Friday, 3 August 2012

Warlord Games Zulu War British Infantry

I’ve just completed my first group of Zulu War British infantry, so I thought I’d post a few pics so you can see what they look like!

These figures are 28mm plastics from Warlord Games, just like my Zulus. The Officer is a metal casting, one of a group that comes with the box. I find these figures much more difficult to paint than the Zulus and consequently they take much longer to do. It’s a good job you only need relatively few of them. They are based on Games Workshop circular bases, which I chose because I haven’t really decided what to do with them yet. I have two sets of rules in mind; one is for larger scale battles, called “Bundok and Bayonet” by Bob Cordery and the other is a skirmish scale set called “Front Rank… Fire!” by Jim Wallman. Both sets can be downloaded for free from various places, but I think I got them both from the Free Wargames Rules website at some point in the dim and distant past. In ‘Bundock’ an Imperial infantry company is represented by five figures and you need about 120-150 Zulu figures to represent the kind of Impi that fought at Isandlwana or Rorke’s Drift. My longer term aim is to paint enough Zulus to fight battles on this scale. I had a set of un-married warriors bought for my birthday and I picked up a huge box of 120 Zulus from Partizan. The retail price of the box was somewhere in the region of £80, but I got it for £49, which I thought was a pretty good deal. Of course, it only remains a good deal if I can stay focused and get them all painted!
I have struggled painting the British because I cannot find a blue that accurately matches the trousers depicted in the Osprey guides and, the scarlet coats are a nightmare to produce. I have never found a scarlet paint that covers well, so I’ve resorted to painting the coats in a flat red first and then covering that in scarlet. Once the ink wash goes on they look not too bad to me. I like my soldiers to look as though they have been out on campaign, rather than strutting around the parade ground, so the black ink wash adds that grubby, unwashed sort of effect that I prefer. I paint the helmets with Vallejo German Cammo Beige to represent the staining which some soldiers did with that good old traditional British brew: tea! You can just about make out the facing colours, which mark them out as belonging to the 24th Regiment of Foot. I almost convinced myself to be radical and paint them as the 'Buffs', but in the end, I succumbed to tradition and did them in green!
One of the advantages of plastic multi-part figures is the capacity to model them in a variety of different poses. This is largely negated with the Warlord British, as all the bits only tend to fit in specific places! You can, of course, stick a different head with different facial features or a different hat, but that is pretty much it. Nevertheless, as you are only ever likely to have a few of them this is not too much of a problem.

Rifleman preparing to fire!

Warlord’s British infantry come in two basic poses, standing and kneeling! Personalisation is achieved by using the different heads available on each sprue.

Soldiers of the Queen!

Paints used:
Undercoat, boots etc.: Revell Aqua Color Black
Flesh: Coat d’arms 214 Suntanned Flesh
Coat: Vallejo 957 Flat Red then Coat d’arms 238 British Scarlet
Trousers: Mixture of Citadel Midnight Blue and Vallejo 962 Flat Blue
Helmet: Vallejo 821 German Cammo Beige
Facings: Citadel Catachan Green
Wood: Vallejo 879 Green Brown
Metal Parts: Citadel Chainmail, Vallejo 801 Brass
Belts etc.: Citadel Skull White
Hair, beards etc.: various Coat d’arms horse tones!
Wash: Citadel Badab Black