Rorke’s Drift Part 6 – The Storehouse and Zulus, thousands of em… well not quite.

I finished building the storehouse, also called the stone house. I still need to paint it, obviously, and fix up the teddy bear fur roof. 

There’s not a lot of detail about the fighting in or around this building, well none that I’ve found as yet, but I believe Lieutenant Adendorff fought from it through one of the loopholes. Some believe that Adendorff didn’t stay at Rorke’s Drift but Lieutenant Chard did mentioned him in his report. More on the Natal Lieutenant another time though. 

With all the British and Natal defenders built, base coated and ready to be painted I thought I better get to building the Zulus. I’d already built 109 back when I started the project but still had a hell of a lot to go. 

I had Saturday and Sunday nights free so I grabbed a bottle of port and some snacks, turned on some old blues music (son house, lead belly, Howlin wolf, Robert Johnson, Charley Patton and Blind Willie Johnson) and built like a MoFo. I tinkered more yesterday and finally finished them today. I’m knackered haha. 

Funny story, a client of mine, who follows the blog, asked me the other day if I was racist? Needless to say I was taken aback but then he laughed and asked why I hadn’t done anything with the Zulu models yet? Haha. To be fair I am more excited about painting the Brit’s than I am the Zulus but not because of the colour of their skin haha. It’s just that there will be a total of 270 Zulus to paint sigh…

Quick question, can anyone suggest what I should do about movement trays for the Zulus? I’m thinking some sort of DIY approach but would love to hear your views. I’m thinking to have a mix of 4 – 8 models on trays but would like to be able to remove them and use them as single models too. Does that make sense? 



27 thoughts on “Rorke’s Drift Part 6 – The Storehouse and Zulus, thousands of em… well not quite.”

  1. What’s this? You’ve taken up racism?! And even worse you’ve shaved some poor teddy bear to make a roof?! Is there no end to your perfidity?!! Well, all things considered I think you can be forgiven – your choice of music alone is enough to redeem your character – even a newly bald bear would agree with that. In all seriousness this is looking great, I’m glad to see you coming back to this project and I’m very much looking forward to seeing it progressing. 270 models is a hell of a lot to paint but if it’s any consolation I do think that darker skin is easier to paint quickly than light skin. As for the movement trays I’m a big fan of them myself so I think they sound like a great idea. My DIY solution would be to get a sheet of thin mdf and cut it into rectangles of whatever size suits you best. Then blue tac (or local equivalent) bases of the size/shape you’re going to use onto it and draw round them. Remove the bases and then fill into all the other spaces with some kind of texture to create a bit of depth, enough to stop the models sliding around, leaving the holes where the bases had been. Then paint it in the same style as the bases. If you want to add a bit of extra class to it then add magnets. First thing I thought of though, there may well be better suggestions out there.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I hope you’re right on painting darker skin because I am finding the whole thing daunting and don’t want to scared off the project because of it. Thanks for the idea on the trays/basing. I think I’m starting to formulate some ideas.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Looking good there- for movement trays I’d look at magnets and steel sheets… very easy to remove what you need then. I’ve been playing some 54mm games with a friend who does that and it works really well.



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  3. Looks like you made some great progress there IRO. Not sure I have any suggestions for movement trays other than what has been suggested. Personally I’d go down the buy route as they aren’t particulalry expensive, well not in the UK. 🙂

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  4. I’d defo go with the MDF movement trays you can either have them ranked up or more random in shape for looser formations Try Warbases or 4Ground as well, not sure on postage to Aus but prices are pretty reasonable.

    Also I’d be tempted to look at “Quickshade” too for the Zulu’s, just paint them in basic colours (no shading) and let the quickshade do the rest.

    Cheers Roger.

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  5. Port? Delta blues? Modelling? Good god IRO, you live in my version of heaven 🤣 looking good mate, can’t wait to see this painted up… although I appreciate it may be some time!

    Just don’t forget the whites of their eyes 😉

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  6. If I were you, I’d get started on those Zulus soon! That is a lot to try and get through and you’ll need to take plenty of breaks on them, I reckon. The building looks awesome as well and while I can’t offer you any help on the basing question, hopefully the good advice here will help you out. I’m looking forward to seeing more on this project as it remains epic! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Great post buddy and I am excited to see you pull this through in your style. Have you read “The Washing of the Spears”. If not, the best history from Shaka through Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. Cannot recommend it enough. As for bases, go with magnets and steel or MDF

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Mark. I haven’t read it but I think I’ll add it to my wish list hehe. I’ve got one awesome book from Osprey written by Ian Knight which is fantastic. I’ve also got a couple of other books coming from eBay. One is a diary account. I’ve gone with Mdf for the bases. I’ve had no experience with trays before so will the Mdf keep the 25mm bases secure or should I attach magnets somehow?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds great. If you use steel under your bases – either by a washer or similar, you could drill out small 1/8” holes in the MDF for gluing in neodymium magnets similar to what I did with my war canoes. They’d be strong enough to keep the models on the trays while still allowing you to remove models as casualties in a game. Of course the tray thickness would be a determining factor as to doing this.

        Liked by 2 people

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