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 https://www.zinnfigur.com/en/Casting/Moulds/Schildkroet-oxid/2-Infantrymen-firing.html
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.
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.
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 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pickelhaube#
“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.
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 Zinnfigur.com, 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.
The unpainted rider castings from Tradgardland are these Zinnfigur / Schildcrot officer ones
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