Recently I received and painted Blue Moon’s Texian set 15TRT-103 Texian Personalities. The set contains five figures and one horse. The personalities portrayed in the set are Sam Houston riding Saracen at San Jacinto, William Travis, David Crockett, Jim Bowie on his sick-bed, and a figure that might be Bowie at Concepcion(?). Everything looks good as far as appearance is concerned, with the minor exception that Travis should be armed with a shotgun, instead of the musket he has been given here. This is no big deal at such a small scale. Sam Houston is shown in frock coat, breeches, riding boots, and is wearing his hat cocked in the fashion of an 18th century patriot, William Travis, a notorious dandy, gallant, and a ladies man, wears a tailcoat, boots, breeches, and planter’s hat. Crockett is dressed as per Walt Disney in a coonskin cap and buckskins, though in reality he preferred the typical gentleman’s clothes of the 1830’s. I myself like the traditional image of Crockett as a frontiersman, and I think he may have purposely dressed in this fashion during the Alamo siege for the purpose of playing up his image as a “larger than life” character. Jim Bowie is here in his final moments, discharging a flintlock pistol in his left hand while holding his iconic knife in his right. The bed is a simple wooden cot and he is half covered with a blanket. I like this figure a lot, The final figure, possibly another figure of Bowie or perhaps another famous Texian (Burleson?, Fannin? Milam?, is cradling a musket in his arm and dressed in a shell-jacket, trousers, and slouch-hat. Since really there is little evidence in regards to what any of these characters were actually wearing during the war, I painted them in the typical colors of the period. Houston’s horse Saracen was illustrated as white.
Finding information on the color of Mexican gun-carriages proved somewhat difficult, but the consensus appears to be that the carriages were left as oiled wood with black iron fittings. I decided to use a little artistic license and painted some guns in the old Spanish livery: greyish blue for field guns and red for siege and fortress guns. The 18 pounder was an American piece brought to Texas by the New Orleans Greys, so I assumed that the 18 pounder would have been in the colors of the U.S. artillery. In the end my colors were as follows: The 18 pounder painted light greyish blue with black metal parts, the 16 and 12 pounders painted dull red with black metal fittings, the 8, 6, and 4 pounders painted mostly natural wood with a medium greyish blue carriage here and there, In the case of the six pounders I painted two cannons iron and the rest bronze. The pedrero painted iron while the pair of 3 pound swivels brass.
The Alamo garrison’s heavy fire power was provided by several pieces of ordnance either captured from the Mexicans at the fall of Bexar, or brought to the mission by volunteers. According to Colonel Neil, the initial commander of the garrison, the Alamo had twenty-four guns. Before the arrival of Santa Anna’s army three of the guns were sent to reinforce Dimmitt at Goliad, and three cannon were left lying in the mission yard without carriages, leaving eighteen pieces to be deployed in defense of the Alamo. According to the most up-to-date research, these eighteen pieces were of the following weights: one iron 18 pounder, one iron 16 pounder, one iron 12 pound ‘gunnade’, one 9″ ‘pedrero’, two iron 8 pounders, six 6 pounders (whether iron or bronze not specified), three iron 4 pounders, one brass or bronze 4 pounder, and two 3 pounders.
Blue Moon ‘s ‘Texan Guns’, pack 15TRT-110 includes all the guns necessary to defend the Alamo. In the pack I received there were two extra guns, giving me twenty pieces of ordnance. The guns required little clean-up and were easy to construct.
An important part of the Alamo’s defenses was provided by several cannon emplaced at various points along the mission’s walls and various strong-points, The original garrison artillery company was of fifty-six men commanded by Captain William R. Carey. Carey’s company had served under Colonel Neil during the Siege of Bexar. Other artillery companies under Captains Robert Evans and Almaron Dickenson were also noted to have been at the Alamo, but it seems that Carey’s fifty-six men may have been split between the three captains due to the distance between gun positions at the Alamo. Dickenson’s guns were positioned on and around the Chapel, I suspect that Carey commanded the guns on the north wall, leaving Evans will the west wall and possibly the main gate.
Pack 15TRT-104 contains 12 gunners in 12 poses. The poses are nice and in typical actions related to gunnery. Two have linstocks, two with sponge/rammer, three with trail-spikes, two hefting round-shot, one giving orders, and a final man cheering and waving his hat (maybe he’s yelling ‘fire’)
I neglected to ink and photograph these prior to painting, but, as with all the Blue Moon figures I have so far from various ranges, the figures are nicely sculpted, well detailed, and with minimal flash. I rarely have to do more than cut off a small lump off the bottom of the base (something about 99% of all metal figures seem to have) and sometimes file away a seam, but rarely more than that. This makes painting prep very brief and it there is one thing I find tedious, is the endless cleaning of figures.