Monday, April 22, 2019

Stuart Phillip Frederick McDonald & the Great Mutiny

I was looking for something else entirely when I came across these photos that I would have sworn I had never possessed, but I am delighted to find them and to thus share them here. [This is partly going to be a third part tribute to my old friend S.P.F. McDonald (see Part 1 here and Part 2 here) who gave up the ghost just over twenty years ago.]

By this time in our friendship we had gone our separate ways so I wasn't around for any of this which means these had to have been taken in 1997 or maybe even 1998. 

I don't know who the players were, what rules he used, nor who took the photos, but they are extraordinary being as old as they are. I feel like teddy bear fur only recently became popular in the last 10 years so he was definitely ahead of his time, true to form. (The internet was only barely taking off around this time, and Google was nascent.) We were always committed to the best spectacle we could put on - a standard I try to maintain to this day.

I didn't alter any of these other then to crop out the yard equipment and loungers seen in the background. It appears he just dragged the table out into the yard for this engagement and the sunlight with the accompanying harsh shadows make these really immersive.

It's clear that this task force of Brits are to retake that mutineer held village.

Sepoys advance in disorder? Something's off here, perhaps they advanced faster then they could maintain cohesion?

Note the Camel Corps at the right fore - he went a little more purple than I would have but who's quibbling?

Mutineer cavalry rolls forward at center.

Only to be met by a hastily formed, but secure square. They must have been run off as they never reappear in this game.

Belooch or Baluch infantry storm the guns. Maybe the Fresno group painted up some of these, but I've never seen them in a game until here.

Camel Corps gives rout to their immediate opposition.

Stuart loved a wide variety of forces in his armies.

Mutineers in trouble as their left folds inward.

Baluchs sandwiched but with support pressing in favorably.

I've had a framed version of this one on the mantle for decades, but thought that was it.

A small rear guard moves forward, but it's all over but the shouting.

Looks like a fine game with a British victory as they dismantle the second and final mutineer barricade. The photos themselves have numbers from the developer printed on the back so I was able to determine the narrative accordingly. There are quite a few shots missing from the sequence though which unfortunately ends with this one.

I don't really have a good picture of Stuart other than this oddball one of him and his dog Dooley. Dooley was fiercely protective and even though he knew you, he would bark at you incessantly. Weird, but I guess typical of his breed. In any event, I think I've shared everything I have now of good ol' Stu. He continues to be missed and remembered.
Thanks for looking - questions, comments and followers are welcome and encouraged!


  1. Splendid and very atmospheric terrain, looks awesome!

  2. Flashman, Wow, great looking game. Too bad about your buddy. The older we get the more commonplace it becomes. I hope his collection lives on as his memory obviously does.

  3. A fine spectacle; a shame he is no longer with us!

  4. Pete a fitting tribute for Stu and Dooley However I can answer some questions for you.The battle was fought after Stu had passed it was shot on my patio and was something Joyce had requested to remember Stu by which I gave her the photos and the framed picture may be one I gave her I have a copy on my dresser.The officer leading the Baluchi's is Fergus Mac Bligh-Sahib brother to Stu's faverite officer he painted Angus Mac Bligh-Sahib. I too thought they were lost but i'm glad they serve now a a lasting memorial to a dear friend and untimely loss for us all.I just posted on my blog a battle report which contains Stu's Mahdist figures and you can search under the Battle of Abu Klea on 19th cent section on TMP fo rlinks and a couple shots.

  5. Thanks Chuck! Good to hear from you!

  6. A rather strange Nexus. I only got to game with Stu a few times but for a couple of years almost every Sunday we'd chat about gaming and life at Viking Hobby Shop (still going). He got me pretty deeply engrossed with the Indian Mutiny - and I'm pretty sure I bought my first lot of used Indian Mutiny stuff from chuckazulu. Alas, it all languishes in the Great Lead Mountain Range of unpainted figures, well, mostly, some painted. If it ever does all get painted there will be a unit each named in honor of his four names. I still reread the Christopher Hibbert book from time to time he recommended to me. A tragic loss at too young an age.

    1. Thanks for the comments! Ya Hibbert's book is well worth reading - maybe especially in America. Funny also that trying to get comprehensive 15mm forces for the Indian Mutiny is all but impossible. I think I read Blue Moon/Old Glory were doing a line to be released very soon though it's too late for me to get into that one now at this age.