Rorke’s Drift Part 13 – Zulu batch painting  

With over 260 Zulu warriors to paint I needed a plan of attack. Horns of the buffalo maybe? Hmmm, not quite.

  1. Batch painting. 

I’ve worked out a simple formula for skin tone and some basic colours for clothing, shields, weapons and headwear. 

Having a slight, no matter how slight it is, variation between each model was good to keep me focussed. 

Things to note: Make sure I know if it’s an unmarried group of ten or a married group. Shield colour is paramount here. Basically impis (Zulu Regiments) were broken up into battalions of married warriors and unmarried warriors. 

Zulu warriors were not allowed to marry until they had “washed their spears” in the blood of an enemy. This meant they had something to prove which tended to make them more aggressive and hot blooded than the married regiments composed of older men. In the case of the battle of Isandlwana for instance the horns of the buffalo, which would spread out on the right and left flanks of the enemy, were made up of fast moving and eager unmarried warriors. The married men were seen to be wiser and more careful in their approach to battle. (I’d say in my own case, as a married man, I am neither wise or careful in my decision making haha). 

  1. Paint ten and then break 

The plan is to paint in batches of ten Zulus at a time. These are then mounted on 25mm bases which can be then slotted into (Mdf) movement trays.

After I’ve painted ten Zulus I’ll take a break and paint a couple of redcoats. I’m doing this as I’m hoping to break up the monotony. Hopefully this approach will keep me motivated and keep me focused. Just a reminder there’s 260 plus Zulus to paint and 150 Brits and Natal Natives.

Here’s the first ten “married” painted, but not yet based, Zulus. Im waiting on a delivery of bases and trays. 

As you can see the colour scheme is fairly straightforward. This is both historically accurate and a welcomed relief because painting a myriad of different colours for each and every model would be a bloody nightmare. 

My pal Keith will be coming over next week to give me a hand with painting some Zulus. Might try and get 20 done. (10 for him and 10 for me). He’s a fan of the movie Zulu and he used to paint Warhammer miniatures over a decade ago. I’ll sort the skin tone out and will just need him to paint headwear, weapons, shields and clothing. Fingers crossed he hasn’t lost his skills haha. I might even try and rope Big Waz into some painting too hehe. If you’re reading mate don’t avoid my texts and phone calls haha. 



28 thoughts on “Rorke’s Drift Part 13 – Zulu batch painting  ”

  1. Well you are off to a good start mate and enlisting support seems like a smart move too. If it was me though I’d have gone for spraying them all a nice brown colour, dipping them in a wash and then picking out the details. Alternatively I would have never started such a project and if I did I would have handed it over to you! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What you need is a montage!
    Seriously, I reckon if Keith can paint 10 when he’s not been painting for over a decade then you should be able to paint at least 20. Track down Waz and make a party of it. If he can do 10 as well that’s 40 of them in the bag, plus the 10 you’ve done here. Get the boys trained up now and you can put them to work helping you cheat your way to victory in Orktober! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s actually the most perfectly evil plan! I could output all my Orks to a third world nation and get them to paint them for ten cents an hour. The only thing is I’ve developed quite a conscience these days so I don’t think I could do that. It’ll just have to be Big Waz and Keith but I won’t pay them a cent.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Great work IRO. I found when I was painting hundreds of them that a spray with Tamiya TS3 and then a black wash gave a great skin effect and I then just had to paint the bits and pieces. Worked well.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great looking skintone Luke, a whole army of these should look very effective, the shields and headgear bring the whole model to life.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Ahh the joys of batch painting, oh wait I don’t think there are any joys of batch painting!

    Unless Waz and Keith are reading this then, Oooo, batch painting I wish I was there too you lucky lot! (think I got away with it?

    Cheers Roger.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Next time I’m whinging about painting a Blood Bowl team, I’ll just think about IRO and the 260 Zulus!! What on earth have you gotten yourself into!? 😂
    They look ace next to that building though! Looks like you got everything sorted and looking great so far! Are all the minis assembled, or you doing that as you go?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Bugger me mate thats a few figures to paint!! I remember painting six hundred guys for the ACW dio when I first started and it took me nearly a year!!!! good to hear Little Keithy is coming to the rescue!!

    Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s