Gisby's Gaming Blog

August 12, 2016

Home-Grown Askaris

Years ago, I sculpted a bunch of figures for a company that shall remain nameless. They were state of the art for 1975, but it hadn’t been 1975 for many years.

I did however sculpt an Askari miniature, and kept a mould of him: Based on a Belgian Askari, he was pretty generic, so I have painted units of them in blue, khaki, and white, and he serves in many of my armies without raising eyebrows.

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I recently found a TSATF unit’s worth in a box, based and primed, so I painted them as yet another bunch of Belgians.

The command figures are random figures from my Victorian spares. I think the Officer is from (long gone) ItalWars, and the NCO from Warrior Miniatures.

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My Askari is not so bad: If I could only sculpt hands, feet, faces, and bodies, he’d be great!

April 13, 2009

Wargames Factory – Plastic Zulu War British – A Review

 

When Wargames Factory announced their intention to release a set of 1879 British, I was very excited.

First of all, because it was an indication that they were going to do Victorian subjects (pun!) but more, because it suggested that they were going to do ZULUS!

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After all, no groups will benefit more from cheap reinforcements than the various charging natives of the Colonial Era: You just need a lot of ’em to face the massive European firepower.

 

Although they were not the first set announced by WF, they were the first set actually released, so are in some ways, a learning experience for the company.

That being said, they still aren’t bad as a first attempt.

The set comprises 20 figures, with two body poses, and arms to do a mixture of firing, at ready, and loading poses. There is no Officer included.

There are also 24 heads, with 5 styles of helmeted heads, and 2 in forage caps. Helmets are separate, so bare heads are easy enough if you want them.

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When first I attempted to assemble these figures, it seemed less like I was making wargames figures than assembling Tamiya-style model figures.

The parts were tiny and fiddly, and ill-suited to my elderly ham fists.

 

I’d suggest a production line approach for efficiency:

First of all, remove, clean up, and sort the pieces.

One-by-one, attach the left arms to all the figures. (I use tube cement: It fills gaps, and allows a bit more ‘wiggle’ time)

Next, attach the right arms: The left arm will help align everything.

Attach the heads so they sight along the weapon, or look wherever you want.

Put on helmets, adjusting heads as neccessary.

This speeded things up considerably.

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The Officer

Of course I needed an Officer…

This proved amazingly easy to do. (One of the advantages of plastic)

I pared away any straps or details I didn’t want, and repositioned the ‘loading’ arms.

With a revolver and scabbarded sword from the parts box, he was done.

(The hardest part was deciding on a pose)

 

What Did I Like?

Once I came up with a method, the figures went together easily and quickly.

Ultimately, they were ‘fun’ to make.Well done faces with personality. (and yes, the helmets fit well)

Loads of variety: Between the head, arm, and body choices, no two figures need be the same.

Being plastic makes them easy to modify and assemble.

Price: They are dam’ good value.

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What Didn’t I like? (NB: What I DON’T like may well be a GOOD thing to other people)

Delicate weapons: While the figures were proportioned like wargames figures, the rifles were delicate, like traditional plastic figures. I like my rifles a bit more sturdy.

Soft detail: The detail is there, it’s just not as ‘crisp’ as it could be. (Later sets have improved on this dramatically)

I don’t like firing figures (boo hoo. Poor Tim)

Above you can see a size comparison with a Wargames Foundry Brit of the same era.

RECOMMENDED

All in all, I’d recommend this set to anyone wanting to start or increase their Zulu War forces. The figures are also suitable for service anywhere in the 1870’s and perfect for Victorian Adventure Gaming or VSF!

AVAILABLE FROM:
Wargames Factory LLC

c/o Triangle, Inc

420 Pearl Street

Malden, MA 02148

http://wargamesfactory.com/Home.htm

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