I was most impressed by the one to one Isandlwana display ast Colours at Newbury last week. The figures weren't that brlliantly painted but the sheer number (around 3,000) gave an excellent idea of what a small (!) colonial engagement looked like.
It certainly gave me pause for thought as regards how many figures I needed to paint to to recreate this batttle. I have been thinking about 1/10 but this set-up offered 1/1 as regards numbers.
Isandlwana, as a wargames refight, is really about recreating small segments of the battle at a company level, I think, and this vast version really gave me an overall view on how this might be broken down into individual elements.
In a way it was rather like the Gripping Beast/Grand Manner Gallipoli set up at Salute this year in that it made such a definitive statement as to be beyond the capability of the ordinary gamer to reproduce. Nevertheless I will have a good go at producing some more figures.
My interest in Colonial Wargaming was largely ignited by my father, who was a big fan of the film Zulu and always wanted a Stanley Baker style pith helmet.
It was many years before I started to paint Colonial wars figures and these were the ESCI/ERTL Zulu War plastics. When I moved on to metal figures I quickly dicovered that there wasn't a range of Zulu War figures that met my standards. However, this has all changed with the marvellous new figures from Empress Miniatures and Wargames Factory so, at last, a Zulu War army is looking possible.
In the meantime I started work on my Sudan project (see link below) but it is clear that there is a lot more material available on the Zulu War with people such as Ian Knight churning out books at an alarming rate (did anybody else see him on the quiz show Telly Addicts a few years ago? - he didn't do very well!).