Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The Remnants of an Army

The second of the themed bonus rounds, ‘East’ has generated quite a bit of chatter due to its ambiguous, open ended nature.*   With no definite idea forming, I was considering skipping this round, thus affording one more time for the terrain build, ‘home’ due up in the following round, but as luck would have it I stumbled across what I thought to be the perfect solution.
*West is similarly causing me problems!

‘Studio Miniatures’, those fine purveyors of all things zombie, have a small, but growing, historical range; part of that range sees a tentative foray into the 1st Anglo Afghan War of 1839 – 1842.  This was probably one of the few Kickstarters that I didn’t back last year, but elements of that successful campaign are starting to filter on to their webstore; Assistant Surgeon William Brydon, been a case in point.
Dr. Brydon is, of course, renowned somewhat erroneously as being the last survivor of the 16,000 strong British garrison that departed Kabul in 1842, bound for Jalalabad.  Seriously wounded and riding a pony that was moments away from death, Assistant Surgeon Brydon is said to have uttered, in response to an enquiry as to the whereabouts of the rest of the force, ‘I am the Army.’
Immortalised in Lady Butler’s, ‘The Remnants of an Army’ painted in 1879 this remains the British Empire’s greatest military disaster of the 19th century.  I would suggest that it is Lady Butler’s painting that formed the inspiration from the miniature itself and what better solution to my dilemma, given that Jalalabad is ninety miles due East of Kabul.
Now I have to confess that I am a sucker for a character piece and this was always going to be added to the collection** but ultimately this one was a little disappointing form a sculpting point of view.  From what I can see this was one of the last stretch goals to be unlocked and I would suggest, possibly a tad uncharitably, that how it was to be sculpted wasn’t considered until quite late in the day.
Fundamentally there is nothing wrong with it, but you can see that it was sculpted on, or adapted from, an existing miniature with evidence of the previous saddlery still visible.  In my case there had been a miscast with the reigns, that I hadn’t initially noticed and didn’t repair due to time restraints and the pony itself feels a little ‘skinny’ for the rider atop.  Still all things considered, I am glad to have added it to the collection and will undoubtedly add more of the range to the ever growing lead hillock in due course.
**I had to have Flashman dressed as he is on the cover of ‘Flashman in the Great Game’ too.
So I present Dr. Brydon at the end of his ninety mile ride, bloodied and battered; an overwhelmingly striking image of endurance and survival at the very edges of the empire or an all too familiar damning indictment of another disastrous war in Afghanistan?
As always, if you can, do pay a visit to the main page and perhaps cast a vote for your favourites.  Just follow the link here.


67 comments:

  1. Excellent job, as usual - and a bit of very interesting historical facts ( I have recently acquired Hopkirk´s book, now I´ll have to find the time to read it!!) Cheers!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and I do hope you find some time soon.

      Delete
  2. I'm slowly working my way through the entries this round so haven't had a chance to comment on yours yet, but I really like how you handled the East theme. This is a great idea Michael. Painting is top-notch as always.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice figure.....he is going to be lonely in a game though ? Unless of course the rest of the army are Z

    ReplyDelete
  4. You've really nailed the look of the painting with this model. Great work!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fantastic work on the model, always a bit of military history I have found interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nicely done once again Michael! Always enjoy your vignettes

    ReplyDelete
  7. The vote was casted!!
    I love your painting work on this model!
    Despite your concerns with the sculpt, I actually think the miniature looks pretty.

    Cheers Michael

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, bravo sir!

    While I do like your dinosaurs and zombies, I do love your Victorian figures the most.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ben, hopefully some more soon.

      Delete
  9. Love the history lesson Michael, interesting tidbits oh and the miniature looks terrific too.... ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Goodness that is an evocative image. Dr Brydon's journey must have been horrifying and one wonders if he was purposefully left alive to prove a point by the Afghan tribesmen?

    Wonderful work Michael.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Dai and entirely possible, but along the way he had quite a few scraped and was nearly scalped at one point.

      Delete
  11. Cracking paintjob on him Michael! Shame about the sculpt though, seems to happen with quite a few Kickstarters though. There seems to be a tendency for some of the additional sculpts to be very rushed as they are trying to get everything out of the door in a fast pace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and I think you are right, there is obviously a desire to get the pledges out as quickly as possible and I suppose that will inevitably lead to the occasional corner being cut.

      Delete
  12. Awesome! Really nice work there Michael!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great stuff, Michael! Beautiful painting and terrific subject! I remember discovering the story of the lone survivor of the Khyber Pass in my childhood. The article included Lady Butler's painting and the story of Dr. Brydon kindled an interest in Queen Victoria's little wars that have supplied me with many, many hours of happy study and daydreaming ever since. Someday I'm going to get to work on those boxes of Ral Partha colonials that have been gathering dust in the War Room for years...someday...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mr. Mouse and you really should dig out those colonials, perhaps pick up a copy of the Men that would be Kings ruleset and away you go.

      Delete
  14. Really characterful and a good solution to your quandary.

    ReplyDelete
  15. A perfect re-rendering of a very interesting painting.

    Cheers Roger.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Despite the fact you're somewhat disappointed with the model itself you have done a wonderful job with it. A great interpretation of the bonus theme.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Excellent work and a wonderful piece of history!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Instantly recognisable, if one is familiar with the painting and you've done a great paint-job on him, but the sculp looks very 'awkward' (I think it's because of how much he's leaning backwards)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm late to the ball on this one, Michael, but excellent work on your part, and nice to see your rocky hill make a repeat appearance as well!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Brilliant rendition of the painting in miniature form. Well done sir!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Michael .. this is a great recreation of a historical painting in miniature form. Well done sir!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...