My next regiment of Zulu's is the umCijo ("the sharp pointed") and fought as part of the central "chest" at Isandlwana. This is an unmarried regiment, hence the black shields, made up of warriors with an average age of about 28. It Isandlwana the umCijo were very keen and actually launched an attack prematurely which had to be brought under control.
The leader of the regiment Mkhosana kaMvundlana then had to get them going again and keep them moving after their initial assault was stalled by British volley fire. He was subsequently killed in the charge but the umCijo were instrumental in driving the British back to camp, precipitating their collapse. The umCijo also fought at Khambula and at Gingindlovu so they will see plenty of action on the table top.
I'm rather pleased with these models as I 'discovered' a new technique for painting them. With all 6mm figures I rely heavily on the use of ink washes to add shading and depth to the base coated figures. Baccus Zulu shields have a series of grooves in the surface for the straps that hold the central shaft and rather than hand paint these straps on every shield I use ink washes to bring out the detail. For units with white shields a brown ink wash shows up the straps on the shields really well but for units with black shields I have struggled to do the contrasting white straps. For these figures I experimented with a 'white' wash, something that until now I didn't think was possible. I used Vallejo Thinner Medium in the ratio 5 parts thinner to 1 of white paint. The resultant thin 'wash' flows into the grooves on the Zulu shields where it concentrates the white paint enough to leave a clear white line but is thin enough that it leaves little or no white residue on the rest of the black shields.
These are the last of the Zulu's for a few weeks because I have run out of models! I've ordered some more figures but I don't know when they will arrive, or even if they will be delivered in time to paint before the Challenge ends. I've quickly rearranged my painting plan and I'll start on the British next, hopefully allowing time for more Zulu Regiments towards the end of the Challenge. Whatever happens I'm a happy painter as I am way ahead in terms of progress towards my target. I considered 1000 points a bit ambitious when I set it (considering I paint mostly 6mm) and it now looks like I was being timid!