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Friday, April 29, 2022

The Mad Mullah: Sartor Faqir

Here is a great character for In Her Majesty's Name, The Men Who Would be Kings (Paid Link), or other popular Colonial, Victorian Sci Fi or Pulp games.

Sartōr Faqīr (Pashto: سرتور فقير; died 1917), also known as "Mullah Mastan or Mullah Mastana"Pipi Faqir or Saidullah in Pashto and by the British as "The Great Fakir" or "Mad Faqir", "Mad Faqir of Swat" or the "Mad Mullah", was a Pashtun tribal Yusufzai leader and fighter. His name Mullah Mastan translates to "God-intoxicated" as a reference to his religious convictions and his belief that he was capable of miraculous powers and challenging the British Empire.

Sartor Faqir was born as Saidullah Khan in the village of Rega Buner in the Buner Valley and was a member of a branch of the Yousafzai tribe. In order to further his religious education, he lived and travelled throughout India and Central Asia, before setting in Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan for a period of ten years. In 1895, he returned to Buner.

In response to the British occupation of the North West Frontier Province of modern-day Pakistan, and the division of Pashtun lands by the Durand Line, the Faqir declared a jihad against the British Empire, unsuccessfully in 1895,then successfully in 1897. In late July, he led from 10,000 to 100,000 Pashtun tribesmen in an uprising that culminated in the siege of Malakand, which ended with the British being relieved on August 2.

Fighting at Malakand

Although the Faqir continued to lead further attacks against the British, the siege of Malakand marked the height of his power and influence, which declined as the British made agreements with other local tribes and rulers to counter him. The Faqir eventually made his own agreements with the British government, with the revelation of an exchange of presents and correspondence with the British political officer of Malakand leading to accusations of the Faqir being in the pay of the British government. This and the Faqir's advancing years led to a further decline of his movement, which broke up upon his death in 1917.

The original figure from Brigade Games and Dr. Watson from Wargames Foundry.

This was a fun figure conversion. As I am building forces for the NW Frontier uprising of 1897 - 1898, I just had to include the Mad Mullah as a character (in fact there appears to be 2 or 3 identified during this conflict!). I started with the Imam figure from Brigade Games, and in a moment of extreme dexterity (I only stabbed myself once) I cut off his arms.

I added the hard plastic arms that were drawing a tulwar from a scabbard from the Perry Miniatures Afghan Tribal Infantry (Paid Link) box which once again confirmed to me the value of hard plastic miniatures for conversions. I did some repainting and ta - dah; the Mad Mullah.

I will be publishing some suggested rules and character profiles for the "Mad Mullah" for both In Her Majesty's Name and The Men Who Would be Kings (Paid Link).

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Afghan Tribal Force Update #4: The first Irregular Infantry Unit is Complete

Here is my first force of Irregular Infantry for the game The Men Who Would be Kings (Paid Link) which I attempted to paint as Pashtuns from the Afridi tribe. The Afridi's are noted as wearing black and blue garments; put from contemporary photos, illustrations and diaries, this is not a hard and fast rule. The team photo also gives you an idea of the variety of combinations that are possible with the hard plastic box Afghan Tribal Infantry (Paid Link) from Perry Miniatures.

Next: Who's going to start the Uprising of '97? Time to convert a figure.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Afghan Tribal Force Update #3


I finished the next six of my Pashtun Tribal infantry that will be "carrying" firearms for one of my planned three units that will be classified as Irregular Infantry per the rules (my current favorite Colonial set) The Men Who Would be Kings (Paid Link). As previously stated, the figures are all from the Perry Miniatures Afghan Tribal Infantry (Paid Link) hard plastic box.

As mentioned in previous posts, I like the alternative basing method of 3, 2, 1 for The Men Who Would be Kings (Paid Link); especially for irregulars and tribal infantry. One of the advantageous is that it allows my creativity to go wild in creating "mini" vignettes.

Base with 3 figures.

Base with 2 figures.

Last but not least, one figure mounted on a base. Yep. He's the first to go when there is a casualty.

One last look:

Monday, April 18, 2022

Afghan Tribal Force Update #2


First of all thanks for all of the techniques and suggestions from multiple forums on painting figures that are not "uniform" and do not fit well to an assembly line method of painting. I used them! I got motivated with the rain we had this weekend (but I still did my House Husband (HH) tasks) and finished and based the first six figures of my first "fire power" unit of Pashtun tribal infantry. I'm basing the first group on the Afridi tribe and you will see more black and blue, which they favored - though their is no hard and fast rule - in the next six. As always these figures can be used for multiple rules to include The Men Who Would be Kings (Paid Link), The Sword and The Flame, and the upcoming, available for pre-order, Blood & Steel Victorian Age Combat 1837-1901 from Firelock Games.

Pashtuns at a hill fort on the Northwest Frontier. The figure in the right center without a head covering looks to me to be a British Political Officer or Army officer which makes sense since this is a photograph.

There is a wealth of information of primary source images, both photographs and illustrations, online and I have been using them to model and paint my figures.

I haven't built my own hill fort yet; but, the old GW cardstock building and some resin stone walls (not shown) will do for now.

As I have mentioned previously, I like basing figures in a 3, 2, 1 combination in order to convey a sense of action and mini-vignettes. It also makes it easier to move on the table top!

Why is this guy smiling?

Okay, I need to fix his beard.

I like this photograph.

Using the Perry Miniature Afghan Tribal Infantry (Paid Link) has been great. I'm not a great modeler but these figures go together easily and I have had fun experimenting with multiple poses and conversions. And now the leader:

One last look and now on to finish the unit:

Sunday, April 17, 2022

He Has Risen! He has Risen Indeed!


John 11:24-26 New International Version (NIV)

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Friday, April 15, 2022

Afghan Tribal Force Update #1

"Let me introduce you to my little friend!"

I have spent the better part of the month travelling in the Iberian Peninsula of the early 19th Century and now it is time to get back to the North West Frontier of the British Raj in the late 19th Century. As I build my Afghan Force to fight the forces of the Empress Queen in the uprising of 1897 to 1898 and, the (fictional) Imperial Russian Forces for the same time frame, I have determined that I need more figures armed with firearms than I previously thought.

This will be the leader of my first fire armed unit of 12 figures and they will be rated as Irregular Infantry per The Men Who Would be Kings. (Paid Link)

For my core force, instead of having 3 units of Tribal Infantry (16 figures) and 2 units of Irregular Infantry (12 figures), I'm going to switch the numbers and have 2 units of Tribal Infantry and 3 units of Irregular Infantry.  I like the alternative basing method of 3, 2, 1 for The Men Who Would be Kings (Paid Link), which allows me to create mini vignettes with the basing, and I organize my figures that way when I paint. For my core force (so far!) I'm using the hard plastic Afghan Tribal Infantry (Paid Link) from Perry Miniatures which can be assembled in a gazillion ways. The above leader, and I always base the leaders this way, will be based as a single figure.

Two figures to a base.

Three figures for this base.

One of the challenges in painting units that are not "uniformed", is that it takes me longer to paint them since I cannot set up an assembly line; e.g., paint all of the red jackets, then paint all of the blue pants, etc. As a result, I usually paint them in batches of 6.

These three figures will definitely be based together.

This is the standard bearer for the first unit of Irregular Infantry. He will be based with one of the figures below on a 2 figure base.

The last 2 figures of my first 12 figure strong force.

My Irregular Infantry will be based 2 x 3 figures, 2 x 2 figures and 2 x 1 figure. My Tribal Infantry will be mounted 3 x 3 figure bases, 2 x 2 figure bases and 3 x 1 figure bases. The following will be in the first Tribal Infantry unit and were actually my test figures for painting the Afghans and I'm pleased with the results.

Tribal Leader and Standard bearer.


Another angle gives you and idea of the animation that is possible with the Perry plastics.

Which now brings us to the BFG. Artillery in The Men Who Would be Kings (Paid Link) represent small artillery pieces like mountain guns -  but when I saw this Large Cannon (Paid Link) from WizKids I was struck by shiny new tow syndrome and knew it had to be in my army. 

That's the update for now: Full steam ahead to finish the first unit (and to purchase some crewmen for the BFG)!