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.
You may recognise them from the example American Civil War battle photographed for his books.
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.
These packs of Spencer Smith plastic figures seemed a very good deal at the time. The figures are still available individually in metal.
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.
However here are some fine US or Union Cavalry, again showing their age since schoolboy painting 30 years ago.
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: