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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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!
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I've been Kit Carson for Cal State Parks for 20 years this December now. :lol
LG2, that is SO COOL!!! :hat 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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
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"??? :lol Seriously, my daughter lived near Palmdale, and I love the area of northern LA County and Kern County!
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Grizzerr, here's one I'd done a few years ago - 8thTexasCav, I hope you would pardon me to highjack your thread :
Saint, I don't mind at all. I remember commenting on your Dragoon on another board and stating that I really wanted to put together a Dragoon myself. The shako on your Dragoon is an absolute masterpiece!!! Great work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
KneeJoint and H34crewchief, as a middle school and high school U.S. History teacher, it does my heart good to read your comments. It's nice to get kudos for the figure, but it's really gratifying to see it kindle a spark of interest in what actually happened back then and there. Sounds like you enjoyed at least a couple of creative history teachers back in the day!
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Kneejoint...Young man, go to the back of the room! Apple polishers! I can spot 'em a mile away. JK ;) Thanks again for the encouraging words.

FartofWar, thanks to you, too, sir. BTW, hilarious handle!

Kat Cole, the complement is much apppreciated. Your "Open Range" Costner figure is fantastic. Love the chaps and the hat!!!

LG2, do you have any suggestions on where I can get a good Colt Walker for my dragoon? Thanks in advance.
 
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