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Thread: US Dragoon, 1855, Ft. Tejon, CA

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    366

    Arrow US Dragoon, 1855, Ft. Tejon, CA

    This figure has been on the drawing board for quite some time. Research on antebellum US Army topics in the West is tough, but enjoyable.

    Following the US-Mexican War, the former Mexican provinces were not universally delighted to live under the American flag (to say the least). The threat of insurrection by Californios was ever-present. Furthermore, as American farmers and miners settled in California, there was constant friction between Native Americans and the new settlers. Five companies of US Dragoons were stationed in California to help maintain the peace. Fort Tejon in Kern County provided dragoons to patrol the Central Valley and spots as remote as the Mojave Desert. They were even sent on occasion to resolve problems in Los Angeles.

    My US Dragoon is dressed for campaign duty. He wears the old 1839 forage cap. The shoulder scales have been removed from his shell jacket with its distinctve orange trim. Many US Dragoons in California adopted affectations popular among the Californios--earrings and leather "breed leggings" to cite a couple.



    Belted holsters were not yet common among mounted U.S. troops. Until I can find an earlier dragoon model revolver, I have used BGT's Army Colt. The knife is a repainted Dog Soldier Viking knife with a leather strap added. The forage cap is my own custom work constructed from Victor Oerhn's Kriegsmarine cap. The breed leggings are scratchbuilt from leather.



    Here's a close-up of the leggings.



    And a different angle, showing the conchos.





    My dragoon's shell jacket, shirt, carbine sling, saber, revolver, ammo box, and trousers are from BGT.
    The saber belt, boots, and spurs are fromm SST.



    Hope you enjoy. Thanks for looking!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    The Lone Star State
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    1,107
    Excellent work and customization on a unique and often forgotten subject.

    Great job.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Fort Bragg
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    979
    I'm originally from Bakersfield, CA in Kern County and have driven by what's left of Fort Tejon many times. Very cool to see something related too home. Great Figure and great brief history lesson!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South Carolina
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    540
    Beautiful work and subject

  5. #5
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    May 2003
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    1,313
    that is a fantastic figure. very original.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    New York City but from Indiana
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    2,882
    Outstanding work, there. Well done!

    - Ian
    Rampart, this is Squad 51. How do you read?

  7. #7
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    Apr 2003
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    "an 11 week college for the phoney tough and the crazy brave.."
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    1,617
    yah 1820-1855 stuff is real hard to find or make- cap is great !!
    Alumnus Major Tommy Taylor's Jump and Dive Club

  8. #8
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    Jun 2006
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    2,935
    Very nice!!

  9. #9
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    May 2006
    Location
    York
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    Nice figure : I've always loved that jacket.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    4
    Smashing figure. The botas are especially well done.

    I've known and participated with quite a few of the Tejon Dragoon bunch over the years. That place is as haunted as it gets.

    Are you looking for a Walker, or one of the Dragoon models, specifically?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Good Old Rocky Top
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    3,717
    excellent figure

  12. #12
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    Mar 2003
    Location
    Germany
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    753
    fantastic figure !!!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Discovery Bay, Ca
    Posts
    7,495
    Great job. I drive by Fort Tejon whenever I go up the grapevine and now I can place a little historical reference to it. Nice.

  14. #14
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    Jan 2006
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    Kent, United Kingdom
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    1,485
    Very nice figure on a rare subject - this is a period I personally enjoy a lot. The custom parts are beautiful.

  15. #15
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    Sep 2007
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    313
    great figure!

  16. #16
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    Mar 2007
    Location
    Communist State of Maryland
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    4,728
    Now that is just plain cool and your originality is up there.
    "...peace is the highest aspiration of the American People. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it, we will never surrender for it, now or ever."
    Ronald Wilson Reagan January 20, 1981

  17. #17
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    Mar 2003
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    New Jersey
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    115
    Beautiful work!
    Craig659

  18. #18
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    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delco Pa
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    7,035
    Awesome figure!!
    -mike-

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    366

    US Dragoon, 1855, Ft. Tejon, CA

    Thank you very much for the kind comments, guys! It's very gratifying to get feedback from others who share a love for this hobby and for history.

    You guys from California have some very cool stuff to enjoy in your state, in terms of natural beauty and historical interest. I've spent maybe ten weeks in California, broken up over various stays, and I have thoroughly enjoyed what I've seen. Being there helped inspire this figure.

    In addition, I've been reading Blood and Thunder:The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West by Hampton Sides. What a fascinating and descriptive read on this time period in the Old Southwest! Another bit of inspiration for the figure.

    Gregory Urwin's The United States Cavalry: An Illustrated History also deserves mention. Good stuff!

    Tony, I too have always loved this shell jacket. Did a 54mm US Dragoon figure 20 years ago, and still find it one of my favorites.

    Well, thanks again for the comments, folks. You're too kind!

  20. #20
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    Jan 2006
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    Kent, United Kingdom
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    Another classic work about the period (1849-54) is Percival G. Lowe's Five Years a Dragoon.

  21. #21
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    Nov 2004
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    366

    US Dragoon, 1855, Ft. Tejon, CA

    Quote Originally Posted by The Saint View Post
    Another classic work about the period (1849-54) is Percival G. Lowe's Five Years a Dragoon.
    Haven't read it yet, but the reviews do support what you say--an absolute classic. Thanks for reminding me of that title!

  22. #22
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    Mar 2007
    Location
    Emerald City NW.
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    4,457
    Very cool and I dig the head sculpt and back story. My fathers family has been in California a long loooong time. Learning bits of Cali history is always a pleasure.
    got privilege?

  23. #23
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    Jun 2003
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    4
    I've been Kit Carson for Cal State Parks for 20 years this December now.

    It's only been in the last few years that well-researched and available texts have been able to dissect the actual from the myth propagated by the pulp and dime novels starting with Fremont's creation of the first national celebrity.

    Carson led a remarkable life when compared against any these days. However, when lined up with his contemporaries, he really was an unassuming guy who had a fairly common life that so many of his caliber made routine.

  24. #24
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    Sep 2005
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    Jeff City, MO
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    14,676
    Well done!! I don't believe I've seen a figure from that era before.
    "Other people's illusion of safety does not supersede my human rights." -Gabe Suarez

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    California High Desert
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    1,365
    And remember, Tejon is Spanish for Badger... the ranch, the fort, the area were all named for this voracious little creature. I live 20 miles from parts of Tejon ranch, and it's still beautiful country.

    And Laughinggravy is Walloon for Tejon!

  26. #26
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    Nov 2004
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    366
    Quote Originally Posted by laughinggravy2 View Post
    I've been Kit Carson for Cal State Parks for 20 years this December now.
    LG2, that is SO COOL!!! After all this time seeing your stuff on multiple boards, I had no idea that you portray Kit Carson for California's State Park System! (That would explain something about how you know the Ft. Tejon Dragoon reenactors.) That's fantastic!

    I don't know if you've read Blood and Thunder, but one thing I like about it is how it acknowledges the bigger-than-life folkhero status that Carson enjoyed in his own time. While praising Carson's admirable character and probable accomplishments, the author avoids conferring demi-god status on this genuinely venerable frontiersman.

    Back to the thread topic for a moment. It would appear that Carson had a fairly favorable opinion of the US Dragoons, as far as military is concerned. At least that's the way Sides (the author) makes it sound.

  27. #27
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    Nov 2004
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    366
    Thanks, Grizzer!

    And Graeylin, you indeed do live in a beautiful area...despite those pesky badgers (o debo decir "tejones")! What were they going to name the fort at first? Someting like "Nueces de Uva"??? Seriously, my daughter lived near Palmdale, and I love the area of northern LA County and Kern County!

  28. #28
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    I'm a big admirer of your work. This is just another one of the many reasons why. Beautiful figure and enjoyable history brief.

    Kat
    If a fool would persist in his folly, he would become wise. -William Blake: Proverbs of Hell

  29. #29
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    A very interesting subject ......!!! bravo !

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzerr View Post
    Well done!! I don't believe I've seen a figure from that era before.
    Grizzerr, here's one I'd done a few years ago - 8thTexasCav, I hope you would pardon me to highjack your thread :

    http://www.onesixthwarriors.com/foru...ad.php?t=48974

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US Dragoon, 1855, Ft. Tejon, CA
US Dragoon, 1855, Ft. Tejon, CA
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