Rorke’s Drift Part 5 – It’s been a while  

Sadly I haven’t touched this project since April of 2020. A lot has happened since then. 

I got older

I got grumpier 

I moved house 

I built a small hobby cabin 

Oh and errrrr… hmmm something else? Errrrr something… hmm? Oh yeah COVID

None of the above are reasons why I haven’t touched this project. In fact I don’t have a reason nor do I need one… I think I’m thinking out loud right here. 

Anyway the Rorke’s Drift project is back! For how long? Who knows and who cares haha. 

If you’re new to my page and might be interested in what I’ve done so far (which isn’t much) please search “Rorke’s Drift” in my little search-box-thingy to find out what I did all those years ago. 

Now here we are in May 2022…

Firstly, I watched Zulu which whet my Appetite once more and got me excited about this project again. 

Secondly, I counted all the British troops making sure I had all the characters, including the cook, from the movie. I also allocated all the troops that received the Victoria Cross after the battle of Rorke’s Drift. Turns out I was short about 10 men but thank god for eBay because I found a local guy selling a couple of sprues. It’s little wins like that that get us miniature enthusiasts pretty pumped haha. 

I glued all of the Brits and Natal contingent onto 22mm metal washers. It was a tedious task as I blocked the hole in the washer with cut up pieces of thin cardboard too. It took about an hour and a half but I did find it quite cathartic actually. I popped on the “redcoats history podcast” to help pass the time. I went with metal washers for two reasons. I didn’t want the chunky GW bases and I wanted some weight to each of the miniatures too. I won’t be doing the same thing with the Zulus though. 

Ready to be base coated

Thirdly, I built the Hospital from the box set. All pretty straightforward but fiddly. I’ve got to say I’m not a huge fan of MDF kits and would prefer a 3D print or resin building. 

The building is quite historically accurate and includes 11 rooms, as did the original hospital.

Included in the box set is some teddy bear fur to replicate the thatched roof of the buildings. I’m assuming it might need to be painted with watered down pva to make it look less… well like teddy bear fur haha. If anyone has any suggestions on this I’m all ears (teddy bear ones too). I also made a start on the storehouse but haven’t quite finished it yet. 

Fourthly, I base coated all the mealie bags, biscuit boxes, stone walls and wagons etc. Here’s a pic of everything before I sprayed. Can you spot the tiny dog? 

Fifthly, I’m researching like a mad man and discovering new things about the encounter all the time. 

Did you know that Frederick Hitch (VC Recipient) became a cab driver in the last few years of his life? He started with driving a horse and carriage as a taxi before moving onto some of the first cars to hit the streets. 

Not bad for a restart of this project but what’s next???? I think I might paint a couple of the key characters (I haven’t painted a mini in ages) then I think I’ll build all the other Zulu kits I have. There’s a lot. 



30 thoughts on “Rorke’s Drift Part 5 – It’s been a while  ”

  1. Good to see you back at this one Luke, don’t envy you painting all those Zulu’s mate, all those eyes! and you have to add the white’s or the redcoats will never fire at them!!

    Sorry no “fur” suggestions I’ve always done thatched rooves with filler and dragged a knife blade down it to add the thatch detail, Sorry.

    Cheers Roger.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. That is a lot of red coats to paint Luke, the building is a nice start, and once painted and weathered should look the part.
    For the fur I would suggest back combing it to start ( If your not sure ask the ladies of the house ! LOL) then work in 1.5 cm strips from the bottom edge, using a 50:50 mix of water and PVA brush the first strip down and then leave to dry, once dry repeat another 1.5 cm each time, this should give the desired layered look to thatch, You may also need to trim the fur which can be done at the start of each line.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Dave, the strip idea is great. I wouldn’t have thought if that. Do you suggest trimming it all over or just at the ends? I haven’t brushed my own hair since… ? Hmmm never haha. I’m sure all the girls in this house have a plethora of combs and brushes haha

      Liked by 3 people

      1. you can do it as a whole, but as you work your way up, trim each strip you do as you go, so once you’ve got the first strip layed down with the glue and dried, the next strip of fur pull down and see how much needs trimming before applying the glue, and repeat across the roof. Cutting them into individual strips would get very fiddly, and have a tendency to slip and move.

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  3. So glad you’re back on the Drift work. The hospital has come together well, all those little rooms were so claustrophobic in the battle with all the smoke and noise. The dog is a really good addition. If I remember correctly, the surgeon at Rorke’s Drift had a small dog called Pip which ran around barking at the Zulus.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks mate. Apparently there were two dogs at Rorke’s. The research I’ve done is a little confusing though because in one article it said that Surgeon Reynolds dog was called Dick or Jack but was originally called Pip when it belonged to an officer who left him in the care of Reynolds. That officer then went off and fought at Isandlewana and died there. The dog did bark when the Zulus approached and he survived the battle but unfortunately didn’t receive a VC for his efforts. I may need your help on some of the uniforms mate. Namely the Natal Contingent and also the Commissary uniforms.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is an ambitious looking project but the results will speak for themselves, I’d say at the same time. Speed will probably be the name of the game to make sure you get this done before burn out sets in. I’m looking forward to seeing more progress and truthfully, I could stand to learn a bit more about this conflict. For better and worse, the American education heavily favors American history over European and even British history so this sort of thing isn’t even touched upon or at least it wasn’t for me!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Maaaaate it’s the English version of the Alamo (but with a happier ending). Start with watching the movie Zulu and you’ll be hooked hehe. It is a big project but it’s also one that has a finish line, as in I won’t keep adding to it. Once it’s done it’s done BUT there’s a lot of minis to paint. The Zulus are going to be the real challenge. I’ll be batching painting like a MoFo haha.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Now you’ve got my attention, mate 🙂 I’ll have to give Zulu a watch in the near future. Good luck with the batch painting too. I’ve never figured out a way to not mind it but for certain kinds of games, you really have no choice!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. A massive project and good to see it back again. I think everyone (well most of us) has faced a few issues over the last few years but we’re all still here–and that’s the main thing!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. He’s back! 👏👏👏🎉🎉🎉 Great stuff, a little at a time goes a long way towards the finishing line. You could tag Warlord Games on Insta, they may even feature your work on their page and attract some fellow enthusiasts like yourself. 😉🙂

    Even if your at the age of 90 years old you’ll finally marvel at your work. Well maybe that’s a bit too long, probably 49 years (jk).

    Keep up the good work! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey mate I’m glad you are back with this one as I do remember the disappointment I felt when you first posted on the project! You would be amazed how many figures and buildings I have sitting around that are painted and ready to go only to be boxed up because for some reason I couldn’t go through with them for some weird reason !! Maybe like you I might find that desire to finish them further down the line.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hehe mate I’m exactly the same, in fact I think most of us are in the same boat. It’s a weird phenomenon. We get tempted by new shiny figures and projects but then soon realise we don’t have the time to finish them hehe. I’m glad you’re pleased I’m back into this one. So far I am feeling really motivated. We’ll see if I still feel that way when I start painting 270 Zulus.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. F…. if 270 figures doesn’t test you out my lad nothing will 😳😅. My mate said That when we were young paying out was a big thing as pocket money was sparse so you worked like Micheal Angelo and finished it ! I think he means I like the easy bit like you said that lends us to do that as we have more readies 😅😅😅👍🏻.

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