Last week between Tuesday and Friday I finished off another 36 figure Zulu regiment. I think I spent about ten hours in total over the four days on this unit, including the basing.
This unit is a married regiment – the inDlondlo (Black Mamba). This regiment was formed in 1857 and most of it’s warriors were in their early forties. This regiment was in the reserve at Isandlwana and participated in the attack on Rorke’s Drift. It was also present at several other major engagements of the war, including the final battle at Ulundi in July 1879.
This regiment contains a number of men with muskets and rifles.
I am really happy with how the red and white shields came out.
The iNdluyengwe Regiment was raised in 1866. At the time of the Ango-Zulu Wars it was mostly comprised of warriors in their early thirties. It was designated ‘Unmarried’ in 1879. At Isandlwana it formed part of the reserve and did not get committed to the attack on the British camp. It was part of the force that attacked Rorke’s Drift later in the day and suffered heavy casualties in that action. Elements of the regiment fought at other engagements in the war including the final battle at Ulundi.
This unit is composed entirely of Black Tree Designs Zulus. They are really nice figures and are a real pleasure to paint. As anyone contemplating a Zulu Army knows, you have to paint a lot of them. I am going for 36 figure regiments, based six to a stand. To that end I have taken a few painting short-cuts but I think that they still look pretty good despite that. This regiment took me from Tuesday last week until Friday to complete, painting mostly in the evening.
This small unit of British Lancers is the first cavalry I have done for my Zulu Wars project. Once again these are based on individual bases and are slotted into sabot bases. These are quite nice figures to paint. I am not sure I got the uniforms right. Given my primary source is mostly the movie Zulu Dawn, perhaps I should have given them a red faced tunic but stuck with blue in the end. When I got these second hand there were nine lancers. I retained one to use as an escort for Lord Chelmsford on a command base. The riders have somewhat stumpy legs – they seem out of proportion to the rest of the body.
Why is it that it is not until you take a photo that you realise that somehow you totally missed a major mold line when preparing figures for painting?
Real life has been getting in the way of painting and posting. Got these finished a week or so back. Black Tree Design Boers. Like all the Zulu Wars figures I have painted so far these chaps are based individually and I have also made sabot bases for them. They will do service as foes for my British if I game the First Boer War as well.
I have cracked out another company of the 24th Foot for the Zulu Wars. Two days from start to finish. I am really enjoying this project. Next on the production line is a unit of Boer Volunteers and some British Lancers then I am into the Zulu until British reinforcements arrive from the UK and Australia. I only have seven British infantrymen left to paint and they are all in marching poses.
These miniatures are all Black Tree Designs. First off, Captain Reginald Younghusband, commander of C Company 1/24th Foot. Apparently he and the remnants of his company held out on the side of Isandlhwana mountain until they ran out of ammunition and then charged the encircling Zulu with fixed bayonets after a final handshake. I am not sure if that is a Zulu oral story or something made up by Victorian romantics. Either way, it would have made a great ‘extra scene’ in a director’s cut of Zulu Dawn.
Some people don’t like the Black Tree Design figures because of their somewhat strange ribbed hats. I think it was a design choice to make them stand out from ‘wargaming distance’ rather than for blown up close-up photos on a screen.
Here are the two companies I have completed so far. Got three more companies of British foot coming from Warlord Games (courtesy of their half price sprue sale).
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.