27 October 2014

Comics Imagi-Nations - Sultanate of Khemed

"Khemed is afictional country in The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. It is an Arab emirate located on the shores of the Red Sea and has been compared toJordan, with its Emir resembling the Hashemite kings and the character Mull Pasha corresponding to the British General Glubb Pasha. Khemed is depicted in Land of Black Gold and The Red Sea Sharks. The name means "got it!" in Marols, the Brussels Flemish dialect. The names of many people and places in the country are based on Marols phrases." - Wikipedia

ADHD strikes again: after tackling Borduria, I started researching the Syldavian military... And ended up writing this post after pretty much unrelated (other than being a Tintin fictional country, that is) Khemed!

Unlike Borduria and Syldavia, quite a lot is seen about the Khemed military... Because of all this canon material, there is also quite a lot of great Khemed-based models to be found on the web.

The Khemed military is shown wearing British style battledress with Keffiyeh (either orangish in Land of Black Gold or red and white checkered in The Red Sea Sharks. Given my scale of choice, a single colour is probably wiser. 

Picture from the Land of Black Gold comic.
I can't really find exact matches but Battlefront has several products which, mixed together, will certainly be good enough for my purposes: 
  • The various 8th Army British aren't wearing a Keffiyeh, but IMO, it isn't too much of stretch to assume that the soldiers portrayed in the comic are wearing their garrison headgear and that the Khemed Army is equipped with Brodie helmet for actual combat
  • The LRDG/SAS Dismounted Patrols pack includes a couple of head clothes wearing minis which should mix seamlessly with the above Brits
  • The Six-Day War range Jordans are also wearing British uniforms and bring the M20 Super Bazooka to the party...
The LRDG/SAS's Keffiyeh are a must, they do wear shorts and thus mix well this the 8th Army. The Jordans on the other hand wear pants and puttees (or gaiters) but come with the more modern support weapons... I'll probably mix all three (and maybe even throw in a couple of BEF minis to help blurring the line between 6DW Jordans and WW2 Brits, although I don't like their gas mask bag).

Update: I just found out that some of the French Goums seem to be wearing Brodie helmets too... What about adding some of those djellaba wearing minis to the Khemed ranks?
Flames of War miniatures. Picture from the manufacturer website.
As a kid, I loved armoured cars: having been born in the 80s the concept of wheeled AFV was old enough to be an exotic alternative to the late cold war tracked ones. If anything they looked futuristic to me... Then I grew up and all of sudden MRAP and MGS were all over the news!
  • The Khemed Army is shown using Daimlers... Good choice, I love that thing aesthetic and was only looking for an excuse to had them to my lead mountain. Check!
  • Jeep and Deuce and Half round up the motor pool, no issue there.
Picture from the Red Sea Sharks comic.
  • The Mosquitos are central to the book and a must... Not a clue about where to source a 1/100 one....
  • The other plane shown is the Spitfire. Again a timeless classic, I just love finally having an excuse to buy/field!
Again, much more reference material to work with than Borduria/Syldavia!
  • Infantry: the Khemed military seen is shown with white webbing and puttees, but then again one NCO wearing those introduce himself as being MP in Land of Black Gold. So considering that combat units wear more subdued trimmings isn't to much of a stretch. Either Desert British Infantry or Jordanian Army colours would do! Orange-Red keffiyeh?
  • Vehicles: the Daimlers seem to be painted in brown and dark green although not in camouflage pattern... Some parts are brown other are green, not sure what the Hergé goal was here. I'll probably go with a more 6DW pale sand colour. Similarly, British inspired markings might make more sense but I'll take another leaf of the 6DW Egyptian book and use eastern arabic numerals turret numbers. I'll use the mudguards like the Jordanians though: the front right mudguard (looking forward) caries a Khemed flag (instead of a brigade flash), while the other mudguard caries a black on white registration plate
Random picture found on internet. Model by H. Niemeyer?
  • Planes: the canon Mosquito is painted a brown and dark green camo but I'll probably go for a two-tones-of-brown one (like these Huricane and P-40) instead. I'll leave everything else as it is: Khemed roundels, blue-grey belly, eastern arabic numerals. I do wonder what's that yellow band painted across the tail though... Isn't it something more closely associated with German aircrafts?
Another random picture found on internet. That guy probably isn't actually from Khemed,
and chances are it din't give his permission to use his picture!


  1. why not do the head scarf in green stuff? it would be pretty simple.

    1. Because I don't have any modelling skills what so ever?

  2. Useless piece of trivia about the Daimlers: the strip depicts them with totally blank, featureless underbellies. It's because Hergé, and more importantly, assistant Bob de Moor, used the Dinky Toys 1:43 model of said vehicle as a model. I still have one in a basement somewhere.
    (same goes, though even less to the point, for the 2 SMGs in "Flight 714": they were very popular toys in the pre-PC late 60s)

    1. Nice, now I have to find or convert 15mm/1/100 Daimlers with featureless underbellies... Happy?

  3. Following up on my email, I checked Tamiya and Revell: unfortunately, none makes a 1:100 scale mozzie, nor do any mainstream plastic model cies. Nor do the die-cast model firms, though several fine 1:144 models are available.

    Your best bet would be to try and locate the old Corgi model, which seems to be close to scale. But, like we say in Wallifornia, "bonne chance".
    I'll pop by at a collector's shop in my hometown tomorrow, just in case.

    1. As said... Planes are a luxury item given my usual gaming scale (skirmish to platoonish) and the prices for out of production models (i.e. not gaming miniatures) more than likely put them squarely out of my league!

  4. Take a dekko at this. It's only 1:120th, but close enough, I guess.

    1. Difficult to say without seeing one next to some minis. From a pure number crunching point of view that's more than a inch too small in both length and wingspan...