A while ago I presented a review of the British infantry plastics for 1877-1885 by Perry Miniatures and my first painted figures from the set (here). As some of you might remember I wanted to have a unit of those splendid figures painted as members of the 66th Regiment of Foot that fought a heroic battle near Maiwand on 27th July 1880. So here we go:
As usual I took the pictures before varnishing them so there'll be some pieces of static grass and of course the colours added later. For now they are a smallish twelve men unit which will see first fire on Friday when we play 'The Men who would be Kings' by Daniel Mercy at the club.
Actually I wanted to make a larger unit from the plastic box but meanwhile Michael Perry sculpted some wonderful kneeling British which I simply have to add. And of course Bobby the dog will not be forgotten!
|A sergeant, Lt.-Col. James Galbraith and one of his buglers / drummers|
In my review I described the quality of the sculpts rather detailed. Anyway let me repeat how pleased I was by these figures. They are really pure joy to paint and bear all the remarkable details for the uniform and gear during the NWF campaign in 1879 / 1880.
|The same figures from another angle.|
My only worry is that the box contains only two ensigns. Since during the 2nd Anglo-Afghan War the colours were still taken onto the battlefield it becomes a problem for small unit fans like me to find enough ensigns to give two of them to each unit. Luckily in the past the Perrys made command sprues from there plastic boxes available individually. I hope they'll take that step with this box as well.
|A private and 2nd Lieutenants Arthur Honeywood (Rgt. Colours) and Walter R. Olivey (Queen's Colours)|
Luckily I was able to lay my hands on one the 28mm incarnation of 2nd Lieutenant Walter Rice Olivey. He was one of the ensigns bearing the colours of the 66th during the battle of Maywand - namely the Queen's Colours - and died with the Colours in his hands. Let me quote Col. Mike Snooke's from 'Into the Jaws of Death' narrative of the situation:
By now 2nd Lieutenant Walter Olivey had also been hit and seriously wounded.
He was observed with a handkerchief wrapped around a nasty head wound,
but when somebody tried to relieve him of the Queen’s Colour so that he could go
to the rear he refused point-blank to leave his post.
'Into the Jaws of Death' by Col. Mike Snooke
The author refers to a contemporary account given by Lieutenant Manus L. O'Donel which is available on the excellent homepage of the 'Maiwand Journal' a homepage or project dedicated to the name giving battle. Well-known experts and authors about this topic are presenting parts of their research there.
By the way Col. Snooke's book is a piece of literature that I cannot recommend enough. He covers a couple of British military blunders of the high Victorian Age from 1879 - 1900. His presentation of well researched facts and his casual narrative style are as informative as captivating.
As described in the initial review the uniform colours are based on Vallejo Game Color 'Khaki'. For the puttees I used Vallejo Model Color 'Dark Prussian Blue' and 'Prussian Blue' since there is some evidence that the 66th wore them in this colour and I found it a nice touch to indentify them on the battlefield easily.
|The complete unit on trays by Warbases.|
Well then... That's it - for now - with my interpreration of the 66th in 1880. After all I'm more then satisfied with how they turned out. Many thanks to those fellows who granted their kind assistance during the tender beginnings of my NWF project: My friend Michael Awdry who dragged me into Victorian warfare with his temendous blog, Mark Hargreaves one of the experts for any chap wearing khaki, Michael Davis (whose blog's URL I humiliatingly lost) as well as Ethan 'Mad Guru' who both covered NWF and the battle of Maiwand in a most excellent way on their blogs and last but not least Michael Perry who was kind enough to give me some priceless advice and my friends Bernhard and Michael who lured me into a new project somehow...
However let me know what you think about those figures and don't hesitate to give me hints to improve the next unit. Momentarily this result is the peak of my humble skills but I'm always trying to improve something.