Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Wargames Atlantic Plastic Afghans

These beauties arrived in the post,  released at the start of May I have been looking forward to these for a while.£25-£30 depending where you get them and 40 figures is a bit of a bargain.
You get 8 of the same 5 figure sprue so no command sprue but that suits me. These were always going to be mixed with the Perry metal (and hopefully Perry Plastic) afghans. I also intend to use some Sikh turbaned heads from WWII ranges to create some Sikh irregulars too, probably just one unit of 20 but possibly push to 2..

So each sprue has 5 Afghan warriors, you have a choice of 12 different heads, some of which are very nice indeed, others are OK. Not a fan of the tuareg style wrapped across the face but each to their own. You also get two arms with Khyber knife, two with sword, one with punch dagger, three with jezail and two each with musket and martini henry so useful from 1700 to 1900 really, adding a later bolt action rifle or even a Kalashnikov shouldnt be too difficult if you need to advance them into the 20th century and you also get a spare of each weapon to stick to the back of a figure with bladed weapons. The left hand is sculpted on the barrel of most of the firearms so you need to match up the corresponding arm which can be fun, trying to get both arms and the hand to all stick together at the same time. A modeller I am not as I am sure will become evident.

However the figures are nice, they are quite slim but fit reaonably well with other ranges. The 4 shields are a boon as I am short of some so really helpful.The charging figure with the satchel is probably my least favourite of the figures whilst the kneeling chap is probably the one I like best. All in all though happy.
Here is the first sprue built and primed. Initial thoughts are that the firing jezail probably only works well on the kneeling figure, but we will see as I build more. The kneeling chap is still my favourite.
A quick paint job and here we are, 5 more afghans. The finished article is quite nice, definately slimmer than other ranges and I need to be more careful with my modelling and positioning of the arms but nice result. The standing firing figure looks OK now hes painted but I wont use this one with that arm again. the kneeling figure defending himself with shield and chora came out well and the others are OK.

I like using a mix of washed out colours rather than just whites although I will mix more whites and greys in as I do more.

Here I have mixed them with Perry Afghans and an old Foundry one (kneeling pointing), they are certainly slighter but I think they mix well. No concerns about mixing on the same base.

Finally three of them mixed with three metal Perry's to give me  small unit of skirmishers, happy with the end result and ready to try another sprue of them.

So overall I am happy with these, the pack will give me two full units but will of course be mixed with the metals and also the Perry plastics when they come out to probably give me 4 or 5 more units of irregulars.

So they probably get 3.5 out of 5 for me, maybe more if I can get my modelling skills a bit higher and well worth the money I feel.

More to come.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Sikh Wars British 31st Huntingdonshire Foot

Image result for 31st foot regiment sikh wars


Another unit brought back by the basing department before lockdown, these guys are the 31st Huntingdonshire Foot. A buff faced unit these are Wargames Foundry from the Sikh Wars range. I also used half a dozen Perry Carlist war figures to flesh this unit out and add some variety. They mix in quite well though you can tell which are which. I love how dynamic this unit is.

This regiment fought in Afghanistan in 1842 as part of Pollocks avenging army and all four major engagements of the first Sikh War, so a perfect unit for both Wars.

At Mudki the 31st were in Sir Harry Smiths First Division in Boltons first Brigade with the 24th and 47th Native Foot. The latter a unit I already have painted and based ready to join the fray with the rest of their Brigade and the 24th is another one I plan to complete, probably the next in line I think to give me two historically complete brigades.

Another unit of these figures to follow at some point, ideally though more Sepoys first.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

A Slightly Dodgy Russian Civil War Armoured Train

For quite a few years I have had this bunch of toy trains in a drawer with a view to having a pop at turning them into an armoured train or two. About 6 years ago I made a start which was so horrible I ripped all the card off the train and dumped them in a drawer.  Cant remember where I got them but have a feeling Mr Charlton was involved.

I decided to have a break from Poles, Cossack's and Sikhs for the bank holiday weekend and try get some Russian Civil War figures completed, scanning through the Lead Adventure forum for some inspiration I came across a fantastic home made armoured train pieced together from similar toy train parts and decided to resurrect the idea.
As will become obvious I am not a gifted modeller, I can do OK with the painting but building models is really not my thing, and scratch building even less so. Still I was willing and as a starting point I already had a flat car made from the chassis of one of the carriages and some balsa wood. I also had a naval gun bought from the Virtual armchair General some years ago.
I decided to give myself a fighting chance, so instead of a an all singing and dancing fancy armoured train my was to be a hastily converted goods train with some boiler plate slapped on and painted battle ship grey. Improvised armoured train being the correct terminology I think. There were  lots of these home made armoured trains cruising the rails of post WW1 Russia so all good. My first task would be to start on a gun carriage and the steel coal car looked favourite for converting.
The significant number of parts for the gun was rather off putting mind you.
Hack saw in hand first job was to chop off a third of the coal car as this is where the gun would go. I had an image of the Gun shield sitting across the front so the whole was quite enclosed. It didn't quite work out though.
With the front chopped off I put a new floor in and a roof where the coal had been.

I then took the carriage and glued on some plastic sheets and drilled holes in the corners and edges to give the impression of bolts. Now ideally these should be raised but my talents don't stretch to making tiny rivets in 28mm so holes would need to do. Checking the gun and it does at least fit on the space created for it.
The Engine then gets the same treatment, MDF though as I have run out of plastic bases, starting to wonder at this point if it was a good idea. Still keeping it simple is helping.
I bang some smaller pieces on as steel covered windows for the carriage and then prime the whole lot up in black. Already it looks slightly less awful and I am inspired to carry on.

Instead of the shield for the gun which looked rubbish I have added skirts to the cab to give protection to the gun crew. It doesn't look quite as bad as I feared.

All four are now ready for painting. As mentioned battle ship grey is my colour of choice in this case, most trains were either green or grey from what I can see.
 A dry brush over the exposed parts of the engine leaves it a dusty black and then dark grey slapped over everything else.
A mid grey dry brush and a further one with light grey and we are looking something like, I slapped some brown on the flat car and then dry brushed it ivory which also looks OK.
A coat of satin varnish leaves it looking suitably metallic and we are almost done.
T o add a slight dash of colour I have added two 20mm Russian flags to the engine, clearly this is a White Guard, counter revolutionary Gangster train. I have two engines left and plan to leave one as un-armoured and the other as an armoured Bolshevik train. The last carriage will also be unarmoured I think. Ideal really would be to have a heavily armoured train and a carriage with machine turrets etc but I find that all a bit daunting to be honest.
And here it is dropped onto some HO/OO train track which kind of fits and a gun and MG on the flat car coverign the rear of the train, sand bags might be a decent addition on this peice.
I only have corner track at the moment so the train is meandering its way forward in the general direction of the front. I actually think it looks OK. I was tempted to slap a political slogan on the engines plate armour to brighten it up and still might, but that's for another day. No doubt something suitably heroic and historically accurate will present itself.
Amusingly the button in the middle of the engine still starts the train with sounds straight out of Ivor the engine, childishly I keep pressing this to annoy the missis as she is cleaning around me on the table. Well that's it train completed by Monday morning and the bank holiday weekend put to good use. I still need to go back to the Russian Civil War Cossack's and White infantry I intended to paint originally though, which lie part painted on my painting desk.
Interestingly as I was digging through a box to find the railway track I came across this old toy Sopwith camel, Its seen better days and is meant to be built using screws which have mainly been lost but I reckon I could do pull this together fairly simply for another Russian Civil War project (The crusader flags were just some other stuff I found in the box, I dont intend Hospitaller Biplanes)
Maybe the plane is one for next bank holiday? I am sure I have a Pilots torso around here somewhere .........

Monday, 18 May 2020

Workbench more Poles and Cossacks for The Deluge and Nail Art

Another busy week of painting mainly Poles and Cossacks and I am starting to near the point where I can form actual units from the painted figures.

I have particularly focused on Cossack Pikemen and Polish Pancerni with a few other bits along the way this time, mainly to try get some units nearer completion.

With advice from chum Paul Robinson I have also experimented in nail art, more on this later.
In terms of finished units I think I am a few figures short of two Cossack infantry units and 2 Pancerni cavalry Banners (Companies) so great progress.
The Cossacks continue to be a motley mix of manufacturers, from left to right below are Perry Retreat from Moscow, Essex with a Perry head, TAG at the rear, Redoubt Enterprises and at the far right another TAG figures. I am a little unsure of the Perry peasant his head looks too Russian to me, I will see how he looks when mixed in with a bunch of other figures on the bases.
This TAG figure is from a Mounted Polish command pack, initially I wasn't sure how I would use him but a change in my thinking for one unit had me re-assess this. I have a unit of Light Cavalry in Blue Grey, one of the few uniformed units. Re-looking at them they fit far better as Dragoons than Light Cavalry to me. So I plan to give them a different flag and re-purpose them meaning I need a dismounted version. The Officer of that unit is a re-purposed Pancerni Officer in chainmail and a really good fit with this chap so I now have the first of my dis-mounted Dragoons, albeit a pretty awful photo.
Not forgetting my other projects I have also got these two chaps done for the Sikh Wars project. The Muslim tribesmen I have a bunch of these now but I will be mixing them with the Plastics once available. The Foundry Sepoy is the first of the next battalion faced white with white trousers making it really bright.
The old Foundry figures still stand up well against more modern figures such as Perry's.
I have completed a bunch pf Pancerni, just 4 more to do and that will give me two units of these colourful riders.
A trumpeter for each unit was first, one TAG and one Foundry the latter is on a Redoubt horse.

This Redoubt horse is the first to share with you having received some nail art. In short there are a number of manufacturers make water slide decals of the type we will all be familiar with but designed for nails, lots of geometric designs as well as flowers etc. Many of these are ideal for my purposes on the saddle blanket, chum Chris Charlton is taking the idea further for the covering on an Elephant Howdah which should look really cool.

Important to get a background on which the particular design you are using will show up. That has worked on some more than others but looks OK on this one.
The next two are my Essex rider on a generic horse, originally I think Ebor, plus a Redoubt rider on a Foundry horse. I think the size of the Foundry horse is really obviousley small here, the original Foundry rider on a larger horse fitted in really well. I doubt I will use another of the Foundry horses for the Pancerni.
The nail art on the Foundry horse is really obvious although its probably not one I would repeat when I do more of them.
The next three are from left to right TAG, Redoubt on TAG horse then another Redoubt this time on original Redoubt horse.nice figures that work really well and all three have nail art decals on the blankets.
The left hoses has come out quite well with the pink contrasting with the blue, the middle horse I realised the designs were fairly pale and thin so needed a really bright cloth to set them off, its worked quite well but helping me understand what works and what doesn't. The last one in Green with different coloured triangles probably works best of them in terms of standing out on the table top. The Pancerni often carried shields so I have added these in for most of the latest lot.
This Cossack I was particularly looking forward to painting and it did not dissapoint. Originally a Gripping Beast Arab light cavalry man for the crusades, by selecting the best head and torso then adding an arm with a pistol I think he makes a great Cossack or Pole.
Its a really nice casting, both horse and rider and I am pleased with the outcome. Three more of these "Arabs" to paint up for the Deluge.
Lastly is this Polish Dragoon. Another of the small but lovely Essex figures, the foot versions are just too small to use with 28mm, however by adding this guy to a 28mm horse he fits in quite well with other ranges.
I will need a whole unit of these both mounted and dis-mounted so work goes on to find appropriate figures (Mounted I am mainly sorted) the horse is Ebor and looks suitable as a Dragoons nag to me.
So as I write I have another couple of Cossacks and Pancerni on the painting table and hopefully not too far away from glueing these to bases in order to pass them to the basing department when we are finally allowed to see each other again.

I hope you like these and are enjoying this little "side project" no doubt I will return to the others in due course as the butterfly decides to move on for a little while, but for now enjoying the colour of these Eastern troops.