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)


AFGHAN ARTILLERY CREW










































































































































































For the dress pouch-belt, I cut the pouch off an Afghan regular infantry officer from the pack pictured above, whose head I had already used on a converted Afghan general. The belt itself was made from 2 bits of flash trimmed off other figures.
























11 comments:

  1. Your work is always very well done. The illustration hasa the sash on left shoulder to the right hip, does this matter at all? Speaking of how in the world did you ever cut off a strap in the first place, amazing.

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  2. Sharp eyes, Prinz! I screwed up which shoulder for the pouch-belt, just a stupid mistake on my part, after purposefully preparing the 2 bits of belt for the left shoulder. Once it was glued on there was no turning back! The belt was made from bits of flash. Those are the times when being a miniatures pack-rat has an up-side. I held them in tweezers and cut the ends straight with the trusty X-acto.

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  3. I don't believe anyone will ever know without the picture present and you have done a wonderful job. What is the old boy's name?

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  4. Good question, Prinz. Maybe I'll name him "HECTOR" in honor of Lt. Hector Maclaine of the RHA. I'm thinking of converting my very last Afghan artillery crewman in that same pose to be another similar officer but with a few tiny differences -- one of which will be wearing his pouch-belt on the CORRECT shoulder!

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  5. LOL only a miniatures enthusiast could sweat such a small detail. Perhaps Hector awoke to gunfire and hastely put the belt on. Perhaps, he has a cavalier attitude and flaunts authority by wearing it on the other side. On a side note I have some Perry Brothers Sudan officers on horseback lying around would love to paint one up and send it to you if you have a need for any and a uniform plate that I could look at. I just sent off a fictional Belgian officer to Msr. Prost let me know if your interested.

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  6. Sounds great, Prinz Geoffrey, what a generous offer! I can always use a British officer, and I actually don't have many extra officers on horseback who are not part of a cavalry unit. I'll post some color plates with potential paint schemes for his uniform as soon as I can! And if anyone asks I will definitely use your explanation for why the RHA officer has his pouch-belt on the wrong shoulder!

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  7. If you want to send me any information for the fig email me at jeffreycavender at gmail dot com

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  8. Your conversions are always brilliant and lovingly carried out. Well done! What a truly noble offer from Prinz Geoffrey, hats off sir.

    Frank
    http://adventuresinlead.blogspot.com/

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  9. Very true, Furt, it's a noble offer indeed!

    Prinz --

    My sincere apologies for being MIA the past week or so. I was locked in my office, working 24/7, getting food slipped under the door. But I'm out now and will make sure I put up some reference art with potential paint schemes for mtd. British officers, here on the blog, and I will also email them directly to you!

    Thanks to both of you for your kind words, and thanks again to Prinz Geoffrey for his noble offer!

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