[Above: greens for the First Wave duelists.]
The heart of the forthcoming range is the dwarf Musketeer duelist. For the First Wave there are four bodies. The poses owe a lot to the Richard Lester musketeer films from 1973-74, the most enjoyable and credible of the many film adaptations of The Three Musketeers. I am no expert on dueling or fencing, but the fight scenes in the film seem to me to embody the English style, which was more a codified street-brawl technique than any formal style of fencing. In this style, the earlier sword-and-buckler techniques gave way to the rapier and dagger or, in some cases, the rapier and gauntlet.
I wanted a variety of heads to go with the bodies -- eight heads altogether. The archetypal plumed cavalier hat was the most important type, with room for distinct variations in the way the brims were turned up. I also added a plain hat, a Scottish-style bonnet, a head wrap, and a flat cap. I left it to poshgoblin to work his magic on the faces. You can see the results in the shots of the greens above.
I also wanted variety in the weapons. Rapiers come with bell-cup guard, mortuary guard, swept hilt, and sail guard. In addition, the blades are held at different angles and in different hand positions. The blades are to scale and, if you look closelly, are actually three-sided, with a flat top angling down to the cutting edge. Below left is a rapier with bell guard held at a 90-degree angle. In the center is a rapier with a mortuary guard held at a 45-degree angle. On the right, a rapier with a swept hilt held in a thrusting position.
To save money, I commissioned swords primarily, on the assumption that any rapier is easily converted to a dagger. Of course, there were some daggers that needed unique treatments. Below (left to right) is a trident dagger (sword breaker) held at 90 degrees, a dagger with sail guard held at 45 degrees, and a dagger with simple grip and quillon held for stabbing.
I hope I will be able to commission some additional "specialty" hands in the future: hands holding objects such as hats, bottles, goblets, tankards, and the like. I also have ideas for some more specialty daggers such as sword-breakers, although many of these would be challenging to sculpt and reproduce in scale.