Saturday, 3 July 2021

Readying another Project

Mimi and Toutou during their trials

A cigarette card depicting the two motor boats in transmit during their epic journey to Lake Tanganyika

 A rather nice model of Mimi

Now that the work on the remaining ACW ships is underway I am the fortunate position to be able to think about what will come next. I have a number of 28mm gunfighters to paint and the ships for Lake Tanganyika to build, both of which are fairly modest in terms of size which will suit my reduced hobby time rather well. As mentioned I am back in the office from Monday on a full time basis so everything gaming related will take longer and knowing my butterfly like attention span it makes sense for me to take on small and achievable projects.

The Old West will be a simple ‘paint and play’ set up with very little in the way of research other than watching a few old favourite films - probably spaghetti Westerns methinks - but Lake Tanganyika will need a more formal approach. I have a modest library about the War in East Africa and the operations on the Lake which will be revisited - the book ‘Mimi and Toutou go forth’ by Giles Foden is an excellent read for this and I am trying to track down a copy of ‘The Phantom Flotilla’ which also covers the naval expedition to the lake. Byron Farwell’s ‘The Great War in Africa’ as well as Charles Miller’s ‘Battle for the Bundu’ are another couple of books that cover the topic.

Producing the ships will be easy enough as there are very few to speak of! I am deliberately avoiding anything to do with building these at present as I want to finish the ACW ships first. I am confident though, that I have sufficient material to build them from my modelling stash.

David Manley’s excellent ‘Steamer Wars’ were written specifically for the Lake Tanganyika campaign and as well as a nifty set of tactical rules there is a full campaign system as well as a copy of the lecture about the expedition given by the commander - Captain Geoffrey Spicer-Simson  contained within. They are available from the Wargames Vault along with a couple of expansions to the basic set - one for European river warfare in the Great War and the second for the Russian Civil War. There may be more to come going forwards - I would rather like a supplement covering the Tigris operations and possibly even something for the great rivers of China - real ‘Sand Pebbles’ stuff.

Given the overall size of the Lake Tanganyika project I can see little reason for not using Mr. Manley’s set as written - it would certainly save me a heap of time for sure. Purely in the interests of research I suspect that I will also be watching ‘The African Queen’ again.

Another naval chapter of the Great War in Africa concerns the German cruiser S.M.S. Konigsberg. Her short but troublesome career afloat took on a extended leased of life when her ten 4.1” guns were salvaged  after she was sunk by Royal Navy monitors and were used to support the German East African land campaign. I have a hankering to tackle her story with some more scratch builds - these will be really pushing the envelope for my building technique - but that will be a project further down the list.

Building the models for either project will be using my fairly elastic interpretation of scale so the largest model for either will be around 6” long. Mimi and Toutou will be around an inch!


Aly Morrison said...

This certainly looks entertaining David…

Mini and Toutou go forth is such an enjoyable book…

All the best. Aly


David Crook said...

Hello there Aly,

The whole Great War East Africa thing has a certain degree of the madcap about it - naturally this means I will be interested in it!

I would love it if a studio or tv network decided to make a film/series of the Lake Tanganyika expedition - I reckon Roman Atkinson or Ben Miller would be great for the part!

All the best,


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Another project! (Feigned surprise)
Have fun!

David Crook said...

Hello there Geordie,

It is another project for sure but it is not really a new one as such.

It is also very compact in terms of material needed so should not take long to realise - famous last words methinks!

All the best,