SPECIAL THANKS. I would like to thank Paul Watson for his sponsorship of several lead figure collections on this blog. Having decided to clear his spare/surplus figures, he generously forwarded them on with no other requirement than they deserved to be restored. I would also like to mention George S. Mills, who kindly furnished a quantity of plastic figures which allowed me to complete another five or six military units, serving in several collections.

Friday 10 May 2024

Garibaldi, Partisans, GENERIC UNITS, Painted Projects

 Garibaldi Prepares to take Command

This was a fun project, not least because it comprised stuff I really did not expect to use. The 'Box that Keeps on Giving' included someones home-cast cowboy, not particularly good, and more like 1/30 in scale. It had ended up in my store of casting metal more than once. The head is a converted medieval, while the horse came from that recent delivery of cheap plastic figures and fences. Other bits came from the spares box. I'm pleased with the result, and he can serve as a partisan leader in several conflicts.

(The 'Box that Keeps on Giving' was picked up for £5 in June 2023, I later gave £3 to a family member for kindly picking them up. It comprised forty-three lead castings, more than half of which were home-casts. Can record thirty-six have been very successfully integrated, only seven ended up in the melting pot, to create spare heads and weapons.... my frugal Scots blood is well pleased at 22p a figure.)

As part of my 1848 Danish-Schleswig project, have started to raise some armed civilians, using cheap Timpo ACW figures. Having seen Brian Carrick recruit a fair number of ACW red shirts, and subsequently use them to represent Garibaldi's followers in Italy, and French republicans during the 1870s, some generic and multi-purpose units would be very useful.

Have just purchased two batches of 1960s Timpo Confederates and Union troops with the intension of creating some armed partisans for the 19th century. The first cost £20 delivered, and numbers forty-two figures. The second cost £10.50 delivered, and numbers twenty-seven figures. These Timpo solid figures are  not as sought after as Deetail, Herald, or Timpo-multipart, perhaps it is the animation? But the casting is good, and they look fine painted up. 
                                                                              1st Batch
And here they are unpacked, and formed up. The pistol figures will make officers or artillerymen. The dual armed will become ensigns or artillerymen.
And here are the partisans I presently have, some of which are solid Timpo. I'm thinking about narrowing my usual base size to 40mm by 25mm?
2nd Batch purchased.

My plan is to form these figures into six battalions of twelve. Two of these will be wearing a lot of red, to portray Garibaldi's red shirts. Two more battalions will be wearing short green jackets trimmed in yellow, to represent the Fenian invaders of Canada. The last two battalions will portray Schleswig volunteers, in a variety of coat colours. And figures from all these battalions might be mixed or drafted as scenarios require. Some of the slouch hats will need to be converted into top hats.

                                                            INSPIRATIONAL GALLERY
                                       (for educational purposes, no copyright infringement intended)

                                                                              PART THREE
A recent visit to the local collectables shop was worthwhile. I picked up a much wanted lead midshipman for my Royal Navy collection for only £2. The shopkeeper allowed me a further seven plastic and lead figures for £3 more. I have enjoyed restoring these figures, and they will be very useful.
A French artillery officer.
Three Napoleonic Prussians were given miliput trousers and converted into Anhalt Dessau Infantry c.1840. In about 1845 they adopted pickelhaubes and tunics, but I will still use them in my 1848 games.
Figures cleaned and converted.


Cheers Brad. I must confess, I am determined not to wargame the Napoleonic Wars in 54mm as I feel it is too large a period, and more appropriate to the smaller scales. But the lesser known European 19th century conflicts that followed, including the three Italian wars of independence, would be suitable to a limited portrayal of battles in 54mm. So having two battalions of red shirts is a strategic start. One can only have respect for such a committed patriot as Giuseppe Garibaldi. By the way, I personally believe Garibaldi's red shirts derive from the American firemen clubs, rather than the Uruguay butchers, it is still a matter of debate.

Hi Q. I'm just glad the cowboy did not end up in the melting pot, now that would have played on my mind as a missed opportunity. These irregular battalions will add dimension to the 54mm collection.

Hello Donnie. It is fair to say this project is exciting my interest, and involves some creative projects. Have started Milliput conversions on a few figures to get the ball rolling. These Timpo solids were a bargain, and free of oxidisation!

Cheers Tony, I used milliput to increase the jawline and construct the 'Garibaldi' beard. With some luck, it has worked nicely. Just about to prime a load of partisan figures, some more milliput work set hard during the night.

Hi Quinn, I have only ever used the standard milliput, grey and yellow, but I prefer to use three parts grey to two parts yellow, as the latter is a bit too gooey and delays the milliput reaching full hardness. I have spent part of today working on the partisans, mainly converting their hats. Hope to start on some painting possibly tomorrow. 

Thank you, MJT. There is always a morale boost when something that had no use is made useful. Have converted about thirty partisans, and splashed on the primary colours. The detail will take a bit longer. Nothing great, but it's fun, and they will open up quite a few scenarios. Still waiting for the second batch to arrive. 


  1. Thank you for making the Garibaldi figure Michael! He is one of my heroes and your figure is the best that I have seen! Timpo figures are good en masse, I just feel that the poses are a little stilted. My Garibaldi figures are in 30mm and were made by SAE. They actually made a Garibaldi figure, and I have converted the red shirts from their ACW Confederate poses. I find it a very exciting period in history! Your research pictures are wonderful as usual, thank you for another wonderful post!

  2. That is great lateral thinking! Nice result.

  3. Great work on Garibaldi, he looks super. Good purchases and interesting finds, plenty for you to work on that's for sure!

  4. You have done a great job on Garibaldi - looks just like him.

  5. Your conversion work is fabulous, what kind of miliput do you use standard or fine version? Love the anhalt troops. Great details on Garibaldi. Quinn

  6. Great work on the Red Shirts MGB! The Garibaldi figure a is very nice conversion.