Iron Mask Miniatures

Iron Mask Miniatures
...and one for all!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

First Wave Duelists


[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.

Since the English style sometimes called for one hand held ready to grapple with an opponent, there was an obvious need for left and right hands held open for grappling. It was a natural progression to include left- and right-hand fists and, for those who want to express real attitude, hands pointing with index finger. (Figures assembled with the empty-hand options would make for a great tavern brawl scenario.)

And, of course, left- and right-hand pistols...

Eventually, I hope to have all possible combinations of left and right hands with swept hilt, mortuary guard, cup guard, and sail guard rapiers (and, by conversion, daggers) held at 90 degrees, 45 degrees, and 0 degrees (thrusting).

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.


  1. WK mentioned this project to me when i asked him if he had considered doing this style of dwarf, I have been bugging him for ages for info or how this was progressing.

    I came home tonight to find an email with a link to this page, I was not disappointed in the slightest great work.

    I love the hand options and the detail really capturing the character of the musketeers, the dagger and pistols look great as well.

    Will these be for sale to the general public, if so how soon before we can get some as I need to add these to my collection for sure.

    Great work up there with WK range, I just hope I can add these to my collection.

    1. Thanks for the compliments. I do plan to sell these, if only to raise the funds to continue the project beyond the First Wave duelists. In all likelihood, I will start with a Kickstarter offering at the end of February or the beginning of March. If successful, it will provide the capital for casting the current figures and commissioning more.

      The Iron Mask components are largely cross-compatible with White Knight's superb range of figures. Not all combinations work, of course, but some are spectacular. I'll post examples soon.

  2. Well, I will be down for a few sets for sure, love WK stuff have all the dwarf range just waiting on the knights.

    These musketeers have the look I was thinking of, also like the options you have added to the kit in hand designs especially the weapon free nice touch.

    What else are you considering to add ? Maybe a few pony riding musketeers would be cool.

    Either way count me in for some as soon as they are released, personally be careful with the Kickstarter option as people seem to be getting put of by them of late.
    I think mainly because some funded projects have dropped of the scene, people being left out of pocket being the main reason.

    Either way great stuff on my want list look forward to owning some of the little chaps, look forward to the update and the ready to buy.