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Jul 27 09 1:31 AM

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I noticed that the Zulus are missing the typical grass "skirt" they wore around each calf.  Was this intentional to allow for greater conversion possibilities?  Just curious.

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#1 [url]

Jul 27 09 4:42 AM

Dear JJ,

Most of the zulus went into battle almost naked and that is why the WF figures are so stripped down.  Black-Tree make compatible metal figures with additional armbands, cows tails on legs and arms etc.
Mick

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#6 [url]

Jul 28 09 5:09 PM

Would anyone happen to know where to look for information about roughly correct weapon ratios? I mean out of the 360 Zulu warriors I just bought, how many should be armed with rifles, muskets, throwing spears and only melee?

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#7 [url]

Jul 28 09 7:03 PM

I have been reading up on the same info Nicholas (mostly online). The old school thought was that the Zulus had very very rifles, when in reality recent research has shown that they purchased 1000s of European rifles prior to the British War (see page 4 of Micks article above!). Some recent articles suggested that 50% of warriors at Islawanda and Rorkes Drift would of had rifles.

I'm sure Mick will be able to shed some further light on this.

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#8 [url]

Jul 28 09 11:52 PM

Dear Nicholas,

In my article, you can see descriptions of the regiments and their histories.

Every warrior carried a stabbing spear (ikwa or assegai) or a club  to use at close quarters.
Many also carried javelins, which were thrown before the charge. 

After the battles with the Boers in 1838, the Zulus learned about the power of firearms.  Cetshwayo was effective ruler (as crown prince) from 1856 but became king in 1872.  Cetshwayo purchased thousands of firearms from European traders.  Esitmates vary but probably 20,000 plus were purchased. Many of these were old muskets from the Napoleonic wars, so it is impossible to judge how many were servicable.  Muskets appear to have been treated as an alternative to javelins and were carried as an additional weapon to ikwa or club.

I am building my army in the following way.

White shield regiments (old married guys) - Traditional ikwa and clubs, some javelins
Red shield regiments - (middle aged married guys) - Traditional ikwa and clubs, some javelins, some muskets.
Black shield regiments - (25-40 year old unmarried guys, the core fighting soldiers) - ikwa or club plus muskets or javelins.  Some of these figures have Martini Henry rifles although these were acquired at Isandlwana.
Mixed shield regiments - (young unmarried guys, mainly in the horns) -  ikwa or club plus muskets or javelins. 

Regards
Mick

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#10 [url]

Jul 29 09 4:37 AM

Dear Admiral Yi

There will be a follow up article.  I am currently building a 160 figure impi.
I am working out fast ways to paint Zulus.

I painted the first 50 Zulus in a weekend using sprays, block painting and army painter.
Here is my method.-
1. Do some of the shield fronts in GW white and mask them.
2. Spray GW black – mask the shields that wil be mostly black
3. Overspray brown - I am using a Tamiya spray
4. Paint the bum flap and shield back leather.
5. Paint the monkey tail skirt and shield top bit light grey.
6. Paint in the remaining details.
7. Touch up the flesh and highlight with GW bestial brown or GW dark flesh (or others for variety)
8. Paint in the shield pattern.
9. Army painter strong tone painted on with a big brush.
10. Mat varnish
11. Base with sand and tufts of grass.

Pictures
http://www.flickr.com/photos/31905569@N05/
To get a big view - click on the picture and then on all sizes in the next window.
Like this
http://www.flickr.com/photos/31905569@N05/3668835423/sizes/o/

Regards
Mick


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#11 [url]

Jul 29 09 9:51 AM

Dear Mick,

After looking at your Flickr pages, all I can say is WOW!  Beautiful work.  How do you paint so dang fast?  It takes me a week or more to be happy with just one mini, but then I guess I'm too picky and often see flaws where none exist.  Keep up the great job!

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#12 [url]

Jul 29 09 10:33 AM

Dear JJ,

I trained as an engineer. My speciality was design for production.

The secret to painting fast is to break things down into logical steps.
Try to organise it so that you use each colour only once. (see above for Zulus)
Try to organise it so that you do rough work first and cover mistakes with later steps.
Paint in batches of 20-50 similar figures.
Good light and a pair of reading glasses helps.
Start with sprays, then ridiculously large brushes, then large brushes and only use small brushes for the final details.
Most painters use very small brushes.  This really slows you down.  I actually use no 6 and number 4 brushes at first.  Then no 2 for details and only move to no 0 for really tiny stuff.
I also use washes or army painter for shading as it is much quicker than painting dark shade, main colour and highlight.

I regularly do 25 figures in a week and occasionally 50 or more.

Regards
Mick


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#13 [url]

Jul 29 09 11:10 AM

Dear JJ,
I trained as an engineer. My speciality was design for production.
The secret to painting fast is to break things down into logical steps.Try to organise it so that you use each colour only once. (see above for Zulus)Try to organise it so that you do rough work first and cover mistakes with later steps.Paint in batches of 20-50 similar figures.Good light and a pair of reading glasses helps.Start with sprays, then ridiculously large brushes, then large brushes and only use small brushes for the final details.Most painters use very small brushes.  This really slows you down.  I actually use no 6 and number 4 brushes at first.  Then no 2 for details and only move to no 0 for really tiny stuff.I also use washes or army painter for shading as it is much quicker than painting dark shade, main colour and highlight.
I regularly do 25 figures in a week and occasionally 50 or more.
RegardsMick

-mickfarnworth

I usually paint with brushes no bigger than 0, and often use 0/28 or 20, so yes it does slow down the process.  I also paint with a wash technique - main paint, ink or thinned acrylic darker paint wash, and then highlight.  I've tried the dark shade, main color and then highlight, which a good friend swears by, but I often dislike the results.

Guess I need some bigger brushes and keep the wash painting up.  I also just picked up some Army Painter light and med shader dip, so hopefully my pace will pick up. 

I guess part of my problem is that I only recently got back into painting after a 25 year absence, and 2 of my best friends are master painters of minis and they sort of intimidate me, so I try and match them, and end up not doing a very good job of it, just because I was near Master level myself (I used to belong to the Long Island Military Modelers Club, which was a painting club for historical, military and fantasy minis, and they held a huge contest every year with participants from all over the world).  I guess I just hate to admit to being rust after all these years.

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#14 [url]

Jul 29 09 11:19 AM

Dear JJ,

Welcome back to painting.  The secret is to have fun.  My fun is putting new units on the table.  I used to paint slowly and exactly but started to build an enormous lead pile.  I changed to working quickly and got through the pile.  Now I pounce on the new releases as soon as they come out.  Step by step, I am getting reasonable results in very quick times.

Regards
Mick


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#17 [url]

Aug 1 09 6:35 AM

Dear Admiral Yi,

These look like the pictures of figures in ceremonial dress from the Osprey books.  It is difficult to see in the photos but some have two feathers and some have a fan of feathers in the headdress.  Black Tree also do uThulwana in ceremonial dress.  

Regards
Mick

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#18 [url]

Aug 3 09 1:57 PM

I have set to work on building all those Zulus. Just done a couple packs worth so far to play around with poses and such.
I was wondering if the following ratios sound about right.

60 Muskets (20 married, 40 unmarried)
20 Rifles (20 married)
100 Throwing Spears (40 married, 60 unmarried)
200 Close Combat only (80 married, 120 unmarried)
10 Zulu tribal leaders (over all leader type characters rather then just unit leaders)
390 total figures

These are based on 20 figures units with 1 leader and 19 warriors, except for the last 10 guys that is.

They will all be solo based on 1" squares, so if a certain encounter needs more spear armed for example, I can just swap out half the unit with close combat guys. This would allow me to get 2 throwing spear units out of 20 spear warriors and 20 close combat warriors.

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#20 [url]

Aug 4 09 8:51 AM

I am going with THW: Colonial Adventures to start.

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