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Re: US Cavalry Skirmishing

Dear Colin,

Below is a link to a short article discussing your topic. A quick look into the Battle of the Little Big Horn, it appears the Springfield carbine was used.

Custer and his troopers did use Spencers in the ACW, so don't forget to get his famous figures, 1 mounted and 1 foot, from the two Strelets General Staff sets and combine them with the Skirmishing set. As intended this would be a good ACW battle set.

In the link below, the author discusses the Fort Phil Kearny massacre. Clearly the Cavalry at times were armed with Spencers.

I myself have already mixed some of the Skirmishers set with the Wild West Cavalry.

So it would appear you could safely mix sets of your choice for some Indian Wars Battles, just not all of course.

Have fun and let us know what you do.


P.S. I'm no expert, just liked your question! :wink:

Re: US Cavalry Skirmishing


"After the war (ACW) Spencers continued to be issued to cavalry troopers, eventually being replaced by Springfield Trapdoors."

Our Spencer was produced from 1860–1869. Then Springfields from 1873–1884. Custer's Last Stand / Little Big Horn 1876 (Source Wiki)

For your enjoyment is a another link below talking about the Spencer. I'm including it below for the video. When you open the link, look to the bottom, right corner for the awesome video. Two Collectors show us all about the Carbine.

Link with Video:

Re: US Cavalry Skirmishing

Thank you Garrison! Awesome resources. I quite like this set with its half mounted/half dismounted format. I imagine the dismounted figures cautiously moving forward to feel out the enemy while their mounted comrades look on, ready to spring into action if needed.
Also the box artwork for this set seems to suggest (to me anyway) the American Indian Wars. It's easy to imagine those troopers being surrounded by Native warriors and fighting to hold on.

Re: US Cavalry Skirmishing

Hi Colin,

Regarding the box-art, it also makes me think of an Indians Wars fight or battle. In fact, the poses have made me set them up for a Custer's Last Stand battle. However for accuaracy, the jackets with high collars and lots of gold piping wasn't actually worn at the battle. Strelets US Cavalry Set 1 with the slouch hats and low collar Sack Coats would be more realistic. But that doesn't stop me. I think the Skirmishing Set with both mounted and dismounted poses, and carbines and pistols work perfectly for Custer's day with the indians. And don't forget, the Airfix US Cavalry comes with a casualty horse, so whether you do Indians or CSA battles, the horse is a must-have. I'm not a painter, so you can get the Airfix set in exactly the Strelets mid-blue color.

Another thing that works for me is mixing the Airfix Cav with Strelets Set 1 with Kepi ha conversions. The Strelets Set 1 has the best horse mounted Cav shooting their Carbines from the saddle. So many possibilities!

Have fun with your collection first!

Re: US Cavalry Skirmishing

There were actually many Indian Wars battles DURING the Civil War, which means these figures and many other 1/72 ACW sets can be used against Indians. And many of the battles saw the cavalry using either Sharps or Spencer carbines. They look very similar. I think the Strelets cavalry are using the Spencers. You notice one trooper pulling the lever to reload the carbine. That is how you load a Sharps or the Spencer. But the Sharps is a single shot, and the Spencer, after you pull the lever, has a tube that you insert, with 7 round rounds, into the butt of the carbine. The box artwork, seems to confirm the carbine modelled. And the figs appear to carry the long boxes that carry the ammo tubes.

and loading a Spencer

I think IMEX figures have Spencers (though just one pose has a carbine), but no ammo tubes, and the Italeri seem to have Sharps.
And just about all ACW Union Infantry can be used against Indians in these battles from 1862 – 1867.

Battle of Apache Pass. Mostly Infantry (riding on mules) but some cavalry.

Sioux uprising in Minnesota, this was a big war.

The battle first battle of Adobe Walls pitted US Cavalry, with mountain howitzers under command of Kit Carson (yes, that Kit Carson, he was a Union Colonel in the war) against Kiowa, Comanche and Plains Apache.

These illustrations of Adobe Walls shows troopers with Sharps carbines:

The Colorado War, mostly against Cheyenne. This was another big one, and unfortunately, included the Sand Creek Massacre.

I read the Starr carbine was issued to many of the 1st and 2nd Colorado troopers at Sand Creek (almost all Volunteer cavalry). But the carbine looks very similar to the Spencer.

Fetterman Fight

This was US Cavalry and infantry, well before the the 1873 Springfield, and it looks like the troopers used Spencers, which look very similar in this scale.

I think, even if the weapons were still being used up to 1873, the uniform starts changing enough that Strelets Civil War cavalry cannot be used any more. Moreover, even IMEX’s cavalry may be less useful. Field troops started wearing the kepi less and the campaign hat more.

Re: US Cavalry Skirmishing

Hi Arlin,

I look forward to reading through all of the links you've provided over the weekend!

All the discussion of carbines and uniforms makes me wish the Strelets Team would produce another sef of US Cavalry Dismounted to go with their Set 1 mounted Cavalry. A good Custers Last Stand by Strelets would be at the top of my wish list.

OK, cheers!

Re: US Cavalry Skirmishing

Yes Arlin, my thanks as well for your resources. So I think it's fair to say that Civil War sets can be used for battles against the Native Americans both during and soon after the war, whereas for later periods sets like Strelets U.S. Cavalry works better. I quite like that set, in my mind it's the best made on the subject. Wouldn't mind seeing set 2!

Re: US Cavalry Skirmishing


I just want to thank you for initiating this thread. I have had a life-long interest in this aspect of U.S. history and it's refreshing to discover other's interest also.

Hopefully the Strelets Team will continue on with more sets for the Wild West theme. I'll keep my fingers crossed!


Re: US Cavalry Skirmishing


I just want to thank you for initiating this thread. I have had a life-long interest in this aspect of U.S. history and it's refreshing to discover other's interest also.

Hopefully the Strelets Team will continue on with more sets for the Wild West theme. I'll keep my fingers crossed!

Thank you Garrison, this has always been a fascinating period for me as well. I always liked to read books and watch films about the Indian Wars between Native Warriors and the Bluecoats when I was a kid. I feel like the Strelets set of US Cavalry is the best made in our scale, and like you I would love to see Strelets add more to this range one day.

Re: US Cavalry Skirmishing


I enjoyed going thru all your references this weekend. Thank you for taking the time to list them out.

The carbines, especially, are a very interesting aspect of the U.S. Cavalry during the 1800's, and I learned alot about them while enjoying this thread.

I look forward to reading more, also as time allows, and I hope Strelets Team continues on with the Wild West theme.

Cheers for now!