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.

Monday, April 30, 2012


As I write this it is 12:59am on Monday, April 30th, 2012.

Later today will be the 149th anniversary of the battle of Camerone.

Though this blog is devoted to wargaming the Second Anglo-Afghan War in general, and the battle of Maiwand in particular, I must confess that as a boy I was a devotee of Camerone and the French Foreign Legion before I had heard of the Battle of Maiwand.  With the rather momentous 150th anniversary of Camerone coming in just one year, I have been planning for some time to do for that anniversary of Camerone what I did for the 130th anniversary of Maiwand a little less than 2 years ago, and build terrain and raise troops expressly for a miniature game to be played on the big day in question.  Late this past Summer I started a blog to keep track of the process.  Until now I haven't publicized its existence, since I haven't put much of note up yet.  But tomorrow -- on Camerone Day -- I will be participating in a one-year early "play-test", thanks to my good friend Nick Stern, who drove down from Northern California, with his car filled with Legionnaires, Mexicans, and the Hacienda de la Trinidad (all in 28mm of course!).  I hope to have an AAR on tomorrow's game up on the new blog very soon.  For anyone who's interested, please check it out here:


And to tide you over until I manage to post the many pics of the new rocky hill and the battle of Charasiab, here's just a few more -- plus a couple showing some new JTT Micro-Scale pine-trees I picked up at Allied Model Trains, that look to me exactly like the pine-trees in pics from the battle of Peiwar Kotal...

Friday, April 13, 2012

9th Lancers in Afghanistan -- and a brief increase in scale...

It's been a while since I've posted anything new here, but there's some good stuff in the pipeline...

(1) I'm almost done with my second "vertical wood-chip" hill -- here's a few WIP pics as a teaser:


(2) I recently played a brief but rather decisive game of the battle of Charasiab, fought by General Roberts to clear the way through the last mountain passes between his army and Kabul, following the uprising which led to the massacre of Major Pierre Louis Cavagnari and his escort of Guides, who were at the time ensconced in the Afghan capital. This was the first major engagement of the second phase of the war. The first phase had ended in May 1879, when the Amir, Yakub Khan, signed the Treaty of Gandamak with the British, amongst the various provisions of which was his acceptance of a permanent British embassy in Kabul, to be led by the aforementioned and ill-fated Major Cavagnari.

Once again, here's a few pics (first of which features my son & one of my two daughters setting down troops):

But I'm not posting just to tease with things to come, I'm really here to share something I feel lucky to have discovered, thanks to fellow blogger, colonial wargamer, and transplanted Southern Californian, Michael Davis (CLICK HERE TO VISIT Michael's excellent "Horse & Musket" blog)...

During an email discussion on the 9th Lancers and their service during the Second Afghan War, Michael sent me an image of a 1/6 scale (12") trooper of the regiment, uniformed, & equipped in incredibly accurate detail:

Although this blog is devoted to 1" or slightly larger figures/miniatures/toy soldiers, the 12" tall variety hold a nostalgic place in my heart, as I imagine they do in the hearts of all those who played with GI Joe &/or "Action Man" when they were growing up. Discovering an exquisitely-converted Second Afghan War GI Joe... well, it blew me away -- in a good way!

The above figure, whose dress, weapons, & equipment -- as well as his very characterful head -- are nearly all custom-made -- is the work of an incredibly-talented gentleman by the name of Tony Barton. I've taken the liberty of reproducing a couple of images here, but I STRONGLY encourage you to click on said pic in order to visit a 1/6 scale forum page with much more information and a bunch more pics of the same figure, wearing multiple uniform variations, including almost every known order of dress the 9th Lancers wore throughout the war in Afghanistan. I also encourage you to visit Tony's own website at Tony Barton's website LINK, where you can see many more of his custom-built 12" figures, spanning British military history from the English Civil War to the Falklands, and as you can see from the image below, including colonial subjects!

*NOTE: Tony has yet to add the Afghan War lancer to his own gallery as of yet, so if you want to see it all, you'll have to visit both sites!


Tony was kind & generous enough to send me a pic of a pair of 12" figures he made but had never taken any pics of previously, and which he though I'd appreciate -- and man was he right!

It's Gunner James Collis, VC, of E/B Battery, RHA, and an unnamed soldier of the 66th Regiment, at Maiwand. Talk about appealing to your target demographic, it's hard to imagine anything from the 1/6 figure world that could fit as well here on "Maiwand Day"!

Many thanks, Tony!