Thursday, 4 September 2014

Boers at large (added on..)

Figure conversions for Anglo-Boer 'in the Veldt' gaming

Reading again a book from the Simon Fonthill novels series by author John Wilcox during my holidays, a started thinking on a quick responsive variation on the 'About' rules. Both parties (the native Dutch Boers on the one side and the British khaki's on the other; made up of initially all (mouted or dismounted) cavalry figures. Conversion 'eager' as I am, I made a first practical step (read 'reconnaissance') on the subject.

General Koos de la Rey in front of a small Boer scouting party

Part of this interest originates from the fact that I'm resident in a neighborhood where the names of the streets are related to the military- and political leaders of the Boers in Transvaal and Orange-Free-State.
I have a Transvaalstraat, across me. And an Oranje-Vrijstaat Plein, a Christiaan de Wetstraat, a de la Reystraat, the Louis Bothastraat and the Martinus Steynstraat, within 120 seconds walking distance. That must have been in the background! ;-))

Basic figures used: Jean Hoefler cowboys, Timpo action pack Union ACW, Airfix Commando and cowboys, Timpo swoppet carbine, Airfix ANZAC sloppy hats, green-stuff. The latter for the ammo cross-belts. As you hopefully can see, not all are are supplied with these characteristic items. Additional facial hair is sculpted on the figs with green-stuff too (second from left in top picture, in the middle in the 2nd picture. I'm looking for Mauser rifles in 54mm scale that are affordable. 

Can use good ideas on the mounted Boers (Conf. ACW cav, the raiders from Replicants) to continue with. The British mounted light Inf. in irregular fashion (as described in the novel "Across the Veldt", mentioned earlier) can be either AIP Boerwar British cav. that get head swaps or 7th cav. / Rough Riders or a mix of those. Here are my first mounted Boer initiatives. Made of replica Airfix mounted cowboys, fairly trimmed down with the razor blade knife. Pinned up with part of already mentioned brands.  Feedback and/or tips are still highly appreciated!

I know some people find it wrong to molest fine toy soldiers. I simply want to get those that I want and enjoy the searching, cutting, fitting, glueing an tough-up'ping'. Sometimes I buy 2nd hand lots just for a few of the figures in it. I take those out and resell the rest again. Often for a similar value as that I bought them for. That's an element of the fun too. I intend to use the Jean Hoefler horses for the Boers Commando. They look like sturdy ponies to me.

 Green stuff is kneadable mass made up of two components. It hardens in about 12 hours. Here I use it for the bandoleers and beards on my figures.

The Simon Fonthill novels are over ten titles now. The series starts at about the first Zulu war, covers the India campaign, Egypt, the Soedan, the affairs at Transvaal and other South African to be colonies, China and more. I find them addicting.


  1. Hallo Marcel,
    Mijn kennis van het onderwerp is beperk, zoals weetjes dat de Engelse ervaringen met de Boeren ertoe geleid hebben dat ze hun rode jassen hebben vervangen door kaki. De "uitvinding" van de concentratiekampen ter bestrijding van de Boeren guerrilla. etc.

    Wonende in tussen allemaal zulke straatnamen kan de interesse natuurlijk alleen maar stimuleren.
    Je bent in elk geval goed begonnen. Conversies zorgen voor unieke figuren, ook een reden voor trots.

  2. Nice conversions, I really like the man turned in the saddle on the Jean Hoefler horse, I find those horses paint up very well.
    Beat wishes, Brian

  3. This is something I have been meaning to do. I have painted quite a few AIP Boers but unfortunately they didn't do mounted versions. Expeditionary Force do some excellent Boers but the foot figures are mixed with just a few mounted so it would take a lot of bags to get a unit of mounted.

    Cowboys and ACW are certainly a good base for Boers. Another thought I had was that many Boers, especially in the last Boer War, made use of British equipment AND uniforms, much like Confederate practice in the ACW. You could thus also make use of AIP Boer War and WW1 cavalry, by changing heads and painting the uniform a mixture of British khaki, along with other sober civilian colors.