The Shed: The rest of the contents of the box of mainly painted figures

I have finally finished sorting out the rest of the figures that were in the box that I found a couple of days ago … and a mighty odd collection they are.

Firstly there are some of the lovely figures produced by Les Higgins. These include some English Civil War pikemen and gunners, some Malburian standard bearers, and some interesting-looking infantry figures.

There are some Rose Miniatures American Civil War figures painted in an odd-looking brown uniform. I think that they were intended to be used for an abortive South American imagi-nation project.

The rest of the figures are 15mm-scale American Civil War Minifigs painted to represent Union Infantry … and three Confederate gunners.

There is a story behind these figures. Back in the early 1980s I became very ill as a result of stress, and undertook six weeks of treatment as a day patient at a local mental health unit. Each night I came home and painted figures. I started with some Confederate Infantry and Artillery, and when they were finished I gloss varnished them and based them. I then began work on the Union forces … but by the time my treatment was over and I was deemed fit enough to return to work, they were still unfinished. I put them away … and forgot about them … although at some point it would appear that I did paint some additional details on some of the figures, probably so that I could use them as French Garde Mobile in a planned Franco-Prussian War campaign that never came to fruition. I never used the Confederate troops, and some years ago I passed them on to an old friend.

When I saw these figures again for the first time in over thirty years, it was a bit of a shock … but now I want to finish them as it will – I hope – enable me to draw a line in my mind under that unhappy time. I already have a couple of ideas about possible uses for them … but I think that they can wait for another few weeks or months until I get around to turning my ideas into something practical.


16 Comments on “The Shed: The rest of the contents of the box of mainly painted figures”

  1. Those Union figures make the cadre of a pretty decent sort of army, Bob. Maybe they can be the core of, say, the United States of Anaconda, striving to bring the seceded Confederated States of Amazonia back into the Federated Fold. Those Brown Uniformed guys are of course the cadre of the CSA army.

    The trick might be to get hold of compatible horse and foot. I am reminded that nearly 20 years ago, I bought a job lot of 54 Airfix Napoleonic French Infantry (originally from the Artillery set, so they all had the same pose). They formed the basis of the Army of Ursaminor, which featured in my recent action at Futtschtampen.

  2. Sorry – clicked the button twice, thinking the first time hadn't 'taken'.

    Just rereading you earlier posting, methought the early generation Minifigs and other assorted figures might go together for an Amazonian Civil War project (possibly even the War of the Triple Alliance).

    Meanwhile, in respect of your 'funny looking lancer' – I do believe I have one (or possibly more) of those…

  3. I particularly like the Les Higgins fellows.
    I thinks your plans for “drawing a line” sound like a very good idea indeed.

  4. Archduke Piccolo,

    Funnily enough, my own thoughts had turned to imagi-nations set in South America, although I was thinking more along the War of the Pacific for my inspiration.

    As far as I know these Minifigs are still in production, so finding some more of them should hopefully not be too difficult. That way I can 'complete' the armies I will use … but first I have to finish sorting out the shed and its contents!

    All the best,


  5. Archduke Piccolo (Ion),

    We all fall foul of the 'double click' every so often thanks to Bloggers sometimes erratic/slow responses. I have now removed the duplicate entry in order to tidy the whole comments section up.

    The Amazonian Civil War does have a nice ring to it, especially as I have plans for the ships used by the Brazilian Navy during the period in question. Thanks for the suggestion. It is certainly something to think about.

    I am sure that I had more of these lancers … but so far I have only found one. I am tempted to strip the awful paintwork off and do it properly … but I may well leave it as it is 'for old times sake'.

    All the best,


  6. Tradgardmastare,

    Les Higgins made some wonderful figures. Anatomically correct, nicely moulded, and very easy to paint (the detail was just raised enough but not overdone). I only wish that they were still available.

    You are spot on; drawing a line under that unpleasant experience would be a good thing to do, even if I never get around to using all the figures very often. Just using them once would be enough to write 'The End' on that particular mental video memory.

    All the best,


  7. old john says:

    Les Higgins Marlburians & ECW are still produced by me, can email full listings of expanded ranges

    cheers Old John

  8. Old John,

    If you send me a list of the Les Higgins figures that you produce, I would be very happy to write a blog entry about the fact that they are still available.

    All the best,


  9. Nigel Drury says:

    Fortunately many of the square or hex based higher level games we mostly seem to play now require fewer figures than in the old days of 18 or 24 to a battalion. Should make it easier to organise them into something usable.

  10. What wonder there is in the moment, in a sense recapturing moments from some thirty years ago in all their shiny OSW glory.
    Think about using them in some skirmish gaming – they need not be played with as regiments or brigades but as small platoons or half companies. Even if it just for the sake of nostalgia, it still might be fun!

  11. Nigel Drury,

    My thinking is very much along those lines, and these 15mm-scale figures should enable me to build up at least two suitable small armies.

    All the best,


  12. CelticCurmudgeon,

    It is amazing looking back at the figures I painted so long ago. (The Crimean War figures were painted – badly – in 1968 … 46 year ago!).

    Thanks for your suggest as to how to use them. My thinking is to base them individually so that I can use them with Richard Borg's BATTLE CRY rules.

    All the best,


  13. old john says:

    I emailed LH listings to email address on your “Profile”, did you get it ok??
    cheers Old John

  14. Old John,

    Many thanks for the list. I will be using it as the basis of a blog entry later this week.

    All the best,


  15. Re. “an odd-looking brown uniform” – Confederate butternut perhaps??

  16. Steve-the-Wargamer,

    That is a possibility, but I don't think that was what I intended them to be used for.

    All the best,


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