Lipan Apache from La Meridiana sculpted by Carles Vaquero

Submitted by Al LaFleche

Gallery

The Lipan were the easternmost branch of the Apache nation, having settled in Texas. The etimology of their name is somewhat clouded, with several on-line references giving different interpretations. They came into conflict for many years with the Commanche, as well as the Mexicans and American settler of their homeland. From what I can gather, there were few, if any, significant differences among the Apache as far as dress goes. Ospreyís book on the Apache does not identify any specific clothing or head dress with any of the bands. As a result, this figure could represent any of the bands of Apache in the late 19th century.

La Meridianaís bust depicts an Apache man with a somewhat craggy face, befitting one who spent a lot of time in the harsh southwestern sun. He wears a trade shirt and vest and carries a cartridge belt bandolier style. This clothing allows the painter to be creative. Many images of the Apache show them wearing colorfully patterned shirts. On his head is a depiction of a typical buckskin bonnet adorned with conches and beading. The Osprey book notes both eagle and owl feathers were used to adorn these hats.

The kit is packed in the new style box which closes very firmly. It consists of the bust and in a separate bag 3 individual feathers, 2 double feathers and a grouping of 4 feathers. This last one is clearly keyed to the bonnet locator holes. The rest are not so easily located. The box has one color photo of the bust, leaving much to be desired in helping to locate the feathers. There is a photo on their website that does help some. Iíve included that with this review to help the builder. Unlike a few of the earlier busts from this company, there is no wooden base included. Since I thought those were undersized for the busts, I donít find this a problem. There is an instruction/history included, but it is only printed in Italian.

The bust is cast in an unusual off white resin but has no seams or major air bubbles that I could find. Some of the bullet tips in the bandolier may be problematic, however. Once primed, it should be easier to determine if corrections will be required. The bonnetís beaded decorations and well cast making painting easier. The only casting issue is that one of the single feathers has an air hole partway through it. This should be fixable with a bit of filler.

All told, this is an excellent bust at a reasonable price.

$44.99 available from Military Miniatures Warehouse