Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Friday, October 14, 2016

Gordons Then and Gordons Now

One of the great treasures of the digital age for me is to compare how my painting style has changed over the years.  I have painted the Gordon Highlanders several times:  In 15mm for the Napoleonic Wars, in 28mm for the Napoleonic Wars, in 28mm for the Sudan and most recently in 28mm for the Northwest Frontier.  Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the unit I painted in 15mm as I sold my 15mm Napoleonic Army in the early 2000's but I do have pictures of the others:

The Gordon's I painted for the Napoleonic Wars.  Later I discovered I used the wrong kilt as a pattern.  Oh well. They still fought just as well on the tabletop.  Figures are Wargames Foundry except for the Ensign who is from Front Rank.

After I realized my mistake I renamed them the 79th Cameron Highlanders.  I think I painted these figures in 2004.

The 1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders painted for the Sudan.  Figures by Perry Miniatures.

 Figures were painted in March 2014.

 The 1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders painted for the Northwest Frontier.  Command figures from Perry Miniatures and the rank and file from Artizan Designs.

 Figures were finished in September 2016.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Third Quarter Update and Right on Track, Part 3


What follows is the final dispatch on update after the end of the 3rd Quarter for the plan for 2016:

4. The Anglo-Zulu War.  At the beginning of the year I found out that Daniel Mersey's latest set of rules was scheduled for publication in August or September of 2016 and is a set of Colonial rules titled The Men Who Would be Kings. Of course I pre-ordered!  Figures can be mounted individually for casualty removal but fight as a unit. This is perfect for me because I want them to do double duty with In Her Majesty's Name.  Knowing Daniel's track record and the play tests I have read I am going to step out and predict that this will be another success. 

 How can you not have Private Hook in your army?

To get a head start, I decided to start painting units for the Anglo-Zulu War and I am happy to report that I have completed one infantry unit.

My interpretation of the 24th Foot with some Hollywood thrown in for good measure.

Why only one unit?  Well . . . there I was on a business trip and Artizan Design Second Afghan War figures were on sale!  (Some of you will recognize this as the shiny new toy syndrome)  I purchased British officers, Sikhs and Highlanders and decided to modify my plan.  Going forward I'm going to paint four armies: British (Anglo-Zulu War), Zulus, British (Northwest Frontier) and an Afghan/Pathan field force for the NWF.  The major part of my plan for 2017 will be the purchase and painting of these units.

A distraction from the plan but well worth it!  Maxim machine gun from Copplestone Castings.

In reviewing my post about the plan in January I was planning on doing one British infantry unit and one unit of Natal Native Horse.  The Natal Native Horse will probably be the first unit I plan for 2017 based on the Edendale contingent from the Edendale Mission.

The finished Highlander unit for the Northwest Frontier or wherever the Empire needs them!

5. Pleasant Distractions and/or Additions to the plan!  As mentioned earlier, I'm a big fan of Daniel Mersey's rules and I took the plunge and purchased Dragon Rampant. I now have the set of fantasy rules I have always been seeking; extremely adaptable, easy to learn and enjoyable to play.  If you are going to play Dragon Rampant you might as well have a dragon.
The mighty Fred, Dragon Lord of the Skies.

And of course I had to have Conan . . . 
“Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.” 

Sir, this concludes the report.  Time to finish Arthur's cavalry.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Third Quarter Update and Right on Track, Part 2


Continuing with the update after the end of the 3rd Quarter for the plan for 2016:

2e. I wanted to add some extra characters for In Her Majesty's NameComplete!

 Ranjit Singh.

Porters from Reaper Miniatures.

The meeting of Coira Armstrong (L) and Gertrude Bell (R) in the British Museum.

The Doctor and Companion.

Baron Maupertuis is a Sherlock Holmes nemesis.

 You can never do wrong by adding a mummy to the game.

Anne Nightengale, daughter of the famous (and trouble-prone) Professor Nightengale.

Colonel Dugald Armstrong, VC, DSO and his daughter Coira.

3. Dux Bellorum.  I started work on a historical King Arthur Romano-British army based on his role as the Dux Bellorum of Britannia. I needed one more element of cavalry, an element of light cavalry and then I need to finish up two elements of infantry which would complete the army.  I have finished the infantry:

 Ordinary shield wall infantry for Arthur's Army.

Second element of ordinary shield wall infantry for Arthur's Army.

Next is Part 3 about where I am in my plan with the Anglo-Zulu War and The Men Who Would be Kings.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Third Quarter Update and Right on Track, Part 1


Here is the update after the end of the 3rd Quarter for the plan for 2016:

1. Finish the English Civil War Project, Phase 3 for the rule set I love, Victory Without QuarterLast Foot Regiment complete and two brigade commanders complete!

 Lord Saye and Sale's Regiment

 Oliver Cromwell

 Lord Leven figure filling in as a Irish Brigade commander.

2. In Her Majesty's Name.
     a. Scotland Yard company.  Complete!

Mr. Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson and Scotland Yard's finest constables.
      b. Imperial Chinese Army.  Complete!
Lord Raglan's Imperial Chinese.

     c. Tarzan, Lord of the Apes.  Almost complete. I need to add a tribal chief and some tribal warriors.
Tarzan, Jane, Lt. D'arnot, great ape and Tantor.

     d.  Sikh Rifle Company.  Complete!
The 14th Sikhs with support weapons.

Friday, September 30, 2016

British Officers

Some more British officers from Artizan Designs for In Her Majesty's Name and The Men Who Would Be Kings.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Bydand: The Gordon Highlanders

The Gordon Highlanders were the amalgamation of the 75th Highland Regiment and the 92nd Highland Regiment, raised in 1787 and 1784 respectively.  The Childers Reforms restructured the British army infantry Regiments and the reorganization created a network of multi-battalion Regiments each having two regular and two militia battalions except in Ireland were two regular and three militia battalions became the standard. 

The newly formed Regiment, while stationed in India went on to serve in various foreign campaigns including The Relief of the Chitral Expedition 1895 and the Tirah Campaign of 1897 - 1898.

 Drummer James Roddick of the Gordon Highlanders defends a wounded officer during British attack at Gundi Mulla Sahibdad during the Battle of Kandahar.

It was also during this time that the regiment supposedly, along with the 14th Sikhs, participated in the  "Roopkund Lake" Campaign (or Incident) located in the most inhospitable regions of the Himalayan MountainsThis reportedly involving Chinese Imperial forces and unusual and unconfirmed units from both empires. The British Raj refuses to comment on the operation.

The Roopkund Lake Incident?

It was during operations on the North West Frontier in October 1897, during the storming of the Dargai Heights, that one of the regiment's most famous Victoria Crosses was earned. Piper George Findlater, despite being wounded in both legs, continued to play "The Haughs O' Cromdale" on the bagpipes during the assault.

 Sergeant George Findlater wearing the Victorian Cross.

Another of the heroes involved the charge of the Gordon Highlanders at Dargai Heights was Piper John Kidd. Piper Kidd was with Piper Findlater when, half-way up the heights, both pipers were shot down. Unmindful of his injuries, Piper Kidd sat up and continued to play "The Cock o' the North" as the troops advanced up the heights.

My unit consists of an officer, piper and NCO from Perry Miniatures' Sudan Range while the rankers are from Artizan designs.  The unit was designed to be used for both In Her Majesty's Name (in which bagpipes cause terror!) and for The Men Who Would be Kings.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Gordon Highlanders: Painting the Kilt

Remember when painting a kilt, unless you want to go insane, is that it needs to look good from a gaming distance.  If you are like me and have difficulty painting a straight line, don't worry about it!  It does not have to be perfect to look good on the gaming table.

Here is my step by step painting guide for painting the kilt for the Gordon Highlanders without going insane:

1. Dark blue base.

2. Vertical black lines on the front - no vertical lines needed on the back of the kilt.

3. Horizontal lines all the way around the kilt.  With the Artizan figures 3 looks good.

4. Paint a dark green inside the black lines.

5. Dab a light green "square" where the green intersects.  At this scale the square does not have to be perfect.

6. Use a pale yellow (I use GW's Bubonic Brown) and make vertical and horizontal stripes on the blue.  Remember, no vertical stripes are needed on the back of the kilt.

Ta Dah!  Ready for the table.  You may notice that in a few places I put lines in the wrong place.  Who cares?  He will fight just as well on the tabletop.