An Unexpected Guest!

Well, it’s taken two years to get round to visiting, but this week COVID has been an unexpected guest in our house! And as unexpected guests have a habit of doing, it’s overstayed it’s welcome! For my wife and myself it’s been halfway between flu and a nasty cold and (hopefully) it’s now preparing to pack its bags and leave. This has meant that I’ve done nothing hobby-wise this week, but I did manage to get a handful of figures finished last weekend (see below).

These are B & B Miniatures 20mm WW1 Indian cavalry, painted here to represent Ist Bengal Lancers troopers for the Boxer Rebellion period. I’d already got three of these figures painted years ago to use as a scouting unit but decided to increase the unit strength to six figures to let it function as a full cavalry unit. I’d misplaced the horses over the years so had to use some spare ACW horses for these three but I’m happy with how they’ve come out. The figures are quite nicely detailed.

With Britain involved in the Boer War in South Africa at the time the Boxer Rebellion broke out (1900), by far the greatest number of “British” troops involved in China were Indian army units, so I’ve tried to reflect this in the units I have – I’ve got one British infantry battalion, one Indian infantry battalion and the Bengal Lancers completed and another Indian infantry battalion in progress. I’ve already featured the other Western powers troops in a post a while ago but still need to do one on the British forces.

Three more figures finished, for the same conflict, are the Royal Navy sailors in landing rig shown above (picture’s not the best I’m afraid). These are 1:72 scale HaT plastic figures from that company’s Colonial Garder Gun offering, but they paint up fine for 1900. Altogether I’ve got a couple of units representing naval landing parties, so once again I’ll try and feature all of them in a future post.

Completing these sailors, though, has more significance for me! With one of my very long term goals being to make some steampunk/VSF forces, these sailors mean I’ve now got enough troops to accompany land ironclads in a steampunk setting – after all, steam-powered land ironclads just have to be manned by navy crews!


  1. That is a bummer about COVID, John but I’m really glad to hear you and your wife are on the mend. The minis look great and are from a cool period that I know I’m not as familiar with. I’m intrigued by the steampunk project and will be looking forward to seeing more of it when you get around to it! πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks Jeff! πŸ™‚ It could just as easily have been a nasty cold or flu, neither of which we’ve had for a while. My steampunk/VSF project has been in the planning stage for years, but what I wanted to do was get most of my historical armies close to finished first. That way I only need to add small amounts of steam tech/troops to those armies to make them into steampunk forces. And since the navy can’t have landships without sailors to support them I really needed to get the guys shown here done.

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      • That makes sense, John. A nasty cold or the flu is certainly no fun regardless! That sounds like a cool way of doing the steampunk project. Why not make use of your great collection if you can πŸ™‚

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  2. Great to hear you are both on the mend, and hope the guest does the decent thing, and packs his bags and leave.
    Great looking models John, and 3 more horses off your list has to be a good thing.

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    • Haha, thanks Dave! πŸ™‚ Getting the three cavalrymen done was pretty easy this time round. I did the first one in between basecoating other figures to check it matched my older figures, then painted the two remaining horses in an evening and followed up by painting the two riders the following evening, so the whole process was broken up a bit! Cavalry tend to get painted at home since they don’t fit so well into my box of figures for painting at the caravan!

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    • Thanks Roger! πŸ™‚ This bout of COVID’s ended up more like a bad cold for us and is slowly clearing, so we’ve been luckier than many. Even though it’s only six figures I’ve got finished I’ve enjoyed getting them done and they are quite nice figures!

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  3. Hope you’re both recovering well, John. COVID is still very much with us unfortunately. Happy you got these figures done at least. Really like them all, particularly the naval guys. I’m painting navy too at the moment. I’ve had a vague idea that I’d like to create a naval brigade force at some point.

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    • Thanks Marvin! πŸ™‚ I’m still feeling quite deflated with COVID but it’ll no doubt pass! The HaT Gardner Gun figures are quite nice, since you get sailors fighting as infantry in addition to the Gardner Guns and crews, plus some spare heads in naval caps rather than straw hats. I’ve now got two Royal Navy and one French Navy landing detachments for the Boxer Rebellion and they’re very useful to have!

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      • Hmm, Gardner guns and crews. I really don’t need a new project… do I???! Haha.

        Hopefully the after effects won’t be long lasting. It may be less deadly but COVID is still causing a lot of suffering. Get well soon, mate.

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        • I think I’ve only managed to paint one of the Gardner Guns so far, and that’s on a naval pedestal mount that I can drop onto a launch or barge and use in amphibious games. The sailors in landing rig are much more useful! And at least having COVID means I’ve managed to catch up a bit with my military history reading! πŸ™‚

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  4. I’m glad that Uncle Contagion (a relative of Grandfather Nurgle?) has decided to pack up bags and move out of your place. Fish and guests after three days and all of that…. I hope you and your wife feel better soon.

    A nice double trio of miniatures; you do a nice job on horses.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Ann! πŸ™‚ We’re feeling a lot better than we were! I wasn’t so sure about the brown horses, since I used a colour for the shading that came straight out of the bottle (Vallejo German Camouflage Black Brown) and wasn’t as dark as my usual mix, but they seem OK. After literally spending years mixing horse colours I’ve eventually found that Vallejo Flat Brown is the perfect layer colour for brown horses though!

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  5. As always, I’m playing catch up… Hopefully by now you’re both fully recovered, as I’m sure I’ll find out as I scroll through the backlog in my reader.
    Lovely minis John, looking forward to SteampunkπŸ™‚

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    • Thanks Justin! πŸ™‚ You won’t need to catch up with any of my stuff as I seem to have ground to a complete halt with everything! We’re both still getting over the last remnants of COVID, bit like a cold that keeps hanging on! Planning the steampunk/VSF stuff has continued in my head though!

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