The motivation to do this is threefold -
1. I have always had an enduring fascination with this period of history (thanks to my Father). Indeed the films Zulu, Khartoum, The Man who would be King, are some of my long lasting favourites. The idea of replicating some of the engagements of this period in 28mm fills me with real excitement.
2. I recently read that Dan Mersey of :Lion Rampant fame is launching at the end of the summer a new ruleset for this period. You can get advanced copies from Amazon here
coupled with the release of Studio Tomahawks Congo ruleset I think Colonial Wargames will be coming to the fore in the months to come.
3. I surprised myself and actually really enjoyed painting the vast numbers of ECW figures - I now need to get my teeth stuck into something else ! What better than Zulus and Redcoats.
So which theatre should I start with - stupid question really - it has to be Zulu !!
So with my heart and mind set I decided to kick off proceedings with the Army starter set of Zulus from Warlord Games - I managed to find a good priced set on ebay (£53) and 48 hours later 120 Zulus came through the post.
A quick request on the Lead Adventure Forum for Zulus revealed my good friend from BLAM - HU Rhus was willing to part with a box for a similar price. This arrived on Weds. Thank you Sir.
|240 Zulus awaiting construction - I'll need two more boxes to finish this force|
These boxes each contain 120 Zulus - 60 married and 60 unmarried men - but with the number of heads available its possible to increase the number of married men units and create a number of induna (bosses?). On top of the plastic each box also provides a mounted boss, a runner and a witchdoctor.
These figures are great, my only gripes being
1. Each sprue has a single large shield with no arms to attach it to*
2. Each sprue has two large and two small shields - I don't like the small shields rather would have had large ones only.
|Lots of plastic - married sprue on left|
* I am thinking that these are for scatter terrain - I'll use them for casualty markers with a number of spots denoting hits.
Whilst trawling for inspiration on this subject I also discovered that Wargames factory produced a plastic box of Zulus. Again ebay was my friend and a box procured for £15 inc postage.
I'll review this in my next post.
NOW then here is a first for this blog...
If there are any manufacturers out there involved in this period who want to send me some examples of their wares for review or want to offer me a good deal just send me a message.
The Zulus should be complete by September and I'll be starting on the British in the Autumn months.
Hopefully this blog demonstrates that I do complete projects and can showcase this to an interested audience.
At present I have spent £120 on 270 Zulus so my army is working out at about 44p per figure
The plan is to build the force to around 500 of these boys. These will in the main be based individually and then mounted on movement trays. This allows for for easy reconfiguration of different rule systems.
Back to the project....
Assembly of the plastics can be daunting - there are a large number of figures. Each body has to be cut from the sprue, along with the heads and arms. To speed things along I removed all the bodies from the sprues and superglued these to 25mm washers to add weight. Whilst these were drying I removved all the heads and arms I needed. So rather than building one at a time - I glued on all the heads in one sitting etc.
The first box took around 2 hours to assemble (1 minute/figure) after all the pieces were cut from the sprues.
Once the glue was dry I primed the steel wash base with standard acrylic paint and onto this I glued my basing material (sand & ballast). Only once all this was dry I primed the figures using Halfords Matt Brown Camouflage Paint.
This colour is in my mind suitable for the natives skin and allows a speedy paint process to follow immediately.
120 Zulus are now primed for painting - 150 to follow
|What do you call a tray of primed Zulus??|
I have even started to paint some...
24 nearing completion
|The start of a long journey|
part 2 can be found here