Thursday, 12 July 2018

Grenadier Old West Heroes

Way back in the early 1990's I bought a boxed set of ten 32mm scale Western Gunfighters produced by Grenadier Miniatures. They were beautifully sculpted by Andy Chernak but at the time were over-scaled as most Wild West figures back then were either 25mm or 28mm scale. Now, however, they are a perfect fit with the majority of my collection of Wild West figures. I have shown one of them - the Gambler - in a previous post (see here - http://vampifansworldoftheundead.blogspot.com/2017/06/assorted-wild-west-gamblers-01.html ). Two of the figures - the Gunfighter and the Rifleman - never got painted and have gone missing. I have no idea where they went. So that leaves just seven to show you and here they are.
First up is the easily identifiable Man With No Name as played by Clint Eastwood in the Dollar trilogy of Spaghetti Westerns. I do love this figure but I must admit I was conflicted when I bought the Shadows of Brimstone male Drifter, who was a superb sculpt of The Man With No Name (see here - http://vampifansworldoftheundead.blogspot.com/2017/10/shadows-of-brimstone-heroes-03.html ) as to which one is the best. On reflection, I do think the Shadows of Brimstone version only just edges this Grenadier version. The boxed set lists him as a Range Rider and not a Bounty Hunter. It also shows him in an alternate colour scheme, which I may use if I decide to repaint him. It is a distinct possibility because I don't want two versions of the same character.
In the centre is the U.S. Marshal whom I have named as "the Duke" due to his uncanny resemblance to John Wayne. Note the way he is cocking the lever of his Winchester Rifle - a nice touch.
At the far right is the Cowpoke, whom I named Johnny West. When I was a young lad growing up in the 1960's my parents bought me a 12" action figure of a cowboy called Johnny West as a Christmas present (see below). This figure reminded me of him so much and so I had to name him Johnny West. Johnny will be a recurring character in my Six Gun Sound campaign, although not as a Cowboy. Most likely, he'll be a Bounty Hunter or a Gunfighter. Johnny is armed with a Winchester .44 Rifle, Colt .45 Peacemaker Revolver, .41 Derringer Pistol and Bowie Knife, just as his taller version is.
Moving on is Saloon Girl Madeleine DuBois, who is described as being "vivacious" by Grenadier Miniatures. Yep, that's a good description of her.
She works for Bartender Guthrie Fullwright, who is an expert gambler. He is armed with a 12 Gauge Scattergun, which he keeps behind the bar to deal with troublemakers.
Last up are the two outlaws. Second from the right is Mexican bandida, "Hole in Juan" Gomez, who is armed with a pair of Colt .44 Army Revolvers and a Knife. He is a crackshot pistolero.
Finally, is young Bank Robber Gil Hardy, who goes by the nickname of "The Cheyenne Kid". He is left-handed and is armed with a Colt .45 Peacemaker Revolver.
Sadly, this set is long out of production. I think it would sell very well if it was re-released today as all of the figures are superbly sculpted and because of their size will fit in so well with so many other ranges.
To the left of here is this wonderful picture of 12" action figure, Johnny West, showing him and all of his accessories that came with him. This figure was produced in 1965. I still have mine but some of his accessories have gone missing. In the same year as I received this figure, my brother got the 12" action figure of Chief Cherokee and a horse to go with him as his Christmas present. I also got a horse who was named Thunderbolt and my brother's horse was named Comanche. Note that unlike the humans, the horses were not pose-able. These figures were made by the Louis Marx company. The Johnny West range of figures were very popular. In later years, Johnny gained a family, wife Jane, daughters Janice and Josie, and sons Jay and Jamie. Chief Cherokee also gained a family - his wife was Princess Wildflower. Other figures like Sheriff Garrett and Outlaw Sam Cobra were added to the range but my brother and I never got any of the others. Below is the complete range of figures. If they were sold now I'd definitely want them all but whether I could afford them is another matter entirely.



24 comments:

  1. Even though Grenadier have been out of business for many years, the sculpts have stood the test of time and look fantastic, Excellent painting of them Bryan, I'm sure we'll see them in your wild west games

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    1. So true, Dave. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these sculpts at all. Yes, you will be seeing them in my Wild West games.

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  2. a grand trip down memory lane. Both nice painting and nostalgia as well.

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    1. Indeed this was a most enjoyable nostalgic trip for me. My brother and I played with those action figures a great deal, along with our "Action Man" figures. Such fun times.

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  3. Nice paint work.
    Yep, the Duke looks right out of Rio Bravo or similar movies. Now you need Dude, Stumpy, Colorado, maybe even Carlos, and the girl. :)

    I have The Dwarf with No Name somewhere in my collection.

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    1. Many thanks, FB. Those all great characters you mention. The Dwarf With No Name - that is a real blast from the past. Well remembered!

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  4. Still appreciate the models from Grenadiers ranges. I loved them then, and most look wonderful still. I think my favorite is Guthrie though the brushwork across the board is excellent. The old action figures were pretty neat. I remember Kenner tried to market Lone Ranger action figures when I was a kid but they never really caught on and Star Wars was far more lucrative for them to bother.

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    1. Happy memories, eh, HP? I have a vague recollection of the 12" Lone Ranger range of action figures and I dare say they'd fit in well with The Best of The West range.

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  5. Hi Bryan another nice bunch of figures here. I'm going to disagree with you I sorry to say but the man with no name looks in your photos to be far superior to the Flying Frog one, and strangely before I read your commentary I had got the figure on the right as John Wayne, not the hat but the face and stance, maybe the way you painted him, I can't remember the film but he was a cavalry man.
    I had a look at your Gambler link and he is a great figure too. Interestingly the figure on the right in that set was sculpted by someone up in the N.E. and is the 2nd best one of the four.
    I've not seen these figures before but certainly out of the 7 here and the Gambler I would be interested in buying 3 or maybe 4 of them and for 1990's sculpts I think that says how good I think they are.
    I'm not too sure about the Sunderland shirt on the bar keep, that could get him into a bit of trouble elsewhere, but the rest are the business.
    I'm really enjoying this series of posts. :)

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    1. Much appreciated, John. Regarding The Man With No Name figure preference, it really was a close call for me. Both sculpts are superb, in my opinion. I have no problem at all with you or anyone else preferring the Grenadier version.

      Thanks for the compliments on my gambler, "Hoodoo" Brown. The Grenadier Gambler is ace, isn't he?

      I have less than zero interest in football, so never associated the bartender's shirt with Sunderland AFC. It's just how he was painted by the Grenadier studio and I copied it.

      I'm delighted you're enjoying this series of posts. I still have many more to come as my Wild West project has really taken off.

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  6. Lovely stuff yet again Bryan, those are super figures, well painted too. I loved Grenadiers stuff back in the day, and they were local to me too just across the border into Wales (about 5 miles), I remember turning up at the factory unit they had one day and getting a tour! and meeting mark Copplestone while he was working on the Future warriors stuff. Anyway as you say they really have stood the teat of time.

    Love the Johnny West stuff too (though I think he should move that knife before he sits down!, or he might become Jemma West), I was a Lone Ranger man myself though only had the Ranger, Silver, Tonto and Scout. I discovered that if you stretched the Lone Rangers rubber Stetson over Action Mans head it turned into a passible trilby! great as Indiana Jones was my hero of choice at the time. :-)

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. What a lovely reply, Roger. I wholeheartedly agree that these figures have stood the test of time. Oh, how I envy you for living so close to the Grenadier factory and meeting Mark Copplestone, a hero of mine.

      Ha, ha! It's funny but I was thinking the same thing about the placement of Johnny's knife - there's an accident just waiting to happen! I never got into the Lone Ranger range but looking at pictures of it on Google Images, I now regret it.

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  7. Great looking bunch of characters Bryan, and they certainly "don't look their age"! marvelous sculpts and you've done a grand job painting them - it's a really tough call between the two "Clints" :-)
    I remember Johnny West, but I never owned any of the 12" action figures 'back in the day' I bought some recently though to convert to "crew" for my 5 inch gauge loco ;-)

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    1. Thank you most kindly, Greg. I agree about the two "Clints" - both have their merits. I think I'll probably keep them both as The Man With No Name and that'll please both camps. :-)

      I do remember when you first showed some photos of your outside railway set and just how impressed I was with the whole set up. Great to hear it's still growing.

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  8. They are a great collection of miniatures Bryan. Always a bonus when you get them when they are released or there about. It's a lot harder trying to find them as collectibles.

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    1. Wise words, SW. I saw them once in the shop I bought them at and then never saw them again after that.

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  9. A truly inspirational Magnificent Seven, Bryan, with such a range of colourful paint-jobs. Being a huge John Wayne fan I'm sure you won't be surprised to know he's my fave, but there's loads to enjoy with all the others as well - especially as you've gone to all the effort to give them some background. I also like both your 'Man With no Name' so can appreciate your dilemma in being tempted to repaint one... decisions, decisions...

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    1. Greatly appreciated, Simon. That certainly is a great sculpt of the Duke. Knuckleduster Miniatures produce two really cracking versions of John Wayne and I'll be showcasing them soon. Given the comments I've had on my two Man With No Name figures I have decided to keep both.

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  10. It's funny how the man with on name stuck as he had a name in the films Manco & Blondie :) I don't know the other model of him that your talking about tbh Bryan but I think the one above really nails him, as you seem to be a endless pit of knowledge Bryan would you know of any company that does a model that would be suitable for Clint in the Good the Bad & the Ugly before he put on the poncho for the last half hour ? as that movie is my favorite western

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    1. Many thanks, Frank. You can see my other figure of The Man With No Name here - http://vampifansworldoftheundead.blogspot.com/2017/10/shadows-of-brimstone-heroes-03.html
      Sadly, all of the figures I've seen of him have him wearing the poncho. Off hand, I can't think of any figures that would be suitable for him without the poncho... but I'll keep looking for you.

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