Friday, 30 May 2014

...and on a roll - Bengal/Bombay infantry for the Sudan

I've managed to plough on and complete these fellows in just a few days. These represent either the 17th ('the Loyal Poorbeah') Bengal Infantry or 28th Bombay Infantry that saw service in Sudan from 1885. They wear khaki drill with brown leather equipment and canvas leggings. As usual for British Indian Army regiments, they carried a rifle one generation behind their British counterparts, the Snider-Enfield rather than the .45in Martini-Henry.   

These are the largest Anglo-Egyptian unit that I've painted so far and except for officer, were completed as one batch. Sizeable batches don't come naturally to me but it is great to have a decent sized unit complete as one, particularly as matching the khaki uniform may wellhave been a pain

They were purchased on a whim at a good price on eBay and as such don't quite fit with the rest of my Sudan collection. Having arrived in 1885 and fought in the second Suakin campaign, they don't sit comfortably alongside my British units in grey serge rather than khaki drill and Beja retaining their distinctive hairstyle, which had mostly been abandoned in favour of Arab headgear by 1885. Alas, many of you will know that I'm not one for worrying overly much about such details!

Three Indian regiments fought at Hashin and Tofrek in March 1885. The 17th Bengal infantry did end their campaign gloriously - at Tofrek they were overwhelmed and routed by a sudden Beja assault. This led to confused hand-to-hand fighting between Beja warriors and the Berkshire Regiment within a part-finished zariba. The 15th Bengal (Sikh) infantry and 28th Bombay infantry fared better at Tofrek, described in Go Strong into the Desert as 'the epitome of steadiness'.

In game, they will be as British units, but with slightly worse morale: in Black Powder, for example I probably wouldn't give them the benefit of Steady.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Back at the Brushes...

Yes, he emerges from the clouds of plaster dust and heady paint fumes. The bulk of the DIY is complete, so the painting desk has been restored. Rejoice!

First off the table, just a little command stand for the Sudan British. You may remember me playing with the placement previously. Just a few short months later (ok, six), voila!

Yup, bugler and NCO won out. I like the composition, though he's the only one wi three minis on so far.

Next up, the Bengal infantry! (Not that I haven't been saying that for ages...)

Monday, 12 May 2014

Go Strong into the Desert

Those of you who enjoy all things Victorian particularly the Sudan campaign may be interested in this offer from Perry Miniatures' latest newsletter.

Their source book on the campaign, Go Strong into the Desert written by Lt Col Mike Snook, is being offered at 20% off until 1st June. I have a copy and the quality is excellent. I've picked it up loads of times to check details and drool over the contents, but barely feel like I've dipped into its detail.

And my, it has a splendid cover!

Friday, 9 May 2014

AWOL: My Painting Corner

This week has been a write off hobby-wise, with a succession of workmen in the house making a right old mess. Ten days or so of having to go to friends' to make use of their bathrooms is not to be recommended. At the same time we've had the second bedroom replastered, which has put my painting corner out of action. Things are coming along now and once the plaster has dried out I'll be able to apply paint and get the corner back in action. Though there looks to be an endless series of bits for me to tidy up over the coming months.

Definitely not suitable for hobbies

This means virtually no progress beyond a little light assembly and an aborted attempt to do some miniature painting. I doubt I'll get back to it properly for at least another week.

The timing is quite unfortunate as I was quite fired up, having enjoyed a great trip up to Yorkshire Air Museum for Blog Con 2 last weekend. It was truly a pleasure to meet up with Curt, SidneyR, DaveD, Andrew 'Loki', Kev and the rest. We had two great games, a chaotic day in Serenity hosted by DaveD and a great trench raid by Sidney R. You may well have seen the writeups from my fellow bloggers already, but I'll post up my photos in a few days.

Excellent appearance of my hair and camera-clutching hand in this photo by SidneyR. 

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Sudan Stocktake: The Egyptian Forces

The Egyptians were never intended to be used as a force on their own, instead to be garrison forces or brigaded with the British to add colour and variety (and more of a challenge to the British command). But while they aren't enough to face the Mahdists alone, their numbers are creeping up. Though the recent Sudan games including the Battle of Shaykan by Lonely Gamers have been very inspiring - you never know, I might eventually collect enough to do some Egyptian/Mahdist games. Or even, just maybe Egyptian/British...

I've small units of both mounted and foot Bashi-Bazouks, both pleasingly colourful. 

One under-strength unit of Egyptian infantry in their white summer tunics. 

My favourites, the stalwart Sudanese IXth infantry (I noticed after putting everything away that I'd forgotten their regimental colours that were stored elsewhere).

The 'must add' is again quite short - depending on the number of players, I might make my first game British-only, but if I get enough interest someone will get to try their hand commanding an Egyptian brigade. For that eventuality I'll bolster the Egyptian infantry unit to a better size. These have sat half-painted months, interrupted by the challenge. Well overdue being finished, they shouldn't take too long. I've also a small unit of Bazinger riflemen that I've just finished prepping and should paint up.

I'd like to add one or two Egyptian command bases that I haven't got the figures for yet. Also some Egyptian regular cavalry and a proper Krupp gun rather than borrowing the Mahdists'! Then if I perhaps add a third unit of regular infantry and I'll have the basis for a couple of brigades from small beginnings.