Rorke’s Drift Update

Well it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything directly to do with my own wargaming, and an even longer time since I posted about my 28mm Anglo-Zulu War project! Way back in 2011 Warlord Game’s brought out their fantastic Rorke’s Drift building kitset and fantastic box sets featuring this and lots of accessories and figures from their Anglo-Zulu War figure range, and I quickly snapped up one of their initial special limited edition box sets (Rorke’s Drift Arrives), which I duly passed on to my good mate Kieran (6mm Wargaming) to build up and terrain sculpt for me – as described in Work Begins On Rorke’s Drift back in 2013! Well work has finally progressed and now in 2017 it’s nearing completion…

Rorkes Drift Progress #1

Overall view of the terrain model Kieran has produced for me. Approximate dimensions are 5′ (1.5m) wide and around 2′ (0.6m) deep at that deepest point.

The defence of the mission station of Rorke’s Drift, under the command of Lieutenants John Chard of the Royal Engineers and Gonville Bromhead, immediately followed the British Army’s defeat at the Battle of Isandlwana on 22 January 1879, and continued into the following day. Just over 150 British and colonial troops successfully defended the garrison against an intense assault by 3,000 to 4,000 Zulu warriors. The massive but piecemeal Zulu attacks on Rorke’s Drift came very close to defeating the much smaller garrison, but were ultimately repelled. Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded to the defenders, along with a number of other decorations and honours (which included 4 DCMs). This includes the greatest number won by a single unit during a single action (7 VC’s), awarded to members of the 2nd/24th Foot, for the defence of Rorke’s Drift, on 22–23 January 1879.” – Wikipedia

Rorkes Drift Progress #2

Aerial view from the rear, highlighting the trench, inside the bank, behind the hospital. The privy’s and similar were in this area but we are not including them in the main model.

The model is mostly just awaiting flocking (grass and similar) and final minor details now before being ready for use. The join visible down the centre will be partly hidden in use by the presence of other decorative details, spare wagons, etc, and the gap at the rear is filled with the upturned wagon as done historically (in real life 2 wagons were upturned here, but due to scaling effects we are representing this with a single wagon). The front of the model has been designed with a clever ‘step’ on the front face to allow 28mm Zulu’s on 25mm (1″) round bases to be placed in position when directly assaulting the barricade – likewise the trench at the rear is also designed to accommodate the same sized bases, a nod to wargaming practicality over ground scale realism.

Rorkes Drift Progress #3

The Storehouse and the area in front where the final redoubt will go. The Kraal is visible at the far left.

The Cattle Kraal (with stone walls) is designed to be removed so the model can be used in a slightly smaller size for fictional battles, and the Kraal can be used separately as an independent terrain piece. Hopefully we’ll (by that I mean Kieran will) be done soon and it’ll be finished in it’s full glory. Then the onus will be on me to finish getting my Zulus and Brits based and ready that have been painted and patiently waiting for bases for about 8+ years!

Rorkes Drift Progress #4

Closer view of the Hospital end of the compound (and the attacking ‘step’ for the Zulus).

Warlord Games Rorkes Drift Artwork

Warlord Games Rorkes Drift Artwork

UPDATE: Rorke’s Drift is now complete, see: Rorke’s Drift Ready To Go

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  • John Way

    Fantastisch! Co-incidentally I have some boxes of Warlord Zulus and British which have been in my unpainted figure mountain for (mumble) years- you have spurred me into action