Thursday, 29 January 2015

My New Shooting Leave Victorian Warfare Blog


This is just a quick post to let you all know that I started a new blog based on 19th Century Victorian Warfare. It's called Shooting Leavea name taken from the times when British Officers would 'take leave' traipse around the Empire often at their own expense and at extreme personal danger to map out and spy in the furthest reaches of Empire and beyond.

i thought it a good name for a blog featuring battles of the Victorian era.

If you like, you can pop over and see what all the fuss is about HERE!

Cheers for now.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Interlude; John Jenkins Designs Vignette: General Gordon's Last Stand

I've just noticed this striking vignette on the John Jenkins Designs website featuring the Anglo-Sudanese conflict.

I simply has to include them here as they look so, well, marvelous:

The archetypal depiction of Gorgon's Last Stand

A Close Up of Gordon Pasha's Last Moments

Cheers for now.

First Base of Beja Complete!

Well, not quite the first base. I've got another six metal Beja which I'm starting to paint up right now that will me mixed and matched with the first and possibly the third plastic base. I find that many of the plastic mini's have a similar stance in that they all seem to be leaning forward a little so it's imperative for me to have more variation in the units, thus adding the metals.

I'm quite pleased with how they're come out given that this was a run through to see how what was possible and that a certain amount of detail had to be added by hand.

I sent for a reddish skin tone on the first unit as the colour of the skin tones in and around the Red Sea Littoral could vary from tribe to tribe (within tribes too one would imagine). I may try a darker tone next time but as I have 30-36 of this batch to do I'll worry about that later! The mini's haven't been varnished as of yet as I prefer to do them in batches of about ten. Saves quite a bit of time.

At present, the miniatures have no concrete spot on the base so I can play around with the composition more when I've got the metals painted up and come up with a more dynamic scene.

Without further ado, here's the 'first' base:

Basing Figures; The Sudan


I was at the local model shop with the idea of picking up more Plastic Mahdists by Perry Miniatures and as I was browsing around I notices some fine Ballast which, I thought would go rather will on the bases of the mini's for my Sudanese project. It really is quite fine stuff and will mix well and add a bit of contract to the larger sand crystals on each base. I'll be adding rocky bits as well as Silfor static grass (when painted) etc. should make the bases look as interesting as the minatures.

The first couple of bases will be ready very soon so you'll be able to see the results quite soon. The Ansar have taken a little more time to paint than I had expected but I'm feeling my way through the first batch and they should come thick and fast after the initial lot are done.

Cheers for now.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Help Needed! Activation of Followers Widget???

Now Sorted Out- Many Thanks to Ray!

Hi, it seems that one problem that I wasn't aware of until now, was that my normal Blog Followers wasn't activated. I've been through the widgets list and I cannot find anything that would help me in my quest to turn the damn thing on so that it appears on my blog:

Shooting Leave (Victorian Colonial Warfare Blog):

Can anyone out there give me some advice please- it would be gratefully received.


Saturday, 17 January 2015

It's arrived!! BP- Blood on the Nile!! And a Free Fred Burnaby!!

I guess that I've let the goose out of the bag  but here are my first impressions of the book and the Perry Fred Burnaby mini that came free with the order from Perry Miniatures.

Firstly, the book is lavishly illustrated with diorama style pics of beautiful that really capture a glimpse of what some of the action Perry Miniatures with some cameo appearances from Foundry Miniatures, Empress Miniatures (?), Castaway Arts (?) and a few others I spotted that I did not recognise.  As I've said, the photo's are all set up vignette style and give a flavour of the action that's lacking in some rulebooks. Overall, the production quality in on a par with most of Warlord's black Powder, Hail Caesar products but this one seems especially good.

I ordered from the Perry's as I was really taken by the free mini of Fred Burnaby at the Battle of Abu Klea. This miniature is very understated considering the gallant and somewhat futile mess he got himself into during the battle that lead to his untimely demise. I really love this figure and getting an early casting is certainly worthwhile as the quality is always better no matter who you order the miniatures from.

Colonel Frederic Gustavus Burnaby was a very interesting man....  He joined the Royal Horse Guards at a young age and was prone to searching out any reason to go on Shooting Leave, but of a life of adventure. He was a pioneer of ballooning for example as well as travelling through Spain and Russia. His Russian adventures are described in his book, A Ride to Kiva.

In 1879 he began to develop an interest in politics and ran unsuccessfully for Birmingham as a Tory Democrat. He is noted as crossing the English Channel in a hot air balloon (certainly a more successful enterprise than his political career!) and by 1882 was on active service involved in the Egyptian Campaign and later in the Sudan. He fought at the battle of El Teb and acted as political officer to General Valentine Baker. He met his death fighting in a heroic attempt to save his countrymen at Aby Klea. and his loss was much mourned by the army. 

A giant of a man, said to be able to carry a polo ponies under each arm(!), he was larger than life when he lived and goes down as a living legend in his time.

I'll talk much more comprehensively about Fred Burnaby in a later post.

Cheers for now.

Friday, 16 January 2015

European Weapons and Warfare 1618-1648, Eduard Wagner, Re-published by Warlord Games


Re-published by Warlord Games is Eduard Wagner's,  European Wwapons and Warfare 1618-1648, which I believe is a reprint of the book featured below:

This book seems to be packed with brilliant illustrations and would be a 'must have' for anyone new/not so new to the period! I can't say that i've ever read the book but I have sen copy before and it is packed with illustrations and well worth the £25 that Warlord are asking for.

Out of interest a quick look at the Amazon page revealed to me that for folk into other periods, Eduard Wagner is also responsible for writing or co writing the following books:

Swords and Daggers, Eduard Wagner

Medieval Costume, Armour and Weapons, Eduard Wagner, Zoroslava Drobná and Jan Durdík

Cheers for now.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Second Afghan War Mounted Officer Conversion

Inspired by a mini that I was sent to paint I was drawn into having a go at adding a poshteen to this Mounted Officer. The mini itself is a Studio Miniatures sculpt (I believe by Soapy??) and the castings are a crisp as you like. I highly recommend their range for the Second Afghan War especially their Afghans which as well as being beautifully sculpted and cast are really dynamic sculpts. I think Soapy has recreated some of his magic that was the Woodbine Designs WWI in the East range that he did for Gripping Beast.

The poshteen as you can see was sculpted using Pro-Create putty (Greystuff in my world) which I find is much easier to manipulate than Greenstuff as it lacks the tackiness of Greenstuff but retains the adhesive properties. I know statement sort of doesn't make that much sense but if you haven't used it, buy some and you'll see what I mean.

I was without my Clayshapers which I normally use when sculpting. They allow you to manipulate the putty but without the hard lines and messiness that general metal sculpting tools can cause. So, as a result, it's certainly not my best but I reckon that it's OK and should paint up very well. If I have one criticism (apart from some hard lines left by the metal tools) is that I think I've sculpted a little too much sheep skin but I'm now saying to myself that an Officer in Her Majesties Army could afford the extra wool :>)

Anyway, without further ado, here are the images:

Cheers for now.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Perry Miniatures Plastic and Metal Beja Comparison

As promised (how very unlike me!) here are a few comparison shots of the Perry Beja in Metal and in Plastic. I've left the metal one's without an undercoat for now so it's obvious which mini's are which.First, before any discussion here are the comparison shots:

The first thing that struck me is that the metals are slighter than the plastics, not by much but it is noticeable. Not by all that much and with a lick of paint I don't really see that the size difference will be obvious without really scrutinizing the miniatures. What i am looking to do is get as much variety in the units as possible so with the addition of the 12 or so packs of metals this should be a very achievable aim.

So, how does the detail on the metals compare with the plastics? Generally the metal miniatures have more character and are in more dynamic poses too. The character of the metals is however offset not just by the cost of the plastics but the conversion possibilities they present. I'm really looking forward to hacking a few of the plastics up and creating some casualties as well as a series of vignettes that i have planned. This of course all be published and discussed in detail in future posts. For now it's a matter of getting used to the plastic mini's before embarking on any chopping! I find that if you give yourself a chance to get 'used to' plastics then you get a much better feel for conversion possibilities and perhaps more importantly, what will look right.

OK, it's late so that's it for now.


Sunday, 11 January 2015

Project Sudan is Underway!!

Firstly, please forgive the quality of the pics in this little article. Due to circumstances beyond my control I haven't got my lighting system and I've just switched from my Laptop to a Lenovo Yoga and frankly the software for pics compared to what I normally use (Photoshop) is complete rubbish. I've got a CRR/WR on it's merry way to me but as it hasn't arrived as of yet I'm having to make do. I'll re-process the pics as soon as I can install Photoshop! These pics are a bit dark and likely to be very large when you click on them, as I say, circumstances beyond my control.

The Sudan project is under way!!

It's been a while as I've had quite a few personal problems (still have!) since my last post but I'm beginning to get back into the hobby again so that in itself deserves a big "Hurrah!!"

I've manages to glue myself together the first 13 Beja (or Hadendawa in this case) and I'm quite pleased with the results. They were very easy to assemble, which counts for a lot when one has to assemble a mighty host; I've got three boxes to do in total! I'm going to do half as Beja and Half as Kordofani Tribesmen as I want the Beja to be as naked in terms of their clothing and the Kordonfani Tribesmen to be more fully clothed. I'll be mixing in a lot of metals on the bases too to keep as much variation going as possible. There are likely to be a few conversions as well but at this stage, lacking all my gear (I think I've got some Grey Stuff somewhere??) I'm going to stick to just well, sticking them together. I always find that this gives a greater 'feel' to how they can be varied so it's not such a bad thing to wait a short while anyway.

Tonight I'll take some shots of the plastics next to the metals as I'm sure that the former are slightly bulkier than the latter. Anyway, it will give me an idea of how to best fit them all in together in a particular unit. It might very well be the case that the metals have lower and less bulky bases in which case adding a piece of card/platicard below the bases of the metals will do the trick nicely.

For now,here are the pics of the plastics glued together:

So, until tomorrow and the comparison shots between the plastics and the metals, it's cheers for now.