Travels with a Rogue

A small piece of the web dedicated to Gen. Mikhail Skobolev (the White General), toy soldiers (any period), history, politics and books circa. 1850-1900.

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Location: Frederick, Maryland, United States

There was an earlier day in my life when I had plenty of time and no money for my hobby, now I have money for my hobby and not so much time. I never stopped playing with toy soldiers "much to my mothers chagrin" exchanging the sandbox, green armymen and rocks for Donald Featherstone's book Wargames, AWI soldiers from the back of a comic book, dice and rulers. Those early games were great fun and very exciting. Eventually I graduated to more complicated systems, better miniatures, headaches, rule arguments and basically not a lot of fun. I thought about ditching the hobby altogether. I realized recently that I like a good game of toy soldiers. I like the look of toy soldiers and I like the way a simple game plays. I like the trusty d6.

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Pair of Characters!

I think adding historical and created characters to a game and especially a campaign adds a lot to the fun. I enjoyed, in both Charge and the Wargame, references to characters scattered throughout those books. I have some ideas for a few historical, fictional (based upon Boris Akunin's novels) and truly invented fictional characters to include in my own armies as they are mustered.

So here are the first two figures. Left to right they are General Mikhail Skobolev, featured in an earlier post and his Serene Highness Prince Hassan of Egypt, both of these figures are historical characters. Gen. Skobolev was nominally in charge of a Cossack formation at the start of the war and through his aggression, luck; good press (the General knew how to court favor with the foreign journalists) and tactics had advanced to higher command by the conflict end. Prince Hassan was the leader of the Egyptian division during the war and the uniform is taken from a description provided by Wentworth Huyshe from the Liberation of Bulgaria, War Notes in 1877. The Egyptians didn't perform very well during the campaign and Prince Hassan went home under a less then favorable eye of the Sublime Porte.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Another Conversion

I wanted at least one Gatling gun for my Ottoman armies. They were used, by the Turks, in defense of the Danube River and to defend the monitors that patrolled the river early in the conflict. After the Danube was breeched by the Russians they seem to have disappeared from the campaign; however, they are entirely too cool to not have at least one available model. I had thought about making one for my Russians also except I've found no reports of Russian use of them anywhere during the conflict including the battles in the east around Kars.

Irregular doesn’t make a true Gatling (they do make a Mitrailleuse stock item LWF24---a great little casting except I wanted something a little more modern looking) so I built one. I’ll follow this post with some pictures of the process and examples later. I used castings LWT8 Machine Gun and LWRB8 75mm Field Gun. These had been included in my first two purchases from Irregular Miniatures. I started this project by purchasing 2 Jolly Fun Toy Soldier Style Battlepacks: one Turkish and one Russian. These castings are included in the Battlepacks and the machine gun and 75mm field gun, while great for the Balkan Wars of 1912, are clearly incorrect for the 1876-78 periods.

I used the machine gun portion of LWT8 placing the tripod into the bits box and the limber and wheels from LWRB8; the gun and shield joining the machine gun's extra piece in the bits box. Most Gatling’s had relatively short limbers, so I cut ¾” out of the trail of the limber and reassembled it with a pin for strength. I cut a 1/8"x1” strip from thin plastic card stock for the ammo magazine. Using a pin vise I drilled two small holes into the top of the machine gun and used an Exacto blade to finish the slot for the magazine. After that it was simple to assemble the machine gun unit into the limber, which fit as though the folks at Irregular expected me to make a Gatling from these pieces.

This was a great little project, very fun and easy.