Rather little progress on the wargaming/modelling front to report here, I'm afraid, with, quite frankly, too many irons in the fire to have anything ready enough to be worth posting.....that'll teach me to keep jumping from one project to the other!
However, Colonial wise, there have been some re-inforcements completed recently, as you can see above, with the debut of some khaki-coated infantry.
These troops are also lucky enough to have an encampment to shield them from the harsh conditions of the desert wastes; here formed from BG133/134, small and large tents, adorned with the addition of the useful BG142, clump of palm trees:
You can also make out a command stand, with BG24 Army command group. The palm trees are very nicely modelled, but unfortunately are very fragile and prone to bending and snapping - this is exacerbated by the amount of flash on the bottom of the base which means that it needs to be filed down - I managed to ruin a couple of stands whilst trying to remove this too vigorously - so be warned!
A British square awaits the onslaught of the enemy.... but luckily they are not alone:
A single BG14, coupled with a line of RBG11 and BG3 go to form a company of the Naval Brigade, jolly jack tars ready to support the khaki-clad line.
They are in turn augmented by that weapon of the age, the Maxim gun:
A battery of two, made with a clipping from an RBG11 strip, and the BG20 Mitrailleuse.
Meanwhile, the enemy closes:
The Egyptian auxiliaries-turned Ansar seen in an earlier post on this subject, made me think of having a go at some Hadendowa 'Fuzzy-Wuzzy' types, so above you see the splashes of various shades of brown over a black undercoat that go to suggest these units - I was not going to actually look at the Sudan campaigns, but the lure of the Mahdists was too much to resist!
The BG23 blocks seem to do the job adequately, although given the lack of definition, I was forced to add in the palm trees to identify which way around the base is facing...perhaps a few scratch-built flags or banners might lift the otherwise monotone look...
Below we see an Elephant battery moving up to support the line; and unfortunately, try as I might, I could not get any sense of the drag rope chains/limber attachments to work on these bases.
Cotton or silk thread just looked too bulky, and an experiment with thin fuse wire just made it look silly; so I have resorted to leaving them as they were; you just have to imagine the traces, chains and tack connecting it all together..... :-(
Finally we see the Naval Brigade taking their place in the line as the enemy approach; what started as a foray into a Colonial-themed VSF/land Ironclad army is in danger of slipping into full-on Omdurman territory; at least the simple paint-job of the Mahdists mean it will be easy to produce hordes of them, though....