Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Zam Zammah

"He sat, in defiance of municipal orders, astride the gun Zam-Zammah on her brick platform opposite the old Ajaib-Gher - the Wonder House, as the natives call the Lahore Museum.  Who hold Zam-Zammah, that 'fire-breathing dragon,' hold the Punjab; for the great green-bronze piece is always the first of the conqueror's loot."

That's the opening paragraph of Rudyard Kipling's novel, Kim, and in my opinion one of the greatest beginnings anywhere in English literature.  I suppose Kim has fallen out of favour nowadays, being a relic of a bygone era, but still ranks highly for me.

Here is my new toy, which was briefly mentioned in my last Jhamjar battle report.  I won the model as a door prize, on the same day I realised that I'd forgotten to pack my Jhamjar mountain gun.  Thinking quickly, I improvised:  my new model would proxy in with an impromptu gun crew.

As it happened, the gun crew was quickly eliminated by some sharp rifle fire from Ockerforce.  This was obviously because an unpainted model has no business on the tabletop!  The only possible course of action was now (obviously) to paint the gun.

I was of course inspired by the mighty Zam-Zammah in Kim, even though my gun is not quite as splendid.  This photo is from the Wikipedia page on Zamzama, photo by Khalid Mahmood - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12531919

Kipling refers to Zam-Zammah as a "great, green-bronze piece".  In order to get a sense of the green patina or verdigris, I stopped by my local gaming shop Hammertime Hobbies and asked Mike, the friendly proprietor for advice.  He had just the thing, a GW wash called 'Nihilakh Oxide'.  Bronze basecoat with a nihilakh wash and here's Jhamjar's version of Zam-Zammah!

The mighty 'fire-breathing dragon' might find a home in the centre of a Jhamjar town.  (reminds me that I need to find out the name of Jhamjar's capital.  Suggestions welcome!)

And if necessary, she may once again go to war supported by her powerful gun crew.


  1. Nice gun, Will. Kind of reminds me of the famous gun in the movie 'The Pride and the Passion'.
    See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pride_and_the_Passion

  2. Thanks, Kevin. I've not seen that one, but I remember reading CS Forrester's The Gun many years ago.

  3. Most impresive artillery, well done!

  4. Thanks, Phil, this is a fun piece to have even it it's mostly to primarily going to be a terrain feature.