Above is a pic of Lt. Colonel James Galbraith, Regimental Colour in hand, alongside Bobbie the regimental dog and some of the other "Last Eleven" survivors of the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment, making their last stand in one of the walled gardens just South of Khig village, a few miles West of the Afghan town of Maiwand.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
This first set of conversions shown here post-date the big Maiwand Day game. At some point in the future I hope to track down the pics I took preparing the Afghan regular army commanders on foot, Lieutenant Olivey and Colonel Galbraith of the 66th Regiment and the Jacob's Rifles and Bombay Grenadier standard-bearers and post them here as well.
Meanwhile, here are some pics of my more recent conversions...
First up is General Sir Frederick "Bobs" Roberts. Here's the color plate I used as reference --
I've always been a fan of poshteen overcoats, especially for special officer figures. But the only ones I know of commercially available in 25mm-28mm are the officer and NCO of The Guides (Infantry) from Wargames Foundry. However, there is another very useful figure for this purpose, also produced by Foundry, as part of their Franco-Prussian War Prussian Staff Group, pictured below --
(CLICK on this Foundry image to visit FPW Prussian Staff Group on their site. WARNING: prepare for sticker-shock!)
The Prussian officer wearing a fur-lined & fur-trimmed coat, as seen here --
The body needs little or no work done. If you were not going to use it in conjunction with the accompanying courier figure and camp table, you might want to remove and replace the hands as I did when I converted another of this same figure into a version of the Afghan leader Ayub Khan on foot.
Though the above picture from the Foundry site doesn't show the figures arranged this way, I believe the Officer in the fur-lined coat is meant to have his left hand resting atop the table edge. But since my plan for General Roberts was to use him in conjunction with the courier and the table, I left both of his hands as they were. So all I needed to do was remove the head and replace it with...
One of the 8 SPARE BRITISH HEADS Available from EMPRESS MINIATURES (CLICK on this text to visit their eminently useful ZULU WAR ACCESSORIES page).
After ample consideration I went with the 2nd helmeted head from left, since its somewhat commanding mustache with muttonchops seemed to me a better match than the full bushy beard on the far left.
(1) REMOVE HEAD
The important thing here is to NOT just use a pair of clippers, which unless you have a very special pair of straight-cut master-clippers will result in an angled stump not amenable to a tight fix job for the replacement head! Just cut straight through with an X-Acto knife.
(2) TRIM/FILE REPLACEMENT HEAD TO FIT WELL ATOP BARE SHOULDERS
Do this with your X-Acto and/or file, sandpaper, etc., etc. Check the fit between shoulders and neck often and when you think you've got it right --
(3) ATTACH WITH KRAZY GLUE
Or any other favorite brand of Super Glue!
Next I worked on the Prussian cavalryman in busby delivering a dispatch. This courier figure is also pretty easy to make use of, since British officers sometimes wore braided PATROL JACKETS not too dissimilar from his uniform jacket. Again, all I needed to do was replace his headgear. First I cut off just his busby and replaced it with one of the Empress Miniatures loose foreign service helmets...
This worked all right but left me feeling like the the courier's head seemed a bit too stout and stubby. So I tried again, removing the entire head and replacing it with another, younger and more common-looking spare British helmeted head from Empress --
I really liked how this second courier head conversion worked out. Here you can also see the staff table. Originally this had a Prussian pickelhaube helmet set atop it. I could have simply removed the helmet completely and left that spot bare or replaced it with another Empress spare British foreign service helmet but as I'd done that once before I decided to try and convert it into a silver regimental mess bowl instead.
Finally, after studying the General Roberts figure for a while longer I decided to add a bit more fur trim to one side of his collar, where the molded-on fur it had been cut away a bit too much during the decapitation process! This I did with some green model putty...
I think he turned out pretty well. Of course, he and his courier should look even better when they're painted!