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, November 19, 2010


Early this past Summer I bought the COLONEL ANTHONY WILLIAM DURNFORD pack from Empress Miniatures' Zulu War range. This includes a mounted and dismounted version of the somewhat legendary Royal Engineers officer, who lost his left arm in battle with the amaHlubi at Bushman's River Pass in 1873 and later was the most senior British officer present at the debacle at Isandlwana, where he was killed in action fighting the Zulus, along with just about everyone else.

I bought the above pack for the express purpose of using the sword held in the right hand of the dismounted Durnford figure for my converted Lieutenant Colonel James Galbraith of the 66th, down on one knee, with his sword in one hand and the Regimental Colour in the other, as he appears on the sculpture raised to his memory a few years after the battle, by his siblings. Durnford's sword arm served this purpose well and hopefully some day in the not too distant future I'll post the pics of that rather tricky conversion, but for now I am going to concentrate on how I simply and easily converted the mounted Durnford into GENERAL SAMUEL BROWNE, one of the senior officers commanding the British invasion(s) of Afghanistan at the start of the war in 1878. Browne had lost his left arm during the Indian Mutiny.

The Durnford figure is dressed in a patrol jacket. At least one of the three contemporary illustrations I found of Browne during the Afghan war show him wearing a patrol jacket, which is no surprise since it was a common uniform item for senior British officers at the time. So all that was needed to turn Durnford into Browne was a head wearing a FOREIGN SERVICE HELMET, preferably a bearded one, since Browne appears to have worn a full beard at the time...

1879 General Samuel Browne Entering Fort Ali Musjid


Luckily for me, in their Zulu War Accessories Range, Empress provides a bearded spare head wearing a helmet. The best part about that is it's always better to combine body parts from the same manufacturer and the same sculptor if at all possible.

I removed Durnford's slouch-hat-wearing head (shown above) with an X-Acto knife and used Krazy-Glue to replace it with the bearded spare helmet-wearing head, after sanding down the regimental crest on the front of the helmet.

I'm happy with how he turned out and believe General Sam Browne (credited by some with having created the belt that still bears his name) to be ready for action at Ali Musjid -- or at least ready for painting!

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