Monday, 24 December 2018

From LeeH: Natal Native Contingent (48 Points)

During this years Painting Challenge I am not focusing on just one army or a single new project. Instead I decided I would revisit some of my older armies and finally get around to adding to them like I have been saying I would for ages. The first of these additions are four companies of Natal Native Contingent to support my Anglo Zulu War British Infantry I painted in the Challenge last year. The eagle eyed amongst you will notice I have changed the way I have based these, compared to the units I painted last year. I have also changed the figure ratio making the units larger... and yes I have had to go back and re-base some of my British infantry from last year. It wouldn't be me if I didn't change everything halfway through a project! 

The NNC were an Auxiliary force of mostly Basuto and Mponso troops who were recruited to fight alongside the colonial regulars. They were generally organised along the same lines as the British troops with companies of about 100 warriors with 6 NCO's and three Officers per company. They were not issued with uniform and were only distinguishable from their Zulu opponents by a red bandanna worn around their heads. Fears about arming native warriors (even allies) meant that only one in ten were issued with a rifle. 

Some Imperial officers (such as Colonel Durnford, who died at Isandlwana) believed the NNC should have been used as scouts and light infantry. Less wise heads however decided these troops were only good for menial labour, believing their fighting ability was negligible. Sadly they remained poorly lead and ill used throughout the war against the Zulu's and not surprisingly their performance in battle reflected this. At Isandlwana for instance they fought hard but in the end died alongside their better armed white comrades. 

I may paint some more of these at a later date but these four companies will keep me going for the time being. 96 figures will get me a tidy 48 points and means I'm comfortably on schedule for week one.


First, welcome back to the Challenge, Lee, and thanks again for agreeing to be our Tuesday Minion for this year's gambit.

It's good to know that I'll have another comrade who will be revisiting previous projects, filling in gaps and starting new ventures. Focus is for cowards! :) Your past 6mm Zulu project is the stuff of Challenge lore, so it's wonderful to see them getting some reinforcements with this lovely mob of wee men (and treated to some little-known military history). Well done!

48 points to begin your Challenge run. Bravo!


  1. Good to see you working the 6mm again Lee and nice they are too.


  2. Great to see you back on the Challenge Lee. These NNC units are wonderful. Looking forward to seeing more Zulu War goodness.

  3. Great start to the campaign Lee.

  4. More lovely zulu wars figures,its like you've never been away!
    Best Iain

  5. The AZW is a particular favourite of mine as far as historical gaming goes. It's nice to see the often overlooked NNC getting some attention rather than the more famous red coats led by Michael Caine. Nice work on such small figures.

  6. Very nice stuff! 6mm really suits here.

  7. Very nice Lee, well done that man!

  8. What smashing little chaps and background for units like this that I’ve never heard of is always welcome.

  9. Nice native levy, Lee! I'm still impressed with the detail you pack in on these Lil fellows!