Here are some more pictures of Beja shields. They were reportedly made from elephant, rhino or crocodile hide. But, as one of my sources points out, rhinos are not that common in the Sudan and also postulates giraffe or simple cow hide. Whatever, a plainer approach to painting is called for.
A record of the building of British, Egyptian and Mahdist Armies from the war of 1883 to 1885 using 28mm figures.
My interest in Colonial Wargaming
My interest in Colonial Wargaming was largely ignited by my father, who was a big fan of the film Zulu and always wanted what he called a "Stanley Baker pith helmet". He was in the Sherwood Foresters, who were in Egypt in 1882 but not the Sudan.
It was many years before I started to paint Colonial wars figures and these were the ESCI/ERTL Zulu War plastics. I had always thought that if I did colonials I would do the Zulu War, if anything, although I was also interested in the North-West frontier. The problem was that there just weren't (and still aren't) a range of figures that met my standards.
When the Perry Brothers released their Sudan figures, therefore, I knew I had to have them, even though the Sudan theatre would not have been my first choice. However, once I started to read up on it I decided that it was, for so many reasons, a very good period to game: large battles, patrols, skirmishes, steamboats, Gatling guns and very varied troop types from British on camels to Egyptians in chainmail. Wonderful!
My initial plan is to build the British army for El Teb and Tamai with a Beja army to oppose them. Next I aim to go back in time to do Valentine Baker's Egyptian force for first El Teb. Then I will move forward to do the Desert and River columns and adding Nile Arabs as opponents before finishing off with the battle of Ginnis and the British forces wearing their red coats for the last time in battle.