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"Anarchist uprisings of early 1900s" Topic

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740 hits since 12 Aug 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Makhno191812 Aug 2018 12:02 p.m. PST

Hi all, I'm brand new to this forum and to miniatures in general. I'm trying to get together figures to represent the forces of various anarchist revolts, and was hoping for advice and leads. I'm mostly building small dioramas, so scale isn't that important between the different historic periods.

-One of the earliest and most obscure was the set of revolts in southern Bulgaria and Thrace against Ottoman rule, in 1903, including the Strandza commune. I haven't seen any miniatures who could be passable for the insurgents, who were mainly peasants in the mountains. Here's a photo of some of the figthers, any thoughts would be most helpful:


- next would be the Magonista rising in Northern Mexico (and mostly Baja in 1911). This force was of 4 parts: Mexican workers and peasant radicals, Cocopah Indians, iww unionists from the usa, and soldiers of fortune from the U.S. and Europe. Pulp figures Villista Army of the North is the best I've found so far (haven't purchased yet) to represent the Mexican core, have had no luck elsewhere. link
I was surprised no one has made (that I found) Iwws, as wobbles were a storied, colorful, adventurous bunch in historic periods well-covered in miniatures (maybe I'm a biased red-card holder…).

- the Ukrainian anarchist revolution: there's a bunch of stuff out there I can draw from, I found a lot on this forum already. Almost done with my Makhno and Schauss from Brigade games. I've been eying the tachanka from Alexander miniatures, though I read a review that it was a difficult build so I'm waiting to get more experience under my belt. Will look to build a cavalry unit and hopefully infantry carried by tachanka in the future.

-The Spanish anarchists are relatively well-covered in miniature sets. I've started building a Durruti Column from Minairons' militia women and men sets in 1/72. In fact it was a 54mm Alhambra "militiaman Durruti Column" given to me by a friend that sparked my interest to begin with. Again thanks to you all for past helpful posts on the Spanish anarchists, especially mike o Durruti.

Beyond those 4, I'd love to learn if anyone has worked on figures for obscure revolts, especially by workers and peasants. Paris commune? Or more recent stuff like the current zapatistas or the ypg of rojava. Anyway thanks for reading this long post, I imagine this isn't a popular theme on this board!

Giles the Zog12 Aug 2018 1:02 p.m. PST

The Copplestone partisans (28mm) would be mostly good for Mahkno's army, filled in with some ragged white russian and reds.


Personal logo Jeff Ewing Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2018 3:19 p.m. PST

For the first, Tiger Miniatures should do you: link

For Mexico circa 1911 there are a lot of minis -- Old Glory alone has bags: link

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2018 4:12 p.m. PST

Foundry's Crimean War Greeks and Perry Brothers Colonial Bashi-Bazouks might help fill out your Bulgarian ranks, though you'd have to file down their crushed fezzes and turbans to Bulgarian pillbox caps. Empress Miniatures has Spanish Civil War, Jazz Age Imperialism and a few other lines that might have some useful figures. They also have heads for swapping.

For what it's worth, I've had fairly good luck buying packages, using half of them, and selling the other half off.


Makhno191813 Aug 2018 6:24 a.m. PST

Thanks so much for the great suggestions, you guys are good! Between Tiger and Perry Bros I should be set on the 1903 rising against the Ottomans (though I cant seem to find Foundry's Greeks for sale, is Foundry still in business? I saw some other of their figures on Ebay but could not find their official website.) The Cobblestone Russian Partisans are awesome for the Makhnovchina.

The 1911 Baja rising is a bit trickier. Unlike Zapata and Villa forces represented in miniatures at Old Glory and elsewhere, the Magonistas didn't seem to wear hats with such large brims (sombraros?). Knowing nothing about fashion (now or in any period!) Im not sure why this is, a regional difference? Because many were exiled in the States, or because many were urban workers? Perhaps I could file them down. Anyway heres some pictures-

the first action was the capture of Mexicali by a small group led by these guys:

Unlike Mexicali, the later capture of TJ was by mostly by volunteers from the US, except for these folks:


Here's more from TJ, including IWWs and Soldiers of Fortune:



IWWs across the border at San Diego the following year:

Here's a 1900 photo (so a decade earlier) of some Cocopah indians. A few dozen or so Cocopah Indians joined the uprising, and Magonismo had many Indigenous influences and also adherents:

Again Im so thankful for the help, in the past and future.

Makhno191813 Aug 2018 6:36 a.m. PST

sorry for extra post, my leaning so far for Baja is toward these pulp miniatures:
for mexicans:
for US volunteers:

Sundance13 Aug 2018 7:26 a.m. PST

I would think Old West Apaches or Navajo would work for the Cocopah. There are some with them clothed, though I think most show them in shirts and breechcloths.

Same for the Wobblies. Old West figures in suits or coat/shirt or vest shirt would probably work. They come with a variety of hats. Weapons and clothing wouldn't be that different even in 28mm.

Walking Sailor13 Aug 2018 9:18 a.m. PST

Have you looked at Irregular Miniatures? TMP link

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2018 10:27 a.m. PST

Who are Alexander Miniatures, and what scale is their tschanka? The only one I know of is Eureka's, which is a small 25mm scale.

Makhno191813 Aug 2018 10:41 a.m. PST

This tachanka is small too 1/72, would love to find a bigger one but it look beautiful.

(though Im not sure I found the piece here, the company confirmed by email they sell it)

here's the review i mentioned:

definitely excited to try to put that together…someday!

Travellera13 Aug 2018 11:45 a.m. PST

For the Baja scenario you could look at Boer and or Boxer rebellion(civilian) miniatures. Old Glory has a good selection. Redoubt and Foundry has also some good ones. Brigade has some Banana wars miniatures that fits. I think some of the copplestone and west wind sets can be useful

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2018 1:28 p.m. PST

It might not be what you are looking for, but Tsuba makes some interesting figures.


Prince Alberts Revenge13 Aug 2018 5:53 p.m. PST

Cannon Fodder Miniatures (I believe now defunct) made 25mm Spartacists for the German Revolution of 1918-1919. Not exactly what you were asking about but in the same vein.


Peter Pig has quite a few suitable figures in 15mm WW1 range.

Personal logo PaulCollins Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2018 10:39 p.m. PST

In the Carribean Empires line ar Brigade Games the Sandanistas with rifles have hats more like the ones you pictured…non sombreros, more like a fedora.


Makhno191814 Aug 2018 5:23 a.m. PST

Yes I like the Sandinistas for the Mexican Liberals. I'll have to find some Apaches in clothes (as Sundance suggested) and the Boer + Boxer civilians suggestion was surprising but will fit!
The German communists are pretty damn cool, perhaps down the road I would make some of them and why not Sandinistas as they're intended while Im at it.

Im trying to decide for Makhnovist infantry which I prefer, the Cobblestone Russian Partisans
or their Ragged White Russians link

I think I'm leaning toward the ragged whites, for the fact that they're raged. Both whites and reds often defected to the Black army, and I dont think the Makhnovists often provided uniforms. what do you guys think?
Thanks for all the suggestions, its been a huge help.

Mark Plant15 Aug 2018 10:00 a.m. PST

Copplestone's partisans include a bunch that are clearly city folk. Fabulous for making Red Guards and the like, but Makhno's forces were peasants. They were also largely mounted, hence the importance of tchankas (infantry don't need tchankas).

In order to blend in, it was important to dress like the peasants hiding them. Deserters were unlikely to advertise that fact by remaining in uniform!

Unless you are willing to go heavy on conversions, it's going to be hard to find what you need.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2018 1:10 p.m. PST

Steve Barber makes a nice range of Greek War for Independence figures, some of which might do for the Thracians, such as the person on the far right of the first pictures.


Makhno191826 Feb 2019 6:18 a.m. PST

Hi all,
I appreciate all the help I received above, and wanted to share my first attempts with you. Here is a simple diorama in a mason jar with a 54mm Alhambra "militiaman Durruti Column". This was the first miniature I ever received (given to me by a friend with a large archive of anarchist newspapers, books, posters and more, who didnt know what to do with this piece). I almost finished this months ago, but as I was attempting to glue the background into the salsa jar I built it around, I dropped the glass and it shattered! It took a while to find a mason jar that would fit the lid and the background:



This was a learning experience for sure. The pinstripes on the shirt were quite hard for me, would love to hear tips on that besides "go very slow," though I doubt I'll be pinstripping much more. Also, I'm disappointed by the final gluing job on the jar. I should definitely not have used the same 2part epoxy I used on the model to glue the canvas and computer paper description to the glass. Now I know… In fact, I think I'll avoid round display cases in general! I appreciate any other suggestions or thoughts, as I said I'm learning. This first effort is now a bookshelf ornament.

There will be much more to come some day, I've in the meanwhile sunk a lot of time and too much money into 1/72 SCW minis. I've completed lots of of militia, national and republican soldiers and artillery, assault and civil guards, and more, though their bases are just primed washers until I get the dioramas started and know what the floors will look like. I also have a Makhno and Shchus painted, with small cavalry and infantry groups to go with them I havent painted yet, and not-yet-started Magonistas (though still have to figure out the best cowboys and natives to fill them out). I bought a box of Spartacus slaves in revolt as well as a small group of the Massachusetts 54th for projects down the road too. These last two certainly can't be called anarchist formations, but I couldn't resist the Spartacus set, and my hometown anarchists had a big role in the abolitionist movement here. Lincoln said Mass did more than any other state to cause the Civil War. Plus, I couldn't borrow Makhno's name if I wasn't "With the oppressed, against the oppressors – always"! In this vein, I'd be interested to see Haitian/Toussaint L'Ouverture's forces in miniature, other maroon and slave revolts, peasant revolts from pretty much anywhere, or others of the oppressed class risen in arms for their freedom. Thanks again for your thoughts, ideas, and other help.

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