Sunday, 3 April 2016

Tribute to Dave - Corporal Docherty, Sergeant Millsy & The Shovel of Doom


The last Tribute is for Dave Docherty who was our prized Wednesday Minion and our peerless Sultan of the Sudan. Dave has been a huge supporter of the Challenge, having been in the scrum since its second incarnation (the year of the Vikings, I believe), so I was delighted to have him assisting me with the circus. He's a great trooper, that Mr. D.

Originally I was going to do-up one figure, the fellow here leading with the pipe - but while I was preparing the figure an idea came along which made me modify my plan and have a bit more fun with the composition.

As many of you know, this year Dave created a funny story-line featuring himself, Millsy and, the friend of every infantryman, a shovel. In Dave's story the imperious 'Major Docherty' harangues a hapless 'Corporal Millsy', who's only expertise it seems to be in the digging of latrines.  As I was working on Dave's 'tribute', it dawned on me that it might be fun to embellish and expand on his story of the doughty Docherty, the maniacal Millsy and the Shovel of Doom. So I converted another figure to accompany the first and wrote a brief flight of fancy, a un conte, which mixes a Moorcock-esque premise with a dash of Black Adder magic-realism.

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'C'mon Corporal Docherty, keep up. We're late.'

'Remind me again, Sergeant Millsy, why do I have to lug around this bloody shovel?'


'Well, first I outrank you this time, and, if you'll remember dear heart, it was I who had to use that thing instead of a proper lance in our last outing, when we were in The Valley. Do you remember? I had a hell of a time whacking away at those Frenchies with that blasted thing. Granted, it does have a wicked edge on it and - '

'Russians!'

'What?'

'They were Russians, Millsy, you addled git. We were friends with the French that time, fighting the nasty Russians. Mind you, even Raglan, that ancient one-armed antique, couldn't keep it straight.'


'Oh, yes I remember now. You know, after that scrap in that frightful Belgian farmyard I can never get my head wrapped around the idea of the Frogs being on our side... Anyway, no matter, it's your bloody turn Corporal Docherty. You know the rules - one stripe, one shovel, one battle.'

'Right. You're quite right... So, where are we off to this time Sergeant Millsy? It's blasted hot and what in God's name is that infernal racket? It's giving me a headache. It sounds like a bloody train is about to take station over that ridge.
 
'I don't know what the sound is, but I can tell you that we're marching to fall in with the lads of the 24th. The poor sods have that idiot Chelmsford bossing them about so they need all the help they can get. They're all near that hill over yonder. Damn, what's it called again? It's a odd, foreign-sounding name... Ah yes, I remember, Isandwana

Now, hurry up...'


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Thank you very much for all your help Dave. I hope you like this little vignette and thanks for indulging me for my little departure on your original story. :)  Here's to seeing you at Partizan this year!

Curt


27 comments:

  1. Inspired stuff! Great figs as well!

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  2. Wonderful work Curt, but what on earth did Docherty do to get demoted from Major to Corporal? ;)

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    1. Thanks Tamsin.

      In regards to Mr. Docherty's demotion: Remember the Zulu Wars occurred before the Sudan. (and that I infer that they've been hopscotching through time, changing roles). ;)

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    2. It it is course entirely true, that by great deeds of shovel valour the young Corporal gained his promotion stopping the shovel falling into Zulu hands... The last ride of Docherty and Millsy.. Nearly as famous as Melvillie and Coghill

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    3. Forgot about the Moorcockian thing. Will they, perchance, encounter Captain Bastable?

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    4. This kinda reminds me of High Fist Dujek once being commanded by Whiskeyjack and then superseding him to end up as his chief... mmmm I shouldn't have started reading the Malazan Chronicles as a direct consequence of this Challenge should I? ;-)

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    5. Yes, in my mind I think of them similar to a cross between Moorecock's 'Eternal Champion' and Black Adder.

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    6. I am not familiar with Moorecock but I get the Black Adder reference ;-)

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    7. It's nearer Statler and Waldorf I reckon..

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  3. Great little vignette, Curt! Apparently the shovel-o-doom is an artifact of wondrous power! ;)
    Fine minioning, Dave! And an even more outstanding work on your Sedan project. I hope you will have more lads in the painting queue for the next go round! ;)

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  4. Superb story and miniatures

    May I suggest a new award for challenge 7, "the shovel of doom" award for best story telling in a vignette?

    Who knows, it might one day rival the "GIMP" award for prestige one day!

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  5. This is delightful Curt! The banter between those two is now the stuff of legend and you're encouraging them in their lunacy.

    You did a great job with this, the vignette is superb as is the brushwork!

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  6. Wonderful work and great plot twisting Curt

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  7. A great addition to Dave's collection, and an excellent story too.

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  8. Absolutely marvellous Curt. A wonderful idea, I love Millsys hat... Very appropriate,, It been a pleasure to help out this year too.

    I am sure this is to tempt me in to Zulus. .. Bad boy!

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    1. I'm delighted you like it Dave. I searched your blog and saw that you had the beginnings of a Zulu collection that you picked up when we first met at SALUTE, so I thought I'd nudge that interest along. :)

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  9. There's nothing like a battered akubra for keeping the sun off. Brilliant stuff Curt! Nice to see my promotion finally came through too...

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  10. It's great how you have tied in Dave's own story in your tribute Curt, the mini's are brilliant at that as well!

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  11. hahahaha - brilliant stuff Curt!

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  12. "Corporal Docherty and Sergeant Millsy" needs to be a theme category for a bonus round next year...

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  13. Well done again Mr. C! It seems like these two buggers and their shovel will be something of a running gag.

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