Tuesday 28 February 2012

On the North West Frontier....

The Frontier Ablaze (again!)

I blame the Carry On team, Winston Churchill, Flashman and Kenneth More. The idea of war gaming the constant and unending struggle on the North West frontier of India has long been a guilty pleasure of mine but, like so many things, I never really tackled the concept other than to amass a small section of the library devoted to it. Spreading the idea further the whole Indian sub-continent has exercised a seductive allure from a military history perspective - from the time Alexander the Great up to the 18th century with Clive and beyond. The 'Jewel in the Crown' was aptly named and the potential for games set in the later years of the 19th century is both many and varied - from small scale skirmishes up to and including full scale battles and campaigns.

One of my all time favourite films....

....And another....

....And one of my favourite books....

....And another.

So what does all this mean then?

I have gone and done something that is not 'rather rash' - rather it has been an idea being mulled for probably at least the past 5 years to my knowledge - probably even longer if truth be told - and has been touched upon in the blog on a couple of previous occasions.

My adventures with 15mm have come to an end. I am sorry for this but I just cannot get on with then no matter how hard I try they just do not hit the spot for me in any way, shape or form. Were I to tackle anything in a smaller scale it would have to be 20mm as I suppose I am a little bit of a traditionalist in that respect and I indulged in painted armies in that scale long before 15mm, 25mm or 28mm.

I have also painted and converted a number of plastic 54mm figures for use with Western Gunfights; albeit many years ago.

I have acquired a modest selection of Armies in Plastic 54mm North West Frontier figures with a view to raising two forces - one Afghan and one Imperial - for use with a number of hex based systems, skirmishes and also Funny Little Wars. The action will focus on events in the little known Roghan Valley where the Imperial garrison at Dovecot attempt to maintain control of the area from the depredations of the fearsome Jalfrezis under their renowned leader Shere Khanaj and his chief advisor the self-styled Prophet Abul.

More to follow - once I have opened the boxes....


Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


You figures have arrived then!

I expect them to be cleaned and painted within the week ...

All the best,


PS. I look forward to seeing how you get on with painting these figures as I am hoping to learn 'how to' from you when I start on my own collection.

Tim Gow said...

And he's off - down the slippery slope that is 54mm!

Bluebear Jeff said...

Please keep us apprised of this project.

NWF in 54mm . . . oh my!

-- Jeff

Ross Mac rmacfa@gmail.com said...

I had some good fun with AIP's Sudan figures, gosh 10 years ago? when they were new. Sounds like a good choice to me.

David Crook said...

Hi Bob,

The week is no problem but you should have specified the year....;-)

I have a couple of ideas re the painting and the irony of me telling anybody how to paint figures has not been lost....;-)

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

I only hope I don't crash at the bottom of the slope!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Jeff,

I hope you are feeling better.

This has been a long time coming and has caused me much consternation but now that I have taken the plunge I can only say I wished I had done so sooner!

A post detailing some of the events in the Roghan Valley and the depredations of the Jalfrezis under Shere Khanaj will appear soon.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Ross,

Couldn't fight it so am just rolling with the punches!

The only downside is a distinct lack of naval activity but you can't have everything I suppose!

All the best,


Peter Douglas said...




The Ferrymen said...

Another movie you might enjoy along those lines is The Long Duel, with Trevor Howard, Yul Brynner, and Harry Andrews. It can be hard to find, though.

Another army/era... (shaking head)... you're a btter man than I am, Gunga Dave...



David Crook said...

Hi Peter,

Many thanks old chap!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi John,

Strictly speaking this is not a new period as such - just an enigmatic variation on a theme!

I certainly don't regret 'nuking' the 15mm kit - it is quite a liberating experience being true to one's desires after many years of chasing some rather odd ideas!

All the best,


Ken H said...

No! Kenneth More in NWF is MY favourite, along with she wore a yellow ribbon, Genevieve, North by North West and the quiet man. I'm looking forward to the pictures!

Paul O'G said...

Good show!

David Crook said...

Hi Paul,

I thought you say something along those lines!

All the best and chin, chin!


David Crook said...

Hi Ken H,

NWF is a great film for sure and as a piece of cinematic trivia the chap that played Gupta, the driver of Victoria was the same chap that Peter O'Toole rescued from and then later shot in the desert in Lawrence of Arabia.

All the best,