Sunday, September 29, 2019

Bosniaken Painted Figures

The new Minden Miniatures Bosniaken lancers in the Prussian army.
I recently finished a 12-figure squadron of the new Minden Miniatures Bosniaken lancers for my Prussian army. The Bosniaken were originally formed as a single squadron of uhlans, but eventually the regiment grew to ten squadrons. The Bosniaken were often attached or brigaded with the HR5 Black Hussars.

The squadron uses the MPC-010 Bosniaken Command pack (officer and trumpeter) and several of the MPC-011 Bosniaken lancer packs (2 lancers per pack). All packs include horses and each pack is $12.00.

This was a fun regiment to paint and I will probably had another squadron or two to the regiment. Each squadron had a different lance pennon, so I picked the easiest one to freehand paint - the solid red pennon of the first squadron.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

I've Got Too Many SYW Dragoons! Sale

Some of those annoying dragoons causing problems for Old Fritz

I have too many SYW dragoons in stock because Old Fritz double ordered some of the figures from the caster. Doh!

Well, my mistake becomes your benefit because Fife and Drum/Minden Miniatures is going to offer a 10% discount for any of the following product codes from September 24th to October 18th, 2019:

MAC-003  Austrian Dragoon Command
MAC-004  Austrian Dragoons

MPC-004  Prussian Dragoon Command
MPC-005  Prussian Dragoons

MFC-003  French Dragoon Command
MFC-004  French Dragoons

MFC-009  Volunteers de Saxe Command
MFC-010  Volunteers de Saxe African Lancers
MFC-011  Volunteers de Saxe European Lancers

Click on the link to the Fife and Drum web store and select any of the above product codes. At checkout, enter the code Dragoon123 to get your 10% discount.

Please help me get rid of all of these dang dragoons. Their horses are eating me out of house and home and those unruly dragoons are keeping Mrs. Fritz up late at night. Mrs. Fritz is not happy.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

More Dervish Than I've Ever Seen - 28mm Sudan Game

Gadzooks! Look at all of those Dervish!
28mm Connoisseur figures

This past weekend we convened at the manse of General Pettygree to play our annual Fall Sudan Game.

The long view of the 24-foot game table. There were also two 3-foot back tables on each side.

The British Museum Expedition's "Site A".

Our task was to protect the archeologists.

More of the Site A area

The British Museum Expedition's "Site B".

At the far end of the table, the large port of El Wil-Yum situated on the Dongola River.

The wharf area.

The 78th Seaforth Highlanders, in square, commanded by Colonel Archibald Sinclair.
Connoisseur figures; they still hold up favorably by today's standards.

The Egyptian regiment guarding a stretch of the Dongola River. They were in for a big surprise...

...because this hoard was header their way.

Here come the Dervish

The Seaforth Highlanders (middle right ground) back up the Egyptian troops that manned the river levee against the Dervish. In the far background you can see the Site A British Museum Expedition.
Now things were getting serious.

However, the Egyptians held off the Dervish in the first several melees.

To the right of the Egyptians, the crack XI Sudanese regiment repulsed another contingent of  Dervish.
The 1st Sikh Regiment arrives on the scene near Site A, and just in time...

...because even more Dervish sail up the Dongola River and disembark near the right flank of the XI Sudanese.

A group of Beja riflemen suddenly appear on the cliffs above Site A and start shooting at the Expedition members.

The camp site is caught unaware of the threat from above.

The Expedition members flee towards the Sikh regiment for protection.

A hoard of Beja suddenly appear behind the Site A encampment, but the Sikhs are ready to receive them. The Sikhs deploy into a left wing and a right wing due to the large size (72-figures) of the regiment.

The left wing is routed by the Beja (by just one pip on a D6 die. The Right Wing  stops the Beja, who rout away into the wilds. A lone company of Sikh riflemen (upper middle) are all that is left of the Left Wing.

But Wait, there's More!

While the Seaforth Highlanders and the Sikhs were dealing with the Beja and Dervish near Site A, there came a rumbling in the distance off the left flank. The Egyptian brigade that was defending El Wil-Yum were suddenly seen pouring over a bridge and creek and running pell mell towards the Seaforths. They were all that was left of the El Wil-Yum garrison and they were being pursued by a number of mad Beja, who were screaming for blood.

Just what we need, the left horn of the bull appears to the left of the Seaforth Highlanders. A few clumps of Egyptian troops attempt to rally and stop the Dervish.

An overview of the action on the left. In the upper left corner the large Dervish hoard have expelled and slaughtered the Egyptian garrison. The Seaforth Highlanders, in the upper middle part of the picture, are the last reserve, the last line of defense.
The remaining Egyptians from El Wil-Yum seek refuge behind the stead Seaforths. The Beja's numbers are dwindled by a crashing volley of rifles from the Seaforths.

A few Beja remnants continue their charge, but they will be easily dispersed. I guess that takes care of the trouble on the left.

Well not quite. The large Dervish hoard in the middle of the table now pour out of the Dongola town and  spy the Seaforth Highlanders in the distance.

The Harrington sisters: Alexandra with the shotgun and Minerva with the pepperbox, fall in with the Highlanders. The sisters are made of stern stuff.

Fortunately, the Sahara sun began its descent into the horizon and the Seaforth Highlanders staged a classic rearguard defense at the mass of European civilians, Egyptian and Sikh soldiers retire to the west and to safety.

Colonel Archie Sinclair (me, on the left) takes a tea break with his compatriots.
I have no idea of what happened around the river port area, off to my far left. I gleaned that the Egyptian garrison were overwhelmed by the swarm of Beja warriors who invaded via the river in their dhows. Afterall, the remains of that garrison were trickling back towards my Seaforth Highlanders so I knew that something had gone terribly wrong "over there".

I would direct you, dear readers, to the blog and journal of Major General Augustus Pettygree for the rest of the story "over there".

Pettygree Blog

A preview of the dire things that happened elsewhere on the table.
Check out the Pettygree blog for the rest of the story.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Lancer Officer Conversion Project

Britain's Egyptian Lancers are ready for wargaming.

Now that I have 36 Britain's Egyptian Lancers ( 3 x 12 figure squadrons) repainted and based for wargames I decided that the brigade needed to have its own cavalry commander. I had an extra broken down Wm. Britian's lancer officer and did a little bit of conversion work on him. 

I decided to paint the officer wearing the Egyptian Winter Blue uniform to distinguish him from the rank and file officers and troopers in the regiment.

Here is the finished figure:

Here are the step by step photos of the conversion process:

Someone long ago either decapitated or attempted to repair the Egyptian lancer officer, sticking a small piece of wood into the head and pushing it through the cavity where the head is supposed to be.
Egyptian officer with redundant sword removed and a sheepskin shabraque added.

The next step was to cut off the sword hilt that was cast onto the body. Since the officer is holding his sword in his hand, the one in the scabbard was redundant.

Rear view showing some repairs to the horse's hind quarters.

Later, I decided to add a valise or blanket roll behind the saddle, largely to cover up the join between the officer's derrierre and the shabraque.
Now the figure is covered in grey primer and is ready to paint.

The officer is now painted and ready for basing.

I like the way that this figure turned out. It's amazing what can be achieved with paint and a minimal amount of conversion work. 

I also converted a lancer into a bugler by removing the bugle arm from a Skinner's Horse figure, removing the lance arm from the lancer, and then placing the bugle arm onto the lancer's torso. Easy peasy work to do.

I have one more conversion figure on the work bench: an Egyptian NCO. I removed the arm from a Britain's Life Guard figure - the arm in the rested sword position - and placed it on the torso of another Egyptian lancer figure. The Life Guard arm has a gauntlet on its hands, so I will have to fashion a gauntlet for the other hand.

Tomorrow I am playing in a 28mm Sudan game at General Pettygree's house and once that game is over, the General will do some landscaping of the table to turn it into the terrain for the Battle of Firket, which will be played using 54mm toy soldiers.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Egyptian Lancers in the Sudan

Britain's Egyptian Lancers, basically repainted in matte acrylic paint.

Front view of the lancers.

Over the long holiday weekend,  I started basing individual Britain's toy soldier Egyptian Lancers for our Battle of Ferket toy soldier game later this month. I already had a dozen lancers glossed and based from previous battles. I had repainted them in gloss enamels to give them that toy soldier effect. Another dozen, unbased, were eBay purchases that I planned to base "as is" without any touching up. 

However, the third set of 12 figures (we use 12-figure squadrons) were a complete wreck and needed extensive work. I didn't have my enamel paints on hand, having put them into an offsite storage locker, so my plan was to repaint the figures in matte acrylic paint and then give them a couple of coats of spray gloss  protection. After finishing a couple of the lancers in matte, I started liking the way that they looked and so I decided to do this squadron in matte, rather than in gloss.

You can see the results in the pictures on this blog report.

I am also working on adding a bugler (second from the right) which is still a work in progress.

The Britain's figures are kind of fun to paint, not having too much detail, which makes the job go fairly fast. The thing about the figures that surprised me though, was how nice the horses are. They have an amazing amount of musculature detail such as one would find on 28mm wargame figures. This is part of what led me to the decision to go with the matte finish.

Officer (left) and lancer (right)

I gave the lances a 'bamboo effect' having seen the ones painted by Peter Gilder. I liked the look.

Lancer officer. You can get a better look at the definition in the horse, which makes for good 2-color or 3-color painting techniques/

I plan on adding a lancer standard bearer by cutting the lance pennons and lance tip off of a spare lance that I have in the bits box. I am also working a lancer bugler - basic lancer with lance arm removed and replaced with a bugle arm from a Skinner's Horse bugler.

If I had to do it again, I would do a few things differently. For starters, I would use green epoxy putty to fill in some of the holes that have developed from lead rot in the figures. I would probably rework the hands with putty to give them more definition in the individual fingers and also add a wire lanyard to the lance pole. These are toy soldiers that are meant to be played with, so I am not too concerned about the lead rot in a couple of the figures. I assume that this continues over the years and might eventually render the figure unusable, but that's all right.

I have seen some collectors do some amazing rehabilitation work on Britain's figures and so I want to try out some of these methods and see how well I can do.

These figures will be placed on MDF bases measuring 2-inches wide and 3-inches deep. I drill holes in the bases where the horse hooves attach to the wood so as to make the bond strong. Then I terrain the bases with my usual spackle paste (wallboard paste) and very fine railroad ballast.

I will post pictures of the finished figures on their bases in a future post.