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.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

EYE CANDY: 72nd Highlanders at Charasiab

These are some of the first pictures of miniatures taken in my new house.

I took them in my office, using light from a small directable ceiling fixture meant to illuminate artwork that will one day (hopefully in the not-too-distant-future) hang on the wall below. The light came in quite handy for my purpose.

My favorite British army regiment of the Second Afghan War is the 72nd, Duke of Albany's Own Highlanders. More than a year ago, after some back-&-forth with me over his painting tests for their trademark plaid trews, a very talented painter in NYC painted a unit of them for me, and IMHO did a fantastic job. I posted some pics here, on the "figures" PAGE. But since most all of the pics on this blog focus in some way on the battle of Mawiand -- which the 72nd had no part in -- they never got the attention they deserved. Until now.

I placed them atop the new "vertical" rocky hill I finished up just before moving.

The 72nd were present at the battle of Charasiab, General Roberts' last major fight en route to Kabul, after the massacre of Major Cavagnari and his escort of Guides, late in 1879. Here I have posed them after driving the Afghans -- who were a mixture of regular and tribal forces -- off the heights to the West of the Sang i Nawishta defile, opening a path for the army to proceed North, to Kabul.

(CLICK a picture to enlarge it)


  1. Outstanding! What a wonderful looking unit they make. The 'vertical' outcrop continues to inspire and I've even started to have a go myself, using bit of discarded bark. Brilliant stuff.

  2. Beautiful painting! The tartans look fantastic and the setting is brilliant.

  3. Thanks, Michael and Rodger.

    Michael, thanks for letting me know you are building your own version of the "vertical" wood-chip hill! That kind of news always puts a smile on my face!

    I was very happy with these figures when they first showed up, and I'm still quite happy with them now! They've fought in a couple of battles and acquitted themselves well both times. The unit is made from Perry sudan range "India Dress" British infantry, but I gave them the Bengal/Bombay infantry officer, whose rousing spirit - with sword and helmet in hand - seemed to fit them perfectly. I also gave them a bagpiper, from one of the Highland packs. It was before I had success converting helmets w/puggarees into ones sporting smooth covers and hooked leather chip-straps, so the piper's helmet is a bit off. I can't remember why I didn't just do a head-swap, or at least a helmet swap, on him, but I imagine I was too worried about damaging the mouthpiece for the bagpipe where it fits into his lips. I think I will attempt to track down another piper and a spare figure in India dress helmet, and attempt the conversion.

    1. Well finally got around to completely my pastiche of your wonderful 'Vertical' wood chip hill. Posted over at '28mm Victorian Warfare', not in the same league but great fun to do. Many thanks for tutorial and the inspiration. All the very best, Michael

  4. Great work,after your tutorial I am sure these will start appearing in the four corners.
    Top work on the conversions also! makes this collection very unique!!!!

  5. Once again. You've inspired me to try my hand at this. I starte on a small piece for a corner on my table to get a feel for how its done and am going to keep plugging away. Because of space constraints, I'm working on a 3X8 foot table. I've tried building vertical scenery before but never had a lot of luck This has definate promise! Thanks again
    John S. Beardsley
    Colorado Springs CO

    1. Thanks for taking the time to let me know, John! Good luck, and if you take pics and post them online, please come back and let me know, I'd love to see them!