Sunday, 15 May 2011

Shootist in 54mm

I recently tried my painting skills at some old 54mm Britains Deetails Old West cowboys. These figures have been in my collection for almost 40 years - I got them when I was a kid aged 5 or 6 as a ‘Sinterklaas’ gift (Belgians and Dutch wargamers will know what this means, and for all the others: it’s the original Santa Claus in the low countries). The original Britains figures are very crudely painted; they are toy soldiers after all. I completely repainted the figures, maintaining the original color schemes, but applied some layering to give the figure more depth. Since I also wanted to maintain the toy soldier look, I didn’t go overboard with painting too much detail. The sculpting of the figures don't really allow it either.

I couldn’t resist setting up some scenes using my old wooden fort (same Sinterklaas gift), adding some scenery items from my wargaming collection.

Shootout at the Oklahoma - Minneapolis crossroads. The roadsign is also over 40 years old and is part of my wooden fort set.
Two gunmen defending their hideout. The 'Dead Man's Gulch' sign is also from the Britains Deetail range.
Shootout in front of Fort Delaware.

Just for comparison, below you see a picture (ripped from the internet somewhere) showing original Britains Deetail figures - but in different color schemes. Apparently, there was a lot of variation to be found in the painting style when they were sold. Britains Deetail figures were apparantly sold mostly during the seventies.

A complete overview of the Britains Deetail range (Wild West figures) can be found here:

I still have some Indians and US Infantry figures lying around as well, but I think I'll return to painting 28mm figures for now.

Update: In the mean time I discovered that the oval-shaped bases date from a later period, and that the square-based bases are the original early-seventies ones. So somehow, some 'newer' figures have entered the box in which everything was kept in the attic during all those years. Perhaps my younger brother acquired some figures during later years, and they were all tossed together. I also don't exclude the possibility I bought some additional figures myself when I already started wargaming, but I have no recollection of that. Fact remains, I did receive a wooden fort with some cowboys and indian figures when I was a 6-year old kid :-)


  1. Great stuff - but why is there a Cthulhoid tentacle coming out of the ground at Dead Man's Gulch :) ?

  2. Tentacle?
    You mean the green snake or the horns on the cow's skull?

  3. Ah - I see now. It's the horns on the skull. I had visually parsed the skull as a rock, which left the horns looking like a tentacle emerging from the ground :)