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Friday, September 8, 2023

Afghan Tribal Force Update #12a: Putting Together the 3rd (The Mad Mullah's Own) Afridi Musketeers

Okay I made that name up. After doing 1/2 of Pashtun Tribal Infantry Unit #2 from the Perry Miniatures hard plastic Afghan Tribal Infantry, I decided to go ahead and just do the entire unit of my last Irregular Infantry (Tribal Shooters) unit. My core Pashtun/Afghan Tribal force for The Men Who Would be Kings will be 3 Irregular Infantry (Tribal Shooters) of 12 figures each; 2 Tribal Infantry of 16 figures each; and the BFG. Eventually I'll get some Tribal Cavalry and some Afghan regulars.

The 3, 2, 1 optional basing approach for The Men Who Would be Kings allows vignettes and themes for each unit. I decided that the theme for the 3rd (The Mad Mullah's Own) Afridi Musketeers would be shoot and scoot. I wanted to model figures that were firing while other figures were moving to other positions or waiting to fire.

Some inspiration for the unit.

Here are a of the few images I used for planning the look of the unit:

As I have mentioned before, I usually like to do the leader first to help motivate me and to get the character for the unit. This the purpose of this unit is firepower, I wanted a commander that clearly demonstrated what his unit was all about. The following photo game me an idea for the command figure:

There is an right arm with a pistol that comes with the command sprue, but I also wanted him to be moving while carrying a jezail in his left arm. Since they are no left arms holding a jezail, it is conversion time which is easy to do with hard plastic miniatures.

I wish I had taken a picture of the steps before the above. Essentially what I did is that I took a spare jezail (there are many with the box), laid it next to a left arm so I could see how big the hand is, and then I cut the jezail in half with the gap to fit the arm. Use some model glue and Ta-Dah, instant conversion.

I was a little rough with some filing on the hand, so later I'm going to add one of the gazillion shields that come with the box and add a tail to the turban flapping in the wind to further emphasize movement.

No tail added to the turban yet, but now you can get a pretty good idea of what the commander will look like. I always mount my commanders on a single base as they are the last figure in the unit to be removed unless they are a leader casualty per The Men Who Would be Kings. Now the flag. I love flags and this will be another conversion.

I really like this illustration and I wanted to do a vignette that would convey the sense of defiant tribesmen with their banner waving in the wind. The first thing I did was make another drummer because frankly, I had extra drums and their are many contempory accounts of the drums being used constantly in the warfare of the Northwest Frontier. 

I was pretty proud of myself using one of the squatting bodies to add the drum and drumming hand. As I looked at it I realized, "How the heck is he hitting the head of the drum. Oh well. I carefully took the arm off and repositioned it lower. I show you the results later.

For the standard bearer, I was completely out of arms holding a pole for a flag so it was time to pull out my small hand drill and make a hole in a hand to hold a brass rod. At first it was a tremendous success - but I hadn't thought about what the right arm. So I added a right arm with a tulwar drawn high in the air and an appropriate head. As I looked at the figure, I realized that I would need to glue the pole and flag to the hand before I painted the figure - something I usually don't do. So I glued one of the flags that came with the box and spent about 15 minutes positioning the waving flag so it wouldn't hide the figure and most importantly, not look ridiculous. In the process I broke half of the hand I had drilled. (WHOOPS). Thank goodness there are a gazillion shields that come with the box. And . . . in my rush to inspiration, I realized I would have to prime the figure by hand since the banner was already attached.

The figure on the right I initially was going to put on the banner vignette but later I changed my mind. The standard bearer with the broken hand which will be conveniently hidden by a shield will be in the middle rear of the stand. I have repositioned the arm on the drummer and added some regular household string to be a strap for the drum. He will eventually end up on the other side.

The banner vignette is now coming together. The shield does a nice job of hiding the broken hand and I have added another extra jezail to the back of the standard bearer as a highlight. Though a realitively simple figure to do, I really like the figure on the right as it appears to me that he is on guard, looking for that Indian Army target.

Next: More work on the 3rd (The Mad Mullah's Own) Afridi Musketeers

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