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Author Topic: Diablo Jon does Darkest Africa - now with Armed Porters  (Read 13627 times)

Offline verd

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Re: Diablo Jon does Darkest Africa - Now with Slaver Tembe
« Reply #150 on: May 18, 2020, 03:25:29 PM »
Now, why haven't I seen this before??   :o

VERY cool project - and well executed on top!  :-*

Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: Diablo Jon does Darkest Africa - Now with Slaver Tembe
« Reply #151 on: May 18, 2020, 08:26:22 PM »
Thanks for the compliment. You assume correctly. Foundry DA tribal musketeers with their loin cloths removed and a little putty surgery done on them to give them some man-bits. some wire ankle bracelets added and then heads donated from some Copplestone Watuta figures. A fun conversion mini-project that I embarked upon to add a little variety to my Ruga Ruga. As far as I know nobody makes nudie Ruga Ruga, and I wanted some.  :)

I did the same to some of my Watuta, as they were known for running around in their birthday suits on occasion, too. Perhaps I need to take a step back and stop nudifying everybody. What would the vicar think?  lol

OK I didn't see that coming  :o

I was working on a multipart figure conversion I figured Foundry naked spearmen waist and legs, with tribal musket bodies and Ngoni heads all carefully separated with a razor saw and pinned back together. Instead you just green stuffed some knobs on. My Mrs thinks my hobby is a bit odd, as it is, I can imagine her reaction if she found me sculpting 1/56 scale gentiles on my little men  lol

Offline FifteensAway

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Re: Diablo Jon does Darkest Africa - Now with Slaver Tembe
« Reply #152 on: May 19, 2020, 03:13:03 AM »
Oh, how unpopular this comment will be but: you really must stop posting to this thread.  Really! 

It is far too guilt inducing. 

On a less 'somber' note.  "Phil Lander" may not - yet - be my favorite wargaming name through a play on words but it is very much in the top ranks. 

You, sirrah, are on the verge of cinematic splendor with all you keeping show us.  Now, PLEAE STOP!  Right folks?

No, no, I'm not over there on the left, or the right, or the center - you don't know which way to throw your stones, you lot, do you?   :o
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 01:19:13 PM by FifteensAway »

Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: Diablo Jon does Darkest Africa - Now with Slaver Tembe
« Reply #153 on: May 25, 2020, 08:46:35 PM »
So after getting distracted by various other projects I’ve decided to get back to my British African Lakes Company “army”. To get this project finished I have ordered a 7pdr gun from NorthStar’s Africa range, I have my baggage elements well under way on my painting desk, my Mambwe auxiliaries have been converted and I’ve started to slap on some paint on them to, I have the miniatures for my Yao tribal auxiliaries and I want some Nkonde tribal allies at some stage. In the mean time I finished the last group of lake Tonga auxiliaries so that gives my all the Tonga I’ll need.

As I’ve mentioned before Lugard says that a third of his Tonga had breach loading rifles, a third muzzle loading rifles and one third were unarmed. Chris Peers in his book on Central Africa suggests that unarmed men actually had tribal weapons (so spears) and later on Lugard in his Uganda campaign would disregard the large numbers of Buganda spearmen supporting his army only counting men with guns. So I wanted to model spear armed Tonga.

I hadn’t had any problems up until now representing the Tonga in the company’s service, Foundry Askari where perfect, but now I needed models that looked like Foundry Askari but with spears instead of guns I was stumped. In the end I plumped for Perry plastic Ansar, mixed with Perry and Warlord plastic Zulus, and a few Foundry metal Askari head swaps to give me the minis I wanted. There is one Metal Foundry Askari with his musket removed and a spear added. He was a test piece, that didn’t go very well and helped me decide I didn’t want to try and convert fifteen metal models like that.

I couldn’t find much on Tonga weapons or shields before the British arrived so in the end I modelled them with a selection of Ngoni and Nkonde shields (or shield less) and a mixed bunch of spears and knobkerrie to make them look as irregular as possible.










Offline Smokeyrone

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Re: Diablo Jon does Darkest Africa - More Lake Tonga Auxiliaries
« Reply #154 on: May 25, 2020, 11:26:18 PM »
beautiful
Reigning USTA Florida, and National 50+ Singles Champion  (tennis)  TWO Time Florida 50+ Singles Champion!  Just won State 2019!

Offline Hu Rhu

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Re: Diablo Jon does Darkest Africa - More Lake Tonga Auxiliaries
« Reply #155 on: May 26, 2020, 11:07:37 AM »
A nice bunch of ragged tribesmen.  :-* :-*

Online Plynkes

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Re: Diablo Jon does Darkest Africa - More Lake Tonga Auxiliaries
« Reply #156 on: May 26, 2020, 11:19:33 AM »
Great looking bunch of filibustering irregulars there, Jon!

Nice one!

With Cat-Like Tread
Upon our prey we steal...

Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: Diablo Jon does Darkest Africa - More Lake Tonga Auxiliaries
« Reply #157 on: May 26, 2020, 07:44:26 PM »
Thanks for the nice comments guys.

Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: Diablo Jon does Darkest Africa - More Lake Tonga Auxiliaries
« Reply #158 on: May 31, 2020, 08:19:45 PM »
I like to create baggage elements for my armies and so for my British African Lakes Company native porters seemed appropriate besides what colonial African game feels right with out a line of native porters meandering across the table? Most of these men are probably lake Tonga employees of the company though Harry Johnston first consul of British Central Africa reckoned that the Yao tribe made the best porters due to their strength.

Miniatures are a mix of Foundry and Dixon. The Dixon porters are from their Dahomey wars range and a bit smaller than the foundry miniatures but I reckoned a bit of size variation among the porters wasn’t a bad thing.












Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: Diablo Jon does Darkest Africa - Now with Native Porters
« Reply #159 on: May 31, 2020, 08:20:39 PM »
whoops double post..
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 05:17:59 AM by Diablo Jon »

Offline bazookajoe

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Re: Diablo Jon does Darkest Africa - Now with Native Porters
« Reply #160 on: June 01, 2020, 01:19:47 AM »
The porters are fantastic.  Love the way they are based.

Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: Diablo Jon does Darkest Africa - Now with Native Porters
« Reply #161 on: June 01, 2020, 05:23:40 PM »
The porters are fantastic.  Love the way they are based.

Thanks mate. I do like to multi base my baggage elements.

Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: Diablo Jon does Darkest Africa - Now with Native Porters
« Reply #162 on: June 05, 2020, 04:09:03 PM »
Another group for my British African Lakes Company this time Mambwe tribesmen. When Lugard took over command over the company forces at Karonga he had five companies of about 40 Tonga each (armed 50-50 with breech loaders and muzzle loaders), 50 Yao in one company armed with muskets and 50 Mambwe spearmen in a single company. Each company was officered by three Europeans (a mixture of company employees, local settlers and mercenaries from South Africa).

So I wanted some Mambwe miniatures. The big snag was I had no idea what the Mambwe looked like. The internet provided very little useful info to go on.  Chris Peers in his book on central Africa mentions they where spearmen he also gives a description by Lugard

“The wildest savages, almost or completely naked, with the most fantastic headdresses”

Not exactly a lot to go on. Again according to Chris Peers the headdresses where the zebra main type popular with the Ngoni, Sango, Bena and Hehe.

The Mambwe seem to have originated in and around the Rukwa Valley between lake Nyasa and lake Tanganyika and where related to the Fipa and Lungu. This location would have brought them into contact with the Ngoni led by Zwangendaba when he settled on the Ufipa plateau in the 1840s. It also made them neighbours with the Sangu /Bena who copied Ngoni battle tactics and pushed west towards lake Nyasa after defeat by the Hehe. So I took a punt that the Mambwe had done what many other tribes did and modelled themselves on their Ngoni and Sango neighbours.

I wanted the Mambwe to look different to the Ngoni army I had already created so I took a couple of features from the Sangu warrior illustrated in Chris Peers East Africa book and gave them small Zulu style shields and white face paint. If I’m honest in the end I’ve taken a minimal amount of info and plumped for something I think seems plausible but it is very possible the Mambwe looked nothing like this.

As to why the Mambwe where fighting for the company? They where also neighbours of the Bemba (that is a really bad trio of neighbours to have) who by all accounts raided them regularly to the point that the Mambwe where eager to accept the (dubious) protection of Christian missionaries. At the same time the Lakes Company was also trying to expand up to lake Tanginyka so I guess the two saw each other as useful allies.

For miniature I used warlord Games plastic Zulus with various head conversions to try and recreate zebra mane and black cock feather headressess.











And a couple of Action shots of the Mambwe attacking my new Tembe





Online Plynkes

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Re: Diablo Jon does Darkest Africa - Now with Mambwe Auxiliaries
« Reply #163 on: June 05, 2020, 07:13:24 PM »
Good idea, Jon. A pity you couldn't find anything more concrete about their appearance (I've run into that kind of thing from time to time, frustrating, isn't it?), but at least you have some figures you can use as Sango or Hehe now, should you ever need some.


Those shots of them in the scenery look fantastic, just as they always do.



Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: Diablo Jon does Darkest Africa - Now with Mambwe Auxiliaries
« Reply #164 on: June 05, 2020, 07:42:21 PM »
Thanks.

Yeah the sheer number of tribal groups in 19th century Africa means I seem to find brief references to groups and then literally no useful info on them. You'd think all these European explorers, tramping all over Africa, could have drawn every native (or better yet photographed them) they came across for us gamers and modelers to use a 150 years latter 

I guess on the plus size no one can say I'm wrong. :D

The only thing more frustrating is seeing some of the cool pictures of tribes in Chris Peers African books and realising no one makes anything even close, in miniature, and my conversion skills are no way up to making them from something else  :(

 

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