Gisby's Gaming Blog

August 12, 2016

Home-Grown Askaris

Years ago, I sculpted a bunch of figures for a company that shall remain nameless. They were state of the art for 1975, but it hadn’t been 1975 for many years.

I did however sculpt an Askari miniature, and kept a mould of him: Based on a Belgian Askari, he was pretty generic, so I have painted units of them in blue, khaki, and white, and he serves in many of my armies without raising eyebrows.

mybelgyellow

I recently found a TSATF unit’s worth in a box, based and primed, so I painted them as yet another bunch of Belgians.

The command figures are random figures from my Victorian spares. I think the Officer is from (long gone) ItalWars, and the NCO from Warrior Miniatures.

mybelgyellow1

My Askari is not so bad: If I could only sculpt hands, feet, faces, and bodies, he’d be great!

July 19, 2015

Darkest Africa – More Germans

Askaris

gerskar5b

gerskar5a

This unit is based on a description of Early German Askaris in Foundry’s ‘Small Wars and Skirmishes.’ It’s made of Old Glory Egyptians painted as Africans, with a German flag. It has Egyptian Officers, as the troops hired only understood commands in Turkish, so non-German officers were needed.

The Egyptians and the Sailors below had a few of the ‘Hey Bob!’ poses, with heads looking around at odd angles, but they were easy enough to fix.

Matrosen

matrosen1900

A naval landing party. Old Glory again, Austrian sailors from the Boxer Rebellion. If there is a difference in the uniform, it’s lost to me in 25mm.

Schutztruppen

Renegade WW1 Germans in field cap, with a neck curtain added.The uniform might not be 100% correct, but it looks good enough to me. (The caps should have a small visor on the front, but I didn’t bother) They’ll also do for troops serving in Asia.

renasien

I also made a MG and crew.  The funny little tripod is made from wire and plastic card.

 schmg01 schmg02

May 17, 2015

Darkest Africa: Pulp Figures German Colonial Infantry.

Pulp Figures is known for great personality figures and (of course) Pulp Archetypes, but I have always particularly liked their historical troops.

I was very excited when they released their ‘German Colonial’ sets. They are perfect for Colonial warfare, WW1, and the Boxer Rebellion. This uniform could be seen in the Pacific, Africa and Asia.

PGS 15 German Colonial Rifles is  well posed for a skirmishing line, and they really look the part: Tough, experienced troops. (The girl in the first picture is from PHP 19 Dangerous Dames 2)

sh1 sh1bsud2 sud1

PGS 17 German Colonial Maxim Guns

Again, well-posed and well-sculpted, a pair of efficient weapons teams.

Note: The HMG is not the one that came with the set. I accidentally wrecked mine trying some solder work, so had to replace it with a spare.

sud3 sud4

I used a RENEGADE 77mm gun with the crews from a set of PGS 17  to give my Colonial Troops some artillery.

shgun2 shgun1

I also have a unit of Seebatallion made up from PGS01, 02, 03, and 06. These troops could also be seen in the Pacific, Africa, and Asia,

sg2b  sg2a

The officer below comes with binoculars in his hand, but I replaced them with a sword.

sg2

Needless to say, I enthusiastically recommend these figures. They are available from Pulp Figures.

For more information on German Colonial Uniforms: http://www.germancolonialuniforms.co.uk/

October 1, 2014

Sailor Girls in Africa

I had a scenario planned, in which the Governor’s six daughters were kidnapped by natives, and the players had to rush around the table to rescue them before the Natives could involve them in a fiery sacrifice.

When I saw the Hinterland sailors, they were perfect for the role (Except for being well-armed, but I could live with that) Naval-styled clothes were quite fashionable as outdoor wear, so they don’t look out of place.

sisters1

But I needed a sixth figure, of a younger girl.  Hasslefree has a selection of younger figures, both armed and unarmed, all beautifully sculpted. I went with HA010 Katie, modifying her somewhat.

sisters2

I added a longer skirt and sun hat, and replaced her arms. She now clutches a Mauser broom handle and a dolly.

I’m more than pleased with the group, and recommend both ranges.

Hinterland has a range of alternate WW1 female soldiers, all well-sculpted and animated.  http://hinterlandminiatures.weebly.com/

Hasslefree has a large range of SF and Fantasy figures, all superb.  http://www.hfminis.co.uk/

April 13, 2009

Wargames Factory – Plastic Zulu War British – A Review

 

When Wargames Factory announced their intention to release a set of 1879 British, I was very excited.

First of all, because it was an indication that they were going to do Victorian subjects (pun!) but more, because it suggested that they were going to do ZULUS!

wfbrits01  

After all, no groups will benefit more from cheap reinforcements than the various charging natives of the Colonial Era: You just need a lot of ’em to face the massive European firepower.

 

Although they were not the first set announced by WF, they were the first set actually released, so are in some ways, a learning experience for the company.

That being said, they still aren’t bad as a first attempt.

The set comprises 20 figures, with two body poses, and arms to do a mixture of firing, at ready, and loading poses. There is no Officer included.

There are also 24 heads, with 5 styles of helmeted heads, and 2 in forage caps. Helmets are separate, so bare heads are easy enough if you want them.

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wfbrits05  

When first I attempted to assemble these figures, it seemed less like I was making wargames figures than assembling Tamiya-style model figures.

The parts were tiny and fiddly, and ill-suited to my elderly ham fists.

 

I’d suggest a production line approach for efficiency:

First of all, remove, clean up, and sort the pieces.

One-by-one, attach the left arms to all the figures. (I use tube cement: It fills gaps, and allows a bit more ‘wiggle’ time)

Next, attach the right arms: The left arm will help align everything.

Attach the heads so they sight along the weapon, or look wherever you want.

Put on helmets, adjusting heads as neccessary.

This speeded things up considerably.

wfbrits03
wfbrits06  

The Officer

Of course I needed an Officer…

This proved amazingly easy to do. (One of the advantages of plastic)

I pared away any straps or details I didn’t want, and repositioned the ‘loading’ arms.

With a revolver and scabbarded sword from the parts box, he was done.

(The hardest part was deciding on a pose)

 

What Did I Like?

Once I came up with a method, the figures went together easily and quickly.

Ultimately, they were ‘fun’ to make.Well done faces with personality. (and yes, the helmets fit well)

Loads of variety: Between the head, arm, and body choices, no two figures need be the same.

Being plastic makes them easy to modify and assemble.

Price: They are dam’ good value.

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wfbrits09  

What Didn’t I like? (NB: What I DON’T like may well be a GOOD thing to other people)

Delicate weapons: While the figures were proportioned like wargames figures, the rifles were delicate, like traditional plastic figures. I like my rifles a bit more sturdy.

Soft detail: The detail is there, it’s just not as ‘crisp’ as it could be. (Later sets have improved on this dramatically)

I don’t like firing figures (boo hoo. Poor Tim)

Above you can see a size comparison with a Wargames Foundry Brit of the same era.

RECOMMENDED

All in all, I’d recommend this set to anyone wanting to start or increase their Zulu War forces. The figures are also suitable for service anywhere in the 1870’s and perfect for Victorian Adventure Gaming or VSF!

AVAILABLE FROM:
Wargames Factory LLC

c/o Triangle, Inc

420 Pearl Street

Malden, MA 02148

http://wargamesfactory.com/Home.htm

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