Thursday, October 21, 2021

Isandlwana - Mod Podge Mountain

Isandlwana... a W.I.P.

So, the Mod Podge Mache continues. I've got about three coats on I reckon, or close to it. I'm using Mod Podge - the "water-based glue, sealer and finish" by PLAID - instead of traditional paper mache. It seems to work fine, despite the "4 week cure time" mentioned on the tub. I just started my second 32 fl ox (946 ml) tub last night. So, between the amaTushane kopje, a few Zulu bases and this, that is how much paper mache I've done. The latest work has been to go around the edge and cover the base cardboard. I don't think I'm going to do underneath, though it might make it stronger if I did. (hmm...)

I've also been scrutinizing what photos I can find of Isandlwana before I tackle the upper bit; I didn't want to just go from a "mind's eye" impression. Unfortunately the period photos all seem to be from the same angle, or close to it. I'll just have to keep in mind that the more detailed modern photos reflect 140 years or so of wind and rain erosion. 

The plan is to cut the upper part down, both with vertical crevasses and possibly to shave a bit off the bulk. When I built it up I just sort of "winged it" and I might have over did it slightly. I'm away on the weekend so I'm not going to get back to it until late next week, but at least it'll be well dried by then.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Isandlwana - the Impi Takes Shape

Zulu Movement Bases 
Still W.I.P.

Here are some "test bases" I did as a sort of "proof of concept". Each base is 100 scale meters across and represents 50-100 Zulu warriors. I was just trying to work out in my head if that density was reasonable...what's the formula again? I think that in close order, it is probably too low a ratio, but in open order - and I think the Zulus would be in a more open order - than I think perhaps it is not too unreasonable at the 1 base = 100 Zulus. What do you think?

That means 20 bases for a typical regiment. 

The bases start as the printed sheets, which I am printing on North American "Letter" sized paper (i.e. 8.5" x 11"). This because I am situated on the wrong side of the pond, and in Canada, while using the metric system we still use the same paper sizes as the USA. (Except, of course, for the work drawings I do which typically use ISO B1 sized paper (1000mm x 707mm). But that's Canada for you - a melting pot for everything, not just culture!

The process I've settled into is to print the sheets then mount them on a fine cardstock before cutting out the strips. I found that the paper I have isn't thick enough on its own. Maybe I am over compensating but it seems to work. The four paper layers and three layers of glue make for a pretty sturdy construct - provided I make sure I've got the glue properly distributed!

Sheets cut out and glued to fine cardstock.

One hour and ten minutes later... 
the strips ready for folding and gluing.

Then comes the cutting out!

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Isandlwana - Not Limited by the Counter Mix


Peter Dennis' Zulu War Paperboys

An Inventory...

Unlike many wargames, I am not "limited by the counter mix"! How can I when, if I need more, I can just print them? :-)

I decided to do an inventory.

Shown are approximately 1800 Zulus and an uncounted number of Imperial Forces. At 1:10 ratio that is more Zulus than I actually need as not all were engaged, and there won't be room for the entire right horn anyway. What is more important, however, is the proper proportion of shield colours. I'm still trying to sort that out. The colours are: Black, Black and White, White, Red, Red and White. Some regiments, like umCijo, need to be all black, but others can have a mix, or so I gather from my research. 

Regarding the British, my intent was to provide different bases for different formations and "States". So, extended order vs close order, etc. The "States" would be come into play when a section is broken up by contact with the Zulus, and are intended to show ever greater fragmentation and disorder. So, basically I need multiple bases for each company to show all of that. For the cavalry there are mounted and dismounted versions (including horse holders.)

Also, terrain building continues: amaTutshane.

Transformed from paper mache "hat", to "pudding" - as one friend dubbed it - to almost finished kopje.


with Burnt Umber undercoat

Drybrushed with Raw Sienna

Awaiting flocking...

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Isandlwana - a Small Update


Prone Zulus, taking cover from the British fire...

Casualty Markers

Zulu bases, in progress...


A few things to report for this update. I've been snipping out figures for both the British and Zulus at a good rate, the casualties and prone figures shown being the easiest to do. The combatants are being worked on, but are not based yet.

The bases for the Zulus are going to be 120mm rounds which I have cut from corrugated cardboard. Being a bit paranoid about them warping I have been trying various things and recently realized that I needed to paper mache them to cover edges where the corrugated cardboard shows.

I've also been working on a couple of larger square or rectangular tents for the camp but not found a design I like yet.

I decided that my version of amaTutshane was too tall in relation to my version of Isandlwana itself so I have cut it down and trying to get the approximate shape right with paper mache. By my estimation it needs to be about 1/4 the height of Isandlwana

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Isandlwana - The Camp Takes Shape


Left-to-Right: 1st/24th, Mtd & HQ, 2nd/24th, NNC, NNC,
wagon park on the nek.

Question: Where do the oxen and mules/horse go?

(They seem to get left off maps of the battlefield all the time!)

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Isandlwana - the Lower Storeys


The lower storeys take shape...

This is where the rock face ends...

 ...and the steep slopes begin.

The Eastern slopes, with that 
prominent knoll overlooking the nek.

The Western Slopes.

The next step: paper Mache!

The amaTutshane kopje, 
another prominent landmark on the battlefield.