In recent years I have started to apply some of my wargaming painting time to what I call whimsy projects. Decoration for the wargaming table.
The Flashman project started life as another one of these with the Flash Harry figure from Wargames Illustrated – Giants in Miniature range. Someone to turn up as a bit of colour during Glory Hallelujah – American Civil War – Black Powder games.
Many of you will remember that Flashman is the bully who gets expelled for drunkenness in Tom Brown’s School Days, the book by Doctor Thomas Arnold.
George McDonald Fraser picks him up in the 1960’s, gives him a first (and second) name and sets Harry Paget Flashman off, immediately following his expulsion from Rugby school, as the anti-hero is a dozen novels collectively called the Flashman Papers. Flashman, is a self-confessed bully, coward, toady and rake who appears in many of the pivotal historic moments of Victorian history, escaping from one scrape to the next while picking up ill-deserved laurels and fame as a celebrated hero.
McDonald Fraser references Flashman being present in the American Civil War, on both sides of the argument, but takes special delight in never writing an American Civil War novel – a boring little side show to the great events of the age (or some such) – much to the frustration of his American audience.
As such he gives Flashman some considerable scope to be woven into ACW Black Powder games, as an observer or the British Army, without the constraint of a fully told story.
The poser Flashman vignette below, really took shape with the purchase of the Victorian or Edwardian Photographer set cast by Depot Battalion and purchased from Colonel Bill’s Miniatures.
The Flashman adventure involve plenty of women folk so I added two for his photograph. Flash is accompanied by the tall Caroline Thadington – made by Reaper Miniatures and Mademoiselle Bonaseiur from the Warbases’ Mousquetaires range (I added a ACW Perry plastic kepi to bring her forward a century). Both excel at counting cards in Poker and drinking fellow players under the table.
The trio have caught the eye of Ed and Vic, makers of the finest Carte-de-viste and Daguerreotypes North or South of the Potomac.
I plan to soon change Harry’s hair from the fair colour worn by Malcolm McDowell in the 1975 film Royal Flash (based on book two of the Flashman Papers), to the dark tresses of McDonald Fraser’s books that, combined with his swarthy colouring and talent for languages allows him to pass as a Pashtun in Afghanistan.