Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

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.

 "Bydand!"


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.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Gordon Highlanders: Painting Guide Part 1

I blame Honorable Son #1 (The Librarian).  He had to read The Washing of the Spears.  So of course I had to reread it.  Then he sent me the Warlord / Empress Miniatures pack of the Hollywood version of the Heroes of Rorke's Drift.  Yep.  The bug had bit. Now I am full swing into the Victorian Age with In Her Majesty's Name and the soon to be delivered (it's on pre-order) The Men Who Would be Kings. 

Since I have had more Highland regiments in miniature than ever existed in the entire British Army, it was inevitable that I painted the Gordon Highlanders for service on the Indian frontier.  My unit will be be a combination of Perry Miniatures and Artizan designs.


The command figures are from Perry Minatures Sudan line.  I was initially going with a base of green for the kilts and later changed my mind to blue.  I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how I would paint the khaki jackets.  Virtually every unit had their own shade of khaki but I wanted the Gordon's to have a darker jacket than my Sikhs.  For the jackets I finally decided on a base using GW's Baylor Brown and then highlights with Vallejo Green Ochre.


The rank and file for the unit will comprise of hearty Scotsmen from Artizan Design's Second Afghan range.  The figures will be from NWF0025 Highlanders Advancing and NWF0029 Highlanders at Ready.  99.99% of the time I prime my figures black.


 Face and other skin areas are painted with Vallejo Dark Flesh.


The helmet is painted with a base of Vallejo Flat Brown, then Green Ochre.  As mention earlier the jacket is given a base of GW Baylor Brown and then highlighted with Green Ochre.



The above figure is still when I was going to use a base of green for the kilts before I decided on blue.  The puggaree on the helmet will be painted Buff.  The spats over the boots were painted Green Ochre.



 Straps and sporran painted Flat White and the rifle Flat Brown.  The pouch is painted buff.



 Everyone has the same jacket and helmet color now!

Next: The kilt.




Saturday, September 17, 2016

Mangani

"Kerchak was a huge king ape, weighing perhaps three hundred and fifty pounds. His forehead was extremely low and receding, his eyes bloodshot, small and close set to his coarse, flat nose; his ears large and thin, but smaller than most of his kind."
 The Mangani is the name of a fictional species of great apes in the Tarzan novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and of the invented language used by these apes. In the invented language, Mangani (meaning "great-ape") is the apes' word for their own kind, although the term is also applied (with modifications) to humans.


 "In many ways did he (Tarzan) differ from them, and they often marveled at his superior cunning, but in strength and size he was deficient; for at ten the great anthropoids were fully grown, some of them towering over six feet in height, while little Tarzan was still but a half-grown boy."



My mangani is a actually a plastic toy I spotted in a package of toy African animals at Hobby Lobby. For the cost of a metal gorilla, I know had a group of animals for some future adventures.  After spray painting the toy black, I did some quick dry brushing with white and gray and it literally took me about 15 minutes to have a suitable figure for gaming. 

Lord Greystoke, his wife Jane Porter, Lieutenant Paul D’Arnot , a mangani and Tantor.

One of my goals this year is to have Tarzan adventuring company for In Her Majesty's Name and I am almost there.  The rules for Tarzan and the mangani can be found on the official In Her Majesty's Name website located in the bonus material.  Here is the direct link for the PDF for an adventuring company based around Tarzan, Lord of the Apes.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Images from Shiloh: Some State Monuments, Pennsylvania and the U.S. Navy

One of best parts of our Shiloh trip was the meal at the end of the day!  Nothing like hamburger, potatoes, onions and carrots cooked in charcoal.


Final images from Shiloh:


 30th Regiment Indiana Volunteers.

 State of Tennessee Memorial.


State of Illinois Memorial.


 Honorable Son #5 asked me if there were any Pennsylvania regiments at Shiloh.  I answered that all of the Pennsylvania units were east with the Army of the Potomac.  About an hour later we ran across the memorial for the only Pennsylvania regiment at Shiloh, the 77th Pennsylvania.


 Honorable Son #5 reading the back of the memorial.
 


 Crescent Regiment from Louisiana.
 
The Texas Memorial.


Struck by a stray bullet, General Albert Sidney Johnston died in the ravine marked by this sign.  He is the highest ranking American to be killed in battle.

 The Missouri state Memorial that honors Missouri soldiers that fought for both the Union and the Confederacy.
 

Dill Branch Ravine where wooden gunboats the USS Lexington and USS Tyler anchored opposite the mouth of Dill Branch to Major General Grant's defense of Pittsburg Landing.

 USS Lexington.
 
 USS Tyler.