Sunday, January 03, 2021

New beginnings, or Progress? First Malian's


 Hello 2021 and all that.  Eff off 2020!

So, some way back I was talking up a project, and doing little else.  But I finally made a start.  Figures have been purchased, all destined for some degree of conversion to satisfy my needs, and the first handful have been prepared.

So what we have to show today is merely that stage of progress, but with a little discussion beside. 

Mandekalu Bowmen

From the limited historical records I've found to date, it appears the bulk of the Mali Empire's military strength was in infantry, predominantly armed with weak bows, javelins or spears.  Leather, and possibly iron helmets were issued amongst the infantry, but most other items were personally provided, with poisoned arrows being standard to compensate for the strength of the weapon.

My starting point here is some of the Wargames Foundry African natives with bows, decent models which have the advantage of the right sort of bone structure.  You may raise an eyebrow to that, but West Africans from what I can deduce do not look like Zulus or Sudanese, the two other readily available selections for African figures in 28mm,  These look, well, as right as is possible without attempting a lot of sculpting.

Then again, as is obvious, there is a fair bit of green stuff going on here, based on the handful of statues of these warriors and one good reconstruction by Angus McBride:

Mandinke by McBride

I added a selection of details to get the look, some had the more complex garments added, some helmets, and all the knife, sheaved on the upper arm.  The latter further augmented by sculpting and casting tiny knife models in UV-activated resin.  More on that another time maybe.

As a little artistic license, the unit commander gained some exotic feathers on his helmet, and they were done.  All ready now for a lick of paint.

But that will have to wait until some more financially rewarding tasks are finished...



1 comment:

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