Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The British Arrive - Sudan Re-Basing Part 2

"Steady lads!" The 28mm British forces ready to fight the Mahdists in the Sudan...or in my kitchen...

This is part two of the long, long, long-delayed completion of the re-basing of my 28mm Mahdist Revolt collection. Here are the British infantry forces and commanders on their new bases.

For the British infantry I wanted to go with a very narrow frontage for the figures.  They were generally in squares for actions in the Sudanese theatre, and were greatly outnumbered in the battles. Your firing line is going to be compact, the men close together, firing volley after volley, hoping the enemy will break...I hoped the figures would represent that, so the frontage is narrow - 15mm per foot model.   With 24 models per infantry unit that works out to a frontage of 180mm in line, which is very reasonable for battles on 6' x 4' tables.

I'm pleased with how it turned out - narrow enough to give the solid look to the battle line, but still large enough to take up a decent amount of space on the table, and not too large in contrast of the Mahdist warbands.

Screw gun and crew hold the flank near the stout members of the KRRC.
My original effort had centered around painting the units involved with General Graham's forces who were based at the port of Suakin on the Red Sea coast.  These units engaged Mahdist forces in the battles of El Teb and Tamai in the spring of 1884.  My first British infantry were a group of Yorks & Lancs (who could probably represent one of several units present, as several battalions had similar-looking uniforms and kit issued to them), then a group of Cameron Highlanders (at least, I think they were Camerons...I tried my best with the tartan.  Maybe they are Gordons? But they are not the Black Watch) and associated support.  This would include the notorious Gatling and Gardner guns, and a screw gun.

General Graham and assorted supporting officers to represent the overall command and brigade commanders in "Black Powder"

In 2013 I worked to expand the British side of my collection.  I painted up a group to represent the King's Royal Rifle Corps, who had black leather belts and pouches.  I also added some cavalry - figures representing the 10th Hussars. There is a mix of figures with sabres and with improvised lances in that unit. The British cavalry found themselves turning to these lances in order to deal with terrain that, while nominally "flat" and "open", could often be very broken and difficult for cavalry troopers trained to operate under European battle conditions.  The Madhist warriors would make things tricky, lying low and lying down and making it hard for the mounted troopers to hit them. Lances were a solution...

One of the iconic pieces of this setting - a Gardner gun - deadly for Mahdists until it jams! Some naval ratings are present to the left and behind the gun.

Gatling gun in position at the corner of a brigade square.

In 2013 I also wanted to work toward some games set on the Gordon Relief Expedition, particularly the engagements at Abu Klea and Abu Kru involving the British Camel Corps. To this end I painted a group of figures to represent one of the Camel Regiments present in that column. These are some of my favourite figures from the setting, as they sport things like neck curtains, goggles, ammunition bandoleers and sword bayonets that offer a unique look.

The Yorks & Lancs (and potentially a number of other units) on their new bases.
Highlanders prepare to deliver a volley!

As "Black Powder" is a pretty easy-going set of rules, I didn't need to re-base the gun teams right now.  I might do that at some point, but as a blog visitor Murdock pointed out in the comment section of the previous post, the round base kind of lines up with the map symbol for artillery - I like that! At any rate, everything is measured easily from the barrel so these pieces will be fine, and they stay as originally painted back in 2007!

The 10th Hussars, sporting an assortment of weapons.

Another view of the Hussars...turns out I had painted 13 models, which is kind of...odd...anyway, one extra lad at the back.

This force is not totally coherent...the Camel Corps figures would not have seen action around Suakin for example, while the Highlanders and Hussars would not have been present with the Desert Column.  I don't think the Rifles were there either...but I'm not sure - the elements of the Desert Column are always a little confusing as the Regiments in question were pulled from volunteers from various units, including cavalry regiments and the Guards regiments.

But anyway, coherence aside, it will do for "Black Powder" games! Hopefully these lads will see action in the sands of the Sudan on the gaming table sometime this fall. 

1 comment:

Peter Douglas said...

Looking great Greg! That's an impressive fist of imperial might!
Cheers, Peter