Good Day for a Hanging

Well, obviously, it is never a good day for a hanging, but how else was I to title a post about C17th capital punishment other than to utilise the title of the 1959 American B Western film? Or movie, as our continental cousins would have it.


In the C17th if you had been really bad* you were condemned to death. If you were rich you had your head chopped off; if you weren't rich or noble, then it was an appointment with the gallows. Gentle reminder, despite what Hollywood insists, witches were hung - they were not burnt at the stake.

My victim has green breeches ties at his knees, a not so secret sign that he supported the Levellers. Was he involved in one of the many Leveller led revolts of the Army Newly Modelled? Was that what led him to his appointment with the gallows, a victim of military justice?

Hallmark Miniatures make a man in C17th dress hanging from a gallows,  something that I have kept adding to my basket and then removing every time I'd been placing an order at Magister Militum. With the news that Magister Militum are shutting up shop, and have stopped casting I have been panic buying the few packs that I have a use for, and they still had in stock#. So I've finally purchased the pack entitled gallows with unfortunate x 2 (SC19). Now no longer in stock, so it looks like I snaffled the last one. I've got a spare gallows and victim, that I am very unlikely to use if anyone would like it (in exchange for a few coins going in the charity box of your choice).

This was surprisingly difficult to paint. Not the gallows obviously, the man. How exactly to hold and paint him? Blutack was the answer, with repair the paint job on his feet once I had 'hung' him. I started with an all over coat of white, Foundry drab breeches, and Humbrol dried earth footwear. Then it was the flesh, washed with Reikland Fleshshade, followed by the hair. Once this was dry I superglued some cotton around his neck, using a sharpened cocktail stick as a 'brush' for the glue. Once dry, I turned him over and glued the longer tail of cotton to the back of his head (so the rope was in the right place). Once this was dry, the shorter tail was fashioned into a small noose like knot, before being glued into position. Once this was dry I attached the rope to the gallows, wrapping the rope over a small blob of superglue multiple times. Once all the glue was dry I then very tentatively repaired the paint on the stockings and shoes, before washing everything with Nuln Oil.

A quick spray of varnish, then my usual basing recipe.

I'd like to say that I enjoyed painting this, but alas the subject material is too macabre to admit it.

* the definition of what was 'really bad' was somewhat fluid, and what would be described as a minor crime in the C21st would have resulted in a painful death in the C17th.

# for those of you missing a few figures, that are no longer in stock at Magister Militum, have a look at Keep Wargaming (no relation) as they have a number of packs in stock (mostly late C17th early C18th).


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