The thin blue and red line – The Stouthearted 31st Praetorian Guard – Part 1.

I hope it will become evident why the title of this post is the thin blue and red line but it’s also a nod to the movie The Thin Red Line, which I wasn’t a fan of, and also the comedy tv series called The Thin Blue line which I was a big fan of.

Well worth a watch.


It must be the fact that I reached a milestone, turning 40, that I’m feeling quite nostalgic lately.

The other day I published my debut post on a pirate project I’ve been planning for a couple of years. Loved pirates as a kid and was introduced to them via the movie and book Treasure Island.

Another movie that stood out when I was a boy was the iconic and classic “Zulu” (1964) based on the battle of Rorke’s Drift. As a kid all I cared about was the action and that Zulu’s were the bad guys and the red guys were the good guys. Obviously over time and with reading more and more about the historic battle and the massacre at Isandlwana beforehand I’ve learnt that the zulus were far from the bad guys. Still, it was incredible that 140 British troops and 11 colonial troops stood firm up against about 4000 Zulu’s. Wow. That’d require some big bloody balls. Every inch of you would want to turn and run but they did the opposite. Now the movie would have you believe that they were singing and making jokes haha but I highly doubt that was the case. I think there would have been a lot of praying and maybe even some heavy drinking for a bit of courage.

The movie has always been a favourite of mine and the best thing about it is the whole “last stand” thing. I’m borderline obsessed with that concept. It’s why I love the story of The Alamo too. Whenever I’ve played video games or with soldiers I’d always want to be up against crazy odds. It didn’t matter if I lost or won it was all about being the under dog. The second best thing about the movie/event were the uniforms of the British. They were very British haha. Arrogant and pompous. Bright red coats and white pith helmets. Not exactly camouflaged haha. The uniforms along with the Zulu warriors left a lasting impression and for a very, very long time I’ve wanted to build a diorama of the battle of Rorke’s Drift. I’m yet to get to that point BUT I have finally painted my first 24th foot inspired miniatures albeit for the 41st millennium hehe.

I first saw the Praetorian Guard from games workshop in the 90s and, because of my love for Rorke’s Drift, fell in love with them. I never got around to buying any and then, back in 2015 when I was drawn back into the hobby, I went on the hunt for them. After picking my jaw up off the floor when I saw the pricing I decided to shelve the idea. An original box of praetorian Guard was going to cost me at least $500. The money wasn’t the issue but the justification to my wife and myself was haha. A little while later I discovered Victoria Miniatures and found out she was local (Adelaide) AND she had a range of 24th foot/Praetorian Guard – esque miniatures at reasonable prices WooHoo! As is my way (easily distracted) I still didn’t get around to acquiring them until recently.

So, finally, after dreaming, pining and planning, here are the first few models, from the command squad, I’ve painted for my 31st Praetorian Guard Army.

This post is in honour of Rorke’s Drift which took place 140 years ago TODAY.

Colonel Mad Mitchell (a nod to the British soldier Colin Mitchell. If you don’t know anything about him I urge you to look him up. He’d carry a broadsword into battle during World War Two). Can you see his Medal? Gold with blue ribbon. I made it from green stuff putty. It’s the smallest thing I’ve ever made from green stuff haha.

He was was the first I painted but I actually made him a while back. I made the crutch from a spear, not a Zulu spear mind you.


Corporal Dalton. A name from Rorke’s Drift, although he wasn’t a corporal. I didn’t want to have an exact Union Jack but I wanted somethink linked to the Brits for the flag so the good old Saint George’s Cross worked well. Plus it was a lot simpler to paint haha.


Private “Keen Eye” Kelly. Sniper.


Private Trommel.


Commissar Gliene.


In the command squad there will also be a Sergeant Frank Bourne model and I’ve just ordered an original Praetorian Guard model from eBay who will be Captain Chard.

There will also be two infantry units but that will be all for this project.

I also finished a Leman Russ Battle Tank for the Stouthearted 31st Praetorian Guard and it’s the first time I’ve ever used “decals” for a model. The “31” on the turret are the decals and were easier to apply than I thought. Nothing too special but it gives the tank a little something. I went for dirty white for the bulk of the tank hull but wanted to add in some red and blue to go with the overall British-esque theme. I really enjoyed painting this tank and its driver, Commander Bromhead, haha.


Happy Rorkes Drift Day. I hope you enjoyed the start of my Prateorian Guard Army.

A special mention goes to Alex from and his very own inspirational Praetorian Guard army he calls The Dauntless. Look up the dauntless on his page. His steampunk tanks for the army are a real stand out!



Oh and remember…




35 thoughts on “The thin blue and red line – The Stouthearted 31st Praetorian Guard – Part 1.”

  1. Brilliant mate and thanks for the shout out 🙂 I can’t believe you went for the St George cross though bro – you know the 24th foot were mostly Welsh, right? The cheek of it!!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great stuff mate and I like you spin on it. Been watching a youtube documentary this afternoon titled Zulu – True Story Timewatch 2003, if you haven’t seen it it’s worth a watch. Love the tank but don’t remember it in the movie, probably an outtake!😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Maaaate I watched the same doco last Saturday hehe. It was good. I didn’t know Chelmsford was sipping tea as 1300 of his men were being slaughtered! The tank was sent in as belated reinforcements so they didn’t include it in the movie. There was also a squadron of spitfires that didn’t make the final cut of the movie. Oh and Arnold Swartzneger was going to play Chard originally.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Really loved this – and knowing me it will be for obvious reasons! Like you, Zulu was one of my favourite films and an early influence. Over the years I’ve become to understand the real history behind it, but the bravery of the participants hasn’t diminished. As a boy I even pestered my parents that we could visit the South Wales Borderers museum in Brecon, lots of great exhibits there that I still remember. I was always interested in how the hill of Isandlwana where much of the rest of the 24th were wiped out has the same silhouette as the sphinx on their badges.

    As for your figs, I like the drummer in particular and Dalton’s expression is perfect for a backs-to-the-wall situation. Bromhead in a tank – somehow just a perfect concept! 🙂

    By the way, you’re English flag is quite correct – the 24th Foot in 1879 were still nominally an English regiment known as the 2nd Warwickshire. They became the South Wales Borderers in 1881. A bit of nerd lore for yer!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I can always rely on you for the history lesson mate. I love my history but don’t always retain it as well as I’d like to. I’m glad you like what I’ve done mate. A few more for the command squad and then onto the line infantry. Stay tuned

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Oh man, this is what I get for going through old posts out of order. Saw these in action in your battle post. Nice to see some more up close photos though, and glad you got to break them out and play with them!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great mate ,I am looking forward to you doing a dio ,we neeed more dio boys !!! , Having said that I will like to see your slant on your dio as this theme is one of the most popular dio themes ,but you being you I’m sure you will impress ! .

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Here – how did I miss this? Cracking stuff as usual, you’ve been as productive as ever (casually throwing in a tank at the end as if it was nothing special – I’ve never painted a tank in my life – maybe I should do something about that). That sniper looks familiar too, sure I’ve seen one just like her somewhere…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha is like to see you paint her mate. Or convert her into your traitor Guard. I’ve made a concerted effort to paint a bit more than I usually do and I’ve been enjoying it. Actually this evening is the first time, so far this year, that I’ve done some conversion work. I’m tackling some Mordheim stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. She’s half-painted as we speak – I’ll try to get her done soon. Just going to do her as is, as part of my loyalist guard – I reckon her slightly cheeky facial expression might be frowned upon by the gurning space-barbarians of the traitor guard!
        Looking forward to seeing what Mordheim stuff you come up with, it looks like being a really good year for it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Cool. I’m sure whatever you do with her will be brilliant. My fingers, toes and all other extremities are crossed in the hope that GW re-release Mordheim but with a whole bunch of plastic miniatures

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sadly I suspect wishful thinking is all it will be for the next little while. From what I understand of the way GW operates Mordheim would fall under the purview of the Specialist Games department (certainly it did historically). According to a blog they posted a couple of months ago, to be classified as a “Specialist Game” (which to me always sounds a little euphemistic – just a step away from “adult entertainment” ) it has to have a)unique models, b)unique setting and c) unique rules . I can’t find the original post now but someone has reposted it here;

        Based on that I would definitely put Mordheim in their department (as opposed to one of the “main line” teams). However they’ve also stated a few times recently that the games they do make (Necromunda, Adeptus Titanicus and Blood Bowl) have grown bigger than they originally hoped and they don’t have enough staff to keep on top of everything they want to do with them now (aiming aprox. one BB and ‘munda release per month). Before they can take on more staff they need to move to a bigger office which apparently they’re about to do/have just done (I watch a lot of Warhammer TV whilst I paint, I can’t help knowing these things, they percolate into my brain!). Given the long development times needed therefore, even if they’re able to start on Mordheim today, we wouldn’t see if for a while, and I suspect they’ll want to get on top of existing lines before adding something new to the mix anyway.

        Luckily there’s lots of cool fan stuff on the go at the moment to give us our fix in the meantime 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Mate you should work in the GW PR department hehe. Although I suspect you’d be too busy creepy around the catacombs of GW HQ looking for Ork heads and Skaven parts to get any real work done. Sigh… I hope in my lifetime I see some new release Mordheim. The old lead models are awesome but bloody expensive. As much as I try to justify it to myself that it’s worth I just can’t. I’d rather spend $140 (aud) on a starter set with lots of bits than $80 on one metal figure that would be a bastard to convert. Thanks for the link. I’ll have a ganders tonight.

        Liked by 1 person

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