Sunday 31 January 2021

Seelow Heights Scenario Book and Legendary Wargames Article

 Great news for friends of the blog Legendary Wargames and Steve Shann who have their names in lights just now, which is a little ray of sunshine in these difficult times.

Firstly I am delighted to share a little detail of good friend Steve Shann's new book. Encouraged and organised by Steve our little group of gaming chums put on a Seelow Heights game at the Partizan Newark show back in 2013, little did we know at the time that this would become the germination of a plan to create a gamers guide and scenario book around the 2 day battle between the Germans and Russians in 1945.

Here are a couple of links to Steves Nation in arms blog with more background and detail.

Nations In Arms: The Seelow Heights A Wargamer's Guide: A Few Thoughts (


Nations In Arms: The Seelow Heights: Preview Copies. (


Nations In Arms: Seelow Heights at Partizan II (

Steve's book is in the lovely glossy softback with loads of great pictures we have become used to in similar publications. It retails at £18.50 and I understand is available at Caliver Books in the UK. I am sure this will be a roaring success and Steve is already working on another project I hope to share with you soon.

In other news Richard and Andy of Legendary Wargames ( A great Wargaming Holiday retreat in Bronte Country for those not aware) have an article out this weekend (30th January) in the Yorkshire Post. Richard from Legendary Wargames had this to say:

"In this Saturdays Yorkshire Post magazine there will be an article on the ‘ enduring popularity of tabletop Wargames ‘.

It features myself (Legendary Wargames) and also Steve Shann (Wargames enthusiast and figure painter).
I was surprised to be asked to do this feature but also very happy as it shows our hobby is still thriving!"

Well I was almost like a real reporter then, this is brilliant news both for the hobby, the hobby as an industry but in particular three of my long term gaming friends and who would have thought Richard wold be a magazine cover model? Please support Richard, Andy and Steve.

Legendary Wargames can be found here

Steve's blog is here

Very best of luck gentlemen.

Tuesday 26 January 2021

More Regulars for Sikh Wars off the Workbench

 I have been focusing on getting a few more regulars finished over the last week or two, the Company forces are starting to lag a little and the Sikhs could start to be unbalanced with irregulars.

I have seen a reasonable ammount of progress.

Sikh regulars first, a companion battalion for an earlier one with the same colour schemes. The last lot were Foundry and Old Glory figures, these are from Studio Miniatures and very nice indeed.

I went with a flag to match that of the first battalion which is from Ram Singhs brigade in the Virtual Armchair Gnerals flag sheets, There is some dispute as how accurae these are but I will stick with them until I have something better.
I already have 3 of these so this takes me to 13 of 20 and the next 7 will certainly be my focus over the next week or two.

Also by Studio are these EIC Sepoys. Painted as the 43rd regiment I have my doubts about these castings however, not nearly as nice as the Sikhs. The hands and faces are small and not particularly well done, the cuffs seem all wrong too more like French Napoleonic, lastly there is only the one pose with very little variation in the heads. They have been withdrawn from the website for sometime, along with much of the Sikh Wars range, I assume we will see some nicer ones re-released in the near future.

Negatives aside having a shako cover sets them apart from other ranges that dont have this making them quite nice to have and I have the best part of two battalions of this figure to use, perhaps when Studio re-release them I can use the new improved ones for the front rank?

These next Sepoys I have no doubts about however.The firing figure and standard bearers are Iron Duke, the Officer from Perrys and the rest from the Foundry range, all fit together reasonably well.

I already have 2 of these complete so this gives me half a battalion so I think I will focus on these once the Sikh regular battalion is done.
The Iron Duke ensigns are really dynamic, the firing figure has a head swap, originally having a skull cap.

This chap is the first of the line unit of the Bengal Europeans, a Perry miniatures First Carlist War British with all the gear trimmed off his shako, most of the rest will be Wargames Foundry from the Opium Wars range. I already have a skirmish line of 6 of these so once the above units are complete I will crack on with this chaps mates.

Also from the Perrys Carlist War range is this British Rocket crew, enjoyed doing these guys.
A these are a one off I may base them myself so they are likely to be complete before anything else which is waiting on the easing of restrictions to allow me to get them to the basing department in York. 

This particular picture is probably the best of the lot, starting to get the hang of the photography now I think.

I am conscious that 90% of posts are painting progress just now with little based up complete and no game reports, I can only apologise, but restrictions mean this is pretty much all I am able to do for now and posting these is helping me through the pandemic, I hope it also provides a few minutes light entertainment for you the reader as well. I look forward to sharing our games with these miniatures on table, when we are eventually allowed to do so safely again, on the upside the forces on table will be much enhanced to those this time last year.

In the meantime take good care and stay safe.

Thursday 21 January 2021

British High Command for the Sikh Wars

 I have had a couple of these figures for a very long time with a view to producing a high command base. Speaking to chum Jerry some time ago he donated a couple of very nice trees to the vignette and they whole lot sat in a drawer for a very long time, I picked another pack of figures up to add to the base and they sat in a different drawer for a bit and finally I have gotten around to finishing them. I am pretty happy with the end result.

A perfect subject for my lightbox I decided to add some extra light externally and try some different coloured back grounds too, overall mixed results but the extra light seems to have helped a bit.

The first two figures I had were from the Foundry Crimean Range, no doubt one of them is Raglan, the second two from the Perry's Carlist War range of British Legion, the time frame is right and the uniforms a good match. I added a little green stuff to the bases of the old Foundry figures as they are  a lot smaller.
I like to imagine a little argument between our commanders about which map is the bets one and where the enemy are, a bemused brigadier pointing at the line of entrenchments with red coated Sikhs lining them whilst a confused elderly general tries to figure out where he will find a line of blue coated French men to fight, surely those redcoats are on our side dear fellow.
The bits of jungle really set this off so thanks very much Jerry, I have used them at last and they look great.

As mentioned I tried a couple of different backgrounds to see how it looked, this yellow is more sandy before it goes in the box so I thought it might work for India, has come out OK but not sure it adds anything to white.
The green I think adds even less than the yellow, I will try this however again with a different basing colour.
The Black is just weird, oddly it washed the figures out like they were in bright sunshine, I switched the external bulb off and this helped slighty but even so not pleased with the outcome on this one, I may try again with just external light and no internal before deciding.
So rather than finish on a low here is one of the white background pictures again.
I hope you like this little vignette, I have enjoyed putting it together, I even based it myself with travel to the basing department being difficult in lock down.

See you again soon, stay safe.

Monday 11 January 2021

Last Christmas Workbench, Sikh Wars mainly.

 So I managed a fair bit of painting over Christmas and I thought I would take the opportunity to share the last of them, gives me a bit of a head start for new units when we can eventually game again.

I have had a reasonable focuse on the Sikh irregular cavalry which is great fun with all the bright colours. A bunch have already flown off to be based in York but plenty more now when the basing department has completed those.

Whilst the Perry's did a fair range of nice horses when they did this collection I have so many that adding some variety in is really useful for breaking them up a little, I will share where I have got the different ones from and you can decide whether you think they work.

This first Sikh Officer is on tone of the original horses, I particularly like how this has come out with the range of different colours.
This armoured lancer may end up as standra bearer, I have mounted him on one of the Games Workshop Riders of Rohan horses I picked up, ever so slightly bigger than the old Foundry these are 28mm but take the riders reasonably well. I like this one.

This chap is riding a Foundry Polish Pancerni horse, which again I think works surprisingly well, the horse has a slung shield so I used an armoured horseman without a shield.

This lancer is riding one of the original horses, the pink and blue set the grey horse off well.

The trumpeter is riding another Foundry Polish horse, Not a Pancerni one more and Officers horse.
This light cavalryman is on one of the original horses, however I am short of shields so this guys has a Perry plastic one from the Afghan set.

These General Staff figures are from the Foundry Crimean range and the Perrys Carlist War range respectively, there is a size difference so I will add a little greestuff to the Foundry bases, I will turn these guys into a high command vignette for the EIC forces.
I have touched on my plans for the Bahawalpur forces in an earlier post, this gives you an idea how two of the units plan to look, I will add different shades of the main colours to create some variety but these are the basic schemes. The French Grey unit will be Foundry Baluchis and the Sand coloured one mainly Empress.
The officer here is an Empress figure, the rest Foundry Baluchi's
Again the command figure is Empress and the matchlock man probably the only Foundry figure I will add to this unit.

Finally the snow and Ice inspired me to a minor side trip to 1812, I have a mountain of stuff to do for my retreat from Moscow project so all good that I can get a couple squeezed in now and again.

Painting may slow down a little now with the return to work but hopefully the figures completed take me closer to a nice big Sikh Wars game when we can play agin.

Take good care.

Sunday 10 January 2021

The Forces of the Nawab of Bahawalpur 2nd Anglo Sikh War and Operations Around Multan

Until reading the Second Anglo-Sikh War by Amarpal Singh I had never head of this large force and had been only loosley aware of the siege of Multan which most of the histories I had read tend to gloss over in favour of the large set peice battles of the main British, Indian and Sikh field forces. A shame as it turns out, the Siege of Multan and operations in that region offer some very rewarding scenario material for the wargamer.

Two large battles, Kyneerie and  Suddusain, with 25-40,000 native troops that I had not even been aware of and multiple divisional sized actions around the City itself. Brigade sized actions to clear villages and suburbs around the City and the only truly offensive battle by the Sikhs against entrenched British I have read of. Really interesting stuff and for anyone interested I highly recomend the book. The Siege of Multan offers a plethora of scenarios for a range of rule sets.

I was reminded of this when I started considering a force of semi uniformed matchlock men. I was considering how best to use Empress miniatures matchlock armed muslim troops and after test painting two I was considering a couple of units of uniformed troops. I remembered the battles fought by the forces of Bahawalpur and re-read the passage.

 To go back a step Multan was the spark that led to the Second Anglo-Sikh War. A force of Sikh troops led by two british officers marched to install a new governer of the City and reduce the Garrison. Unwilling to be made redundant the garrison attacked the British Officers and the new governer with no interference from their Sikh troops who mainly stood back and watched (mainly Sikh Gurkhas it seems) the governer was bullied into leading the garrison in rebellion and eventually large parts of the rest of the Punjab joined in. Initially the local political officer, Leiutenant Herbert Edwardes, raised local Muslim hill tribes and mercenaries to support his Sikh regulars (Initially Sikh regulars were fighting on both sides) and contain the garrison whilst British troops could be sent down when the weather cooled.Eventually columns from both the Bengal and later Bombay presidencies would take part.

The Nawab of Bahawalpur as a British Ally raised his forces to support the British, apparantly around 9,000 foot, 250 horse plus cannon and camel guns. A little research showed he had a bodyguard but most of the troops were Raises and Tumandars, Baluchi tribes in 9 battalions. Haha thought I, A bodyguard of Muslim troops which I can put in semi uniforms and a horde of tribal Baluchis, realising I had a bunch of the Foundry Darkest Africa Baluchis I decided this would be the next project within my Sikh Wars project. 

The Bahawalpur contingent with other allied forces eventually seems to have reached around 18,000 in number and fought and defeated elements of the Sikh Garrison which had marched out to face them twice, on the first occasion beating 8,000 Sikhs in entrenchments and the second 12,000 Sikhs. Interesting battles in which the only Europeans present were two British Junior Officers along with the mixed race Sikh army General Van Courtland and the whole allied contingent of 18,000 was led by a leuitenant, Edwardes.

So that is a long way of me justifying two units of uniformed muslim matchlockmen which incidentally can also be used on the Sikh side in both Wars but also for the earlier Lake and Wellington periods and the later Mutiny period. Hurrah! The Foundry Baluchis will of course be perfect but will be supplemented by the Empress Afghan matchlock men from the Mutiny range, I may also throw in a couple of Perry plastic afghans for variety.

The bodyguard will wear red and yellow/buff I will use various shades of both so they dont look too uniform, essentially the standard bearer further up and the matchlock armed Baluchi above gives you an idea. The next unit will be Baluchi matchlockmen in blue grey robes with buff turbans and brighter blue cummerbund, I should also have a further unit with mixed firearms and swords in mixed civilian dress.

The South Western regions of the Punjab were populated by Baluchi and Pathan related tribes, the Baluchi seem to have longer robes and lots of hair which sticks out from their turbans. The pathans of course perfect for the Perry plastic Afghans and the Empress irregular matchlocks. It was only as I was thinking about other figures to use I realised I had two or three Indus Baluchi matchlock men in the bottom of the painted figure box somewhere, I will have the check out these and see which unit they can fit into. They must have been sat there for a couple of years waiting for me to finish a unit they could join.

The Baluchi unit in blue grey do look the part, the buff and red unit will be mainly Pathan I think.

Watch out for more of these, hoping to have the first unit finished over the next few weeks.