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"1:32 Plastic Figures for the Maximilian Adventure in Mexico?" Topic

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2,277 hits since 16 Sep 2013
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dBerczerk16 Sep 2013 9:55 a.m. PST

I recently picked up some 1:32 HaT and Armies in Plastic (AiP) ACW zouaves to serve as French zouaves / tiralliers in Mexico, circa 1864-1867.

I've also ordered some Expeditionary (X) Force ACW Federal cavalry (mounted and dismounted) I'm hoping to convert into and paint up as French Chasseurs d'Afrique.

I'm looking for plastic figures that could serve as French line infantry / Foreign Regiment in Mexico. Most ACW infantry don't seem to fit the bill -- frock coats, no epaulettes, no covered kepis, etc.

The Conte, Marx, and AiP French Foreign Legion figures are from the late 19th century / early 20th century, and don't seem to work either.

I'd like to build up a force to go up against a friend's extensive Mexican Army collection in 54mm -- Steve Weston bandit figures, Britains' Mexican cavalry, etc.

Although they are 1/35 hard plastic figure kits, I've seen Franco-Prussian War figures by ICM advertized: two sets each -- four multi-part French and four multi-part Prussians (materiel for conversions?) for about $15.00 USD per set. I've not yet seen them "in the flesh," but they might work although I don't know how they'd stand up to handling on the wargames table.

Any suggestions on plastic figures that could be converted into / serve as French line / Foreign Legion in Mexico?

I've seen professionally-painted 60mm collector's figures for the period advertized, but they're too expensive for what I have in mind.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2013 11:28 a.m. PST

You can use the AiP Egyptian figs for the Sudanese Battalion. I've been thinking about this period in 54mm as well and I have a few figs painted. I just plan on using FFL figs; they are close enough for me. I have also thought about using Mexican Alamo infantry for line troops.

dBerczerk17 Sep 2013 3:48 a.m. PST


Thank you for the tips!

Sudanese battalion -- another colorful unit to add to the Order of Battle!

Botch B17 Sep 2013 7:27 a.m. PST

We (Skirmish Wargames Group) game the period – though not for a while now. We have Chasseurs d'D from Historex parts (Lassalle's legs in booted overalls are the key piece); Juaristas from Herald ACW with head swaps; artillery from Imex (dito); FFL & Imperial infantry from Timpo and Britains ACW; Belgians from AIP WWI French; Sudanese from figures I cant remember!

Lots of fun and colour, we introduced our own Old West alter egos from across the border into the mix and also Flashman. We should revisit now ther are so many more options around 'ready-made' – we had to convert Zouaves from all sorts of other figures including Airfix WWII GIs!

dBerczerk17 Sep 2013 5:50 p.m. PST

Thank you for all the good ideas -- I've been checking out some of the manufacturers mentioned on the Michigan Toy Soldiers website.

I wish I could find a good source of alternative heads in French covered 1860s shakos, Mexican sombreroes, and Hungarian hussar caps.

Conversions are a lot of fun, but doing enough of them to create units can be somewhat challenging.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP25 Nov 2013 5:36 p.m. PST

Sorry I missed this post first time around. I began collecting the same period after buying a collection of painted Weston bandits and Mexican peasants. For the legion I bit the bullet and bought lead Foreign Legion dressed for Camerone from Beau Geste. Lovely action poses. Del Prado makes mounted Chasseurs d' Afrique. I found some ACW figures by Toy Soldiers of San Diego who look like they can be painted as Mexican Republicans. Remember towards the end of period the US sent arms and uniforms so they could be wearing US uniforms down to the belt buckles. Barzso makes Mexican War Mexican Militia which are good, if a bit smaller than 54mm. Barzso also has great 54mm Mexican buildings. I'd love to find some dismounted Chass. d. Af.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP25 Nov 2013 6:15 p.m. PST

IMHO, the Conte FFL are worth a second look. They are wearing the greatcoat, but otherwise their equipment is fairly ambiguous and they are wearing the sash under the waist belt. If you didn't want to spring for the metal figures, they might be a good choice.


dBerczerk28 Nov 2013 7:35 p.m. PST

Nick Stern, Thank you for the feedback!

I'll have to look into the "Foreign Legion dressed for Camerone from Beau Geste." I'd not heard of them previously.

Great photo! Very inspirational.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP29 Nov 2013 4:02 p.m. PST


Here's a link to the Beau Geste Camerone figures:
They ended up costing $20 USD and change each. Which is still a bargain compared to the $60 USD option. Plus I figure my painting and converting time is worth something. We all have our own ways of rationalizing.
Let us know if you come across any other finds out there.
Thanks for the compliment on the photo! That's what I love about 54's – they have such presence.

steztoyz Inactive Member29 Nov 2013 11:11 p.m. PST

Well, if you can wait about six months longer, I'm in the process of designing and building an injection molder; and I'm working on sculpts for the Mexican Adventure amongst others.

dBerczerk30 Nov 2013 5:07 a.m. PST


Please keep us posted. In wargaming terms, six months is a "snap." I would like to hear more about your project!

steztoyz Inactive Member30 Nov 2013 8:11 a.m. PST

What subjects would you guys like to see in 1/32 plastic? No matter how esoteric it may be. I'm building a small machine, single cavity, but large enough to do horses and cannons and such. Do you prefer soft plastic or hard plastic with glue on pieces?

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2013 5:28 p.m. PST

I'll gladly tell you what I'd like to see:
French Foreign Legion in Mexico Campaign Dress with a mixture of covered kepis and sombreros (possibly separate heads?)
French artillerymen
French mountain gun
Juaristas in simple white cotton uniforms with a mixture of kepis. sombreros and shakos -some open handed so you can use them a artillerymen
French contra-guerillas, both mounted with sombreros and infantry in modified zouave uniform
Belgian Legion in campaign dress
Austrian Legion in campaign dress

Let me know if you need any help with uniform reference.

Good luck with your casting project!

steztoyz Inactive Member30 Nov 2013 9:19 p.m. PST

Nick, I see you just joined Yahoo Little Wars.
I spent some time today researching the Turkish army of this era, and I think the Egyptian battalion would've been wearing the same uniform as they wore in the Crimea so long skirted civil war type coats with crossbelts and a fez.
I have a good book on Turkish uniforms, great pictures but it's written in Turkish so I can't read it.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP01 Dec 2013 11:51 a.m. PST


The uniforms were different from the ones the Turks wore in the Crimea. But close enough to the AIP Egyptians. That's why I didn't list them in my wish list ;0

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2013 11:26 a.m. PST

Anyone found any more good sources for 54mm figures in this period? I am running a convention game in February called: The Good the Bad and the Dundee. In the scenario units of ten men: French Foreign Legion, Zouaves, US Infantry, US Cavalry, CSA Infantry, Mexican Bandits, US Bandits, and Juaristas are searching a south of the border town for a stash of stolen gold. Oh, and Apaches who just want to kill and take weapons. I wish I had better figures for the Juaristas. Right now I intend to use ACW figures painted in white uniforms, Maybe do some head swaps to add havelocks for variety.

dBerczerk30 Dec 2013 2:16 p.m. PST


There's a nice set of Barzso's Mexican militia infantry on eBay right now:


Would certainly do for Juaristas.

Auction ends soon though!

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2013 9:06 p.m. PST

Thanks for the heads up! I already have one set of Mexican Militia. I'm not sure if the short trousers are accurate for the 1860s but heck from what I've read the army was in rags so why not?

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2014 4:40 p.m. PST

I found another good source for French and Franco-Mexican forces. A company called Butternut and Blue produced these small 54mm plastic 14th Brooklyn Infantry in Zouave uniform and KEPI.
Unfortunately they are OOP but can possibly be found on eBay.

dBerczerk06 Mar 2014 7:19 p.m. PST

Those Butternut and Blue figures do look promising.

Another item to add to the "list" when attending the next Toy Soldier Show on 31 May 2014.

Smokey Roan Inactive Member07 Mar 2014 6:05 p.m. PST

I think the Jackson Gamers or Larry Brom himself wrote a free TSATF supplement for the maximilian wars.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2014 10:30 a.m. PST

Hobby Bunker is going to carry the four new sets of Expeditionary Force ACW. One set has the figures wearing shell jackets with Havelock neck cloths over their kepis. Perfect for the Legion or Mexican troops!

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2014 10:53 a.m. PST

Or Indian Mutiny! Can't wait for these figures!

dBerczerk17 Sep 2014 4:07 p.m. PST

Those new figures do look the part!

I have the Expeditionary Force cavalry sets -- both the mounted and dismounted; that I'm hoping to convert into Chasseurs d'Afrique (some day).

They're such nice figures, I've been reluctant to attempt the conversions (so far).

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2014 4:32 p.m. PST

I agree the Expeditionary Force figures are very well done. In fact, I find their painted ACW sets to be a bargain, given my slow painting speed the price painters charge around where I live. I have one each set of the US and CSA infantry and two sets each of the dismounted cavalry and artillery. The artillery is wearing the shell jacket so I am tempted to use the US artillery for French in Mexico.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2014 10:35 a.m. PST

Nick, the figs with the Havelocks look they will do well in Mexico.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2016 11:57 a.m. PST


Did you ever get your injection molder working? Are any Mexican adventure figures available?

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2016 11:14 a.m. PST

Sorry if this is old news, but I just noticed that All the King's Men is offering separate heads wearing havelocks both with beards and clean shaven. I ordered one of each. Hopefully the heads will fit on the Expeditionary Force Militia for whom I did not have enough havelock heads to fill out my unit. I'll also use them to convert ACW artillerymen.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP11 Apr 2016 4:20 p.m. PST

Not old news to me. This is still a backburner project, but keep me updated on how it works out.

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