15mm Wargame Figures for Colonial Brazil – Tupi and enemies

There is only one specialist Portuguese range of 15mm figures but there are a few Indian ranges.

Grumpy Portuguese

First of the Portuguese range. This is from East Riding Miniatures: Grumpy Miniatures: Colonial Portuguese:

PORT1 Portuguese Crossbowmen {v}
PORT2 Portuguese Arquebusiers {v}
PORT3 Portuguese with Sword and Buckler {v}
PORT4 Africans with Sword and Buckler {v}
PORT5 Portuguese Pikemen {v}
PORT6 African Pikemen {v}
PORT7 Portuguese with Halberds {v}
PORT8 Africans with Halberds {v}
PORT9 Foot Command {v}
PORT10 Artillery Crews (use BUC06) {v}
PORT11 African Powder Pot Throwers (x2) & Swordsmen

Tupi Hairstyles

Supposedly “Tupi” figures can actually be from different tribal and language groups, so I thought I’d start with an explanation of the common hair styles and which tribes used them.

Hair style Who used it
Tonsure This was the normal Tupi style. All of the Tupi tribes used it, but non-Tupi did not. Often associated with a feather headdress.
Top knot

Battle of Tupinamba
and Tupinikin 1578 AD
Jean de Lrys

Two groups of Tupi tribes used this style, the Tupinambá and Tupinikin. In the picture to
the right they are fighting it out with each other – and it is impossible to distinguish the
two sides. The topknot seemed to be associated with the big feather flower arrangement (enduap)
some men stuck on their lower backs. Men with this hairstyle could have a headdress of
feathers, or a smaller version of the feather flower, or neither
At other times/places these tribes also used the Tonsure.

Bob cut Used by the Aimoré, who weren’t Tupi at all but one of the Gé-speaking peoples. Also used by Amazonian tribes.
Wild Irish That is how an observer described the hairstyle of the Waitacá, the other major Gé-speaking tribe. Basically long and straggly, although they did shave their forehead. Headdresses were common.

Falcon Figures: Tupi (nay Aimoré)

Available from: The Quartermaster

These figures are nicely sculpted, and with reasonably varied and dynamic poses. But there are a few problems. The bob cut sported by all of the male figures actually means they are Aimoré (or perhaps an Amazonian tribe) who were not Tupi at all. Not enough of them are naked; too many sport loin cloths – and the Aimoré always went naked. Finally, they are also very, very tall for 15 mm – giants compared to the Grumpy figures, for example. This actually might not be a problem as the Aimoré were tall compared to their Tupi enemies. So you could use this range for Aimoré and the Grumpy figures for Tupi.

AMI17 Chieftains Mixed Figs
AMI18 Archers Mixed Poses
AMI19 Archers
AMI20 Warriors Two Handed Clubs 2 Poses
AMI21 Warriors Two Handed Clubs 2 Poses
AMI22 Skirmisher With Spear
AMI23 Indian Women 3 Different
AMI24 Skirmisher Kneeling Firing Musket
AMI25 Light Artillery Piece, Two Indian Crew
ANI23a Tupi War Canoe

Grumpy Miniatures: Tupi

Available from: ERM Miniatures

This range is ok and nothing more. In the absence of better alternatives I’ll be using them. They are average height, sculpting is not great, and poses a bit odd (too many figures doing star jumps). All that aside the major gripe for me is that all of the figures have a feather skirt; although this was worn by some Tupi early on, it would be nice if the majority of the figures were naked like the majority of Tupi.

TUPI1 Warband {v} – Clubmen
TUPI2 Bowmen {v}
TUPI3 Skirmishers with muskets
TUPI4 Chieftains and bodyguards

Gladiator Games: Tupi

Gladiator used to offer a Tupi range but withdrew it due to poor quality. I got some samples, and I had to agree – not great. They are similar to the figures from Grumpy but chunkier.

Eureka Miniatures: Amazonian Indians

Available from: Eureka Miniatures

The Eureka 15 mm Amazonians come in two styles: long hair and short hair (i.e. bob cut). There are 4 variants of each of style. I really like these figures. The short haired guys are perfect for Aimoré.

300AMA01 Amazonian Indians, long hair
300AMA02 Amazonian Indians, short hair

Essex Miniatures: Amazonians

Essex only offer one suitable figure, the Amazonian Archer from the Inca Range. Small. One pose.

INC14 Amazonian archers

25-28 mm Figures

This scale is not my cup of tea but there are some fantastic models out there.

Eureka Miniatures: Tupi

Chronofus: Tupi Indians – Brazil suggests Eureka have released Tupi figures and even has pictures of them (nice they are too). Unfortunately I can’t find them on the Eureka site. There are figures with the tonsure, top knot and bob cut and options with the enduap.

The London War Room: Tupi

Available from: The London War Room in their Off the Beaten Path: Hard to Find Miniatures 25-28mm range.

These guys all sport the top knot so they are Tupi of either the Tupinambá or the Tupinikin groups.

AIT1 TUPI shooting bow
AIT2 Advancing with bow.
AIT3 At the ready with club and bow
AIT4 Advancing with club
AIT5 Attacking with club

Other Reviews

See also John Garvey: South American Figure Review

Leave a Reply