Picking up those brushes again.

Hi and welcome to the occasional mutterings of Dave Doc, a military modeller and some time gamer. Gaming and model making has given me a real education, History & Geography(obvious really), Artistry, Politics, Economics, Logistics, Project Management -you try building miniature armies without the last 3.

I will use the blog to record my creations & the odd occasion I actually do some gaming.

I have always been inspired by the aesthetic side of gaming. Playing on well constructed terrain using excellently painted units is always a joy.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Sudan - Something a bit different . Making Movies

As the title says , it’s been an interesting week. A little while ago I was contacted by a film company enquiring if I could assist with shooting scenes in miniature for the battle of Omdurman. After some too-ing and froing on the practicalities it came to fruition this last week. There were of course some compromises to be made as this was 1898 , not earlier in the Sudan . The artistic intention was to show the real mass of the native forces against the might of Victorian firepower and its ultimate effects . 

Omdurman was a very on sided battle with around 50 British dead , versus 12,000 of the Kalifas forces . It was real imposition of European ways into Africa .

The camp and Zariba 
We used around 20kg of two types of sand to ensure all the bases were properly concealed, plus we mixed in two blends of green scatter and bit of clump foliage to break things up. We were using 1/2 & 1 inch brushes to ensure the sand was spread around and blended in and cleared off the figures ... mindi am still finding sand in things!

The mass advances toward the Zariba 
The Cameron’s man the Zariba 

Cavalry advances 

I had previously added in some specifics for 1898 , particularly the maxim guns , and a powerful steamer . 

The first full set up . 

The cavalry charge 

The gunboat brings its firepower to bear .

And now some behind the scenes shots

Studios des Paris - we were in studio 7 . The studio was set up by Luc Besson , yes him of Leon..

The cavern that was studio 7 .. ready for the crew to set up. lighting and camera

Myself , MartinC and JamesM setting up under the lights .. 

Due to issues with camera wobble we had to change the set up to a lower table .. that kept us busy..
The blue screens are to provide background for post CGI processing to add back ground later. The camera was set up.

Camera set for aerial shots 
Benjamin steers the camera - Rolling...


We had to rearrange and reset as the director and cinematographer asked for things to be moved, filled out etc .We also had some license to set up and call out any issues we saw. 
Setting up scenes .

Damn.. I think corporal Jones needs moving a 1/4 of an inch.... myself and Martin dealing with fine details 

Overall it was a great experience and a real behind the scenes look at the craft and graft required to make the stuff we see on our screens .

My thanks must go to James (his post is here ) and Martin without who’s help and friendship this  would not have been possible ... cheers guys . 

We don’t know when it will air , likely to be years  - it may never get off the cutting room floor .. - but hopefully it will . 

Monday, 21 October 2019

Sudan - Steamer and Egyptian Battallion

The latest additions completed . First up is the third steamer for the flotilla . It’s based on bits from a resin Grand Manner stern wheel one I picked up a while ago. I built new superstructure from foam board, plasticard and also some printed card bits I had designed using PowerPoint.  It is to represent a vessel from later in the period and has some heavier weapons , a ,12lb , 3lb and 2 maxim guns - these were all sourced from HLBS - nice pieces. I have made it so  the various flags and ensigns are swappable.

the sailors are a pack I had from Pulp Miniatures- very nice sculpts . I also think this one will see duty on some pulp games I am sure.

Next a 48 figure unit for the Egyptian Army . All Perry figures . Just 1 left to do of these now

I just need to do a last sort through the Sudan lead pile boxes to see what I have left to do - its much reduced at least!

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Normandy 44 - game planning La Fiere

I am working on the next big game. This will cover more of the area around the flooded areas of the river Merderet at La Fiere and Cauquigny . So what better than to have a visit . I always enjoy exploring an historic battlefield.

“Iron Mike” at La Fiere , east end of the causeway 
I have a load more photos to refer to which I will add on another blog post when I have access to the PC.

View over the flood plain from the east side towards Cauquigny

The chapel at Cauquigny , the west end of the causeway

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Sudan- Gaming - At Wargames Holiday Centre 3-5 April 2020

Just a quick update on some gaming plans for next year . The Sudan will be revisited with Mark at the WHC next year . So if your interested contact Mark for places . It will shortly be be published on the events calendar.

I am also in touch with the guys from Legendary Wargames near Leeds to look at pulling together what we think might the biggest Sudan game ever use both our collections .

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Sudan - 21st Lancers

Continuing on with the Omdurman theme , I need to have the 21st Lancers represented . As it wasn’t a unit that’s was particularly on my radar to complete for the collection overall I have just kept it to the  few figures I had in the depth of the lead pile. These are a bit unusual though. They are a one piece casting that has all the look of a Peter Gilder sculpt , but don’t match anything I can find from the old Connoisseur catalogue . I picked them up off e bay  many years ago ..

I decided to base them as a unit as per that other large army loon Simon Miller... using one  of his 20cm large bases .

I soldered the lances into place so  they have an at the charge appearance too. Now if only I can find some more I would make a bigger unit

Anyways that is the prep work all done for filming the battle of Omdurman. 

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Sudan - More Ansar

I have been asked to do some work to help recreate some scenes for the battle of Omdurman in 1898 , so that has seen some extra additions to the collection such as the maxim guns and Young Churchill. Its also been a good driver to crack on an complete some more Ansar to add to the collection.

I still had 4 boxes worth of Perry plastics to make up , so I have done the bits that make up figures with jibbah in this lot (that will leave at least the same Beja still left to do) . I have done them on the large 20cm bases from Simon Miller's Big Red Bat store

Previously adding in the maxim's mean I also really need to do something to show the high level of casualties and as I had a couple of bags of Old Glory dead and wounded they have been complete too - all very gruesome 

So about another 100 figures add to the collection.

Next up some 21st Lancers .. then the job will be done . We plan to do the filming in October over at Bradford working with the fine guys from Legendary Wargames...

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Sudan - Young Winston , & Maxim guns

I have some work going on in relation to the reconquest of the Sudan in 1898 by Kitchener. That culminated in the battle of Omdurman. I am adding a few items to the collection that are more specific to this time frame .

First up - Young Winston , complete with his classic broom handled Mauser . The figure is a Wargames Foundry mounted infantry officer to which I removed the arm and added in one with a Mauser from a Statuseque Miniatures pulp figure , quick bit of  soldering and file - job done . The horse was a Perry one from the lead pile .

Next are 4 maxim guns - the introduction of a reliable machine gun was a game changer in colonial wars , and in the wars of the 20th century . To quote Hilaire Belloc “Whatever happens , we have the maxim gun and they do not “ .

These are maxim teams by Wargames Foundry . For two of them I added them to some spare small gun carriages (long languished in the lead pile - from Irregular I think) , and add a plasticard gun shield . I have added in some figures from the WF Imperial heroes set too .

next up a top up more Mahdists !

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Sudan ... some collection pictures

I am working on a photo project of the Sudan collection. This weekend James and I set up the 12x6 table and I broke out the proper DSLR. Here’s a few teasers

There seems to be a lot of them!

Ready lads! 

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Sudan - Bit more work to do

I have been doing a bit of an audit of the Sudan collection to go through and decide what I want to do with it next in terms of adding units and there is bit of project coming up too (more later) that requires some specific items. I took the opportunity for some new photographs while they were on the table. I need a much bigger table!

Bring on the angry mob!

NSW infantry man the barricade 

I have around another 200 mahdist foot to add .. the build is under way at the moment

4 large bases built and base coated - another 6 at least to go 
I found some old connoisseur 21st Lancers - so they are getting prepared too 

Maxim guns being added - made from Foundry set added to an gn carriage from Irregular and plasticard shield . 

Work in hand


No more than 3 things on the PAINTING table at once. Nothing new added until something is finished.

PREPARATION work is done when I don't fancy detail painting. Cleaning up, converting, undercoating etc.

PLANNING is expressions of interest or things that have inspired me to be created with no definite timescale as yet.


On the PREPATION table.
WW2 15mm

Storage wars