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Review Guards Camel Corps from Grenadier Miniatures

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Nap, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. Nap A Fixture

    Hello to one and all on PF ,

    After what has been a really hectic post Euro month with work and family things I can at last get back to sharing releases with you .

    This threads subject has been out a little while but is still well worth me sharing my thought on it .

    What are we looking at ...A subject from the mid 19th century who fought in a war that happened in the Sudan in 1885 namely a:

    Grenadier Guard Camel Private 1885 from Grenadier Miniatures :

    kev 134.jpg

    As I like to lets have a bit of background on this period , the war was fought against a fantatic namely the self proclaimed Mahdi called Muhammad Ahmad Muhammad_Ahmad_al-Mahdi_1.jpg ......on 7 June they were against the strong Egyptian Army who were so confident they camped within sight of the enemy without sentrys being put out ...the result being a dawn raid by the Mahdi's army which left a devastating mass of bodies with no survivors whasoever .

    The British Governor of the Sudan was of course General Gordon 200px-Charles_Gordon_Pasha.jpg who was killed at Khartoum . abu-klea-s-2.jpg

    The battle of Abu Klea abu-klea-1885-l.jpg was fought in 1885 as a bid to rescue Gordon The British force numbered 1,400 against a Sudanese army of around 14,000 of which some 3,000 actually attacked the British square.

    Uniforms, arms and equipment: The British Camel Corps wore grey tunics, cord breeches and helmets stained brown. The infantry of the Sussex Regiment wore khaki tunics. The British troops were all armed with Martini-Henry single shot rifles and 22 inch bayonets, both infantry and cavalry, and mounted on camels, except the 19th Hussars which carried carbines and swords and was mounted on horses. The Mahdist Sudanese carried spears and swords and the Remington single shot rifles they had captured from the Egyptians.

    British Regiments:
    The Heavy Camel Corps, comprising Household Cavalry, Dragoon Guards, Dragoons and Lancers.
    The Guards Camel Corps, comprising Grenadier, Coldstream and Scots Guards and Royal Marine Light Infantry.
    The Mounted Infantry Camel Corps, drawn from the infantry regiments stationed in Egypt.
    1st Battalion the Sussex Regiment
    3 guns of the Royal Artillery
    A Royal Navy contingent with a Gardiner Gun (a cranked machine gun similar to the Gatling).

    abu-klea-l-10.jpg abu-klea-s-3.jpg cc card.jpg BritishArmy.jpg 9532389_orig.png

    Although members of so many British regiments fought at Abu Klea in the Camel Corps, the only regiments to have the battle honour are the 19th Hussars and the Sussex Regiment.

    The Desert Column suffered from inadequate equipment. The Gardner gun that jammed in the battle was the same Gardiner that had jammed at Tamai the year before. The small arms ammunition used by the column was of poor quality and caused frequent jams in the Martini-Henry rifles. The bayonets were of sub-standard material and bent during the battle. They were insufficiently sharp.

    22 regiments provided the personnel (1,789 officers and men) for the 4 regiments of the Camel Corps. An officer described the corps as ‘London society on camels’. The corps fired the imagination of late Victorian England and officers, many of them peers, unable to serve in the campaign with their regiments, volunteered for the Camel Corps. While the troops were meant to be the best available, some regiments sent their throw-outs. The commanding officer of the 2nd Life Guards assigned the regiment’s drunks to the Camel Corps on the basis that they would be unlikely to find alcohol in the desert.

    The Camel Corps caused enormous interest and comment in Britain. It was referred to as the ‘Nile Circus’. Lord Wolseley fuelled the mirth by ordering 1,000 white umbrellas to keep the desert sun off the corps. The regimental march selected for the corps was the Scottish air ‘The Campbells are coming’. This was transposed to ‘The Camels are coming’.
    The Heavy Regiment of the Camel Corps was drawn from 10 regiments of cavalry: 1st Life Guards, 2nd Life Guards 2ndlifeguardssudan1.jpg , the Royal Horse Guards, the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen’s Bays), 4th Dragoon Guards, 5th Dragoon Guards, 1st Royal Dragoons, the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys), the 16th Lancers and the 5th Lancers.

    As you might gather at times the Camel Corps troops were looked on as rather an oddity but they used the best vehicle available ...the camel .

    I would recommed that you read if you wish the following book :

    "The Camel Corp up the Nile " by Lieut. Count Gleichon who served in the Grenadier Guards..a truely great insight into the campaign and the regiments role within it . 51ufqu63uWL__AA220_.jpg

    th2.jpg th3.jpg th4.jpg th5.jpg
    Continued in next post:

    MCPWilk, Mark S, CHRONOS and 3 others like this.
  2. Nap A Fixture

    On now to the model itself :

    Title: Guards Camel Corps Private, Sudan 1885

    Reference: GM B1/1001 (Limited Edition of 80 pieces)

    Scale: 1/10th

    Material: Resin

    No of parts: 3

    Sculptor: Antonio Messegner

    BoxArt: Iguazzu

    Caster: Stuart Hale

    As with all from the stable of Grenadier Miniatures the model is packed in a secure and stout cardboard box with a colour picture of the boxart (in this case by a certain Alex Varella aka Iguazzu on this forum ..great painting Alex) .

    kev 134.jpg

    The parts were held securely in a plastic bag which was itself put into a bubble wrap bag ..no fear of any damage from this amount of packing ..others should take note I feel sometimes ...WELL DONE Grenadier.
    kev 135.jpg
    The parts consist of the torso , the head(with helmet) and a post for the stand, also included is a painting reference wth some colour references on
    kev 188.jpg
    Lets look first at the torso , there was a casting plug to remove on the right underside kev 189.jpg ..easy to do with a razor saw and sanding pads ...apart from that the casting is really smooth ...nice one Stu, our man is cast wearing the distinctive in colour tunic of serge ...a blue grey ...but remember the sun bleaches uniforms quickly ..so variations will be a possibility .

    Across his body he wears the haversack and waterbottle straps over the right shoulder with a bandolier being worn over the other . kev 190.jpg kev 192.jpg kev 191.jpg kev 193.jpg kev 194.jpg

    One of the most distinctive things about the Guards Camel Corps was the use of large red letters worn on the right upper arm , these are reproduced with clarity on the model ..I would again fade these slightly to match any wear from the severe conditions experienced in the blistering heat of the Sudan .
    kev 197.jpg

    The belts are really clean in details and do look like they are being worn , the uniform has natural folds and creases in keeping with the torso position . kev 195.jpg
    kev 196.jpg
    kev 198.jpg

    On now to the other main piece and the most important in a bust ...the head, this is sculpted with the helmet being worn on which he wears the sand glasses used by these troops ...

    there are 2 casting plugs to deal with , one on the undersides of the helmet at the rear ..careful you do not want to damage the excellent sculpting and casting that is very evident, the other is on the undersides of the neck(which has the collar included ) , once these have been done fit into the neck area of the torso is spot on .
    kev 203.jpg kev 199.jpg
    The helmet is really well done with good panel defintion and the distinctive band worn around ..all nicely sculpted
    kev 208.jpg
    kev 201.jpg kev 202.jpg kev 204.jpg kev 204a.jpg kev 205.jpg kev 207.jpg kev 206.jpg
    Now the face ..this is a true Victorian soldier ..a veteran I feel , he has seen so much during his service and now he is part of another campaign , he wears a moustache , with fine features in all area's of the face , good definition of the ears and the eyes (when you paint don't forget that the helmet peak would shade the face a little ..and he would be out in the sun !!!) kev 200.jpg

    Last but not least is a post to mount our hero on , a small amount of casting plug is needed to be removed , once done this will fit nicely into the hole so thoughtfully provided by the sculptor ....or you could donate this to the spares box and use a brass post .

    Final thoughts:

    This is a great subject matter , not often seen , minimal prep needed , backed up by excellent presentation together with the extremely high standard of casting and sculpting ...a WINNER all the way .

    We have seen several versions of this piece on PF , all which show from the painting just how much the model was enjoyed .

    The model has the potential to convert to other troops in the campaign by the simple removal of the CG letters .

    For more details why not visit the website: www.grenadierminiatures.co.uk ...and while you are there have a look at their sister company Stomtroopers (link on the website)

    Finally lets enjoy the box Art again IMG_2831_zps0d7ceeb8.jpg

    Thanks for looking in

  3. MCPWilk A Fixture

    I'd love to see this as a full figure in 120mm/150mm scale.

    napoleonpeart and Funky50 like this.
  4. Funky50 Guest

  5. Jimbo A Fixture

    Now there's a thought Mike;)

    Great review Kev, makes me want to go out & buy this one!
  6. prhayes68 Active Member

    Hi Nap,

    Thanks for all the useful reference material and the great shots of the kit. This one is definitely on my wish list.

  7. Funky50 Guest

    Nice kit....I have a medal to a man who was at Abu Klea with the Grenadier Guards where the Mahdi forces broke the British Square.......
  8. MCPWilk A Fixture

    This would be even more impressive as a full figure (or even half figure).

  9. Nap A Fixture

    It would indeed ...maybe it will happen


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