Wednesday 26 October 2011

Arabs and Baluchi - Darkest Africa

As promised here some pictures of the rest of the stuff I painted this weekend. First up (top four pictures) is my first Arab unit. Rated as Askari in the heart of Africa rules these guys, along with two similar units, will be the main stay of my army. Each unit will be a mix of Arabs proper plus a number of African slaves and retainers. As troops go these guys are pretty dire who probably work best behind some sort of fortification.

the last four pictures are some Baluchi. These where going cheap on e-bay and don't really fit with my theme of a 1880s Arab army in Nyasaland. However the bulk of my Arab army will ,once painted, work for Arabs all over Africa. As these miniatures were cheap I thought I'd buy them and use them if I want to morph my army into an earlier Zanzibar army in east Africa.

I read on the lead adventure forum an interesting thread about the Baluchi including that they liked to were saffron (IE orange/yellow) clothing I thought that sounded a bit funky so I went with it. I usually use a brown base coat when I paint yellow but this time I wanted the colour to really stand out and went with an orange base colour. The result is probably far to orange for Baluchi saffron in reality but I like the result. The guy in middle is actually an Arab and has no doubt paid good money for his Baluchi bodyguard.

In game terms these guys are counted as swordsmen and are a very hard hitting unit probably the best Arab armies have accesses to.

next up I have another 24 Arabs and askari to paint up.

Cheers Jon

Bemba - Central African slavers

As it's half term the wife took the children to see her mother for a couple of days giving me Sunday and sometime on Monday to paint. Not wanting to pass up the opportunity I painted like a man possessed and managed to churn out 24 Ruga-ruga, 6 more Arabs and 10 Baluchi.

First up some pictures of the 24 Ruga-ruga. As I'm starting with British central Africa these guys are going to represent Bemba allies for my Arab slavers. By all accounts the Bemba looked very much like proper east African Ruga-ruga so the foundry figures work well as Bemba.

It would seem that among tribes who liked to help the Arabs out in their slaving activities a certain slaver chic was the order of the day. This seems to have meant wearing a lot of gaudy clothes topped of with a load of bling. Unlike most musket armed tribes the Bemba liked to close for hand to hand combat after firing (a sort of African highland charge?) rather than skirmishing at a distance. As such the Ruga-ruga classification in the heart of Africa rules would seem the best way of classing these guys in the rules. hopefully they will give my otherwise pretty rubbish Arabs a bit of punch in close combat.

The miniatures are all Foundry (no surprise there) that I picked up in one of their clearance sales. Mostly Ruga-ruga but with a few tribesman in European clothes thrown in for some variety. I have no evidence that the Bemba wore any such clothing but they did come into violent contact with European missionaries and the British African lakes company. So a bit of looted European garb isn't out of the question (and more to the point the figures where going spare and looking for a home).

next up pictures of my Arabs and Baluchi

Cheers Jon.

Friday 21 October 2011

Pay dirt

I got a an email from foundry yesterday with Christmas deals and it turns out they had a limited number of Chris Peers east Africa book available so I grabbed one. Can't really afford it at the moment but who knows when I might get the chance to grab this OOP book again. If it is even half as good as the central Africa book it will be a great read.

Edit got an e-mail from foundry looks like someone got the last book while I was placing my order as such they can't send me a copy got a refund would rather have had the book ho-hum. I'll keep a look out on fleabay but looks like I'll be going without this book.

Sunday 16 October 2011

Slaver test pieces - Darkest africa

I managed to get a few of my new Arab slavers painted up as test pieces before I launch into the full army. I was a bit eager to get some paint on these guys and rushed them a bit so the paint jobs are a bit rough. I tried some longer grass (little bits of door mat) on the bases than I usually use but I quite like the look.

At the moment, using Chris Peers in the heart of Africa rules, I think the army will be

3 units of Arabs and armed slaves/retainers count as askari (a mix of askari and Zanzibar figures)

2 units of Bemba allies count as Ruga-ruga (mostly ruga-ruga miniatures plus a few tribal musket men)

1 leader (the Arab with the spear in the above pictures)

1 standard bearer

baggage train (porter and spare Zanzibar miniatures)

I also have a unit of swordsmen for early Arab armies.

Lots to paint....

Cheers Jon

Friday 7 October 2011

Darkest Africa - new project (doh)

Well it's been a while since I posted anything here. A combination of real life and being knocked off my motorbike by a newly qualified driver a few weeks ago has meant I haven't done a lot on the hobby front for the last month.

I'm slowly (very slowly) getting through the 15mm WW2 stuff for FOW I picked up cheap with my birthday money. In the mean time inspired by Chris Peers central Africa book from foundry. I took the plunge and picked up some cheap (well by foundry standards cheap) Darkest Africa miniatures in Foundry's clearance sale. I'm hoping to create an Arab slaver army with Bembe allies for Nyasaland.

I haven't actual done anything with the new miniatures yet but I did find these pictures of my old Darkest Africa collection before it went to the great ebay in the sky a few years back. Thought I'd share them.

Hopefully I'll have some pictures of some of my late war US forces for FOW to post up soon.

Cheers Jon