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, October 23, 2012

A mixed bag...


First up is another conversion for my First Afghan War, "Bala Hissar or Bust!" project.  It's another soldier of the 44th Regt. of Foot, this one wearing a fur coat.

The body comes courtesy of a Russian Civil War figure, the company I need to track down again, since I have unfortunately lost track of what I believe was a "Hobby News" item showing them on The Miniatures Page!

(Happy to say I tracked them down -- they are MATCHLOCK MINIATURES, from their "Seeting the East Ablaze 1914-1930" range, as seen here:

-- available from Miniature Figurines, here LINK)

The head with its trademark 1830s-1840s British Army "bell-topped shako" comes courtesy of Perry Miniatures' Carlist Wars Royal Marines, who would look perfectly at home fighting in 1841 Afghanistan during the warmer months!

In addition to the head-swap, I also added a small flintlock to the rifle...

Here you can see the figure side-by-side with one of my eearlier all-Foundry conversions.  The larger head from the Perry Royal Marine seemed to me to be a better fit for the slightly larger body it was going onto.  Although this latest addition is a bit larger, I should be able to use them in the same unit.


Over the past year or so I've been picking up JTT Microscale model Pine trees of various sizes -- 4", 6" 8" -- in preparation for creating a pine forest for use in Second Afghan War battles such as Peiwar Kotal and, to a lesser extent, Charasiab.  In order to avoid having to permanently glue the trees onto my rocky hillsides, I recently began experimenting with "BARD'S Tacky Wax" as a method of temporarily planting them, and it seems to be working reasonably well.

I took a pic of some figures laid out on a rocky hillside decorated with some trees and sent it to my good gaming friend Nick Stern, in Northern California, and he sent back a photoshopped SEPIA toned version that looks very cool, and which I think is worth sharing with others, so here it is to check out:

This led me to do some playing around in iPhoto with a few more pics...


For some time now I've been wanting to convert enough limbers crews for my entire "Maiwand Day" force of Afghan regular artillery.  This consists of four 3-gun batteries, for a total of 12 guns.  Each limber crew has 5 crewmen, so that means converting 60 figures.

As many of you probably know, the past several months have been exciting times for those of us in the miniature wargaming world who love Wargames Foundry figures but have not been in love with various of their company's business practices for much of the past decade.  Things seem to be changing, and one of the changes is that they are now willing, happy, and able to provide any and all previously discontinued historical figures, including the many not currently available for view on their website.  This means anyone wanting to get hold of Foundry's excellent Afghan regular army Infantry, Cavalry, and/or Artillery troops are now able to do so.  They are not cheap, but they are not as exhorbitantly expensive as they used to be, since the company's new policies include using the going currency exchange rates, rather than their absurdly over-valued (for the British Pound) "in-house" exchange rate.

Luckily for me the only thing required to do a decent job turning the above pictured WARGAMES FOUNDRY Franco-Prussian War Prussian artillery crew into an Afghan artillery crewman is a simple HEAD-SWAP, utilizing the Afghan artillery crew pictured below...

Last night, largely inspired by the incredible job Pat has been doing at his Wargaming With Silverwhistle blog -- first displaying an incredible collection of British colonial artillery limbers, and now arranging his gorgeous 1879 Zulu War armies & terrain into a step-by-step miniature recreation of the battle of Isandlwana -- (be sure to CLICK on the blog name in order to visit if you haven't done so lately!) I have finally gotten begun to do those conversions.  When I'm done with all these limbers, my hope is to do a photo-story similar to Pat's, on the battle of Maiwand, since at that point I'll have pretty much everything and anything it requires.

Here's some pics of the first couple of conversions:

Prussian FPW limber crew bodies...


Afghan regular artillery crew heads...

(WIP pic...)


That's the first 2/5ths of my very first converted Afghan artillery limber crew.

Now just 3 draught horse riders, and then I'm done with the first one-third of four 3-gun batteries!


If I'm lucky it should only take another year or so!


Next up will be lots of pics with a how-to on making some small scale, fast and easy terrain pieces in the same style as my big and rather time-consuming rocky wood-chip hills.

Here's a little taste:


  1. Amazing, this will be a suberb group!

  2. Wow, keep doing the great job you do! Love those "recently found" photos from Afghan war :-)

  3. Love it the conversions the photos the terrain this is going to be one great collection!Really looking forward to seeing it progress!!!
    Best wishes

  4. Thanks very much, gentlemen!

    Igor, hope you can fit some more colonials into your painting schedule. I need to box up some figures to send your way...

  5. As Willie said, great conversions and photography. I can't wait to see the Battle of Maiwand unfold using your superb terrain and figures. Thanks also for the mention of my blog.

  6. You are very welcome, Pat.

    The story of Maiwand has actually unfolded here something like... 5 times over the past couple of years -- once each time it was played full-scale on my terrain, either at a convention or in my home. But... I've never laid it out step by step historically, as it actually occured.

    The one thing I'm really missing to do that completely is the Afghan artillery limbers, which I've finally started working on -- mostly thanks to you! After that I need to make myself some photo backgrounds like yours, but with a more "Afghan mountains lining the arid flatland" vibe.

    One step at a time...