Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Brevet Colonel Anthony Durnford

A very quick post today to showcase my completed Brevet Colonel Anthony Durnford.  This particularly fine sculpt is one of the ‘Giants in Miniature’ range from Wargames Illustrated and is unashamedly influenced by Burt Lancaster’s portrayal of the man in the 1979 film, Zulu Dawn.
This much maligned and impetuous officer has graced this humble weblog before when I tackled the ‘Empress Miniatures’ version here.  Still very much an enigma to this day, Colonel Durnford’s actions at Isandlwana on that fateful day in 1879 are still fiercely debated, but whatever the truth he died alongside the men in his command and thereby securing his place in history.

“Yes well... difficulty never deterred a Zulu commander."




42 comments:


  1. Before I read about the fig I thought, "that Looks like Burt in Zulu Dawn"
    TBH, the film didn´t meet my expectations. Dawn, where was she ?

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    1. Thank you Paul, yes poor old Dawn ended up on the cutting room floor.

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  2. Looks great. The only thing missing is the dodgy Irish accent and I’m not sure you’re capable of painting that badly. :)

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    1. Thank you Kieron, not sure I am ready for accents yet. ;)

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  3. What a great rendition Michael, you've certainly captured the character from the movie

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  4. It's interesting comparing the sculpts, your most recent one is, I think, the more characterful of the two but Empress have certainly captured the man himself.
    I also think that your latest version is excellently painted, better than the first which is also good.
    This would certainly be a relief to me seeing an improvement over a seven year period in painting skills. ;-) I don't know about you. :-)

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    1. Thank you! I agree the Empress is definitely modelled on the man himself and as such has a charm of its own. I was also struck by how the painting has developed over the years, most notably not worrying about black lining, which I seem to remember was very fashionable at the time.

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  5. A rather chunky sculpt, but none the worse for it and the stance in as I'd want a commander of his reputation to look. Between the two they're both great miniatures, but one is obviously Burt, the other is Durnford.

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    1. Thank you Joe, this is new sculpt, definitely fits into the heroic scale and stance bracket, but I don't think suffers as a result.

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  6. Lovely as always, I actually prefer the newer sculpt.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thank you Roger, I think I do too.

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  7. Great bit of paint work Micheal & I'd agree 100% with Zabadak as to which one their based off.

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  8. Great work on this fine figure, Michael. I must admit I've never seen this movie (just the Roarke's Drift one with Michael Caine). I did look up the colonel's wiki bio though. Quite a long and respectable career - regardless of what really may have happened at Isandlwana. I suspect a little of good and bad, as with most men. Him being used as a scapegoat upon his demise leads me to believe more good than bad. Nice tribute in any case!

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    1. Thank you Dean and I would tend to agree with you regarding the history of the man. The events of Isandlwana will continue to be debated, but I think your thoughts are shrewd insomuch that any man with his experience would probably be feared by the less assured.

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  9. Very nice piece, as always.

    One little quibble (not with you, but with the sculpt). Wouldn't it be difficult for him to have his holster like that?

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    1. Thank you Edwin and I have been thinking about your quibble. Both sculpts have positioned the holster in the same place, which makes me think that it might be an accurate depiction. My thought was that it might actually have more to do with his sword. In order to draw his sword he would need to pull it across his body - just not physically possibly to draw a sword straight up. In which case did his holster end up where it was through necessity? I spent a couple of minutes imaging this in front of a mirror, to the hilarity of the Saintly Mrs. Awdry, but I think I might be on to something.

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  10. Wow, great painting, love the wonderful faces!

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  11. Lovely model. Your painting has gotten better for sure since you worked on the original fig.

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    1. Thank you Dai, it was certainly interesting seeing the two together like that.

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  12. A noble nod to Burt Lancaster, Sir Michael - by far my favourite star in in "Zulu Dawn" :-)

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    1. Thank you Simon, he does rather steal the show, but Bob Hoskins portrayal as C.S.M. Williams was a favourite of mine.

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  13. He really looks great Micheal!

    Christopher

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  14. Excellent brushwork on a fine looking mini, and many thanks for posing the two side-by-side Michael :-)
    I've not watched "Zulu Dawn", but this post has made me determined to hunt it down asap!

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    1. Thank you, as for Zulu Dawn it is often much maligned, but as a companion piece it is prescribed viewing for those with an interest in the period.

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  15. Excellent work, Michael; I shall certainly be dusting off the old DVD now...

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  16. Jolly good show Michael! Nice to see you pull out the previous painted miniature so we can see how your brush skills have evolved. Wish I still had that first miniature I had ever painted to compare myself 8D.

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  17. My father once referred to him as "Lurt Bancaster". You can't unhear that. Now every time I see his name my brain automatically flips it around. :-)

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  18. A very characterful miniature, great work on the paint job.

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  19. Great job Michael! Lovely mini. I must pick up a couple as I can find use for some of them.

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  20. Well done. Love the work you did on his face!

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  21. Wonderful paintjob on both versions!
    Although I'm really like historically correct figures I can't help but this time I prefer the cinematic version.

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  22. What Stevie wouldnt do to get his hands on a model of that Durnford, its his Anglo Zulu wars hero (and his fav movies too - both of them), and wow what a cool sculpt.

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