Foundry Darkest Africa Series
German Colonial Miniatures
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Foundry Darkest Africa Series
3 November, 1998 - News from the Foundry:
COMING NEXT IN DARKEST AFRICA
GERMANS, BELGIANS, BRITS, AZANDE, MASAI & NGONI
We don't expect to release any of these until early in 1999, now's your
chance to jump in and let us know if you think that we've missed anything
Once we've got started, we'll be releasing between five and eight packs
most months until we've done. The reason we're spreading the releases out
like this is so that our stalwart Standing Order customers don't get hit
too hard in their credit cards in any given month.
If you'd like to join the standing order, for Darkest Africa or any other
range, the arrangement is that we automatically ship new releases to you at
a 10% discount off our normal deal price as soon as we have castings
available. This often occurs some months before our advert appears in
The last decade of the nineteenth century saw "The Scramble for Africa"
mad orgy of land-grabbing as European states staked claims, drew lines on
maps, tricked African chieftains into signing "treaties" and played "Who's
Got the Biggest Gunboat". In East and Central Africa, first through
impressive-sounding proxy companies (like the Imperial British East African
Company) and then by more direct means, the European powers grabbed
anything they could, regardless of its economic value, often in the name of
Anti-Slavery. The troops of the rival powers raced to grab god-forsaken
places, and then glowered at each other across muddy streams, whilst their
white officers waited to see who would die of fever first. Unsurprisingly
the existing inhabitants often objected, so German, Belgian and British
forces (all made up largely of black troops) had to face Arab armies and
For the new task the Europeans started to employ uniformed (though often
ragged), more formally trained askaris, whilst African tribes got hold of
guns or adopted Zulu-style close-combat tactics.
We haven't prepared a painting guide for this section of the range as
when we do, we might well put it in Wargames Illustrated, rather than
sending it out as a photocopy.
German Askaris in fez
German Askaris in turban (Sudanese)
German Askaris in tasselled fez (Zulu)
German Askaris in covered fez with neck flap
German Askaris in turban Command
German Askaris in fez Command
German Askaris in tasselled fez Command
German Askaris in covered fez with neck flap Command
German Mountain Gun and Crew
Soon after their arrival in East Africa, after managing to alienate
every local group with almost uncanny speed, the Germans faced a
widespread revolt headed by a red-bearded Arab, Bushiri. Almost everyone
along the coast seemed to join in (although the Germans blamed the slavers)
and it took the German explorer, Wissman, with his regular companies of
Askaris, aided by sailors and marines to restore order. From then on until
the Maji-Maji rebellion of 1905-6, German forces faced constant campaigns
against hostile tribes - it was all good practice for WW1. One tribe, the
Hehe, under their chief Mkwawa fought particularly hard, inflicting a
number of sharp defeats on German forces. To make these campaigns better
known, one of our friends in Germany, Peter Rutkowski, is going to write a
series of articles on these campaigns for Wargames Illustrated !
Belgian Officers and NCOs
Belgian Askaris in Fez 1
Belgian Askaris in Fez 2
Belgian Askaris in Straw Hat 1
Belgian Askaris in Straw Hat 2
Belgian Askari in Fez Command
Belgian Askari in Straw Hat Command
Belgian Gun and Crew
(also use DA70 (Almost) Uniformed Askaris to add a more motley look to your
Force Publique units).
Desperate for a colony to enhance his prestige King Leopold II of Belgium,
doing an impressive impersonation of a dodgy businessman, using Stanley
amongst others, managed to create a personal fiefdom, The Congo Free State,
in the very heart of African darkness. To protect and expand his property
Leopold also set up a private army, the Force Publique. Before long, using
forced labour and gruesome punishments in its search for profit, through
ivory and rubber, The Congo Free State descended into horror (observed by
Joseph Conrad, amongst others), until public opinion forced the Belgian
state to take over.
Meanwhile the Force Publique and its tribal allies, notably Gongo Lutete's
Tetela, smashed the developing Arab states of the Congo in a series of hard
campaigns in the early 1890s, fought and defeated the Mahdists at the
battles of Bedden and Redjaf and clashed with many understandably hostile
tribes, especially the Azande. Its cannibal recruits gave the Force
Publique a fearsome reputation, as well as an efficient way of dealing with
the dead after battle. Thanks to one of our Belgian correspondents, Carl
de Roo, I now have some really excellent picture sources - enough to make
this part of the range especially characterful.
British Officers and Adventurers
British Askaris 1
British Askaris 2 (with tasselled fez)
(Although based on troops in Central Africa they can be used for British
askaris anywhere in Africa
Sikh and native NCO's
(Sikh infantry had their own Sikh NCO's, the askaris could have either Sikh
or native NCO's)
British Sailors in caps
British Sailors in straw hats
British Sailors with revolvers and cutlasses
Royal Navy Officers
Nordenfeldt Gun with Naval Crew
In the area around Lake Nyasa, first the British Lakes Company
grand than it sounds) and then the Central African Protectorate fought a
series of battles against local slavers, both Arab and Yao, and unruly
tribes. In the course of these campaigns the Company station at Karonga
was besieged, Arab stockades attacked (sometimes unsuccessfully), dhows
boarded and all manner of unlikely events occurred - all with eccentric
British adventurers, stalwart Sikhs, plucky Jack Tars and Atonga Askaris.
A really nice little army!
The Royal Navy operating in the Indian Ocean and on Lake
Nyasa kept a
constant watch for slave-carrying dhows, capturing them and freeing their
cargo whenever possible, as well as burning slaver villages and on one
occasion bombarding Zanzibar itself.
Our various Colonial ranges contain many officer models that you will
able to use as British officers or adventurers. You will find some
additional Sikhs and the mountain gun with Sikh crew in our North West
Azande (also Tetela, Mangbettu, other Congo tribes)
Azande Spearmen 1
Azande Spearmen 2
Azande Senior Warriors (with throwing knives)
The Azande (aka the Zande or Niam-Niam) were a confederation of tribes
with a common ruling class. Sometimes called the "Zulus of the Congo",
they were famous warriors, armed with spears and many pronged throwing
knives, wearing red-feathered basketwork caps and carrying large black
shields with geometric designs. Originally fighting in a typically
ritualised manner they later developed aggressive tactics based on a
combination of musketmen (in the first rank) backed by spearmen and
archers. They often clashed with the Belgians, although they allied with
them in a successful campaign against the Mahdists. They were
particularly hostile to the Sudanese Slavers of the 1870s, who raided
Northern Azandeland from Kordofan, and their Mahdist successors, who did
much the same. Many of the warrior tribes of the Congo had a very similar
appearance (and the Azande themselves were not uniformly dressed or
equipped) so these models could easily be used to represent other tribes,
like the Tetela. With large wooden shields (DA46g) they could also be
warriors of the Mangbettu confederation of the NE Congo.
Masai Warriors in feathered headdresses 1
Masai Warriors in feathered headdresses 2
Masai Warriors in lion's mane headdresses
Fearless, pastoral nomads who pursued their dream of gathering more and
more cattle, the haughty, savage and spectacular Masai terrified the
Zanzibari Arabs. Entire caravans were slaughtered and the heads of porters
and guards laid out neatly alongside their packs. They were equally feared
by neighbouring farming tribes who retreated to refuges in forests and
mountains or built fortified villages. A series of civil wars disrupted
their society and left them weakened, and their unwillingness to adapt
their tactics in the face of European firepower undermined their military
power, as Carl Peters would show in one of the first of his shoot 'em up
No other models are suitable for use as Masai, and vice-versa!
Ngoni and Allied Tribes (also Hehe, Matabele etc)
Ngoni Warriors 1
Ngoni Warriors 2
In the 1820s a number of small Ngoni tribes fled from Shaka's Zulu armies
and began a long migration northwards. Soon drilled in Zulu fighting
tactics they smashed through any tribes which stood in their way,
incorporating captives in their army so that it grew after every victory.
Like locusts they stripped an area bare, and were soon forced to move on, a
trail of burning villages marking their passage. On their long march the
Ngoni managed to absorb conquered tribes without losing their cultural
identity - partly by enrolling all men in age-graded regiments answerable
to the king alone. By the time they reached East-Central Africa the Ngoni
had split into several groups, each happily carrying on the family
business, burnin' and lootin'. Tribe after tribe felt the wrath of the
Ngoni - the Tonga, the Holoholo, the Yao, the Hehe, the Bemba as well as
the Arabs. Countless stockaded villages were stormed, their inhabitants
becoming corpses, captives or refugees. Some tribes, like the Hehe,
adopted their tactics and regimental system and succeeded in fighting the
Ngoni to a standstill. Clashes with British and German troops finally
halted the Ngoni people's violent expansion.
Ngoni costume was very similar to that of the Zulus or Matabele
(Ndebele). It's likely that Ngoni dress varied considerably, so the Ngoni
Warrior packs contain models with several different types of headdress and
body decoration. They could equally well be used as Hehe, or even
Matabele, warriors - all equipped with Zulu style shield DA46c. You can
mix in our various tribal warriors from the first half of the Darkest
Africa range and the Zulu range to bulk up your Ngoni, Hehe or Matabele.
Indeed, you'll be able to use our Ngoni to bulk up your Zulus.
German Colonial Miniatures
4 January, 1999 --
I understand there is an interest in sources of German Colonials. The following is an answer I prepared for an inquirer.
My colonial Germans are from the Falcon US German South West Africa
line, also sold as
Matchlock Miniatures at a somewhat better price. To see some of them, have a look at
Jeff Ewing's Germans.
Matchlock minis are listed at http://www.wargames.co.uk
The figs are true 25's. Here is the SWA listing in the Falcon catalogue:
GERMAN SOUTH WEST AFRICAN FIELD FORCE
C-2001 Field Force, Command (5) 6.95
C-2002 Infantry, Advancing
C-2003 Infantry, Firing
C-2004 Field Force, Mounted
C-2005 *Field Force, Camel Trooper
C-2006 Askari, On Guard
C-2007 Sailor, Advancing
C-2008 Marine, On Guard
C-2009 Herero, Firing
C-2010 Herero, Advancing
C-2011 *Herero, Mounted
C-2012 *German Officer, Mounted
C-2013 Field Force, Mounted
C-2014 Field Force, Gunners
C-2015 Field Force, Wounded
C-2016 Askari, Firing
C-2017 *Askari, Mounted Lancer
C-2018 *Mounted Infantry
C-2016 *Naval Gunners
For more info on the Schutztruppe, try
Military Miniatures Magazin's Schutztruppe Site
showing the Schutztruppe's organization.
The Foundry is soon
to be releasing a line of 28mm German East African figs as part of the
Darkest Africa line (see above).
In 20mm, try the C & Q WWI line.
Also Frontier has some suitable Boxer Rebellion Germans, as well as WWI East African Rifles. You can see and get them at the Haus of Stuff.
Old Glory is gradually releasing a Colonial 28mm line that will include Boxer Rebellion Germans too.
Minifigs also has some Boxer Rebellion German sailors in true 25mm.
Finally, Honorable Lead Boiler Suit Company available from RLBPS in the US has recently released a very comprehensive line of German colonials (but no enemies) at Foundry or better quality.
With all this you should never have to resort to cheap substitutes again
(that is if
you paint fast enough)!
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