The second infantry unit completed for my new Anglo-Zulu Wars sub-project is a unit of twenty Natal Native Contingent. These are part of the bulk lot I brought second hand. The figures come with separate shields and were glued on with two part metal epoxy glue. I have not really ever painted African skin tones before – a few buffalo soldiers and so on for Wild West notwithstanding. I was reasonably happy with how these guys came out. The pictures are not as flattering as they are in real life. I had no command figures so used two Boers from a large unit of Boers that are also on the painting to-do list. The Black Tree Native Contingent figures have no models with firearms – or at least there were none in the lot I purchased. I might add a few Warlord plastic ones to the unit at some stage. Being as they are based on separate rounds mixing new figures into units will be no problem.
When I brought these off Trademe (New Zealand’s homegrown version of eBay) the British and allies were all based on 25mm round MDF bases. I was going to prise them off and reglue to multiple figures bases. However, at the time I saw the absolutely awesome Zulu War armies at Silver Whistle’s blog and thought – why not do the same. He had used 20mm rounds so my sabot bases are necessarily a bit bigger, but I still think it will work.
I decided to base companies of British infantry in units of 16 figures (I have the Black Powder rule book and the sample game in that book uses similar so I went with that). These are the first non-Napoleonic infantry I have painted in donkey’s years, and to be honest, they are a refreshing change from lace, fiddly uniforms and so on. I am sold already on this period.
This is the first exposure I have had to Black Tree Designs miniatures and I have to say that I really like them. They are quite big and solid, and take paint well.
A bit of the first of my British allied units – Natal Native Contingent – who will be the subject of my next post.
Like I needed another period to paint. I saw a collection of Zulu Wars figures on Trademe (New Zealand’s own eBay type site) and they were what I considered a bargain. To top it off I had just watched Zulu again…and…and….I am an addict. There! I said it! These minis are like meth to me.
I got 40 British Infantry, 30 Boers, 30 Natal Native Infantry, 9 British Lancers and these two artillery pieces with crews. There were also 120 Zulus. All metal and less than NZ0.80c a figure (not counting the guns and horses). All the British/Allies were already based onto 25mm MDF rounds. I decided to leave them like this and use sabot bases for them.
First off a Black Tree Gatling Gun. There are an additional three Empress Miniatures crew serving this weapon. I based this gun team on a 90mm round MDF craft coaster. I kept the figures on their individual bases. I think it works. As far as uniforms go, I have absolutely no reference material so went with pictures of what other people had done – give or take. Over-all I am fairly happy with these guys.
Here is the Empress Miniatures 7Pdr Gun and crew.