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.
Friday, December 3, 2010
CONVERSIONS VII - RHA OFFICER IN PILLBOX CAP
When I was a boy I began collecting Osprey Men-At-Arms books. In the early to mid-Seventies they cost $2 or $3 at Polk's Hobby Shop in Midtown Manhattan. Polk's down-sized, then disappeared, but at about the same time The Complete Strategist -- NYC's first, last and only remaining gaming shop -- opened for business only a few blocks away. One of my favorite Osprey books from those long-ago days is "NORTH-WEST FRONTIER 1837-1947." It was published in 1977 and I believe I convinced my folks to get me a copy that year. I'm happy to say it's still in pretty good shape, despite having been thumbed through many, many times...
The color plate on the cover, shown above, features a Royal Horse Artillery officer in a pillbox cap. When you look at contemporary illustrations of the British army on campaign throughout the Victorian era, you find many pictures of soldiers wearing them -- infantrymen, cavalrymen and artillerymen -- but in my experience there are very few late 19th Century British colonial miniatures wearing such headgear, Gurkhas being the one obvious exception.
Well, after many, many years, I have finally gotten around to converting one for myself.
The raw material for this purpose was provided by one of my favorite sets of Wargames Foundry figures, their Afghan (regular) Artillery Crew, and a French officer left over from the Franco-Prussian War French Staff Group, other figures from which I'd converted into Afghan regular army commanders. Below are pictures from the Foundry site of both sets, and the individual figures I used. The Frenchman contributed the sword in its scabbard and its straps, plus the binoculars case.
All the cutting was done with an X-acto knife, the gluing with Krazy Glue, and green modeling putty was used to smooth out some edges. Towards the end I went a little crazy and put a pair of spurs onto the horse gunner's boots. These were just 2 bits of trimmed scrap, cut to matching size.
(CLICK on a Foundry pic to visit that page on their site)