Monday, January 5, 2009

28mm Great War Cavalry from Blaze Away Miniatures

A mini-project I'd like to do this year is to collect and paint a late-WWI Canadian cavalry troop for a "Moreuil Wood" game. Lieutenant Gordon Muriel Flowerdew won a VC for his part in the action:

"For most conspicuous bravery and dash when in command of a squadron detailed for special services of a very important nature. On reaching his first objective, Lieutenant Flowerdew saw two lines of enemy, each about sixty strong, with machine guns in the centre and flanks; one line being about two hundred yards behind the other. Realizing the critical nature of the operation and how much depended on it, Lieut. Flowerdew ordered a troop under Lieut. Harvey, VC, to dismount and carry out a special movement, while he led the remaining three troops to the charge. The squadron (less one troop) passed over both lines, killing many of the enemy with the sword; and wheeling about galloping on them again. Although the squadron had then lost about 70 per cent of its members, killed and wounded from rifle and machine gun fire directed on it from the front and both flanks, the enemy broke and retired. The survivors of the squadron then established themselves in a position where they were joined, after much hand-to-hand fighting, by Lieut. Harvey's part. Lieut. Flowerdew was dangerously wounded through both thighs during the operation, but continued to cheer his men. There can be no doubt that this officer's great valour was the prime factor in the capture of the position."
Exciting stuff!
Now to find the models needed to represent Flowerdew and the Lord Strathcona's Horse. My Great War infantry collection is almost exclusively from Wargames Foundry and they don't make late-war cavalry. I had some Old Glory infantry stuff before and it didn't wow me. I love Great War Miniatures' models and have painted tons of it for a client, but they don't currently do late-war cavalry either (although some is apparently on the way).

I inquired on TMP and was referred to an Australian company called "Blaze Away Miniatures", who make a selection of Australian Light Horse for the period, in both slouch hats and steel helmets. Unfortunately their website with photos is down, but their proprietor, Jon, very kindly sent me examples of the range.

The four models are an officer-type with sabre, a chap aiming a pistol with rifle slung, and two troopers holding rifles. The horse selection that came with them was two galloping and two standing mounts. They painted very nicely as shown in the pics. Some might criticize the anatomy of the horses but I think they are characterful and "heroic" in proportion to match the style of the riders. The only point of criticism I have with the figures is that the facial detail seemed a bit "soft" on the troopers. I really like the mustachio'd officer though.

The price quoted for the mounted models is AUD$12.50 for a pack of three mounted or six foot figures. I think this represents excellent value for money indeed!


Greg B said...

Dallas - those look great! How many more do you need to do to complete a group for the scenario?

Dallas said...

Thanks and good question!

I'll likely want to use the Warhammer Great War rules. The figure ratio is about 1:3, with a troop equivalent to a company I think. Flowerdew led a unit of about 100 troopers, that would be 30-odd mounted figures, but some of the cavalry had already dismounted for the fight. All that said, perhaps 18 or so models might make a decent cavalry group.