For this upcoming summer I have a couple of projects planned and I decided, after a lot of thinking on the idea, of doing up some "vintage style" colonial forces in 20mm for the first project. What with seeing Spencer Smith Miniatures' various listings of 20mm figures of the Jacklex range and knowing there are vintage Scrubys out there as well as 1/72 plastics in a pinch, I thought it would make a fun and challenging project particularly because the older style of casting is softer on detail, painting friendly and lend themselves more readily to conversions, which is what I want for this project...lots of conversions and scratchbuilding to occupy my summer evenings.
The basic concept for the project is to do forces for four European powers, plus natives to populate various environs of an imaginary continent. That way my urge to do forces for the Northwest Frontier and Afghan wars circa 1879-80 can be coupled with an interest in other colonial conflicts (Sudan, North Africa, East Africa etc.) ...and at least under this more expansive and fictitious idea, I'll have some excuse to scratchbuild a few new gunboats.
Though the Spencer Smith website has good images of the raw Jacklex castings, I had a hard time finding images of the painted colonials except for their new Pancho Villa range. So for this project I'm hoping to post some of the "images I hoped to find" as I contemplated the project as well as some conversion and painting tips as the project progresses. The best part of using Jacklex as a base set of figure line for 20mm colonials is that the line has a really great offering of guns, limbers and wagons to augment the figure line. To me this was a real attraction as I can see assembling a nicely composed punitive column of Europeans with infantry, cavalry, guns and a burdensome train for the natives to attack!...juicy gaming possibilities there!
So my first package of figures arrived from Spencer Smith.... (BTW, Peter at Spencer Smith has GREAT customer service and FAST shipping),... last Friday and I quickly cleaned up and assembled an RHA gun and limber to test out the initial ideas for the collection. The figures are really nice castings but as expected are less detailed than more contemporary stuff. They scale perfectly with 1/72 minis and are exactly 20mm from foot to top of head. So on first blush I'm thinking that I will be able to augment the forces with plastics as well as Scrubys.
...OUCH! ...JUST as I was trying to post more pics of my new minis, Google has informed me that I have to buy more picture space...so more images in the next post....