Monday, 17 September 2012

Anglo-Burma War British Infantry Command


It wasn't until I received a virtual wake up call from Anne O'Leary, that I realised that I had once again fallen  into a painting malaise.  The rigours of the real world and getting back into some form of routine have all conspired to put pay to any form of progress.   So it was that with a sense of grim determination I dusted of the paintbrushes and set to work this weekend.  


These dashing chaps were picked up at 'Salute' from the 'Newline Designs' stand.  They are part of the Pontoonier Miniatures range for the Anglo-Burma war of 1885, sculpted by the talented Mr. Paul Hicks.  They needed quite a bit of cleaning up and some of the finer detail was lost in the casting process and had become somewhat brittle - the officer's pistol actually snapped off and had to be replaced with a makeshift model!  All things considered they came up rather nicely and I have to confess that I'm delighted just to make some progress on the ever increasing paint queue.

Now whilst on the subject of miss-casts perhaps someone could shed some light on this peculiar headwear.  He was part of the same pack and try as I might, I can find no reference to any such helmet worn at the time.  So the question is, it for real or an aberration of the caster's art?




50 comments:

  1. It has to be a mis-cast I hope, lovely work on the minis Michael.

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    1. http://www.militarysunhelmets.com/2013/british-experimental-helmets-and-others for the Boer war Helmet, just in case you still have not seen one. Cant say I would like to be seen in one.

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    2. What a fabulous site! Thank you kind Sir.

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  2. Nice looking minis :) The contrast of the white is striking.

    yeah, I think it's probably a miscast. even for a utilitarian WWII era helmet, it's too big.

    -I say save it for making him into a partially-transformed victim of the jungle mushroom men!

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  3. It's good to have you posting again Sir Michael! And you've had these since Salute so it was time you got around to them anyway.

    Despite the problems you had with them, they painted up nicely. I do like that ginger bloke in the middle!

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    1. Why thank you Anne; it's good to be back.

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  4. I think you should paint this mystery mini with a melon on his head!

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  5. Good work, no idea about the helmet, maybe someone with an extreme sense of fashion?

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    1. Thank you Andrew, certainly a little odd!

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  6. Great painting Michael, I have no idea about the funny looking helmets, surely they must be mis-castes???

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    1. Thanks Ray, I'm certainly leaning towards that outcome.

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  7. Hi,
    I think the figure with the 'funny hat' is representing an officer wearing a 'Colind Hat'. According to Robert Wilkinson-Latham (in 'North West Frontier', Osprey MAA 72, 1977)this hat was invented by Henry Hart of Oxford Street, London and was made of straw with a cloth cover and had an internal headband which allowed all-round ventilation.There is an illustration in the MAA which looks a lot like your figure.
    Cheers,
    Shayne

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    1. Shayne, you legend! I think you might be bang on raget with that shout; I'll have to paint him up now!

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  8. Beautiful as always. What ever has happened to him, he does make quite a target.

    Frank
    http://adventuresinlead.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. Thank you Frank, he would certainly be getting tied up in those jungle creepers, wearing a hat like that.

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  9. I'd tend towards saying that is a deliberate sculpting rather than a miscast.
    Lovely painting as always - must be good to get back to your comfort zone after doing the Malifaux figures :)

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    1. Thank you Tasmin, looks like you are right with the deliberate sculpting and yes it is lovely to finally be back in the zone!

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  10. Beautiful work. No idea about the helmet - looks to clean to be a miscast

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    1. Thank you Pat, it looks like Carbine has solved the mystery.

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  11. Can't help either but love the painted guys! Very nice work Michael.

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  12. Lovely work, Michael, especially the ginger moustache! As for the helmet, I am very much hoping that's NOT a miscast as it looks very distinctive. Bizarre, but definitely distinctive.

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    1. Thank you Sidney, I think we are getting closer to discovering the truth about the helmet; see Carbine's reply above.

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  13. Michael

    I agree with carbine above - the MAA text notes that the hat looked quite goofy, but was designed to keep the head cool. Try painting it up and see how it looks - a goofy looking officer never looks out of place in a unit!

    Cheers
    PD

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    1. I think you are spot on Peter, so I'll have to dig the poor chap out of the lead pile now!

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  14. Lovely command figs!
    The "misshapen" helmet...As a nipper we´d cut old footballs in half to make helmets for wargames in the woods etc..maybe that´s the answer :-D It does look a bit "oversized"
    Cheers
    paul

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    1. So you've always been an inventive and creative soul then; perhaps I should paint it up with a FIFA logo on it. :D

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  15. Excellent paint job on those fellows Michael. How do they compare size wise with Perry figures? Also how much do they sell for and how big is the range, if you don't mind me asking?
    As for the guy with the hat I have no idea but I look forward to seeing how you paint him up.

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    1. Many thanks Pat, with regards to a comparison with Perry's, I would say they are pretty close, perhaps a little skinny, but certainly passable. They retail for £5 for a pack of 4 and have a pretty good range for the main protagonists. I have the feeling that the range was prematurely halted as I would loved to have seen Burmese cavalry, Elephants, artillery and Dacoits, a guerrilla force that would melt into the jungle after ambushing the British.

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  16. More Awdry display of very nice model painting. Lovely!

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  17. Nice work and good see picking the brush back up!

    Christopher

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    1. Thank you Christopher, that is very kind of you.

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  18. Lovely work as ever sir, have you considered inquiring with Mr Hicks as to what he was intending with the sculpt? Being an obliging fellow I'm sure he would tell you.

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  19. I'm in agreement with Smillie on both the lovely work and on Mr Hicks's obliging nature. Given his astounding abilities it can't possibly be an error...

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  20. Lovely work Michael! Must admit I am stumped by that helmet!

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  21. Pontoonier's Third Burma War range is very nice indeed. I tried for several years to buy some here in the US, where Pontoonier is located, but they were never available over the internet, only at conventions the owner/operator happened to attend. I was happy when Newline Designs picked up the range, though it did seem a bit strange to pay a British company to send figures to my home in America, when the figures had been made by an American company! Still, I was happy to do it. It's true it would be perfect if they'd moved on to Burmese cav (on their little jungle horses), elephants, guns, artillery crews, and elephants, as well as irregular "Dacoits". Perhaps Newline Designs can talk to Paul Hicks about expanding the range...?

    With regard to the helmet, Carbine is 100% correct, and I believe the colour plate he refers to in the old Osprey MAA North-West Frontier book, was in fact the visual reference for the figure in question. I still remember seeing it and reading about it as a boy, after first buying that Osprey book, and thinking that -- despite however more comfortable it allowed the wearer's head to feel thanks to its "all-around air-circulation" -- it was the stupidest-looking piece of military headgear ever made. As I recall, its extreme aesthetic shortcomings put the design out of business.

    Beautiful job painting the Pontoonier British command! If you have any interest in or need for Gurkhas, I find the ones in the Pontoonier range a bit nicer than those in the old Foundry NWF range -- and in my experience they mix in nicely with Empress and Perry figures.

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  22. Very nice there Michael I do love the way you capture the "feel" of the period as well as painting them so well.

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  23. Michael, you just keep cranking out fantastic figs!

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  24. Sorry I missed this mate. Working at a site with limited net access this week. They look really good sir!

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  25. Excellent painted command figures!

    Greetings
    Peter
    http://peterscave.blogspot.be/

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