Above is a pic of Lt. Colonel James Galbraith, Regimental Colour in hand, alongside Bobbie the regimental dog and some of the other "Last Eleven" survivors of the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment, making their last stand in one of the walled gardens just South of Khig village, a few miles West of the Afghan town of Maiwand.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Charasiab battlefield... pretty much done

It's been a momentous couple of weeks here at the Maiwand Day household, starting with my youngest child's Bat Mitzvah (ceremony and celebration for reaching the age of maturity and responsability in the Jewish religion), then the Unveiling of my father's gravestone in New York (he passed away in December 2013), then dropping my son off at Cornell University upstate in Ithaca, New York, then visiting some other prospective East Coast colleges with my rising high school Sophomore older daughter.  We got back to Los Angeles on Saturday night, with two kids instead of our customary three.  I'm bummed my son is not around but I'm very proud of him and very happy for him since he's where he wants to be.

With my son across the country and my youngest child now a teenager who officially counts as an "adult" for religious purposes, I can't help but think it's kind of childhood's end here at our place.  Still, the games must go on... and so I managed over the past two days to complete the one remaining item on the "To Do" list for my Charasiab terrain lay-out: the latex caulk road system.

I will put up a post showing the later stages of resin pours and then removing the dams from the edges of the boards, and also making the caulk roads -- but tonight I am simply posting a handful of pics I just took of the (virtually) finished layout.  I use the "virtually" qualifier because there are a couple of small items I will still be working to add, and possibly one large additional item as well -- the tall mountainside for the North-East corner of the table, on the far side of the Logar River.  Nonetheless as the title of this post states, the terrain is pretty much done.

It's now the early morning of September 1st, 2015.  September 1st is a somewhat momentous date in the annals of the Second Afghan War, being the day General Roberts engaged Ayub Khan's army outside Kandahar and decisively defeated it, avenging Ayub's victory over the British at Maiwand just over a month earlier.  One of the nice things about the terrain I've built for Charasiab is that I should be able to reconfigure it to refight Kandahar as well, by connecting all the river boards together and rearranging the rocky hills, but one thing at a time -- first I must get a few play-tests in of the Charasiab scenario ASAP, before it's time to pack everything up and drive to Metarie, Louisiana, just outside New Orleans, for the Colonial Barracks V convention, something I very much hope to pull off this November.

For now, here's a few pics of the (mostly) finished layout...


View from the South:



Higher angle from the South:



Overhead view:



View from the South-West, Kabul River in the foreground:



View from the East, Logar River in the foreground:



View from the North:



Northerly overhead view:



View from the North-West, Kabul River in the foreground:


Monday, July 27, 2015

Maiwand Day 135 / 2015

July 27th snuck up on me this year.

July 27th is Maiwand Day, the anniversary of the Second Afghan War Battle at which a small Anglo-Indian army was defeated and forced to route in the face of a far larger Afghan army.  This blog began in connection with me putting on a refight game on the battle's 130th Anniversary, five years ago today, and is a very humble namesake of the event. The British and Indian units sustained a very high percentage of casualties and the battle was one of the most severe defeats ever suffered by British arms "East of Suez" as the phrase used to go.

For a long time now most all my hobby time has been spent working on terrain and scenario design for an upcoming refight of the 1879 Battle of Charasiab.  I've made some more progress on that front, and I'm probably all done with the rivers and swamp.

For a long time now I've also wanted to post pictures of what is IMHO an incredible diorama showing the Last Stand of the "Last Eleven" of the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment of Foot, built and painted by the incredibly talented Spanish painter who calls himself ONIRIA.

He completed this diorama in late 2011 and advertised it as being up for sale, perhaps on Lead Adventure Forum or The Miniatures Page, or maybe both -- I can't remember for sure -- and I was lucky enough to get in touch with him before anyone else.

Here's a LINK to the page on Oniria's own website where he posted some photos and briefly discussed its construction:

Oniria presents his Maiwand diorama

And here's some pics I took just a little earlier tonight:












That's it for now.  Hopefully I'll be back to post some pics of the finished swamp and river boards before too many more days pass, but for now I'm just happy I managed to get this up on the web while it's still July 27th, before midnight hit.



Friday, July 17, 2015

Agitation of Kabul River & Khairabad Swamp goes green

I poured a third layer of resin onto the Kabul River board and "agitated" it to give the surface some current.  Overall I think it turned out pretty good.  To be totally honest I think I added a little too much color tint to the resin, resulting in a more solid as opposed to somewhat translucent finish, but the color itself is okay and I'm very happy with the "current" resulting from me dragging a popsicle stick through it late in the curing process.  The current I ended up with on the pair of Logar River boards is not as active.

Anyway, herre's a few pics...






Next I added a third layer of resin to the Khairabad Swamp board, which had only received clear pours until now.  I'm pretty happy with the color tint here also.  I considered slightly "agitating" the larger areas of open water within the basin but in the end decided it would be better to leave the entire swamp perfectly still, since pretty much all the swamp water I've ever seen in my life looks that way...




Now I am faced with a perpelexing question: am I done...?

On the one hand, the 4 River and Swamp boards all look pretty good.

On the other hand, I'd prefer for the color tint to be slightly lighter (adding a bit more yellow ochre ink to the mix should get me that result) and I'd like the two Logar River boards to have more "agitated" current visible (I stopped dragging my popsicle through them probably 15 minutes to half-an-hour too soon, allowing them to cure with only slightly uneven surfaces), and lastly... there are a couple of slight imperfections on the Logar River boards -- one little spot on the river surface and some slight shortfalls at the edges where they are meant to seamlessly join with other River boards.  These are not horribly bad but I think they are fixable.  However, if I try to fix without adding a full-blown additional layer of resin but just adding a tiny amount of resin to the spots in question, I may end up causing more harm than good, depending on how closely the color tint matches what's already there.

Anyhow, after more than a year of work getting to this point, I confess the answer to this question of how best to now proceed is eluding me, at least for the moment!

I'm thinking about possibly moving my desk and setting the full layout up again, to see how it looks with the "water-boards" in their current state.  I have a feeling it will look pretty good, but course as always the devil will be in the details. The down-side of doing this will be having to change my office from "workshop" mode to "gaming table" mode, and then -- if it turns out I still need to pour more resin (which is very possible) -- change it back again. All of which requires more time and effort.

One way or another I'll figure it out and if I do set up the full table again I will definitely take a bunch of pics and post them here.

I guess all I can say now is STAY TUNED!!! (and to all those readers of this blog who have been leaving comments on these seemingly endless river-related posts, THANKS VERY MUCH for the support!!!)


Monday, July 13, 2015

Logar River gets agitated...

This weekend I managed to add a SECOND and THIRD RESIN POURS to the two 2'x2' Logar River terrain boards, both of which were tinted with color, and the ladst of which I "agitated" in hopes of getting some "River Current" action when the resin finally set.  I'd say I was partially successful on that front, getting a touch of "current", though not as much as I'd have liked.  I still have one more shot at it though, and I'm pretty happy with how the color tint turned out, so it definitlely could have been worse!

I was hoping to do a similar THIRD POUR on the 6'x2' Kabul River board, which so far only got its second round of resin, later tonight.  I have another busy work week starting tomorrow and don't want to fall behind with two of my river sections a step ahead of the third one -- but after thinking more about it I realized I'd have to stay up until 4:00 or 5:00am, in order to "agitate" the curing resin, which would impact work tomorrow, so unfortunately it will have to wait until tomorrow night at the earliest.  I also did a second resin pour on the Khairabad Swamp board, which I left untinted.  I do plan to tint the third and -- if it needs it -- fourth pours for the swamp, though I may leave its surface perfectly flat and unagitated to resemble "still" water... or possibly try to give it just a hint of movement in the more open areas.

In the weeks ahead I plan to get around to doing a thorough "How To" Resin River post with tons of step-by-step WIP pics, but for now I'll just post a handful of shots showing how it turned out...






And finally, the pic I've been using as a guide for coloring my Afghan river water...


Friday, July 3, 2015

IT'S RAINING RESIN!!!

After a little over a year spent building, texturing and painting terrain-boards and then hot-gluing a homemade "tufts" of reeds here and there along river banks of the three river boards and virtually everywhere in the swamp of the one swamp board, as well as conducting a long series of tests on small sample river board sections, over the past three nights I finally mixed and poured the first layer of resin into all four of the river and swamp terrain-boards for my Battle of Charasiab layout.

Woo-Hoo!!!!!!

It seems to be working and that's a pretty good feeling.

I'm still at the first stage of this multi-stage "resin-ing" process, the next step of which will be a bit more complicated and fraught with a bit more risk as it will entail adding a color tint to the mix and also attempting to agitate the resin at the exact right moment late in its curing process, so the resulting disturbed surface when it fully sets will pass for the churning flow of a moving river.

That's a bit of a tall order, but I think I did enough research months ago on those small test pieces I made expressly for that purpose, so I have a decent idea how to proceed and some confidence I may be able to pull it off.  One good thing is that I plan to do 3 or 4 pours of resin (each approximately 1/8" deep), so even if I don't nail this first tinted and "agitated" pour, after it cures I'll still have another one or two more chances to get it right.

In the weeks and months ahead I plan to post my usual painfully involved step-by-step tutorial re: working with the resin, but today I just want to share some WIP views of the river and swamp boards with this first layer of resin added to them...












































After the first layer cured, a couple of nights later -- tonight -- I added a thin second layer onto the 90-degree-turn Logar River section, which had turned out to be slightly thinner, due to it being slightly longer than the straight section.  I'm happy to report it looks like this additional pour brought it up to the same level as the other boards...




When this second pour for the curved board dries I will move on to the next step: the next pour for all four boards, which will be tinted with the olive drab mix of acrylix inks shown in the test piece I did a post of months ago, and will hopefully bring the depth of resin on all four boards up to 1/4".  Between now and then we'll celebrate our National Birthday of the July 4th Holiday here in the USA, so I'll take this opportunity to wish all my fellow Americans out in the blogosphere HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!