November 2022… after a long reflection and no REPLICA in the works (yet)… I decided to contact Mr. Antony Spencer from Dorset Soldiers (Imperial Miniatures nowadays) about the possibility of completing some units as to have them organized in “dozens” – aka 12 minis each-).
No problem with “new” sets… you just order 12 minis units and the trick is done…
But it was different with the sets done by REPLICA a couple of years back… it was a task of finding the right hues of paint and the models themselves… mind, they are still in the Post… but have some pics to show you… so here they are!
I forgot to comment the sense of the pics… there were several last stands of the Berkshires (66th) at Maiwand… and survivors who painfully retreated to Kandahar in awful conditions… THE LAST ELEVEN is the most notorius of all including Bobbie the dog. But all this is not the point I want to make… British Imperial History is full of adventure/gore/heroism/unknown heroes (the vast majority) and “go to your God like a soldier” in famous Kipling’s words (until the one who goes to God is your son uh?).
The point is that I predicted this vignette more than 15 years ago when I wrote a book about my passion (do not search for it it is out of print)… you see I noticed that the sculpting and painting of 25/28mm minis was such that it was bound to go Military Modeling… I was right! (wish I had been right in a more lucrative prediction!)… so one of the many reasons I abandoned the scale and went 6mm long ago. Nowadays you would be shocked to see some of the painting jobs and even “modeling” done in that smaller scale too… it seems there is no bottom to it.
Just to make things clear… I just love Mr. Aparicio work.
You will excuse the featureless terrain… but the Afghan plain is “plain”. The object of the pic is to show you one of the most important bonus of 6mm (God’s Own Scale they say) no secure flanks… room to manoeuvre… and a sense of space and shooting distances you do not have on the bigger scales (of course you can. paint more detail in 10,15,28mm you name it) but I love the sense of proportion (an urbanist by academic formation I like the smaller scales matter of fact). Just to make you think a bit about where wargaming is going nowadays… for better or for worse…
I do not have an extensive collection of this style pieces but surely this one is superb and would have liked to see it in an all round view. The Second Afghan War is fascinating for me, and a pet wargaming subject (do not ask me why) but I have done it with Playmobils in 75mm and Baccus Proxies in 6mm (the later still in my wargames room). Actually I have seen pieces as good as this one but actually not better. Enjoy!
Historically there were several “last stands” the 66th lost both its colours and the PBI did his best as usual… apart of some looting and drinking from the baggage guard… some of the soldiers did run from the fight but in the main it was a hard fought action by an outnumbered and outgunned British Brigade… there are several good books about it I can recommend… Google on!
It required time, but they are in the cabinet at last. I did found Andrew Stevens line of Traditional Toy Soldiers in FaceBook, his trade mark is REPLICAMETALSOLDIERS. They are quite Britain’s style but brand new, meaning no Antiquarian prices (or “oldies” look). I can recommend his products because I am really satisfied. I always wanted a range like that and he really adapts himself to your need (in fact so well that another order is on the way I fear!).
It was a long wait but worth the time, as usual I could not stop there and passed another order for some odds and ends and some Corps of Guides units (after a while I added Gurkhas and Highlanders too!). THAT would hopefully stop my collecting in 54mm for a while… if you do not count 5 SPAHIS I am asking for at Dorset Soldiers on the 1st of September.
It must be puzzling for some of the readers that I collect in 54mm and wargame mainly (when I do) in 6mm… but that is that.
After years waiting for them the officer of Spahis will get troops to command!, the parcel with 5 SPAHIS is on the post. I was very late on deciding to add them to my collection (after all at some point of their history they rebelled and killed their French Officer’s… similar to the Indian Mutiny but other times and reasons…)… a colourful outfit no doubt about it… but mainly because Henri de Beaujolais was an officer of Spahis… you must be careful with what you read when very young… Dorset Soldiers under a new management after Giles Brown retired.
Well, BTW excellent packaging, boxes, DHL, terms and time elapsed from command until arrival… everything went without a hitch. Customer satisfied. Will buy again from Dorset Soldiers.
The two pics above are from a megaset titled NAVAL BRIGADE, for once it is not mine at all (sadly… lol)… but could not resist posting the pics on the blog. That shows that collecting 54mm toy soldiers is alive and kicking. Andrew REPLICA Metal Model Soldiers. Someone must be very happy with this set!