Monday, February 13, 2012

ANZACs - the Light Horse

A quick check of the blog stats showed me the 70,000 hits milestone coming up, so I thought I'd make a quick post on some figures I have recently worked on - made some time ago but needing a retouch and  some fixing after recent breakage.  They depict the famous Australian Light Horse cavalry that served in the Middle East - Palestine - and on Gallipoli (as infantry) in WW1.  I have a personal connection with these as several of my ancestors were Light Horsemen who took part in the legendary charge at Beersheba - one of the last great (and successful) cavalry charges in history.

One ancestor was with the Tasmanian 3rd Light Horse who secured the hills next to Beersheba, the other managed to get into Turkish Headquarters where they disarmed the circuit charges set to demolish the wells - the only substantial water for several hundred miles.  The maps he helped himself to are still part of the Australian War Memorial collection - I remember a few used to be in the hand of the Turkish officer model that used to be on display.  But another I discovered years later in an old army trunk and now takes pride of place in my father's study after I restored, mounted and framed it for him.


The figure is mounted on a wooden base with one of my ancestor's original 'Rising Sun' Australian slouched hat badges and depicts one of the 12th LH regt., composed mainly of Queenslanders and Tasmanians.


I started the flesh off with the usual pale tones but highlighted and used repeated washes to get that sunburned look.  The horse was the normal coloration of one of the 'Walers' - beautiful horses of legendary toughness, intelligence and endurance (bred mainly in New South Wales - hence the name) of at least 16 hands or more - big men on big horses!


They were armed with the famed Lee Enfield 303 and not armed with swords (as they were mounted infantry) charged home against the Turk entrenchments (with their machineguns and covering artillery) with their 18 inch bayonets!


The second figure is also an ANZAC (Australia New Zealand Army Corps) - one of the Tasmanian units on Gallipoli.  Both figures are of Australian manufacture but I cannot recall the maker.  Not a bad sculpt though - I just wish our War Memorial sold them rather than a lot of the foreign crap (and totally unrelated models etc) that they do sell!!!  I shouldn't grumble though - they kind of make up for it with an excellent bookshop covering nearly every aspect of Australian military history.


Well, that's it for now.  I've just counted up all the figures I've got scheduled for painting in 2012 - nearly 500 of 'em - I must be crazy!  And that's without doing any of my ACW Confederate army or my WWII German paras and vehicles.  They may have to wait until I retire next year!  Still, just about finished the Turkos for Doug before I make a start on my Wurttemburgers.  Because the latter only come in a few poses I've had to do some extensive conversion work to make a standard bearer and a jaeger musician for the light infantry command stand.  But all that is to come - when I have time to blog!  

Also a very BIG thank you to all my fellow bloggers who have visited and supported my humble blog, provide me with a constant source of inspiration and encourage me to continue my quirky contribution to blogdom!

Cheers,
           Doc