EXCERPT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Thursday, November 29, 2018

McAlpine's Fusiliers

Here is the latest Irish unit to join the Rebel camp, a unit of Pioneers/Sappers calling themselves "McAlpine's Fusiliers".

Major McAlpine and his company of Sappers.

I was torn between sticking with the plan of simple Britain's style toy soldiers in neat and tidy uniforms or a more realistic Ragged Reb look with battered slouch hats and blanket rolls using my "looks like Imrie Risley copies to me" moulds and no two figures dressed the same but in the end I decided to stay on track.

I turned to the Miniature Moulds copy of a British Guards Pioneer with a head swap. One figure swapped his axe for an Airfix shovel and another was given a rifle to remind folks that  these pioneers are armed and can fight. I also included an Engineer who is marching with the men instead of reading  a map or similar.

Originally I intended to base them on two bases each with two figures like I have done with Irregular sharpshooters but since the Sappers fight like infantry when not undertaking specialist chores like building or blowing up bridges, I decided to base the three sappers like infantry with the engineering officer mounted separately as a character.

The original McAlpine's Fusiliers were, of course, not a military unit but merely a sarcastic nickname for Irish navies working for Sir Robert McAlpine's company on various construction projects in England. Hard work, poor pay and living conditions but better than nothing. Mine will live a life of luxury in comparison, especially since I roll dice instead of shooting at my toy soldiers.


  1. Well, if MacAlpin's Fusiliers have become a unit, you need to consider the Bowery Grenadiers, who have their own march.

    1. Robert, duely taken into consideration. From scanning the net the song seems to refer to a volunteer fire brigade with a taste for street Fighting and I have seen various mentions of the Bowery Boys as a street gang. That's a starting place at least.

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  3. I hope so well equipped with axe, shovel, Boot and rifle, these fusiliers pioneers, sappers or scrappers get extra melee points?