The Steeplechase (8)

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Wherein some sort-of-European countries attempt to conquer not-quite-Africa and all is led by a cast of miscreant and other fumbling characters while dodging elephants, giraffes, and zebras.  Why in the world?  Um, fun.

This is one of those rather busy periods where I have pretty much all of the figures and most of them are cleaned and primed and ready for paint.  Maybe this can be a side project rather than a dabble, hey?

May 10, 2012

What with a pending war with Bananasville, this collection has moved up in the painting lists!  The troops are martialling on the Chimpazanean Plains as I type.

July 1, 2012

The Bananasville war aborted until such time as a time machine joins the fray, he's in the Spanish Civil War era and I'm in the eighteen eighty or ninety time frame.  So goes war.

Now, the reason we are here today, or I am, who knows when you are going to be reading this, is to start listing the figures for this collection.  Going to start with the six National forces plus two more.  Each force is essentially the same configuration with the only significant differences being the British wagon has a driver seated on the wagon and all the rest of the wagon drivers on foot and the "automatic" weapon varies between forces.

By the way, since this is an entirely true fictional campaign, you'll want to know that we'll be traveling up the Shambezi River, that is if we can find our way beyond the delta and its various false inlets and outlets.  Far to the west there is the world's tallest and most shear cliffs, rising thousands of feet along a stretch of scores of miles, known as the Impassable Cliffs.  To the north is the Ever Parched Desert, never successfully crossed by a living creature - at least as far as anyone knows.  Similarly, to the south is the Searing Swamp, perhaps the most fetid and infested place on earth.  Those who have managed to penetrate the peripheries of this horrendous place and live to get out report there are entire legions of human skeletal remains to be seen; again, no one knows if it can be crossed.  Of course, on the east is the Indiagascar Ocean.  Oh, and generally, this is known as NieNieLand (pronounced nee-nee-land).

Let's return to our purpose.  There are six nations contending to explore this region - the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, France, and Italy.  Then there is the force of the Sultan of Chimpanzeebar (oxen for the wagon and rockets instead of artillery).  And, last - of the Nations and others at least, are the forces of Colonel Conrad Darcman (oxen for the wagon).  So, the following list applies, except for the minor noted differences, to all eight of these forces:

Mounted commander with foot man
Three mounted men
Twelve mounted men (unit)
Wagon with four horses and driver
Cart with one horse and woman driver (vivandiere)
Two artillery pieces and eight gunners and two barrels
Twenty-four naval crewmen and one "automatic" weapon
One casualty figure
Eighteen man unit - "native" unit
Eighteen man unit - "native" unit
Eighteen man unit - army
Eighteen man unit - army
Twelve man unit - marines
Twelve man unit - marines
Twelve man unit - sailors (fighters, not crew)
Twelve man unit - sailors (fighters, not crew)

That adds up to 16 mounted men, 154 men on foot*, 1 woman cart driver, 21 horses, and 5 items of equipment per force. (* the British and the colonel's wagon drivers are seated on their wagons)

Since the alternative name for this 'conflict' is Slightly Cracked Colonials, there needs to be parties of adventurers and explorers.  For our purposes, we have twelve.  And each force is composed of twenty-four figures (eight stands, three figures per stand).  The stands are organized thusly:

Our heroic figure and his two sidekicks
Two women and a man (one of the women might be a heroine, might not)
Three naval officers
Three naval ratings
Native leader and two natives
Three native porters
Three native porters
Three native diggers

In addition, there is a "command" of eight stands whose purpose is to shoot a movie so this group is a bit different.  Yes, yes, I know my time period is a bit early for most movies but sometimes we get to just rearrange things to suit our whims in our delightful hobby - so don't get all stressed about this.  It's just for fun.  That adds up to another 312 people, 26 of them women.  What I really need are some femme fatales, a Mata Hari type, and some comely and/or adventurous starlets.

You might be wondering about the inhabitants of NieNieLand.  Well, closer to the coast there are more advanced societies, currently labeled as North River Natives and South River Natives.  Further inland, and not quite all ordered, are more primitive native peoples but, again, a north of the river population and a south of the river population.  The more advanced natives - they have firearms available, some of them but by no means all of them - are organized as listed here:

One mounted unit of nine men.
One pack elephant with mahout.

One mounted commander with a foot figure.
Twelve man unit.
Eighteen man unit.
Eighteen man unit.
Eighteen man unit.
Eighteen man unit.

One mounted commander with a foot figure.
Twelve man unit.
Eighteen man unit.
Eighteen man unit.
Eighteen man unit.
Eighteen man unit.

One mounted commander with a foot figure.
Twelve man unit.
Eighteen man unit.
Eighteen man unit.
Eighteen man unit.
Eighteen man unit.

One mounted commander with a foot figure.
Twelve man unit.
Eighteen man unit.
Eighteen man unit.
Eighteen man unit.
Eighteen man unit.

The one thing missing is an overall force commander - will have to explore my extras box to solve this minor dilemma and get a commander for the north and for the south natives.

Before we get on to the more primitive native forces, I want to point out that I have something over 360 wild animals to populate the plains and jungles of this pseudo-Africa continent.  These will be listed, when I get to it, under the zoological tab.

Actually, the primitive native listing will have to wait, don't want to disturb the wife whose off to bed very early this evening.  

This is one of the very few areas I still have a need to order figures to complete, but only one more pack of Blue Moon Darkest Africa tribes.  Between Blue Moon and Irregular, I've put together a nice setup.  The best part of the primitive natives is that I've been able to get some civilians to populate the villages.  And I do have some other figures to be listed - like the Amazons and some other "characterful" additions - do need three more command figures (and might add some more from Splintered Lights figures - or at least the ones they are offering, not sure about that though).  And if Blue Moon eventually comes through with some animal offerings, besides the ones they've already done (gorillas and wolves - which are a bit too fantasy oriented for my tastes but probably needed to be for marketing purposes), I might add more beasties.

Would love to add some steam traction vehicles.  And already have eight steam boats, eight steam launches, twenty-six native canoes, a couple of ironclads, a couple of junks (for the more advanced natives), and a couple of "ocean" going ships.  I think it might be over the top to bring a railroad into this but might.  Aircraft would be limited to balloons and other lighter than air ships and, maybe, some of the very earliest and entirely unreliable aircraft.  Or we might just stay terrestrial - and nautical, there are one or two naval figures listed above you'll realize if you've been paying attention.

What with all the figures listed above, beyond two thousand and maybe approaching three thousand, you may be questioning my sanity.  Well, only natural you'd be doing so since I do so regularly.  But, hey, I bet I'm having more fun than most.  Now, if only they were all painted - some are and most are at least primed and pre-based.  Hope you've enjoyed a glimpse into one man's collection of figures.  Return soon to see if I've finished up the listing - or maybe got started on a list under some other tab.


July 9, 2012

Yes, I've added the command for the more advanced natives.  But today, I want to record a name for the principle port.  In the real Africa there was - and is - a place called Dar-Es-Salaam.  In my not-quite-Africa there will be a port called Par-Ex-Cellance.

I mentioned in my last missive here that I only had a couple of more things to order, which is true, but I'd love to order more if someone comes out with some cool figures that enhance the mix, femme fatales, jut jawed heroes, the starlets I've mentioned elsewhere.  And I'd really like to see some eccentrics to toss in the mix - but I may have to convert those myself.

July 10, 2012

I've got this feeling, and I'm kind of hooked on it, for a name for one of the more "primitive" tribes - Ooga-ooga-chakka.

December 28, 2012

I spend a fair amount of time thinking about this collection of figures and games for it so don't be alarmed at the passage of time since the last post.  And, of course, I still have some listings to complete here and that should be attended to sooner rather than later - though probably not today.

My real reason for a note here is to record another name, one that just might shift things about a bit, and that is the name of a very large island.  Can't say at this point if the whole of my Slightly Cracked Colonials campaign will be confined to this island and its nearby waters or not but it will play a very significant part.  The grand island shall be called Happysteamcart Island.  The provenance of the name should be obvious to anyone who studies the matter for a few moments and applies their knowledge of geography to the task.

I do have all the figures now for this collection though I decided not to add to the Amazons as mentioned above.  Might add some more buildings for the natives - Blue Moon's villages most likely.  And certainly need to add a few more structures for the various nations vying for supremacy.  Plus, if I can justify the expense, I will be buying quite a few buildings from Crescent Root Studios - though these will do multiple duty across a variety of periods.

August 25, 2013

Yesterday I finally took some time to get a more detailed list together for these figures so that I can post it here.  Rather than amend the list above, I am going to just do a new one.  It's not that there are any significant changes - though there are certainly additions, it's just easier to do so with the annotations I'm going to include.  So, consider this the "real" listing.  Not planning, just now, to take down the earlier list.  

Some very important elements of what I was looking for to make this collection fully workable come from Blue Moon Manufacturing and some others come from Irregular Miniatures.  Another supplemental source of use is Rebel Minis Pulp range of figures.  And from many years ago, I have a couple of packs of Brigade Games 15 mm figures.  Pity they decided it wasn't cost effective to continue because they had some of the most innovative figures for making the collection "colorful" and "familiar."  There will be other manufacturers mentioned as I go along and some figures I might not recall the source.  For a view of the river boats I have for this collection, if you go to the main page and work your way down to the March 31st post and scroll down you'll see them, only primed as yet.

Here we go with the new list in a very different order:

The "African" natives

8 canoes with three paddlers each (BM - DDA range)
6 canoes with 5 paddlers each (3 from Airfix, 3 scratched from balsa, paddlers were from Museum Miniatures if memory serves)
12 canoes with 4 paddlers and cargo each (boats and figures from Museum Miniatures)

As with all of this portion, the above is evenly divided into two color groupings.  Africa is a big and diverse place and not all the people referred to as 'black' are of the same color.  To reflect this to a limited degree I have half in a chocolate brown scheme and the other half in a russet brown scheme.

The below is a listing of the two greater population set-ups, one in the darker and the other in the lighter color scheme.  All of those listed as armed have only spear and shield and sometimes I only applied some of the supplied shields, too 'fiddly' otherwise.

The Russets
Seated chief with two attendants fanning (BM)
6 bodyguards - two stands of 3 figures each
8 units of armed men - four stands of 3 figures each
2 units of unarmed village men - four stands of 3 figures each
2 units of unarmed village women and children - four stands of 3 figures each
(the villagers are all from Irregulars colonial range, the armed men a mix of BM and Irregular)
8 casualty figures (from Peter Pig's pirate range - have yet to find suitable native dead casualties)
(one of the armed units has six of Rebel Minis "monkey men" which I used simply to get 12 figures in the last unit, will give that tribal unit some sort of monkey totem to justify it)
12 bound captives - four stands of 3 figures each (from Irregular, these represent the unfortunate reality of colonial Africa where slaving did occur, though it is important to remember that the practice existed long before Europeans engaged in the traffic, though they certainly got into it wholesale once involved - I may add more of these figures so each color scheme has some, maybe not)

The Chocolates
Standing chief with skull staff and two attendants (BM and one zulu figure I think was a sample from Mick Yarrow Miniatures)
6 bodyguards - two stands of 3 figures each
8 units of armed men - four stands of 3 figures each
2 units of unarmed village men - four stands of 3 figures each
2 units of unarmed village women and children - four stands of 3 figures each

(these villagers are all from Blue Moon, what they call the Deep Dark Africa range, again the armed men are a mix of both)
8 casualty figures (same source)
12 seated men in council - four stands of three each (this was not a planned unit but Blue Moon's village packs come with so many seated figures I ended using them in this manner to avoid the other village men groups being overly composed of seated figures - and they still have too many!  As much as I love what Blue Moon has done for 15/18 mm figures, if I were to order more African villagers, I'd stick with the Irregular's for the most part, might still get another pack from Blue Moon but not more than one unless they redesign it with fewer seated men)

Each of the two schemes is designed to create two villages so I can have four in total and they can combine at need for larger groupings, note only two overall chiefs.  For the armed unit leaders, I've used a mix of Blue Moons and Irregulars witch doctor figures.

There is another African population to mention here with their own color scheme, though leaning heavily towards the darker brown (not real sure if that is accurate but they are already painted so that is how they stay) and it is the:

4 units of armed men - five stands of 3 figures each (since they are small, they have larger numbers, from Blue Moon, no villagers because no one makes them and no casualty figures but I realized while typing that I might find some 10 mm zulu casualties I can adapt).

For general purposes, from Peter Pig's head range, I have a collection of skulls to impale upon stakes or some such to 'decorate' some terrain or village.

The Pacific Natives
Well, of course I know these aren't Africans.  They just fit here better.

2 units of armed men - four stands of 3 figures each (these are the older design of Peter Pig's pirate natives and you will notice in the additional lists to follow many other such figures that I will probably paint in the same style, a much lighter and more tannish scheme than the above).

The Europeans, part one

These next figures, courtesy of Blue Moon, give the Africans a chance for a small amount of revenge for the reprehensible treatment they endured.  And I might as well mention that the main thrust of my gaming for this period will pit European powers against other European powers rather than exploitation of the native populations.  The latter was bad enough in reality but I add it in here for a level of authenticity and some local atmosphere.  Not for me the traditional colonial game element of native bashing.  Might be some games where it is one group of natives against the other, though.  Like all peoples, Africans were not universally paragons of virtue.  

This is a very small grouping of figures.

One man immersed for a bath - in a large copper cooking pot!  (well, maybe it will be cast iron)
A man and a woman tied with their hands tied behind there backs awaiting there fate.
Same man and woman now tied to a post getting even closer to what seems to be a very unpleasant fate.

The Adventurers, The Anachronistic, and The Esoteric

A great deal of what will be listed here became possible because of Blue Moon's releases, not necessarily all.  And there will be both European, African, and a variety of other peoples mixed in here.  It is well to keep in mind a quote from far above on this page, this is: an entirely true fictional campaign.    While I don't intend to enter the realm of fantasy with this gaming adventure, it will not be restricted at all by actual history.  Keep that in mind as you read through this portion.

Let's begin with the adventure parties.  And here there are few if any Blue Moon but some Brigade Games, some Rebel Minis, some from the CUB range (Falcon?), and others I'm not sure of the provenance, probably a few Peter Pig, definitely some Irregular.  One lamented source of figures for here and other parts of the collection is the now gone Rajah Brooke Collection of The London War Room.  Each 'list' will point to the two main stands for each grouping but there are eight total stands, the other six stands are always formatted as follows:

3 naval officers, 3 naval ratings, a native lead figure and two more natives, 3 native porters, 3 native porters, three native diggers.

The twelve 'commands' have this:

Greek Partizan style, Big Game Hunter, Naval Gunner
Prim Matron, Vivandiere, Slouch Hat Man
Indiana Jones type, Big Game Hunter, Naval Midshipman
Lady in jodphurs and pith helmet, Vivandiere, Slouch Hat Man
Mad Scientist, Man with drink, Midshipman
Zouave Lass, Vivandiere, Naval Officer
Big Game Hunter, "Blondbo", Naval Gunner
Matron w/umbrella cane, Kneeling Naked Lass, Slouch Hat Man
Top Hat Duster with Drink, Big Game Hunter, Midshipman
Huntress in coat, Vivandiere, Man in Hat
Scientist, Big Game Hunter, Mao Cap Man
Matron with hankie, Geisha, Slouch Hat Man
Hemingway, His "Cousin", Big Game Hunter
Lady behind bath towel, Matron, Slouch Hat Man
Indiana Jones type, Big Game Hunter, Midshipman
Lady in jodphurs and pith helmet, Vivandiere, Top Hat Man with drink
Partizan, Man with drink, Big Game Hunter
Geisha, Matron with umbrella cane, Slouch Hat Man
Orthodox Priest, Man with drink, Sailor
Matron, Young Lass in dress, Slouch Hat Man
Tough Customer, Big Game Hunter
Stern Woman, Vivandiere, Slouch Hat Man
"Blondbo" Two, Big Game Hunter, Youth to the rear
Matron, Vivandiere, Man in Slouch Hat

Yielding 12 groups of 24 each, 22 men and 2 women to embark upon a variety of adventures.  It will be up to the players whether they use the stand with three men or the one with two women and only one man as their individual 'hero' stand; might have the odd woman in a game afterall. 

There is one more group, very much anachronistic but indicative of the style of game being aimed for, lots of Hollywood influence.

The Film Crew: Cameraman, Soundman, Director; Cameraman, Loader, and Assistant Director; Cameraman, Loader, 2nd Assistant Director; Hunter, Porter, Porter; Man, woman carrying small child, woman carrying small child; three "udibi" boys as runners; Porter, Porter, Ivory Carrier; Porter, Porter, Ivory Carrier.

 The "Special" Forces
As yet, I haven't entirely decided how to utilize these but the description should give some indication of what I have in mind.  And the name I use for the Askaris?  That is my own invention and I claim it is as my trademark, been using it privately for a couple of years, since 2011 at least, mabye 2010.

Picklehaub unit 3 leaders, 9 soldiers
Picklehaub unit 3 leaders, 9 soldiers
Fezkari unit 3 leaders, 9 soldiers
Fezkari unit 3 leaders, 9 soldiers
Fezkari unit 3 leaders, 9 soldiers
Fezkari unit 3 leaders, 9 soldiers

Pith Helmet unit 3 leaders, 9 soldiers
Pith Helmet unit 3 leaders, 9 soldiers
Fezkari unit 3 leaders, 9 soldiers
Fezkari unit 3 leaders, 9 soldiers
Fezkari unit 3 leaders, 9 soldiers
Fexkari unit 3 leaders, 9 soldiers

Mounted woman and her sidekick
Unit of 12 amazons
Unit of 12 amazons (need three leader figures from Irregular to complete, their fantasy range)
Naval gunners - 12 men
Turban and gown unit - 12 men
2 men with a wheelbarrow
2 native men with a cooking pot (unoccupied!)

These next two are almost entirely a result of having excess figures in other places as was true for part of that part immediately above.

Mounted leader with foot man, 2 casualty figures
18 men in slouch hat, armed
18 men in slouch hat, armed
12 naval men, armed
12 naval men, armed
12 naval men, armed
Doctor, Attendant, Nurse-Vivandiere
2 stretcher bearers with patient
2 men and a pushcart
2 bullocks pulling a cart

Mounted leader with foot man, 2 casualty figures
18 men in colonial helmets, armed, painted (red coats)
18 men in colonial helmets, armed, painted (red coats)
12 naval men, armed
12 naval men, armed
12 naval men, armed
Doctor, Attendant, Nurse-Vivandiere
2 stretcher bearers with patient
2 men and a pushcart
2 bullocks pulling a cart

Not really sure yet how to incorporate them into everything else so they might go away or they might get painted up for some as yet undreamed of scenario(s).

Now we get into some of the really fun stuff, at least for me, those figures that give the table a better flavor, spice it up as it were.

12 Egyptian Men - unarmed civilians
12 Egyptian Men - unarmed civilians
12 Skull cap and robe men - armed
12 wolves (not sure why they are listed here, but they are in the same box) plus some extra shields

Mounted Leader and foot man
12 Fezkari
12 Fezkari
Mounted Leader and foot man
12 Fezkari
12 Fezkari
2 pack camels and handler
4 mounted leaders and 4 men on foot (FFL style) for use as leaders where I need them but don't have them

Tarzan, Jane, Boy, and 9 Great Apes
7 and 5, Men and women with farm implements
9 and 3, Men and women with torches
5 and 7, Armed and unarmed women
12 Victorian women, unarmed
12 plus 2 Egyptian women
7 and 5, Women in sun helmets and just in their hair
2 dead women
12 men, Hunters and their gun bearers
12 men, An archaeology camp - with tables and chairs (have tents to use as well, from ACW)
Holmes, Watson, a bull dog, and 9 gentlemen, unarmed (mostly)
5+1, 6, Police+Inspector (guess who?) and armed men
12 men, unarmed, working class, Europeans
4 and 8, Men, armed, bare headed and sun helmets
12 unarmed men, various headgear, Europeans
12 turbanned askari, armed
12 sluch hat, armed
12 fezkari, armed
8 and 4, porters and ivory carriers

See Blue Moon's DDA listing and there Horror ranges for where I sourced much of what was just listed.

Just about done for the day but not done with the more detailed listing.  Do want to give the wife some of her needed 'cuddle' time.  Will do the North and South river natives later.  Also do the main combatant forces later in greater detail.  One change I am considering is to get rid of the Belgians and replace them with the Portugese (not change the figures, just the designations, this is a very loose interpretation of history).  Been reading a book about the horrors of the era certain Belgians bear responsibility for.  Not sure I want to include that in my gaming world.  It's for fun, right?

August 28, 2013

A few days on and I'm going to steel some time to do a little more updating of the list.  For these next two batches I'm simply expanding with a little more detail.  Part of my reason for this is to be able to come here and look at what I have and decide what I want to get painted for a particular game - at least, once I start painting this lot.

The North River Natives
Command is 3 men mounted on horses, one pack elephant, unit of 9 mounted men
4 x 18 men, turbanned with blowpipes, knives, and spears; loincloth and muskets, afghan like and muskets, loincloth and spear and muskets; 12 men, pacific islanders with spear and club
4 x 18 men, tubanned with blowpipes; turbanned with spear and sword; turbanned with spear and sword; turbanned with musket; 12 men, turbanned and fists
4 x 18 men, naked natives with spears; naked natives with spears; naked natives with spears; naked natives with spears; 12 men, top knot, loin cloth, and kris knife
4 x 18 men, loincloth with clubs; loincloth with clubs; loincloth with muskets; loincloth with muskets (all four units are Maori); 12 men, topknot and spears

The South River Natives
Command is 3 men mounted on horses, one pack elephant, unit of 9 mounted men
4 x 18 men, Clive-ish turbans and muskets, skullcap and gown with jezails; amalgam with swords and muskets; Sudan/Zulu with spear; 12 men with fists and spears
4 x 18 men, Abysinnians with spear and sword; Masai with spear; Abysinnian with sword; Dervish with spear; 12 men turbanned with blow pipes and fists
4 x 18 men, dervish with spear; dervish with spear; dervish with spear; dervish with spear; 12 men in loin cloth with blowpipes
4 x 18 men, dervish with spear; zulu with spear; zulu with rifle; zulu with rifle; 12 men sea east asia/Pascific with bows

Now we get to main forces for the players to run: the Europeans and the semi-Europeans -

The Sultan of Chimpanzanea
Command: 3 men mounted on horses (2 with umbrellas), yurt wagon with driver and four oxen, cart with horse and vivandiere, 12 men mounted on horses in turbans with spears
2 rockets with 8 crewmen and 2 barrels plus quick firing gun (gatling type or similar)
2 x 12 naval crewmen (for steamboat, steam launch, and oared boat and to crew QFG)
4 x 18 men, in fez, India regulars, in fez, in greatcoat - all with muskets/rifles
4 x 12 men, skull cap and jezail; turban and musket; boer like; sombrero like

A Crusty Old Eccentric

Command: 3 men mounted on horses (ACWish), wagon with seated driver and four oxen, cart with horse and vivandiere, 12 men mounted on horses ACWish/Boerish
2 guns with 8 crewmen and 2 barrels plus quick firing gun (gatling type or similar)
2 x 12 naval crewmen (for steamboat, steam launch, and oared boat and to crew QFG)
4 x 18 men, turbanned with sword speak and musket, sun helmet and kilts, Chinese rural weapons, turbanned with sword spear and musket
4 x 12 men, shako marines, sun helmets, naval cap, stout men

The United States of America (do I need to build a Great White Fleet?)

The British Empire

The German Empire

The French Empire

The Italian Empire

The Portuguese Empire

Those will get filled in later, not today, since it approaches bed time.  Those last unfinished nations are formatted very similar to the Sultan and Eccentric forces and I will just be adding that little bit of detail for my use.


Last night I had an inspired session sorting out the figures for this collection and arrived at quite a satisfactory place of accomplishment.  From inception, I've sort of stumbled along with a sound idea of where I wanted to end up but not quite sure how I was going to get there.  Not having the needed focus, I've collected a lot of figures without being quite sure how I'd have them organized in the end.  Seems I've resolved that conflict.

Eight players or eight teams?  That is the remaining question, if it is indeed still a question.  Probably be both.  There remain the basic Euro-appearing nations (like that word play).  We have the United States, The British Empire, The German Empire, The French Empire, The Italian Empire, and The Portuguese Empire.  We also retain the Sultan's and the Eccentric's forces.  All of these are subject to some minor tweaking and adjusting.

What about all those other figures listed above?  Well, best to ignore all of that because there is a new order to how it works.  There are still twelve Adventure Commands but they now break down into 8 units of 12 figures plus a mounted overall command figure with an accompanying foot figure.  Which means there are 98 figures and one horse in all 12 groupings.  And the groupings break down like this:

Adventure Party, Native Porters, Unarmed Civilians, Armed Unit (often, but not always, European), Fezkari type unit, musket or rifle armed unit, two native units with primitive weapons.  This means there are three civilian groups of 12 figures and five armed groups of 12 figures.  Every group (not every unit) has women, some as few as 2 others as manyas 15, maybe a few more.

For teams, I can take one of the Main Armies and attach two of the Adventure Commands.  That means one player would control just over 100  bases of figures.  For those of you quick with your math, you'll have realized I am short enough Adventure Commands to do that.  You are right.  The resolution is that the Sultan and the Eccentric each get two Native Commands.  And I've mananaged in that great sort to create a Pacific Island Native Command of 8 units of 12 men plus a mounted commander and the same for a Maori Native Command.  And, of course, there are still the two African Native Commands.

Works out pretty nice.  Oh, I've also separated out Naval Crews for the additional water craft plus four extra crews for manning the other larger watercraft (ocean going x 2, junks x 2, ironclads x 2).

I am debating about trying to track down some civilian figures so that the Pacific Island commands match in size and formation the African Native commands.

While I've shunted aside a whole crowded storage box full of now extra figures - and reduced the painting backlog - I've also "found" some groupings for specialized scenario build ups: the film crew and porters; the Amazons; two pack elephants; two pack mules; Tarzan, Jane, Boy, and nine great apes; and two units of 9 mounted figures each.  Additional purchases of figures will most likely be shoe horned into this portion of the collection - and I reserve the right to buy more figures, especially eyeing some of the steam punk items coming out in 15 mm (though not for steam punk use).

Find a need for a few more packages of the appropriate sized sheet metal bases but getting close to saying all the figures for this time frame are prepped and primed and ready to paint.

The mental fog that shrouded this collection has dissipated and I can see clearly for miles now how much fun these figures can be.

February 20, 2017

It may have been a long time since the last entry here but this collection continues to be tinkered with.  This evening (as I type) I'm going to list the fauna I've collected for the Graykonleti Plains:

Zebras 48, Wildebeests 48, Thompson's Gazelles 48, Sable Antelopes 18, Monkeys (trunkeys) 24, Flamingos 18, Hippos 24 (at least), Chimps 24, Leopards 3, Cheetahs 3, Pangolins 3, Anteaters 3, Gorillas 18, Warthogs 36, Hyenas 24, Impalas 24, Grant's Gazelles, 24, Ostriches 36, Giraffe 36, Elephants 48, Lions 48 (multiple prides), Rhinos 24, Okapi 6, "Crocagotors" 48.  That's 636 animals so far.

Once they are done sculpted and I can order them, there will be 96 African Cape Buffalo - I commissioned a sculptor to create these.  I'd love to replace the chimpanzees and I'd really like to add a troop of baboons and I'm still hunting for some vultures.  I'll try my hand at scratch building some termite mounds (no individual termites, though!).  However, if all I do is add the buffalo that will give me 736 animals.  All of this will be on bases with three animals to a base to keep it somewhat manageable.

And, yes, of course I know that is a lot, a very lot.  But it is one element of the collection I've been working on for a long time that for some unknown reason is just important to me.

I will build some kopjes and some acacias trees (iconic as seen on the Nature television intro images).  And recently I saw a very nice rendition of a dry donga and I think I'll try and add that element.  Will need a nice watering hole and a bit of a river with its riparian forest.  I might even try my hand at recreating the famous gnu leap that is so often shown as part of the great migration of the wildebeests.

And if my full dream is realized, someone will release some models of other gazelle and antelope species that I can add and get up to either 900 or even 960 total animals.  I'm pretty sure I'll stop if I get that far along.  Want to keep it "reasonable" after all.  My African plains ought to be quite a spectacle in the end.

First, I have to finish my French and Indian War figures and then make major progress on the American Revolution figures and make some sort of a dent on the Wild West before I dig deep into this collection - but I reserve the right to keep working on the beasts - 150 painted already and can be seen under the Zoological tab on the home page of this blog.

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