Friday, 24 July 2015

The People You Meet

I'm working in a sort of temporary office at the moment. I'm permanently based in a hot-desking area (yeah, I know) and there are other people working on different bits of the project co-located with us.

Yesterday the bloke sitting opposite me (who I have spoken too occasionally but we have not exchanged names, - we are British, after all) remarked that the word "schema" was derived from a Greek word used to describe a unit of Alexander's cavalry.

Now my ears perked up at that point. I queried the statement, and remarked that I was familiar with the term "agema" but not "schema" in that context. A short conversation followed. His claim to knowledge was based on doing classical history at university, - although he did the Peloponnesian Wars, not Alexander's campaigns.

I pushed back with the comment that I was going to claim an area of more recent expertise as I had box loads of painted plastic Macedonian cavalry figures because I'm a wargamer.

Turns out he hasn't, but he has got loads of other painted plastic figures, which he stores in a shed in his garden. Never gets round to playing with them, of course.

And he's an occasional reader of this blog. So, hi there Mark.

Now I have been accused from time to time of doing obscure periods. The recent Pacific War and previous Taiping Rebellion spring to mind, but I have nothing on this guy. After all you can buy figures for both periods and soon there'll be Ospreys on both of them too. Mark had to commission a bloke to make a range for him.

They're for the Sokoto Caliphate.

This was based in the area of Northern Nigeria at the back end of the 19th century. They thrived right up to the point when the British decided they shouldn't.

Well, when I say a "range" there's two figures, although they come with 7 head options, so that's quite a lot of variety you can get from them.

They're 20mm, and why he commissioned them from a German company I can't say.

It's not a range I'm going to buy into any time soon, I have to say. I mean, they're clearly going to get completely stuffed by Mr Tommy Atkins and his chums.

Besides, I've got loads of other stuff to paint first.

Anyhow, if it floats you particular boat, you can order the figures from here: Sokoto Caliphate figures.

You see, there are more of us about than you may think.

14 comments:

  1. Small world, indeed and a welcome chance meeting! Nice models. Here in the States, the term for sharing a desk is "hoteling."

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    1. I worked with a bloke for 5 years once before I discovered he was a wargamer, so this is something of a record.

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  2. Many years ago I built up a Songhay army from a little to the North of Sokoto- indeed Sokoto may have been part of the Songhay Empire at one time. It probably wasn't very accurate being largely conversiosn and head swaps of assorted Lamming and QT but it did fight a short campaign against Arabs - sold 'em all on years ago

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    1. Excellent! That's back when proper wargamers had to have an army made from conversions.Do you ever wonder what has happened to them and if they're still used?

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    2. Plasticine, banana oil and Airfix figures... Renaissance armies from the original George Gush articles in the old Airfix Magazine.

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    3. Banana Oil! That came up in a discussion at CoW. The mysterious banana oil you couldn't buy anywhere. We used to cover the plasticine in airfix glue. No idea if it did any good.

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    4. Being a bit of a nerd I googled it apparently it was used as Dope on aircraft fabric in the early days flight.

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    5. You see that's what's so different now. If you couldn't find it in your local model shop or in an ad in Military Modelling that was it.

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  3. Irregular do figures for the Sokoto Caliphate in 15mm in their colonial range and a separately listed range for the Kingdom of Benin.

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    1. Why ruin a good story like that????

      These are 20mm, but you have to hand it to Ian Kay for hitting obscure stuff on a regular basis.

      And as demonstrated here, most of it stays obscure because of the way his website is constructed.

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  4. Irregular have extended their colonial range quite a bit since I last looked at it. They do look so much better once painted up.

    In 20mm I rather like the Newline Designs figures. Nice proportions unlike so many 28s. They might be compatible with your plastics.

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    1. Ian Kay is prepared to take a punt on a lot of things, and you are right, - they look better painted than you'd think. The Taipings from CoW are all Irregular.

      I always think his stuff looks animated, - like they're real people, not posed.

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  5. No idea they were split up I think. It wasn't a massive collection not more than 150 figs. We are talking over a quater of a century ago- in those days I used to get through armies like nobodies business

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    1. I've kept all of my armies except for two or three. My Napoleonics went to Bankinista, my 7YW went to Mr Peter Berry, and my Middle Earth fantasy army (Minifigs range ME) has ended up in various hands, - Chris Kemp has a lot of them.

      Their Airfix predecessors have been recycled into ancient armies or are in a big tin box in the garage.

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