Thursday, 1 January 2015

28mm "Lawrence of Arabia" Camel Troop - New Unit

WW1 in the Middle East, Artizan Figures



Something a bit different this week. As the first post of 2015, Happy New Year readers, I have put up some photos of my just finished 28mm Camel Unit.


I started my WW1 collection about 5 years ago mostly as an excuse to buy some of the excellent Woodbine Design Companies 28mm WW1 in the East range. I have in that time built up quite a decent size collection (which will be on show in the next Battle of Nasiryah post). Rather than specialise in a already specialised period I decided to build up forces to cover Gallipoli, Iraq and Palestine.


Like most men of a certain age, I was influenced by the stories of Lawrence and of course the magnificent film, staring Peter O'Toole about his life. I think this period is a "would like" for a great many gamers but sadly for some reason its a minority period, its surprising with the great range of unit types in the theatre.


So who could resist a unit of Camels to go with Armoured Cars, Tanks, Cavalry, Gurkha's, Aussie Light Horse, Paddle Steamers, Gunboats etc etc. Not me ! These have been an ongoing project for years. I paint horses and these Camels using oil paints (I'll cover the technique in a box to table post one day), the method is straight forward but very time consuming with the drying time of the oils being the issue. I did the Camels about 4 years ago and for some reason (you're gamers you know why !) they have sat around in box waiting to be finished, the upcoming game was my excuse to get them done.


The figures are from Artizan who do a small but excellent range of figures for the period. I haven't found them particularly easy to get hold of, I picked some up at a show once in a discount box others I found on a trip to A1 Games in Glasgow, at £9 a pair Camel units aren't cheap.


I haven't put any flags on the figs as yet as I don't want to limit there use, I could put the classic Sharifian flag on but I also want to use them for irregular "Budhoos". I will probably go for a generic Arabic writing stylee flag unless anyone has any suggestions.


Skin tone is probably a bit light, I have never been happy with my efforts at darker skin, apart from that I'm pleased with the results. They get their debut on the table in a couple of days time, along with my "new" paddle steamer, they will probably last two turns.


I would be interested in how my American readers perceive Lawrence, with little or no US involvement in the conflict is he known of at all ? Sadly this is the sort of History we fear to teach in schools anymore (God forbid you mention The Empire in a none Star Wars context), a great shame, Lawrence seemed to have a better grasp of Middle East politics than we do today.