Friday, February 27, 2015

More Mamelukes and a couple of BIG guns

As I promised in my last post I have got stuck into the small mountain of lead that is my newly acquired Mameluke/Ottoman army (circa 1800 - for Napoleon's Egyptian campaign).  Now I've finished repainting & restoring the painted figures (a mix of Dixon and Old Glory) I started on the beautiful Brigade Games 28mm figures.  First lot were the artillery crews.  These appear to be a generic type of Arab - Egyptian or even Ottoman Turk and come in a variety of Middle Eastern garb and poses, both loading and firing. For the gun I've used a pair of old Warhammer Empire sakers, as they are so close to the larger calibre guns favoured by the Arabs and Ottomans as to make little noticeable difference in appearance.  The figures fitted with the guns perfectly!

As you can see I've added some appropriate puffs of smoke to her as she's fired off. The plume from the barrel is wrapped around a thin piece of florist's wire to keep it rigid. Quite a pleasing effect but don't if I'll use it for even wargame.  After much umming and arring I decided to mount both the figures and gum on large 120 x 80mm bases and using my new rocky desert flocking mix.

I love the chap covering his ears as the monster gun goes off.  The noise those things made would have been eardrum bursting load and terrifying.  I had to have big guns for my Mameluke / Ottomans as one of my formative wargaming experiences was loosing an entire regiment of dragoons to a point blank volley of canister from a pair of these monsters whilst fighting an Ottoman army at my first con many years ago. My regulars were going quite well against my opponent's Arab filth, even seeing off their Mameluke irregular cav until my rash cav commander decided it would be a good idea to charge the guns and fatally came up just short. Naturally it cost me the only game I had any chance of winning in that competition and thereafter it was seared into my wargaming brain that I must get me one of those colourful armies with those huuuuge guns!  My mate Doug's recent acquisition of a Revolutionary French army made me decide that the time was ripe to fulfill that desire.  That and the fact I'd flogged Doug my cherished French Camel corps figures (see previous postings last year) and he had found some magnificent ones to match them from the Brigade Games range which also had the Ottomans & Mamelukes I was looking for.

The loading crew look just as good, with bits and bobs 'borrowed' from my old Warhammer gun sets. There'll be no 'charging the guns' with any cavalry with this lot in action. KABOOOOM!!!!

 The pair of them in action will look quite a sight on the wargaming table.

Not to be forgotten are my Old Glory Mamelukes. Again an already painted acquisition from my lead pimp Doug.  I thought them pretty average figures with an even less average paint job, begging to be tarted up.  They have some funny poses and the heads look a bit cartoonish but with a repaint and some added detail, they come up alright and should fit it well with the rest of my Mameluke cavalry.

The challenge with painting Mamelukes is of course the sheer variety of colourful apparel.  As they were virtually a collection of little princelings they dressed each to their own taste and always tried to outdo one another with the splendour of their robes etc.  There would have been few more spectacular sights on the battlefield of thousands of these superbly mounted (all on Arab stallions) and dressed Muslim maniacs charging hell-for-leather at the French squares.

I have now just finished my first batch of the Brigade Mameluke figures.  They proved every bit as challenging - and more - as the above Old Glory figures.  Being such slender figures the horse all have an inherent weakness where they attach to their thin bases.  Unfortunately I discovered this after I finished painting and was attempting to remove them from the painting sticks to base them up. At least one separated from its base and several others threatened to do so too.  Much very bad language followed BUT I've managed to finally get them onto bases and (hopefully) secured them with large amounts of glue.  I'll flock and finish them then make a start on the next lot but here's a photo of them on the work bench with glue drying and before the final touches.  They are all based up as per irregular cavalry on 60 x 40mm bases.  These unfinished figures are led by the figure of chief Mameluke maniac Murad Bey, the figure in a gold spotted yellow robe closest to the camera. And yes , he was an old white-beared dude of 50+ years when he led his Mamelukes against the French at the Battle of the Pyramids.

I think I'm going to enjoy painting the rest up, which should keep me occupied until retirement!