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Review Black Watch - Indian Mutiny from CGS Miniatures

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Nap, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. Nap A Fixture

    Hi to all ,

    A great way to relax for me is not only to paint but to be able to share my thoughts on releases through the Review threads .

    The one I have in front of me now was first announced just prior to Euro this year it is from a company run by a PF member ......Graham Scollick aka Gra 30 ....the company :

    CGS Miniatures

    For me this was one of the best pieces to be released amongst the torrent of others during the build up to Euro this year

    Whats on the review bench for me today :


    lover boys pics 011.jpg

    Details are as follows:

    Title: Black Watch , Indian Mutiny

    Scale: 1/9th

    Reference: MC 03 (Limited Edition of 75 pieces)

    Material: Resin

    No of pieces: 13

    Sculptor: Maurice Corry (Moz)

    Box Art: Mark Bennett (Gothicgeek)

    Casting : Graham Scollick (Gra 30)

    As with all my reviews lets have some background information but this time we will concentrate on one individual ...a VC winner in the Mutiny:

    Name MACKAY, David Rank Private Service 93rd Regiment, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders

    Theatre where VC won Secundra Bagh, Lucknow, Indian Mutiny, 16 November 1857 Recorded in London Gazzette 24 December 1858

    Place & Date of Birth Alterwall, Howe, Lyth, Caithness, 23 November 1831

    Place & Date of Death Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, 18 November 1880 Burial Ground Lesmahagow Cemetery, headstone erected 1998

    Current Location of VC Not in the public domain

    He enlisted in the 93rd Highlanders (which became the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders) at Thurso on the 23rd December 1850. He would have signed on for 10 years, with the option of signing on for another 11 years and completing 21 years "colour service". If he survived the 21 years he would be entitled to a pension.

    Scene of Action:

    Secundra Bagh is a villa and country estate on the outskirts of Lucknow, India. It was built as a summer house for the nawab of Awadh, Wajid Ali Shah. The estate was named after the nawab's favourite wife, Begum Sikander Mahal.

    During the siege of Lucknow in the Indian Mutiny of 1857, Secundra Bagh was used as a refuge by hundreds of sepoys who were under siege by British and colonial troops. The villa was breached on 16 November 1857 and 2000 sepoys were killed by British troops.

    He won the Victoria Cross at Secundra Bagh, Lucknow on 16th November 1857 during the Indian Mutiny. He was one of the first 93rd Highlanders and subsequently one of the first Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders to win the V.C. He won this for capturing a colour of the 2nd "Loodhiana" Indian Sikhs Regiment and was nominated by the 93rd Highlanders to receive the award.
    He received the Victoria Cross from Queen Victoria at Hyde Park 1879. He received an annual pension of £10 for winning the V.C.

    His V.C. was sold to a private collection for £75 in June 1901 at an auction in Debenhams, Tueson & Hicks, London.
    London Gazette 24th December 1858 - extract:

    David MacKay Pte 93rd Rgt. Date of act of bravery 16 Nov 1857 :--
    "For great personal gallantry in capturing an enemy colour after a most obstinate resistance, at the Secundra Bagh, Lucknow, on the 16th of November 1857. He was severely wounded afterwards at the capture of the Shah Nujjif. (Elected for the VC by the private soldiers of the regiment)."

    Pte MacKay would have been awarded these medals :-
    1. Victoria Cross
    2. Crimea Medal 1854-56 with bars "Alma, Balaclava & Sevastopol"
    3. Turkish Crimea Medal 1854-56
    4. Indian General Service Medal 1854-1895
    5. Indian Mutiny Medal 1857-1858 with bar "Relief of Lucknow"
    He was promoted to Sergeant on the 17th November 1859 and became a recruiting Sergeant around the Aberdeen area.

    He was medically discharged from the Army on 24th January 1861 when his 10 year service was completed. He had enlisted as a Sergeant in the 1st Kincardineshire Volunteers by 1863.

    Other VC Winners included:

    Captain William George Drummond Stewart
    Lt(Adjt) William McBean
    Colour Sgt James Munro
    Sgt John Paton
    LCpl John Dunlay
    Pte Peter Grant

    ALL won at Lucknow between 16th Nov 1857 and 11 March 1858 and ALL from the 93rd ..truely a brave Regt .
    95931b2255a321a59a3b6d9838e303a5.jpg 93rdlcknw.jpg mem.jpg This is the memorial to those killed from the Regt in the Mutiny found in St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh .

    The Regt is of course well known for actions in the Crimea as well including at the battle of Alma rsim1.jpg ......"The Thin Red Line" ......

    .....the Regt continues its proud traditions in todays conflicts worldwide .

    Many books are avaialable but of course a good starting point would be the Osprey range :

    9781855323698-th2.jpg 9780850452594-th2.jpg

    Continued in next post:

    Jazz, BarrieHynd, Gra30 and 1 other person like this.
  2. Nap A Fixture

    Now then folks lets look at the model now :

    I don't think I need to say anything about the Customer service from CGS apart from Gra 30 is very proud of his ..and quite rightly so IMO .

    The box was grabbed from the postmans hands before he got past the gate (I am sure he thinks I am possesed!!!) .......
    it was well packed in a padded jiffy bag which was suitably destroyed in my eagerness to open the box ...this was a strong white box with a great picture in colour of the model painted so well by Mark ...great reference for all .

    All parts were secured in sealable plastic bags surrounded by bubble wrap ...no worry about damage here . lover boys pics 012.jpg

    Included in within the box is a small certificate denoting the number in the limited edition (mine was 23/75) and also a instruction sheet with painting information. lover boys pics 013.jpg

    Parts consist of the main torso , 2 arms , the head , 2 hands(one with a waterbottle) the expense pouch , the water bottle stopper , the musket,the base , 2 length of wire (for the waterbottle cord and the stopper cord and some lead sheeting (for the musket sling)
    lover boys pics 071.jpg
    Begining with the largest of the pieces the torso , cast in a dark gray resin , there are 3 plugs to remove one at the arm/shoulder and the other underneath together with a smaller one at the side ...all easily but carfully removed ..once dealt with you are left with a great chunk of sculpting and casting skill being displayed for you to jaw drop at ...our soldier wears the kharki tunic , the creases sculpted are really finely done , across his shoulder he has a cross belt with another strap crossing underneath (for the haversack) .
    lover boys pics 076.jpg
    The undercuts on the belts are very clean and sharp , the haversack strap is of particular note the way the mateial would wear and ruffle is well done .

    At his right shoulder he has an indentation for the strap (which is to be cut from the lead sheeting thoughtfully provided by CGS) ...some might want to donate this to the spares box and use one made from a sculpting putty ., at the rear there is also a cut out for the musket .

    At his waist he has the leather belt with the brass buckle , all well sculpted and cast , buttons are well represented on the tunic ...remember these would probably not be "parade" clean but slightly tarnished.
    lover boys pics 073.jpg lover boys pics 074.jpg lover boys pics 078.jpg lover boys pics 075.jpg lover boys pics 077.jpg

    In the centre he has a locating hole for the expense pouch

    For me I will probaly rank him up to a Sgt and work on the haversack strap to become a sash ..or maybe I know someone who could .....(stop hiding Jimbo!!:whistle: )

    Continued in next post:

  3. Nap A Fixture

    Lets put arms on him now :

    The Review ones were in 2 different coloured resin one a lighter gray but not a problem ...unless you display your Gray Army!!! .

    The arms will both need casting plugs removed from the shoulder area's , a clen cut using a razor saw would suffice but be careful , the arms arm positioned coming across the lower chest with the hands being separate after a dryfit , minimal filler was needed ..a mere swipe was enough for a near perfect seam at teh shoulders , the clothing has really nice folds to it with the cuff area being very well inset to take the hands .

    The cuffs are squared these would be red as indeed the epaulettes could also have been although plain kharki was seen also (as in Marks box art)
    lover boys pics 084.jpg lover boys pics 085.jpg lover boys pics 086.jpg lover boys pics 087.jpg
    On now to the hands now , both have small blocks of resin to remove at the wrist , with fit into the sleeve recess being particularly good . , the hands and the fingers have been well represented. , the left hand has a brace that needs removing between the thumb and a fnger , the right one is holding the metal water bottle with the hand being again well sculpted round it , there is a larger casting remnant to remove this is in contact with the lower hand and the wrist but once done fit is fine into the sleeve.

    lover boys pics 091.jpg lover boys pics 090.jpg lover boys pics 089.jpg lover boys pics 088.jpg
    Continued in next post:

  4. Nap A Fixture

    Lets now see this fellows character ....the head

    There is a casting block needing attention on the underside of the neck....but once removed you are left to a glorious sculpt of a true Victorian character , fully bearded so often seen in this period, he looks the true Scot , a fighter to the end , the facial hair is wonderfully reprsented , this will benefit washes to bring out the fine strands of hair sculpted by Moz , the actual face is a cracker , teeth well done , eyes really well sculpted and cast , crows feet at his eyes , so full of character ..waiting to be brought to life by Mr Kolinsky .

    lover boys pics 079.jpg lover boys pics 080.jpg

    On his head he wears the bonnet under which he has the quilted neck cloth , this is well shown and will benefit highs when painting ...don't forget the shadows from the actual feathers ...these are gems , of the period , the plume is likewise with the individual feathers being sculpted and again well cast . the diced band is well lined defining the different squares , the undercuts of the neckcloth are nicely done as well .
    lover boys pics 083.jpg lover boys pics 081.jpg lover boys pics 082.jpg

    This one piece alone makes the bust worthwhile ..its a bright star in the box .

    Continued in next post:

    Jazz, Don, BarrieHynd and 1 other person like this.
  5. Nap A Fixture

    On now to the final pieces ,

    The expense pouch is well done , with a casting plug to remove , once done it fits really well to the locating hole in the cross belt . lover boys pics 092.jpg

    The waterbottle plug is a simple type pushed into the real thing and held safe by a string or thin rope (use the wire provided) ..I would drill a locating hole first in the bottle . lover boys pics 096.jpg

    The musket in the Review was a little warped but this is so easy to straighten by using hot water ..careful of the water ...H & S note there . , prep needed involved a casting remnant to take off at the base of the stock , with tiny ones to remove at the barrel end and on the trigger guard . The sculpting and representation of the musket lock etc is good , with the woodwork being textured to assist painting ...washes are in order I feel .

    Note in the box art the musket has been cut down .

    lover boys pics 093.jpg lover boys pics 094.jpg lover boys pics 095.jpg
    Finally we have the base ..this is a substantial piece of resin , super smooth which fits well into the locating hole on the undersides of the bust .
    lover boys pics 072.jpg
    My final thought ...well as if you hadn't guessed I rather like this one , full of character , great sculpting , great casting , minimal prep needed , well presented ......................

    Only 75 in the run ..treat yourself folks

    Lets enjoy Mark painting again : image.jpg image 7.jpg image 1.jpg image 3.jpg image 5.jpg image 6.jpg image 4.jpg

    For more information and to order go to the CGS Website :


    or by e mail to :


    Thanks to CGS for the Review piece ...

    and thanks to all for looking in

    Blue Thunder, Stephan, Scotty and 8 others like this.
  6. Alex Long A Fixture

    Great review, it is a cracking piece. Lovely sculpt from Moz and super casting from Graham. Definitely one to buy.

    Gra30 and napoleonpeart like this.
  7. Tarracus A Fixture

    Thanks for this comprehensive review(y)
    Gra30 likes this.
  8. BigDaddy A Fixture

    Great review- question- You get a full length musket and chop it down for the bust? Seems to be a waste to chop up a nicely sculpted piece.

    napoleonpeart and Gra30 like this.
  9. Gra30 PlanetFigure Supporter

    Thank you for a great review Kev and kind words, best wishes
    Hi Matt, I thought easier to add a full rifle so the modeller can cut it at the required length. It may seem a bit of a waste but I thought a nice little bonus :)
    All the best
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  10. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Gra ,

    My pleasure , well deserved praise IMO ..a really nice bust to Review


    Gra30 likes this.
  11. Ron Tamburrini A Fixture

    Nice bust and great review and background , nice paining too . good to see Mark stretching out and away from his Germans .
    kagemusha likes this.
  12. BarrieHynd Well-Known Member

    Nap, great review as always and like Ron says, good background report also. I've got this kit myself and it really is a great sculpt and casting from Moz and Gra30. I think that the hackle is the best i've seen to date regards the detail and the way it's come out of the mould intact with all those seperate feathers. I am really tempted to start mine over the coming holiday season.
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  13. Don Well-Known Member

    What a wonderful Sculpt from Moz, Painting by Mark and super casting by Graham. Dont think I have ever seen a bust just so full of character.
    Simply super bust indeed.

  14. Don Well-Known Member

    Forgot to mention, thanks Nap for a great review on this wonderful bust.
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  15. Jazz A Fixture

    Lovely clean bust with a great face full of character. The face reminds me of the old Roll Call 120mm figure of the Black Watch officer. This is one that I would like.
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  16. taff edwards A Fixture

    Cracking bust on my wish list for sure ,great review Kevin
    Cheers Chris
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  17. Old Pete Active Member

    Hi There,
    Mine arrived yesterday and I could not wait to open the box, it,s a cracker as we say up here.Not wishing to be a rivet counter but if you want to make him a 93rd highlander you will have to alter his Bonnet so that it looks as if it has 6 tails instead of the 4 it has, all highland regiments had a different number of tails
  18. Blue Thunder A Fixture

    Kevin, thanks to your review ... I am also the proud owner of this miniature.


    And I really have to say this: It is even better alive! Your photos are great, but this miniature really needs to be seen.

    It is a pity that the marketing of CGS is not so aggressive like Life Miniatures or Young Miniatures because if it wasn't for your review, it would slip through me. And what I was about to miss!!! This miniature is unquestionably one of the very best of 2013!

    I sincerely hope to see many more CGS miniatures in the future with this level of quality! The figure is a cracking winner ... and we, the blessed 75 purchasers are winners too!

    Cheers Kevin! And please, bring more reviews! Many more!
    Scotty, napoleonpeart and Gra30 like this.
  19. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Blue Thunder ,

    Glad you liked the Review and it made you get this beauty , I agree with you about CGS ..but QUALITY is the keyword where Gra is concerned ..in all departments ..here's to a succesful 2014 for him ...maybe we will see Gra sculpting and releasing .

    Have you seen the Cuirassier ..so full of movement and then of course thee is the Imperial Guard ...standing with the colour ...defiantly .

    As for me doing more Reviews ...ther will be more from all companys ...soon ..keep a watch on the Reviews forum

    Look forward to seeing this painted up as A WIP ??

  20. Funky50 Guest

    I too have this bust and the quality is second to none both in sculpt and casting ... Graham's commitment to his customer base is also a big plus, I'm looking forward to more releases in 2014 from him ..Thanks for the review...Kevin

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