IntroductionThorsberg Miniatures "54-006 Iron Jacket, Comanche Chief - Canadian River 1858"
is a 54mm white metal sculpt. Iron Jacket, whose given name was Pohibits Quasho, was a Comanche chief in the 1850’s who fought the Texans. He got his English name from the Spanish metal cuirass he wore which saved him from several wound through he years. He was killed by a shot that made it through the openings between the front and back of the armor during a battle in 1858.
What's in the box?
Thorsberg’s website includes a significant amount of historical information on the metal figures they produce. This information, plus an extensive painting guide, is included in the box in both English and German. The box is smallish with what appears to be a simple digital photo of the finished kit attached to the wrapper. I’m sure this helps keep costs down. Inside the box was another digital photo of details on the shield. The parts were stored between two foam pads, typical of many metal kits. The base, nameplate, body, right arm, feather trail and shield were packed directly on the foam. A “sprue” of feathers, two buffalo horns and the lance’s rapier blade were packed in a tiny zip lock bag. The white metal appears to be somewhat more robust than others, as the lance wants to remain straight.
I immediately took out the parts to examine them using the high magnification of the magnifying glass on my Swiss army knife. There may be a very minimal mold line on the right legging. A quick brush with fine sandpaper should clear this up.
There is a small amount of excess material on the bottom edge of the buffalo horns on the club. Again, a quick pass with a file or knife edge will clear this up. There were several small trailings of metal on a few parts, but these came off with a slight tug.
The feather train has a locator plug that fits neatly into a receptacle at the base of the figure’s spine, providing correct alignment. The feathers show no droop, so this is essential to get the part in correct alignment.
The right arm, whose hand holds what is described as a ceremonial buffalo horn club and has a quirt hanging from the wrist fits perfectly, repeat, perfectly, into the shoulder’s receptacle. I was able to get it to stay in place without adhesives when I test fit them despite some heft to the part.
My only concern about this will be the attachment of the saber blade to the rest of the lance. While there is a receptacle and point, this is a very small surface to bond.
Features are well sculpted by Alan Ball with good relief all around. The Brigandine style Spanish cuirass is mostly hidden by the buckskin warshirt, but where it can be seen, the individual plates are indicated in the figure. The shield has a carrying strap molded onto the back. Under close examination, the eyes seem to be almost completely symmetrical which should make painting them less difficult.
The base is simple flat groundwork with a small boulder with grass near it as the only significant detail. There are two slight depressions for the feet, but no plug or receptacle. This makes posing the figure on other bases easier but could present stability issues if the builder does not pin the figure.
Finding Thorsberg Miniatures' figures
The relatively new company of Thorsberg Miniatures
has a small range of figures, so far, 6 in 54mm and one in 90mm and a few accessories. At present, their sole distributor in the US is The Red Lancers
. (Note: I ordered this with a credit card on a Friday morning and it was in my mailbox the following Tuesday, which included a Monday holiday. Outstanding service)
This is a very well presented and engineered sculpture. The depth of the research and detailed painting guide give added value to the reasonable price. There are only very minor issues (a tiny amount of flash, the tiny attachment point for the lance and the lack of plug in the feet to attach the kit to the base) and these are easily addressed by any figure builder with a few completed members of his or her gray army. Highly recommended.
For more information on these and other fantastic products visit Thorsberg Miniatures
.Please remember, that when ordering, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on Historicus Forma