (including Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, and Venezuela) adopted the Pickelhaube or something very similar. The popularity of this headdress in Latin America arose from a period during the early 20th century when military missions from Imperial Germany were widely employed to train and organize national armies.”


One easy colour scheme solutions for the new unpainted figures would be the late 19th Century red coated British Infantry with spiked helmet.

However looking through my uniform books, I have found several other historical nations with spiked helmets or ones that could also double as ImagiNations uniforms.

Preben Kannik’s Military Uniforms of the World in Colour gives a few ideas.

Red Coat, spiked helmet – a Netherlands 1960s Guards ceremonial uniform which is a tribute to British wartime cooperation with the Dutch.

The traditional Redcoat with spiked Home Service helmet, still in use 1900-1914 shows several variations of this including a green rifle brigade and grey rifle volunteer version.
No red coat this time, but a fetching dark blue Colonial outfit c. 1900 from the Dutch here.

I am rather taken with the light blue uniform with yellow facings of the Baden dragoons 1870 FPW, although this could be mistaken for the French uniforms. Army Light Blue ? 

Mixed in with my old painted joblot of Zinn figures were some semi-flat French figures, some of which almost from a distance on the table match the Zinn Brigade / Schildcrot figures.

Amongst the castings was a cheery note from the Tradgardmastre himself, apologising for the lack of horses for the rider figures. Fortunately these horse moulds are available from, although I read on many blogs that postage costs from Europe to the UK post-Brexit is causing issues for some people and firms.

I also already have some Holger Erickson unsaddled horse moulds in 40mm from Prince August, which may prove suitable.

Thankfully I have some pre-painted dark blue cavalry, along with small hollow-cast cavalry.

More kind gifts from Tradgardland of unpainted cavalry riders

The unpainted rider castings from Tradgardland are these Zinnfigur / Schildcrot officer ones

Some quick and simple repairs required on my old cavalry figures, a head here, a leg there.

These cheap hollow-cast cavalry from bits and bobs box seem a good match or opposition, once repaired. These come originally in red paint … hmmm. Thinks. 



I also have amongst my random figures selection some suitable officer figures, standard bearers, fife players and artillery crews from the Schildcrot range with a few Meisterzinn origin 18th Century limbers, horses and guns.


A strange combination of periods but that is the joy of the Job Lot ImagiNation!


Some colourful old 40mm guns and limbers from Meisterzinn.

With the addition of the new unpainted  figures from Alan, this should be good for a small  balanced force of a gun or two, a few cavalry and some infantry for skirmishes.

So lots of ideas but still undecided what colour the new figures from Tradgardmastre should be.

Whilst I think about the new army uniform colour, I have been busy repairing and basing the original blue Prussian painted figures from my past joblot.


Army Dark Blue 40mm figures in my collection. Some rifles  broken or short-cast to repair. I will post pictures when finished …

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN / ZINN, 18 August 2021




23 thoughts on “Man of TIN’s More Men of ZINN”

  1. I have a mould of those and some castings I was going to buy from a friend but am going to send back as they are smaller than the scale I wanted.


  2. Enjoyed the journey through the potential tailoring solutions. The 18th Century guns look the part beside the figures. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with…


  3. P.s was thinking that the juxtaposition of figures from different periods has great gaming potential. For example “ The Mouse that Roared” with medieval v modern. In imaginations anything could and should happen…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I loved that Doctor Who story and clicked on the link – would love to see it again. There was also a Lost in Space Story where an alien made androids that resembled soldiers from various times on Earth.
        There are quite a few SF novels based on soldiers from various times placed in unusual stories. ‘The Lost Regiment’ was a series of books about a Union regiment which went through a portal to a medieval world dominated by orc like creatures. The transplanted regiment organises resistance, steam engines and ultimately, in later books, machineguns, steam tanks and planes. Another story I read was ‘Janissaries’ where aliens transplant various Earth historical societies on a planet and alliances and wars result featuring ancient Romans, medieval Scots and 1960s mercenaries among others.
        I have played a number of inter period games and although it is fantasy it is not too far removed to colonial conflicts in real history.


      2. The BBC DVD of The War Game is available but check – I’m not sure if it covers all DVD regions.

        Sounds like some interesting reading tips for the future. Thanks. Transpose a Union Regiment for a plucky platoon or two of British Tommies or Diggers etc …

        An interesting rules challenge but a very good point about the colonial conflicts angle – modern weapons versus medieval / ancients weapons – what Andy Callan called “asymmetric warfare” in his comment on his Maori wars rules reprinted in my past Peter Laing blog post

        Not quite as stylish as Howard Whitehouse’s “Nazi Hierarchy versus /munched by Dinosaurs …” rules


      3. In The Lost Regiment series of about nine books the author, William R Forstchen pits the ACW soldiers against the Tugar that are basically non human Mongols, larger tan humans with larger horses and orc-like visage The latter have the numbers, speed and ferocity and eventually traitor humans or those coerced give them more modern weaponry. The battles scenes are tremendous.
        Another series by another author is called The Down Lord Dawn series and features a prelate from Cromwell’s England who finds a portal to a parallel Earth. The story line is a little similar where ‘The Null’ dominate and feed off humanity which cowers in burrows like rabbits, until they are trained to fight (much like ECW troops).

        There are other enemies as well but the hero is regarded as a god king. He even cultivates those with psychic powers to reinforce his armies. At one stage another interdimensional traveller arrives with native American troops, from across the Atlantic,dressed in Union uniforms, with breech loaders and Gatling guns! I won’t tell you the outcome of the resultant battle. But I wargamed it and each side won once. I also played ECW and medieval troops against orcs (to fill in for the purple Null) and had a victories for both sides.

        I once also played a points based game where each general could choose whatever troops he wanted from any time. Obviously many more ancient types could be bought for the cost of a handful of modern types.


      4. These all sound interesting scenarios and books. It made me think of Wells’ Time Machine
        and War of the Worlds with subordinate races and advanced technology, which many see as a comment in colonialism (specifically mentioned in War of the Worlds) in a way that good science fiction and fantasy can be a satirical comment on the “Real World”

        Liked by 1 person

      5. In mixed era, like colonial, you need to consider the fortitude and adaptability of the less developed. For example, ancient Romans facing a more advanced society might be expected to adapt if time allowed. Cavemen less so. Also, if you factor in diseases these can affect both sides. Malaria slowed down the European conquest of Africa until quinine. But in America and Australia smallpox depopulated large swathes of the land.
        Less developed societies in history have, on occasion defeated the Europeans. Think of the Zulu War but the British learn their lesson quickly and used the square or fortified position effectively and cavalry for mopping up. The Zulus were determined to use their numbers against way superior fire power but there is a limit to how many casualties can be sustained. Just like massed pike men are going to run into trouble against an army with breach loaders or even against an army that still has many long bows.
        The Battle of the Little Big Horn was a native victory because of greater numbers but also they had acquired from traders or dead white men Henry and Winchester rifles that had a greater rate of fire than the carbines of the soldiers. I read somewhere that the army weapons had greater range but the terrain favoured closer ranged weapons. Of course it was one of a number of short lived native victories.
        Other things to consider are rivalries between advanced powers so they may actually supply weapons to the less advanced to create problems for rivals as the American once did for the Russians in Afghanistan.
        So you could have a gradual acquisition of more advanced weapons – ancient Romans with matchlocks, flintlocks, etc. The problem then becomes resupply. Can the less developed society produce its own and has it time to do so?
        If you have a scenario of time travellers, rather than differently developed societies in the same period resupply becomes an issue too. So you send back to ancient times some SAS. Do they have resupply through the portal etc. If not how long does their ammunition last before they have to start using local weapons or find a way to dominate a local society and develop their own? They might have to content themselves with more easily made weapons, matchlocks instead of assault rifles and steam powered vehicles and production.
        The Time machine was one of my favourites. It was also about the ease with which knowledge can be lost as crumbling books are all that remain of centuries of knowledge. Also two species evolve from humans.
        Getting back to wargames for a balanced game or campaign you can factor in some of the following: The less developed have home territory advantage so they get to place troops in hidden places, have greater numbers etc. A lot depends on fortitude and resilience. Are they fanatics that will take a while to realize even their greater numbers won’t do it against sufficient fire power (or maybe it will)? Do they use guerilla warfare etc? Do they form alliances with more advanced powers, at what price etc.


      6. All of the issues you raise on a rules front make for interesting reading and thinking, as have the recent Facebook comments in Solo Wargaming with Miniatures about hidden enemy games in which I mentioned Games Workshops Lost Patrol rules and Lone Warrior sample article Kokoda Trail rules.

        The ammunition resupply issue is a challenging one but in many contested parts of the north west frontier local craftsmen can reputedly take one example of a weapon and make many copies.
        Obviously back in the musket days, resupply was a matter of melting lead and finding powder. Not so more modern weapons ammunition.
        At the melee stage, boots and clubs and fists and spears and bayonets have not changed much in centuries, as witness the WW1 trench raider weapons I saw in Belgium trenches at Dixmuide.


      7. My next wargame will have a 1900 era American type army versus a horse and musket (flintlocks and cannons) army plus various ferocious monstrous beasts, wizards and witches. The latter force is a representation of the Land of Oz, although with non-canon embellishments! The bulk of the 18th century type soldiers will be able to move or shoot with firearms whilst the 1900 era army can move a half move and shoot with longer range. Some Oz units might have short bows so they can also move a half move and shoot. The shorter Munchkin and dwarf troops have shorter moves and the Munchkins have a minus one in combat (unless they are elite). The American (or Amerigan, as I call it) force will arrive piecemeal through the portal whereas most of the OZ force will be already present in its deployment zone.
        As yet I don’t have flying monkeys but have harpies. They may well arrive in a kind of ‘deep strike and will be useful against the Amerigans single Wright Brothers (steam version) plane and troops in general. The Oz force may also have a balloon with sharp shooter.
        The Amerigans will have the Funny Little Rules army list rule that once called upon to shoot or melee the volunteers must roll dice to find out their status as average, elute or militia!
        As the OZ force will be a coalition of good and bad forces (the latter (even counting skeleton units!) chance dice rolls will allow for units turning on each other. This last is a fun rule that can also be used in more conventional scenarios.
        Of course this will, as usual, all be in 1/32 scale.


      8. I await the photos with interest and the rules should give an interesting and unpredictable game.
        I remember once seeing an impressive row of L. Frank Baum original hardbacks with coloured covers in a university library stack of children’s literature and being surprised how many volumes there were. Sadly I didn’t have time to read any of them.


      9. Baum intended to finish the series much earlier except for the demand from his fans. I think there were 14 or 15 by Baum and another multitude by later writers. I saw the Judy Garland film and didn’t start reading the books until a few month ago so now I have read the first five.
        Baum was married to a suffragette and it rubbed off on him as his female characters are strong willed and adventurous. In fact, his Dorothy was more so than the film version who often looked scared.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. That aside, it remains a classic movie and the shift from black and white dustbowl to colour midway must have been impressive when first shown in cinemas. Dorothy was obviously playing her age downwards towards innocence in age, which a younger actress might not have done.
        The gutsy side of Dorothy shows up in a lot of “deviant art” illustration portrayals. I’m glad that (Michael Jackson aside?) no one has remade the original.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I found a copy of your same MacMillan Uniforms of the World book and have been slowly working my way through it. When it comes to the spiked helmets, even the US used them in the 1890s, which means I can print German Guards from the Paperboys Little Wars book for kids to color and cutout on patriotic holidays.

    I can confirm that there are a LOT of sci-fi books out there with time- or universe-traveling troops; one of the first was The High Crusade by Poul Anderson. David Drake’s Ranks of Bronze is about a Roman Legion kidnapped by aliens to fight their wars (the aliens aren’t allowed to use high technology against low barbarians, so they find some REALLY GOOD barbarians to fight for them instead). In another of Drake’s, alien guides cause the Byzantines to fight the Malwa Empire of India. David Weber’s popular Safehold has a space navy officer on a throwback planet “giving rifles to the Romans” to drag it out of the medieval age, so there are battles between 18th-century ships and galleys to start, then as the antagonists copy the good guys it becomes steamships vs. 18th-century, rifles vs. muskets, magazine rifles and rockets vs. muzzle-loaders, and so on. It’s not all curb-stomp battles for the good guys either. Weber, however, is known for having loads of characters and engineering background, so he’s not for everyone.

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