Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Mounted Commando

Having rebased the Scruby foot figures I felt I had to make the effort and do the same for the mounted ones. They needed a little more TLC than their foot brethren but I limited the repainting to areas that were worn or scratched as I wanted to retain as much of Ross’s painting handiwork as possible.

I’m very pleased with the way they’ve turned out and I must admit I’ve grown to love these old sculpts which date back to at least the 1970s. The horses have a certain something about them and manage to successfully convey movement in a way that not all more recent figure designers have managed.

Within the ranks is one Jacklex figure but he blends in so well you’ll have a hard job to spot him. The Commandant figure is one of the contemporary mounted figures produced by Newline Designs.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Scruby Commando

Commandant Ross leads out the newly refurbished Scruby Commando. These are more of the figures I received from Ross last year that have now been touched up, re-varnished and rebased to my own system.

These figures by Jack Scruby are slender and look a bit small compared to the Boer figures by Jacklex and Newline Designs but they have a charm of their own. I particularly like the figure representing Commandant Ross with his rifle cradled in his arm.

Each of my Commando’s will be comprised of 12 men plus a Commandant based in such a way as to allow casualty removal. The initial phase of this project will require me to have three such Commando’s and I’m well on the way to this now.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Boer Artillery

These are more of the figures I recently received from Ross. They’ve been touched up and rebased to my own basing scheme. The gun I believe is a British one but I thought it looked suitably ‘Boer-ish’ and in the absence of proper 20mm Boer artillery it certainly looks the part.

The gunners are a mixture of Jacklex and Scruby figures. Jacklex never produced any Boer gunners commercially although apparently some prototypes were made – click here. The Jacklex figures in this crew are BW6 Horse Holder and PEA5 Officer (from the Mexican War range).

There is good news on the Boer artillery front however as Newline Designs have just released a Pompom gun and crew. I already have a couple of Pompoms from Raventhorpe Miniatures but this newer offering looks a bit more businesslike so I will probably get some in due course.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Jacklex Maxim

The Maxim gun was invented by Hiram Maxim in 1883 and was the first proper machine gun to be deployed by the British army. It was used successfully in several colonial wars although it is said its effect was more psychological than physical. By the time of the Second Boer War there were two maxim guns attached to each British battalion.

“Whatever happens, we have got
The Maxim gun, and they have not”

The Boers however were not the spear wielding tribesmen the British were used to dealing with as they had invested in some state of the art weapons including the Mauser rifle and the pom-pom gun. The pom-pom was an upgraded version of the Maxim gun that fired a 2-pound shell and the British Tommies were not keen to find themselves on the receiving end of such a weapon.

This model Maxim gun and figures are produced by Jacklex (available from Spencer Smith Miniatures) and were amongst the figures I recently received from Ross. I had to touch up them up slightly so that they blend in with my existing British infantry and then base them to my own basing scheme. I’m really pleased with the way they’ve turned out.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Boer Reinforcements

I have just received some rather splendid Boer reinforcements that in one fell swoop have trebled the size of my commandos. The figures are a mixture of Scruby and Jacklex ones that were previously in the collection of Ross and appeared on his blog here.

A complete 12 figure mounted commando. This will save me
a lot time as I'm always slow to paint cavalry. My idea is to
have just one mounted Boer unit which can be used to
represent any of the foot commandos when required. These
are nearly all Scruby figures (JC54 & 55) with a couple
of Jackex (I think all the horses are Scruby).

This is a full commando on foot made up entirely of Scruby
figures (J50, J51, J52). They are charming slender little figures
full of character. That's Commandant Ross out front
leading them.

I believe this is Jacklex C6 Colonial Field Gun although it is
bigger than some I bought recently. The Boer gunners are
mostly Scruby J53 but I'm not sure where the gunner with
field glasses came from - great figure though.

This is Jacklex C5 Colonial horse drawn maxim gun and crew.
The maxim is a particularly nice model and just what the
Suffolks will need as back up against all those Boers.

I was really excited to receive this because it is the 'must have'
item for any Boer War British force. This is Jacklex N15 Naval
Gun. I will have to get some naval gunners to crew this.

Last but not least Ross included these Boers painted I believe
for action along the Canadian border but can be trasferred to
South African duty with a dab or two of paint.

Thanks to Ross for being noble enough to part with these lovely figures. I hope they will do him proud in my planned Boer War battles.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Suffolk’s on parade

The 1st battalion the Suffolk regiment is complete and are now being put through their drill prior to embarking for South Africa. The Suffolk’s didn’t actually take part in any of the battles in 1899 so I may have to stretch reality a bit to let them take part in my planned campaigns.

The battalion in close column, officers to the front. Roy's right, they
do look a bit like flapping seagulls!
Deployed in line and ready to advance.
Extended order - this new fangled formation is frowned
upon by the senior NCO's.
A half battalion - some scenarios will call for smaller British units.
The sergeant major on the right is sensibly carrying a rifle to
make himself a less conspicuous target. The officers however
may not last long once the mausers start firing.

I’m really pleased to have finished one British unit and hope to start on the next one soon. In the meantime I need to return to the Napoleonic figures on my painting desk who are feeling a little bit neglected.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

First British unit done – almost!

My first unit of British infantry is now varnished and based and only requires some base texturing to complete it. Overall I’m really pleased with the way these look and I think my final decision to go with 24 figure units has paid off. These are all Jacklex with the exception of one of the officers and the sergeant who are from Newline Designs.

I’ve gone through quite a few changes of direction since I started this project but these are now my final thoughts on things:

1. The British and Boers will be based to the same spec with 3 figures per infantry stand measuring 60 x 20mm. Cavalry will be mounted in 2's on a 40 x 40mm stand (some stands will be broken down to enable casualty removal).
2. Painting style – simple block colours. The figures will be matt/satin varnished – I had a go with gloss but it just doesn’t seem right for the look I’m after.
3. Bases will be textured and painted – I tried the plain green ‘old school’ style but again this didn’t seem right for this project.
4. The rules will be ‘traditional’ wargame ones but I may at some point try a Commands & Colors type secondary set.
5. I’m keeping this small, my aim will be – 4 British infantry units plus 1 cavalry unit and a couple of guns, 5 Boer commandos plus 1 mounted commando and a couple of pom-poms.

This all seems quite achievable but we will see.