I attended a great seminar on Space: 1889 at Origins this year. Not only was it well presented and full of good information relating to my current sculpting project, but it also seeded several scenarios for Space: 1889 games. The most interesting to me was that the United States had sent a troop of the 5th Cavalry to Mars. That set off vivid images of Custer making his last stand behind fallen gashants while surrounded by hordes of Hill Martians. Imagine my surprise when a little research dug up the fact that Custer had briefly been assigned to the 5th during the Civil War. It suddenly all fit together.
Custer was actually one of the few survivors of the Little Big Horn. This combined with his political leanings and glory hounding caused some consternation with the War Department. Custer was quietly shipped off to Mars at the head of a troop of 5th Cavalry where he would be out of the way. On a routine patrol he finds himself once again surrounded by angry native forces.
So we have the basis for a game. But what to do about the figures? I had already planned to start Hill Martians for Space: 1889 so getting them sculpted was not an issue. Well, the actual production delays may be an issue, but hopefully things are timed just right and I'll have the figures in time for my Fall In game. I plan to do U.S. Cavalry for Mars later, but they aren't slated until December at the earliest. What to do?
I gave the matter some thought and started playing with the idea of putting other figures on the gashant I had done. I tried some of the John Ford style cavalry that I'm doing for Legends In Time, but they would require major conversion to fit correctly. I pulled out a couple of Blue Moon cowboys and tried them out. Hmmm... just about right. A little filing here... a little widening there and... U.S. 5th on Mars.
Old glory was kind enough to sell me a pack of just their cavalry riders which I set about converting to fit on my gashant models.
The combined figures looked pretty good.
I decided how many I wanted and set to assembling, priming and painting.
The results were pleasing. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't have time to have the gashant conversions with bridles and saddles produced. But that would have caused even more trouble with the Blue Moon figures anyway. So I'll just deal with the lack of reigns and girth cinches.
The overall effect when they are mounted together on a base is good. They'll do nicely for my game at any rate. And I can replace them later when I make the official Space:1889 figures.
Now I'll spend the rest of this week painting the rest of the mounted and dismounted cavalry. I hope to have the Hill Martians by the end of the week so I have time to paint them for the game. Fingers crossed, people.