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.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

CONVERSIONS XI - British officer w/umbrella

I felt a little strange putting up a post WITHOUT ANY PICTURES, so I'm back with a simple conversion that I think turned out quite nicely.

It started when I posted a question on TMP (for anyone reading this blog who doesn't know, that's "The Miniatures Page" at TheMiniaturesPage.com ) asking for suggestions of 28mm figures holding open umbrellas. I wanted one to use for a conversion of a mounted Afghan Amir, holding an umbrella for shade. I planned to use him in a 3-player scenario where the British have to escort him from one end of the table to the other, while one Afghan player wants to set him free, and a second Afghan player wants to kill him. I still hope to get to that conversion some day, but I was distracted when the suggestions included this pack of Copplestone Chinese Warlord Officers, sculpted by the very talented Mark Copplestone, whose particular sculpting style I've always loved:

It made me realize I'd never seen a figure of a British colonial officer holding an umbrella, which somehow seemed wrong, so...

I put the open umbrella aside for the time being and ordered the above pack of Chinese Officers, available here: LINK to Copplestone Back of Beyond range.

(As an aside, I've always wished that Mark Copplestone had included some Afghans in that range, or even better, done an all-Afghan/Persian mid-to-late 19th Century range! Back in the mid-1990s it looked for a while like the Perrys might do such a range for Foundry, but it never happened. Speaking of which... why didn't Foundry EVER come out with an "Armies of the 19th Century" volume on Afghanistan?!?!?! They did China, the North-East Frontier, Burma & Indo-China, the Central Asia and the Himalyan Kingdoms, India through the Mutiny -- but still NO Afghanistan!? Ian Heath, if you every happen to stumble across this humble blog of mine, I'm begging you, man!)

Whoa, sorry for the interruption! Back to the topic at hand...

I believe one important aspect of a successful miniature conversion is using parts that were all sculpted by the same person. Lucky for me I had the head of an excellent British explorer with mustache and sun helmet, sculpted by Copplestone for the Foundry Darkest Africa range, available here -- LINK to Clean Limbed British Officers and Adventurers pack @ Wargames Foundry -- and as seen here:

So, with Chinese officer and British head in hand, I commenced...

Nothing complicated, but I really like the result. I think the umbrella adds a ton of character!


  1. Sometimes the simplest of solutions give the best results- lovely conversion work.

    Actually it was originally your conversion work that drew me to your blog which, now, I find all sorts of inspiration from all parts.

    Hope that makes sense, it's early :O)


  2. Wow, thanks very much for your very kind words, Darrell. I am a huge fan of your work with late Medieval figures, which is my other favorite period. It's kind of hard for me to believe when I stop and think about it, but I recently passed the one year mark from when I commenced work on "Maiwand Day," and since that time I've barely touched a single 14th or 15th Century figure or terrain piece.

    Hopefully in the not-too-distant future I'll return to the late Medieval world in miniature, but until then I'll continue to get my fix by visiting sites such as yours!

  3. Amazing conversion work as expected - simple but very well executed. Can't wait to see him all painted up - very spiffy.


  4. Thanks, Frank! I can't wait to see him all painted up myself.

  5. Mad Guru,

    The funny thing is, the opposite is true for me! Your blog is full of history- bringing the characters of the Afghan War alive- this is at least as trickiy as painting any heraldry and just as fascinating.

    Mind you, a whole year whithout touching a 14th or 15thC mini- well, it ain't decent I tell you ;o)


  6. Darrell,

    Blogger's problems unfortunately seem to have erased your most recent comment. But somehow it's survived on my iPhones web-page. If it doesn't reappear in the next few days, I may attempt to recreate it myself somehow, for obsessive/compulsive completist sake!

  7. Darrell,

    You may never know it but somehow your last comment has reappeared, courtesy no doubt of continuing repair work at blogger HQ! It even popped up BEFORE the comment I left after it disappeared. Not all that important but still, a happy surprise!