Saturday, 14 March 2009

North West Frontier in 6mm

(Note: all photos should be clickable for a larger view)

Next up on the workbench, part of my ongoing project to do the Tirah Campaign of 1897 with the 6mm Colonial range from Irregular Miniatures. As some of you may know, minis from Irregular are (and I'm sure Ian and the gang at York won't mind me saying this), well.....a bit .....umm.....irregular. 
Sometimes when you unwrap them, you can't help but do a double take at what at first appears to be an undistinguished lump of metal, and the style of sculpt is chunky and colourful to say the least. However, and you will read this all over the 'net: whatever they look like 'naked', they always paint up really well!
Now of course you have the old Heroics & Ros line from Navwar, and also the excellent stuff that Baccus are now producing, but I find the H&R ones a bit tough to paint, as they are very small and the sculpts are sometimes a bit plain, and Peter Berry's stuff is far too pretty for a quick and dirty painter like me! 
Somehow, even if they look as ugly as sin, Irregular's troops are full of character and swagger, which is always important in a fight, table-top or otherwise.

Above we see Irregular Z23, 'Highlanders Marching', a nice looking mini, although the rifle/bayonets are a bit fragile; unfortunately there is only this pose available for the Scots. Below we have IND40 'Sikh Regular Infantry', which  actually I use for Indian Sepoys, as I find that their turbans are a bit small - if you look at contemporary photos the Sikhs have huge turbans at this period, but luckily the IND60 'Later 19/20th Century Sepoy' fits the bill for this. (see my company of 3rd Sikhs in amongst the photos in my first Blog post)

Next then, we see them painted up as the Afridis of the Khyber Rifles, as well as a view of how I've decided to base the troops for the campaign. Irregular's stuff comes pre-based, and the size can sometimes vary, so I went for two blocks to a base, to present a sort of skirmish line, with therefore a width of around 60mm, depth 15mm. 
The basing material itself is 1.6mm thick artist's card which I buy with pre-applied magnetic backing from Tiny Tin Troops - I am not a big fan of thick bases for troops at this scale, and so compromise over possible warping with these thin card ones, or even sometimes plasticard.

Next up we have the Dorsets, a base of Z5, 'British Infantry Kneeling', and one of Z6, 'Binf Standing', the definition on these is not so hot, perhaps, and the pose of the standing figures is a bit unnatural, I would have preferred something with a bit more animation; preferably levelled bayonets (The cold steel Carruthers!).

Finally we see the Gordon Highlanders (Although I bet they wore trews in this campaign: it can get chilly up your Khyber Pass otherwise!) who are protecting the Brigadier who is a mix of Z7 'Britinf Command Group', and the mounted half of Z8 'British Generals Mounted and Dismounted'. This is a cracking sculpt, and will feature again in my next post on command groups, along with some of the supporting troops.

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