Saturday, May 12, 2018

"Liberty's Kids" Character James Hiller

This figure is based on one of the main characters from the television show Liberty's Kids.  James Hiller is an orphan who works as a reporter for Benjamin Franklin's newspaper.  He and his two comrades (one of which has been painted already; see view the great events of the American Revolution, from the Boston Tea Party to the signing of the United States Constitution.  Mysteriously, the characters never seem to get any older...

The original figure was a recast Marx "Johnny Tremaine."  The original head was swapped for the head from a Marx recast "Rab Silsbee."  After this rather drastic change, the character's pigtail was sculpted, a quill pen was sculpted in his right hand.  His left hand had been removed for another conversion(see, which necessitated sculpting another hand.  I chose to give this hand a piece of paper.  Now James Hiller and his companion Sarah Philips are ready to jot down all the latest news from the Revolution as it happens.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Hessian Regiment von Bose

The first unit of Hessians has landed on American shores!  These Hessians (soldiers from the principality of Hesse-Kassell) are from the Regiment von Bose. 

Hessian Regiment von Bose finds itself
fighting in wooded terrain
This Hessian regiment was sent to the southern colonies and formed a part of Lord Cornwallis' field army.  During the "Race to the Dan", Von Bose participated in the brutal slogging through North and South Carolina in pursuit of General Greene's army.  Regiment von Bose's moment of glory came during tough fighting at the March 15, 1781 Battle of Guilford Courthouse.  Continuing their career as part of Cornwallis' army, these tough veterans participated at the Siege of Yorktown and defended Redoubt #9 against an ultimately successful French attack.

These soldiers wear their regulation uniform, complete with red pompoms on their cocked tricorne hats.  The only non-regulation piece of clothing are the drab brown gaiter-trousers, which were used extensively during the Southern campaigns.

Figures were originally Classic Toy Soldiers "Hessian Grenadiers."  After carefully modifying their long gaiters into gaiter-trousers, I removed the grenadier caps and sculpted cocked hats instead.  The pompoms were provided out of my sister's collection of small plastic beads (thanks, Amara!).  They were then painted with Testors enamel and CraftSmart acrylic paints.

For a good look at the celebrated career of this regiment, check out Kabinettskrieg's blog article "He Was a Blue and Bloody Man: The Von Bose Regiment."

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Militiaman from Mollo and McGregor

Classic book illustration meets miniature figure.
This militiaman is based on a plate from the classic Mollo & McGregor book Uniforms of the American Revolution.  The picture shows him just to the right of his namesake.

The original figure was an Accurate militiaman.  All Accurate figures have been a joy to paint due to their incredibly detailed sculpting.  Unlike some of my more involved and complex conversions (see, I only made a few changes to this figure.  These were shaving the engraved motto "Liberty" off his cap, leaving it plain, and removing the tops of his gaiters to paint them as striped stockings.

Is he guarding a notorious Loyalist, or a cache of supplies?

This figure gives me a wonderfully versatile militiaman who looks equally at home in the North and South, who looks well-dressed, who can easily be plugged into an urban setting, and who is professional enough to be trusted with guard duty.

Figure by Accurate; painted with Testors and Michael's "Craft Smart" paints.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Allies Arrive

This blog has mostly featured British and Loyalist troops opposed by American revolutionaries.  Now this trend is changing.  A treaty of alliance has been signed and His Majesty Louis XVI has sent soldiers to aid the Americans in their struggle against Britain.

More French infantrymen will be arriving in the forthcoming months.  To read more about the engineer and the role of the French Royal Engineer Corps in the American Revolution, visit

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Sarah Phillips

Miss Sarah Phillips scouts for news in a colonial town.
(click picture to enlarge)
This figure is based on one of the main characters from the television show Liberty's Kids.  In the show, three youngsters serve as journalists for Benjamin Franklin and report on the major--and sometimes minor--events of the American Revolution.  This figure, Miss Sarah Phillips, is the daughter of a British Army officer serving in America.  In the first episode, Sarah comes to America to find him.  During the ongoing show, she provides a British/Loyalist perspective to much of the reporting done.

The figure herself began as a recast Marx "Cilia" figure.  Much change was required to transform her into Sarah Phillips.  From top to bottom: the cap was removed and hair sculpted, golden locket added, neckline squared off, shawl removed, quill pen sculpted, flair and length added to sleeves, pointed bodice, piping down front of dress, and paper to record news.  Whew!  This is some of the most work I have ever done to convert a figure.  However, I believe that the final product was well worth the effort.

Original figure on left; Sarah Phillips on right.
(click picture to enlarge)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

French Engineer

This French engineer figure was a Christmas present.  He was manufactured and painted by Reeves International, likely some time in the 1980s.  Because a little of the paint on his hand and map had begun to flake off, I repainted those sections.  I also repainted his face to blend with the rest of my collection, and repainted the flaky gold trim on his hat.

French engineers were elite specialists who were excellent at building and capturing fortifications.  Don Troiani's book Soldiers of The American Revolution states that "Although it was Washington who decided to abandon plans against New York and seize the initiative against Cornwallis it was Rochambeau and his skilled specialist troops--especially the engineers and artillery (experienced as they were in conducting large siege operations--that ultimately led to a victorious outcome." (pg. 177)

With a French specialist now serving alongside the American forces, the question arises...where is the rest of the French army?

Friday, January 5, 2018

2017 Recap part 2--Tarleton's British Legion

(to see the previous installment of 2017 figures, visit

The unit that I made the most progress on during 2017 was Banastre Tarleton's British Legion.  Four riders and their horses were begun and finished in the year.


Many American militiamen experienced this scene as Tarleton's hard-riding cavalry slammed into their lines.

Stay tuned for the next showcase of 2017 figures!