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"Would you game- "Plains Indian War"-Hollywood Style?" Topic

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Action Log

28 Mar 2011 11:49 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

2,804 hits since 12 Sep 2010
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Legends In Time Skip Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Sep 2010 6:12 a.m. PST

I think all of us have seen one if not all of the John Ford action packed US Cavalry vs. Indians pictures.

John Wayne lead a terrific group of actors in (I believe)3 movies that seared an image in my mind of how the US Cavalry looked in or around the late 1870's.

The uniforms he created are how many of us would like to see our "Nathan Brittles" Cavalry Troopers (authentic or not) move across the western landscape to engage the Apache, Commanche, Sioux or Cheyenne warriors.

The bent up hats, white gauntlets, scarfs tied around the neck just right and of course the best detail "the white suspenders'. Troopers just need those white suspenders to look right.

So my question to you Gamers is, would you be motivated to wargame the "Western Indian & US Cavalry Wars" if these miniatures were available?

I would like your input because if there are enough of us out there, I will have a complete series of US Cavalry figures produced to give us that great cinematic look to game with.

The scale I would like to do (at present time because of cost) would be 15-18mm.

OK Troopers, let me here you sound off.

Forwarrrd Yoooooo!


thosmoss12 Sep 2010 6:20 a.m. PST

Trouble is … who wants to play the Indians?

Needs a ruleset where either the Indians have some strong motivation and semi-realistic goals, or a cooperative / solo ruleset where the Indians are merely "Hollywood extras".

SECURITY MINISTER CRITTER Inactive Member12 Sep 2010 6:22 a.m. PST

What about a mass Battles amendment for the WAB Wild West?

combatpainter Fezian Inactive Member12 Sep 2010 6:24 a.m. PST


Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Sep 2010 6:29 a.m. PST

There is a mass battles amednment for WAB wild west, it was Alamo.

to the original question, I'd certainly think about it, but, even though they wouldn't be perfectly accurate, I'd probably use Perry plastics for the US cav as they would do double dutry as that and Civil War cav.

Legends In Time Skip Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Sep 2010 6:30 a.m. PST

Hello thosmoss & SMC

I like your comments about the rules and hopefully some one has or will address those issues but I would like your comments on the design style of the Cavalry figures.

Do you like the John Ford style of Cavalry troopers?

That's what I would like to know from you guys.


Sterling Moose Inactive Member12 Sep 2010 6:38 a.m. PST

Sure, did it many times as a kid using Airfix 1:32 scale. Sets were a bit large though.

dwight shrute12 Sep 2010 6:50 a.m. PST

as for the John Ford style . wy not :-)

we have been playing it using black powder and 20mm figures .. and looking forward to the new italeri apache and us cavalry sets .

we have changed the scale so a battalion is now a company .

BrianW12 Sep 2010 7:10 a.m. PST

Sure. There was even a set of solo rules called "Pony Wars: Or, C Troop Ain't Coming Back" by TTG many years ago. I had them in the early-mid '80s. The players ran the Cav, and the system ran the Indians. Never played them due to a lack of figures, but read over them many times and still occasionally regret getting rid of them. Very cinematic in style.

WarWizard12 Sep 2010 7:41 a.m. PST

I like the 40mm Sash and Saber figures. I think they are very well done and also the new 18mmm Blue Moon figures. Have you seen those yet?

I just saw "Geronimo An American Legend" yesterday. A very good movie. Starred Jason Patric (he played Bowie in Alamo movie), Robert Duvall, Matt Damnn, Gene Hackman and Wes Studi as Geronimo.

abelp0112 Sep 2010 7:46 a.m. PST

It's the only way to do it, IMHO! I still have "Pony Wars: Or, C Troop Ain't Coming Back", but it turned me off that you needed so many Indians! Staggering to me at the time (early '80s), but now I use painting techniques that would make 15mm units for both sides viable in a few months.

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP12 Sep 2010 7:47 a.m. PST

When I was active in cavalry reenactment, I used to worry about the correct number of stitches per inch on my hand sewn horse equipment. So you can guess my answer now.

While I loved the movies, I was always bothered by the lack of authenticity, particularly in the enlisted men.
I will stick to my Wargmes Foundry figures which, while not perfect, are pretty darn close for 7th Cavalry, June 25, 1876.

But, to each his own and it does a certain appeal.


Sundance Supporting Member of TMP12 Sep 2010 7:52 a.m. PST

I think there are a couple of 15mm ranges out, but it doesn't hurt to have another one. I still have my Yellow Ribbon and Continually Wear the Blue rules.

Timbo W12 Sep 2010 8:01 a.m. PST

abelp1 – which speed painting techniques do you use? Genuine question as my lead pile is getting overwhelming!

docdennis1968 Inactive Member12 Sep 2010 8:01 a.m. PST

No I would not, but why should you care what I think? If you want to do it, then by all means, jump on it. You will likely have a blast, and that is what the endgame is all about!! Good luck!

Legends In Time Skip Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Sep 2010 8:16 a.m. PST

Hello WarWizard & Garryowen

Yes, I have seen and very much like the both 40mm S&S and the New 18mm Blue Moon.I will be selling the Blue Moon figures on our site

I think they are very close to the accurate uniforms and equiptment the Cavalry had on the "Plains".

I also have a huge collection of "Foundry & Artizan Design" 28mm figures and I agree with you that they have a very Historic look.

I just like those "white suspenders & gauntlets".

The rules I am currently writting have more of a Cinematic feel to them, not pulp fiction, more of dash & fire, heros & bad guys. A blend of the individual as well as the "extras". Every scenario has a "Hollywood" flare to it.
Ths Indians can be the good guys like in "Dances with Wolves"

Anyway, I appreciate your comments and views.


Legends In Time Skip Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Sep 2010 8:27 a.m. PST

Hello docdennis1968

I do appreciate you feedback. If the majority of the responces indicate that no one is interested or motivated by the project then I just might not do it.
Even though I would like to do it, the investment of capital to do a range of figures that nobody else is that interested in would probably overrule the project.


Cpt Arexu Inactive Member12 Sep 2010 8:36 a.m. PST

Sure, I'm interested.

nazrat12 Sep 2010 8:56 a.m. PST

Never, because the Indians could never, ever win. Unless the Cavalry was led by Custer, of course, and then they would lose two thirds of their force just killing HIM. 8)=

abelp0112 Sep 2010 9:01 a.m. PST

Timbo W:
I glue my 15s on a piece of wood about 1/2" thick by 6"-12" long, prime them in black, block paint the basic colors (except metals), black wash (using the Future dip mix), pick out the metal colors, touch up the white, base them, ground work and Dullcote them and done!

I don't do different hair color or uniform color variations, etc. it's down and dirty but I can get a Napoleoinic 24 man unit done in about 10 hours.

Blount Supporting Member of TMP12 Sep 2010 9:46 a.m. PST

Yes, I'd be interested.

scarlinosr1 Inactive Member12 Sep 2010 10:05 a.m. PST

I'd use the Hollywood style but, in 25/28MM. Sal Sr out!!!

Norman D Landings Inactive Member12 Sep 2010 12:23 p.m. PST

Have to say… if I was investing in a sizable force, then I'd go for one of the many historically accurate ranges already available.

Reason being, I wouldn't want to make a significant investment in a force which I could then ONLY use in 'Hollywood-style' western games.

Much as I love that particular genre, I'd want my Horse Soldiers to do double duty in more sober historic games too.

BUT… a small force for OW skirmish in full "Hollywood Uniform"? SOLD.

IF… they're available in 28mm. (sorry!)

While you're at it… character figures for Lt. Blueberry and Capt. Apache!

Arrigo Inactive Member12 Sep 2010 12:33 p.m. PST

not interested, it is hollywood not historical wargaming…

on the other hand I am really interested in accurate miniatures of Plain Wars US cavalry…

Custer7thcav Inactive Member12 Sep 2010 2:58 p.m. PST

I use 54mm toy soldiers that are prepainted and have the look to which you allude. I also own all three of the John Ford/John Wayne "Cavalry trilogy" and am also inspired by the "hollywood" look.

That doesn't mean I do not also appreiciate the actual historical garb (I have 54mm figs like them too!)

I would not dissuade you from your project, I do think there would be a market, albiet a niche one perhaps.

Legends In Time Skip Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Sep 2010 3:11 p.m. PST

OK, we have received a fair number of comments and I'm starting to see a pattern among the gamers who would consider gaming the "Plains Indian Wars" in 15 -18mm.

There are a tad more gamers who prefer the "Historic" uniforms then the "Cinematic" movie ones.

Then it occured to me….why not do both! Will take a master figure and add the right stuff to make the Historical
figures and then will do the same for John Wayne's Troopers.

The saddles & horse equiptment are the same. Uniform, hats,revolvers,carbines,boots,scarfs,holsters & ammo belts pretty much the same, in 15-18mm scale anyway.

Perfect, everybody can have their Cavalry units as they like them.

Thanks for your opinions.


Atomic Floozy12 Sep 2010 6:36 p.m. PST

I would like to see some accurate Plains Indians – there are too many generic sculpts; more buffalo soldiers are needed, both cavalry & infantry;

PaulRHollands13 Sep 2010 2:21 a.m. PST

Britannia already make a range in 28mm for the LBH.Including
the personalities,wagons,casaulties and alot of little vignettes/diarama castings with scalpings and hand to hand fights.
The sculping in alittle clumsy by some standards but thy ae aimed at exactly the fun/hollywood level.

I have loads of them but do not know how to do links on this board.

Warbeads Inactive Member13 Sep 2010 3:12 a.m. PST

Since you asked… In 15 mm? No interest at all.



Legends In Time Skip Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Sep 2010 6:06 a.m. PST

There has been alot of references to the fact that many gamers would be interested in this project but only in 28mm. Hopefully in the future I could take on this project in 28mm but as is stands now it would be to expensive.

I am working with an excellent sculptor who is more comfortable with the 15-18mm scale. Also it would be nice to tie in with "Blue Moons" excellent new Plains War/Cowboy series.Blue Moon also makes a great line of buildings an Indian Village also a great looking fort.

As I look at it the "Plains War", with a few exceptions, would be considered primarily one with "Skirmish" actions. These types of games are usually best suited for 28mm and I recognize that but the "Plains War" is not what I would consider a main stream category.

It is one of those conflicts that many gamers take on as a side project, a "one of these days I'll get to it" project.

Why I hope the 15-18mm scale will be attractive is that there is less money and time tied up with the project. The figures are easier to paint (in my opinion)the scenery isn't as expensive and some of the smaller playing tables can seem a bit larger to take on the great spaces the West offered.

Like all gaming periods "Rules" are key and can make or break all the fine efforts of researching,organizing,cleaning, priming,painting,and basing. There are some good rule sets out there and hopefully more will follow. I have been working on some for about 4 years and expect to have them out by the end of the year.They will work for the 15 or 28mm scale.

Rule sets give the mechanics to play the game but good scenarios make or break the game. Scenarios in my mind make the gaming experience especially in skirmish style ones. Taking the time to make them interesting and competitive is everything.

It's my hope that this figure line will be "cool" enough for people who have not considered this period before to enter into it.



docdennis1968 Inactive Member13 Sep 2010 6:40 a.m. PST

OK, I used to manufacture wargames miniatures, so I have some knowledge ( albeit very dated)! 15mm figures are very hard to make money with unless you sell large amounts! 15mm Pony Wars Skirmish games do not require lots of castings. This period is certainly not mainstream, so you do not have a large market. Many of those who do have intrest already do it in larger scales! This makes your project a little daunting IMHO! BUT if you can afford NOT to make much money, and really have a drive to do this in the small scale, then there is room in wargaming for just about everything, certainly room for your ideas too! This comment is not meant to discourage you,just take it as a word of caution from someone with "some" experiences back in the day!! Best of luck!

Legends In Time Skip Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Sep 2010 6:57 a.m. PST

hello docdennis1968

Thanks, I appreciate your insight. We all have our pet projects and this is one of mine.

I'm pretty realitic about the money aspect and I'm not planning to leave the "Day Job".

I guess the main thing for me is that once commited to anything, do it to the best standard you can.You always hope to see something you visualize come to life.

RockyRusso Inactive Member13 Sep 2010 11:07 a.m. PST


Was there not a set of rules for cenematic indian wars AND FFL about 15 or 20 years ago from Old Glory?

Lion, I only do 25/8s because I enjoy the painting part.

I have scads of indians, but with both cav and indians, I suspect that they are not really so well defined in dress and "uniform" to cater to the napoloeonic model where 1808 units are different than 1813!

In some cases I am happy to have "close" rather than "exact". My grandfather came over from Sicily just in time to make the end of the indian wars. And even as a kid, I was fascinated how the "uniforms" through his career weren't so "uniform".


CraigSpiel13 Sep 2010 5:20 p.m. PST

I too vote for 54mm. I am actively adding to my collection of Deetail, Herald and Timpo Plainswars figs. Timpo even made plastic swoppet figs with white gauntlets and suspenders.

cavcrazy13 Sep 2010 8:27 p.m. PST

Old Glory cavalry are pretty "Hollywood", and the games I have played have all the Hollywood feel you could ask for, gaming with 25mm figures on a 16x6 foot table, winding rivers, an Indian village, hills and forests, buttes, wagon trains and a 32nd scale marx fort Apache (which fit 25mm figures perfectly by the way}……I think most games played no matter what the period have a Hollywood feel, gaming Napoleonics, you think of Waterloo, Zulus, You think of Zulu or Zulu Dawn, WW2, Saving Private Ryan, the Crimea, Charge of the light brigade……..

skyking20 Inactive Member16 Sep 2010 5:23 a.m. PST

I do not think the Indians ever had must motivation other tha to rid themselves of the white invaders. I could be wrong but I doubt if they understood the level of the white man's obsession to horde wealth and the lengths he would go to to get more than he needed. Also I do not know if they understood just how many of us there were.

So in a game I think tactical / skirmish level gaming is the best you can hope for.


Scorpio Inactive Member16 Sep 2010 5:31 a.m. PST

The setting is a good one, but I have no interest in 15mm-18mm. I'm a 28mm-ish man, through and through.

RockyRusso Inactive Member16 Sep 2010 12:19 p.m. PST


Sky, actually from the beginning, the "indians" had no idea about "the white guy" thing, who were often black or brown as well. From the beginning, they were not seen as invaders, but just another group who might help you kill your enemies.

Remember, most tribes were nomadic and did "invade" other indians. There is a famous story of Cheyenne trekking from modern Nebraska to raid in south texas (and it came to tears). And the fact that the Iraquois confederation regularly sent people from modern New York to Georgia!

Even better, it is not well understaood that Lakota walked from Montana to modern Quebec to join in the 1753 version of the French and indian war…for the booty.

My friend Tim Green with Chris Peers did come up with a system to game this sort of long range stuff.


Allen57 Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2010 6:27 a.m. PST

Go for it in 15mm. I just got back from the Little Big Horn and am inspired. Besides John Wayne (Capt Brittles) you just have to do Errol Flynn (Gen. Custer) and Charleton Heston (Major Dundee) with a few French Lancers thrown in.

John Leahy20 Sep 2010 1:11 p.m. PST

You can get the lancers in 15mm.

Stephen Miller29 Nov 2017 6:48 p.m. PST

I don't wargame using miniatures (just cardboard counters), but I do make Indian Wars dioramas, and 15mm up to 20mm is the ideal scale range for that. Small enough to be able to show a large area on a table top yet large enough to get a fair amount of detail (such as NCO pants stripes and scarves (but not yellow) included. In fact, a mix of these two (with the 20mm figures up close) and the 15-18mm figures more distant are great for providing forced perspective in that they increase the perceived depth of the area.

Lee49430 Nov 2017 6:25 p.m. PST

I'm interested. I've found my rules work well for Wild West. In fact there is a free download on my website for the WW Rules and Troops. And who said the Indians can't win. Ask Fetterman about that. It's all in the scenarios. I'd be interested in a collaborative project with my rules and your 15mm minis.

Feel free to contact me through my website. Lee

Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP01 Dec 2017 9:17 p.m. PST

The end of the Civil War was near
When quite accidentally
A hero who sneezed abruptly seized
Retreat and reversed it to victory.

His Medal of Honor pleased and thrilled his proud little family group;
While pinning it on some blood was spilled,
And so it was planned he'd command…

Where Indian fights are colorful sights,
And nobody takes a lickin'.
Where Paleface and Redskin both turn chicken.

Early morning writer02 Dec 2017 7:43 a.m. PST

Must have missed this thread earlier. I do have the Plains Wars/Old West in 15 and 18 mm. And in excessively large numbers. As a vanity project, absolutely a great idea. As a commercial project, as said, challenging.

Also, the Lakota that participated in the FIW were much more likely from the area that is now Wisconsin (mentioned above as coming from Montana), entirely possible they hadn't even moved out onto the Plains yet in 1770s since they were, pre-horse culture, a woodland dwelling people. It was the westward forcing pressure of the Europeans that eventually forced the Lakota onto the plains – through secondary pressure by other Indians already in possession of firearms. And more likely they were Nakota than Lakota which, if memory serves, were the more eastern branch of the three "Sioux" people, the third being the Dakota. And, even during the time of the Plains Wars, I'd think Montana was more Crow territory than Lakota – though certainly the Lakota raided and hunted into what is now Montana. Their beloved Black Hills were in South Dakota near the southeast corner of Wyoming and a considerable distance from Montana. And, yes, I'm aware they didn't actually, generally, live in the Black Hills (supposedly). Having recently traveled there, it'd be curious to know why they didn't.

Stephen Miller02 Dec 2017 12:47 p.m. PST

By the 1870's the western (Lakota) Sioux had pretty much claimed the eastern half of Montana out to the Little/Bighorn river with the Crow being pushed across the Bighorn. The Lakota also occupied the Little Missouri River portion of what is now western North Dakota as well as the extreme northeastern portion of what is now Wyoming, basically sharing that area with the Northern Cheyenne. While the Lakota claimed the Black Hills as their spiritual center, I agree that they didn't actually occupy it much of the time, if at all. Why, I haven't read.

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