I wanted to hold off this brief review of Knuckleduster's 40mm cowboys until I finished painting the few I have, but I'll do it now and post the photos later:
For those who play 40mm old west, you'll have already found that there are few companies who have much in this genre. HLBS, I think, has the most complete collection of 40mm old west figures. HLBS owner Richard Kemp is now ending his 28mm lines to focus on his 40mm stuff; so maybe we'll see a return to his ecellent old west stuff.
For those who like to game Cavalry vs. Indians, Sash and Saber is great. Chris Hughes has geared Sash and Saber minis not toward small skirmishes, but full blown battles, and his figures are sold as such: You can purchase figures in packs of 20 infantry or 7 cavalry- but the prices remain reasonable.
And now Knuckleduster has entered the picture. WHat I enjoyed about Knuckleduster's 28mm old west range wasn't the "shooter" figures, but the "sideline" figures and vignettes. Knuckleduster has a bank set, a poker set, even a faro table with dealer, assistant and player.
When I was informed Knuckleduster would be going into the 40mm business, I was hoping they would continue this tradition of the vignette.
Now nothing has come of any "vignettes" yet, but the line is brand spankin' new. I am glad, however, that Knuckleduster released some civilians early. I prefer my old west games to be populated, forcing the players to not run around, guns a blazin' for fear of accidentally hitting an innocent. HLBS has a few civilians, but Knuckledusters should compliment them just fine.
Another nice addition to the 40mm old west genre from Knuckleduster are the casualty figures. I enjoy a bloody shootout, and what better way than to have the bodies lie where they fall. The casualty figures can also double as wounded figures that must be rescued in some scenarios. The only con I find with them is that they cost just as much as standing figures BUT, Kuckleduster figures are reasonably priced anyway at $12 for three figures. On top of that, most figures come with separate arms and heads with a nice variety to choose from. This also allows numerous customization options. (I plan on taking my bearded Knuckleduster head and add it to an HLBS body to make a Cookie figure:)
Now I admit, I was a bit worried before I received my first batch (well, just one set to try out.) The figures shown in the photos on Knuckleduster's web site looked somewhat "wirey" and the guns a bit small, but the figures I got in person were well-cast, well-proportioned and held great weapons (I love the winchester one of my cowboys is carrying.) Hopefully, I can clear some projects out of the way and get my Knuckleduster figs painted, so you can see them in the flesh (360 degrees and painted.)
Knuckleduster also sells mounted figures- in fact, the mounted figues are copies of some of the figures on foot, so that you can make foot and mounted versions of the same character. The figures look good on the web site, but I haven't purchased any mounted figures yet, so I cannot judge the horses (size, proportion, etc.)
Knuckleduster, based on what I've seen on the web site, and the few figures I have bought, has made a nice entry into the 40mm old west genre. The figures fit very nicely with HLBS's old west figures; they're very reasonably priced (they cost about the same as many 28mm old west figures); I'm glad they're doing civilians; and I love that someone finally did some old west casualties.
If you're gaming 40mm old west, do not hesitate to try some Knuckleduster figures!
Oh, and here's their web site: http://www.knuckleduster.com/