Monday, September 17, 2012

Converted Seebattalion Maxim Guns

As I've mentioned in a previous post, I like the 28mm Boxer Wars German Seebattalion miniatures from Old Glory. They fit well with the RAFM Space:1889 miniatures, they're nicely animated, and they have good detail.  Regrettably, they don't come with much support, aside from a mixed bag of sailors as gunners; the Old Glory Boxer line doesn't feature Seebattalion maxim gunners.

So imagine my surprise when I stumbled across German maxim gunners in Old Glory's Spanish-American War line.

What's this?

There's a "fantasy pack" of German maxim gunners, secreted amongst the Cubans. Why they are not cross-linked to the OG Boxer line is a mystery to me. Apparently, Spanish soldiers would lie awake at night while deployed in Cuba, dreaming of German maxim gunners.  To each his own, I suppose.

Anyway, the uniform was similar, aside from a soft bush hat which was more-or-less easy to fix with some head swaps from extra German marines in sun helmets, and so a conversion was born. Trying to match the field-drab-grey of the Osprey illos was a bit more difficult, and required a base coat repaint.

Also, the Old Glory text is unclear about quantity - there are two gun teams of three, with a gun each, per package.

Animation: 5
Detail: 4
Proportions: 5
Variety: 4

Overall: 4.5 out of 5

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Askari Chasseurs d'Afrique - dismounted

In discussing the previously posted French Exercise scenario on The Miniatures Page, not to mention the feedback here, it became apparent that the French needed a few more troops to balance the game.  This is due, I think, more to the conditions of the scenario than the actual forces involved - a French player, suspecting an ambuscade, could send forward a small detachment of two-to-three figures and spring the Martian trap.

Some helpful sorts suggested introducing The Foreign Legion, but I hesitate to do so, yet, simply because they are in danger of being over-done in French Coloniale gaming.

Instead, I picked up some of Askari Miniatures dismounted Chasseurs d'Afrique.  I didn't need any new mounted minis, because I had found some twenty-odd mounted Chas. d'Afs that I'd converted from old Frontier miniatures castings. I don't remember what the figures previously were, and it doesn't much matter as Frontier Minis is no longer operating and the moulds are languishing in a barn somewhere near Montgomery, Georgia.

There are two sets (shown on a 1" grid) which I'm reviewing here; the dismounted pre-1900 uniform (with a higher shako) and the post 1900 command pack.

The dismounted pre-1900 figs are the usual Askari "army builder" quality - well sculpted and proportioned with moderate animation. There are three firing and three loading in a pack. Al at Askari has informed me via email that upon ordering, customers may swap poses more to their liking, so if one wanted all six firing, they have only to ask Al in an email.

The command set is a bit more interesting - the officer is advancing while aiming/firing his pistol, the sergeant is gesturing "Allons!" and the bugler stands poised, ready to sound "Remonter!".

As for the Chas. d'Afs appearing on Mars, Il est naturel, mon ami - they are the first French cavalry sent to any foreign place, be it Tonkin, Madagascar, or Idaes Fons.

Dismounted Chasseur d'Afrique
Animation: 3
Detail: 4
Proportions: 5
Variety: 3
Overall: 3.75 out of 5

Dismounted Chasseur d'Afrique Command (Post 1900)
Animation: 4
Detail: 4
Proportions: 5
Variety: 4
Overall: 4.25 out of 5

I'd like to see Askari expand this line a bit, possibly by adding a Chas. d'Af command pack in the pre-1900 uniform.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Reviresco British Gun Weasel

What follows are some pictures sent to me by John at Reviresco Miniatures.  Apparantly my doddling about (q.v.) with his Fate Racing Car inspired him to do some conversions of his own, and here is the result.

Photo courtesy of Reviresco Miniatures

Photo courtesy of Reviresco Miniatures

Photo courtesy of Reviresco Miniatures

John added smaller seats and tracks from the Lenin Rolls winter set.   The solid wheels are extras from his automobile line.  The new sides and longer fenders were made from .03 plastic card. The gun is from the 6lb Quick Fire Set and the crew from the British Pith helmet artillery crew. The caterpillar tracks are from his Racer modification kit.

This makes for a distinctive tracked gun carrier that would do any Space:1889 wargamer proud, operating on Mars, Venus, or the Western Front, especially if you were considering “Weird War One” or (as has been suggested on TMP) Very British Civil War.. 

I think, in the general climate of Happy Meal/Jumble Sale vehicles that seem to be saturating the Victorian Science Fiction genre these days, John’s Gun Carrier, Mk. 1 “Weasel” offers a unique, yet reasonable addition to General Wood’s #1 Column advance on Ĺ’notria.

John tells me that if there is enough interest in this model, he'll kit it up for sale.  Visit his website and let him know..

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