Thursday 1 March 2012

On the North West Frontier....Part 3

It has been a grim week so far. Not in a health way - everybody is hale and hearty in that respect - but on the job front. My contract is up tomorrow and thus far I have nothing else lined up. It is not the end of the world but sadly having to deal with agencies, make a thousand phone calls, send untold numbers of emails and worse of all, listen to the same old drivel over and over again from the aforementioned  agencies! It is soul destroying and so I have been more than a little tetchy as a result.

Still, by way of light relief I thought I would share the details of what has thus far been acquired for the 54mm project. The cornerstone of the collection is the fort.

Fort Kandahar with a few reinforcements

The fort comes in a set with 20 each of British, Indian and Afghan infantry and by way of a bonus my set actually contained 25 Afghans and 24 Indians! In addition I have three extra boxes of each of the infantry sets; two each of Afghan and Indian cavalry and two boxes of British artillery. The infantry have 20 figures per box whilst the cavalry have 5. The artillery sets contain a gun and 5 gunners.

My plan is to organise the infantry into companies of 16 figures and an officer, the cavalry will be in squadrons of 8 with an officer and a gun battery will have two guns and 8 gunners plus an officer. Gamers of a certain age will probably recognise the organisation as being based on that used in Charge! Initially there will be four companies (the Afghans will be organised similarly) per side with the Imperial force having two companies each of Indian and British infantry. For the size of playing area I have (soon to be expanded to 6ft by 4ft) the set up I am planning will fit quite comfortably. There will be some spares earmarked for future use and the inevitable conversions for personalities etc.

I was also pleased to note that you are able to fit four infantry, two mounted or a gun and crew on a single Hexon tile so this opens up lots of possibilities in respect of rules - I am thinking various permutations of Command and Colours for a start, with a dash of MoB. The possibility of using a Victorian version of Charge! (which if I remember correctly are in the files section of the Old School Wargames Yahoo group) is also one to ponder but first of all, I need to plan the painting.

I am undecided as to the approach to adopt in respect of painting - currently I considering either an 'old toy soldier' style or flat colours with a an Army Painter dip. What I will do is to paint up one of each and see which looks better before taking the plunge. The Afghans will be painted first simply because they will be more varied in respect of clothing colours and so will be more fun to do, pure and simple!

A further cause for celebration arrived this morning courtesy of Ebay. The following two books have been added to the library and both are welcome, and in the case of one in particular, timely arrivals.

Happiness is a new, or nearly new book!

The Malakand Field Force by Winston Churchill (ISBN 0850522609) is the story of the Pathan Revolt in 1897 and is one of my favourite books. I have an electronic copy of this on my reader but not a 'proper' version so this was very welcome. I also landed a copy of Byron Farwell's The Great War in Africa (ISBN 0670802441) which covers operations both in East and West Africa during World War One. East Africa during WW1 is a fascinating theatre of operations and has lots of potential for campaigns and certainly the exploits of Paul Von Lettow-Vorbeck formed one of the sources of inspiration for the famous Madasahatta campaign organised by Eric Knowles.

So aside from the ongoing job dramas things have not been too bad on the ongoing projects front!


Battlescale said...

The best of luck to you on both your job search and your latest project.

All the best.

Paul O'G said...

Cracking looking set mate, lots of fun to be had there. And the upshot is that you'll have time now to play with them more...for a little while anyway :-)

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


Good luck for the last day of your contract.

Here's hoping that you will get another one soon ... but not before you get a chance to paint some of your new figures.

All the best,


Ken H said...

This is exciting and depressing in equal measure. Bob Cordery and Tim Gow's blogs have reignited my passion to become more adventurous. You have now added an unwelcome curve ball. Plastic figures have come on so much in terms of detail, range and availability that I'm minded to forget the trials and time of painting. Still, a fort..with 54mm figs, and and an O guage loco named Victoria...I don't mind saying David I'm dangerously interested to see how this develops. ( obviously I chucked the loco in myself, but imagine the small scale skirmish options!). Good luck!

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

How many current projects do you have?

Remember multi-tasking is a woman's skill ;)

OK I am just plain jealous

David Crook said...

Hi Steve,

Many thanks on both counts!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Paul,

Cheers old chap! I have yet to consider VSF in 54mm but don't rule it out!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Bob,

The plans are in place for the Afghan paint test over the weekend and I am rather excited at the prospect - which in itself and given my aversion to painting anything vaguely organic is in itself a minor miracle!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Ken,

I have a number of job opportunities currently under consideration but as yet nothing concrete. Overall I am sure something will materialise in due course - it is just it feels like pulling teeth at the moment trying to get anything!

Love the idea of Victoria - sourcing some personality figures may prove to be a little more problematic although certainly not impossible.

To be honest the main reason this project took so long to get off the ground was the fact that AIP seemed to take ages to add the final sets to the range to make it viable - cavalry and artillery being the main offenders.

I only hope that they have added Egyptian and Russian types for when I get around to tackling them in due course otherwise out will come the knife for some conversions.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

I am lucky in that this project has effectively absorbed a number of other projects and so it is not all bad from that perspective.

Most of my 'serious' games will be fought using the block armies - especially once I get the blocks chopped in half, thereby increasing the flexibility of the set up enormously.

Modelling wise the 54mms will be the only figures I shall be tackling and for ships well that will either be the Minifigs types or possibly (and at the moment is probably the more likely) some scratch builds based on Bob C's 'cartoon' or Monopoly' based idea - more of which later as I have a cunning plan in connection with these.

In real terms my project list has shrunk somewhat (and given my current work situation that is probably not a bad thing!)!

All the best,


Tim Gow said...

So you're starting 54mm in a small and measured way then? Remember to let me have a new email address - I only have the one relating to your current contract.

Conrad Kinch said...

In Inja's sunny clime, where Ey used to spend my time...

Best of luck with the new project.

David Crook said...

Hi CK,

This is certainly one of those projects that has a lot of mileage as well as consolidating a long of rather jumbled ideas.

I am rather unusally for me, actually looking forward to splashing some paint on the blighters as well!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

Measured, considered, planned and pondered over for all of 15 minutes....;-)

Job done re the email etc.

All the best,