Sunday, October 22, 2006

Some more progress

Although I am spending quite a lot of time on my new Crusader Punic Romans I am still working on the large group of Beja on the workbench. I have now put sand on all the bases and painted the black parts on most of the figures. I am going to the USA tomorrow for 10 days so won't get anything done.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

First camel troops

These are the first camel mounted troops. I am going for one yellowy camel and two pale "white" ones. They are very large models standing nearly two and a half inches high. They should look good in a group. I have three more ready to be filed and based, which I bought at Colours in September.

More riflemen

These are the next 12 riflemen under way. I have six already completed but this means I will have to buy another pack to finish them to make a 20 man unit.

The next batch

I have started on the next group of Beja Swordsmen. They are painted with Humbol 186 and this pot is rather lighter than the previous ones I have used. It will give some nice skin tone variety when I mix them in with the existing ones.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Organisation of Beja Foot

This is the organisation of my first group of Beja according to The Sword and the Flame rules. Each band is 19 figures plus a leader known as a sheikh.

Three tribes make a larger force called a tribe that require a mounted Emir to lead them. I am making one of the three tribes armed with rifles, even though you are only supposed to have one in four units with rifles. I can deal with this when I paint my first unit of Nile Spearmen.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


These are the six riflemen I have painted so far. The Sword and the Flame allows you one unit of riflemen per three sword and spear units. Annoyingly the figures come in packs of six so I am going to have to get excess to finish the unit. I already have six more underway.
Swordsmen and Spearmen

Here are the 30 figures I have finished so far; I need to paint another 10 to finish the second unit. A good many of these were painted over the summer holidays in Cowes.

The animation of these figures is some of the nicest I have seen on any figures anywhere and so I forgive them the occasional roughness in texture in places.
Concentrating on Beja

I have decided to experiment with just painting one type of figure for a bit. I have put everything else back in their boxes and am planning to paint just Perry Beja tribesmen for three weeks. I did this over the summer holiday and got on quite well so I am hoping to be able to do this again. This is my first unit for The Sword and the Flame rules-20 figures; quite manageable.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Mahdi's Camel

This is just a test as I am having trouble uploading photos onto this site so may have to start again.

Here is the Mahdi in progress. Having been very pleased with the camel I have just read that he had a white camel. Curses! I am not repainting him though. I'm sure he rode more than one!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Having set up a couple of blogs based on armies I meant to work on but then got distracted from I thought it might be a better idea to actually do one where I am making some progress!
I chose the Sudan campaign 1883-1885 largely because of the wonderful new range of figures sculpted by Michael Perry of Perry Miniatures but also because I have wanted to build an army of Colonial British in pith helmets for some time. I bought my first metal figures six or seven years ago largely because they had British in pith helmets (Foundry's darkest Africa). I didn't want to do the Zulu wars because I couldn't face painting hundreds of nearly identical Zulus. Britain's opponents in the Sudan were much more varied in appearance and the British forces themselves, including Royal Marines, Royal Navy, Highlanders and Camel mounted troops were also more interesting.

Experience is also showing that I actually get these figures painted, rather than just looking at them for months!
Another key element for me is having a really good book or two and, preferably, a film for inspiration.

I picked up Wilbur Smith's recent novel about the siege of Khartoum, Triumph of the Sun, at Gatwick airport. I have only read a couple of Wilbur Smith novels before and this one started well but then seemed very rushed at the end but it inspired me to buy the DVD of the 1966 film, Khartoum, starring Charlton Heston which, while also not perfect, is certainly well worth seeing, despite a rather eccentric portrayal of the Mahdi by Laurence Olivier. Interestingly the Perry figure looks more like Olivier playing the Mahdi than the historical figure!

I had already picked up some Perry figures at Salute 2005 but reading the book and watching the film inspired me to get some painted. I took a group of 18 Beja with me on holiday last month and, much to my surprise painted them all. With the ones I had done earlier in the year they were starting to look like the beginning of a proper army. I have just bought a more few packs from Perry to complete some more units and hope to get these painted in the next few weeks.