Thursday, October 24, 2013

25mm / 28mm Scale Choices for Herero War Seebataillon, Landungskorp, Native Auxilleries and Civilians

In addition to the Schutztruppe - both the "old Africans" and their hastily assembled reinforcements - the German Colonial forces in the Herero war included marine and naval troops, along with native auxiliaries, armed settlers and non-combatant teamsters.  This post examines figure options available to tabletop wargamers for this conflict in 25mm / 28mm scales.

As mentioned in a prior post, among the very first reinforcements to come ashore at Swakopmund
Brigade Games BG-WIAG17 German Sailor Command
were a landing party of sailors from the gunboat "Habitcht", followed shortly thereafter by Marine-Infanterie-Kompagnien made up of detachments from four Imperial "Seebataillon" units, along with machine gun sections that appear to have been served by elements of each of these branches of service.

The best choice for figures representing the German landing party is those offered by Brigade Games from their Great War in Africa line.  These sailors in tropical dress are 28mm figures include a 4 figure command set, two 8 figure sets in 4 poses each, and a 3 figure heavy machine gun Maxim team.  With 23 figures you have nearly half the total force of the initial landing party and may not be able to bring them all into play in most gaming scenarios, but you will be able to put forward an excellent showing of these Imperial sailors.

Copplestone Castings AFU-1 German Marines
For Seesoldaten, there are two good possibilities.  Mark Copplestone's Copplestone Castings has a Darkest Africa line that includes German marines advancing at port.  There is also a marine officer included in Copplestone's German officers pack, as well as another officer in a field cap who would paint up well for the Schutztruppe (the other three are of less value for a Herero War scenario, with two in fez and one in a non military pith helmet).  I have both sets and intend to paint the marine officer to stand in for Major von Glasenapp, the overall commander of the Marine-Infanterie in Southwest Africa who fought with the Eastern section of the Colonial forces at Owikokorero and Okaharui.

The other choice is to go with Pulp Figures.  I have several of their colonial troop sets in slouch
Pulp Figures PGS-2 German Seebataillon NCOs

hats, as well as their seebataillon set in field caps which I am intending to paint as Schutztruppe because primary sources indicate they were issued sun helmets for Southwest Africa service. The other Seebataillon from Pulp Miniatures include a four figure Maxim gun crew with officer that I intend to purchase.  They also offer a five figure Seebataillon officer set, an NCO set and a set of troops in sun helmets.  The later is dynamic and looks fun to paint, but I am not sure how they will look alongside the slimmer Copplestone figures.  As for the others, there is something a bit to cartoonish in the officer set for my taste, but I might get the NCO set if the Seesoldaten in sun helmets end up working for my layout.

There were no Askaris in Southwest Africa, and no African Auxiliaries in fez.  The Germans had three units of native allies in the Herero war.  The Wilbooi Nama sent about 80 men, mostly distinguished by armbands in Imperial colors.  Any of the limited options for mounted Hereros discussed in a prior article could serve for Witbooi Nama if armbands were added and their hats painted to appear to be covered in white cloth, with or without Imperial colored hat bands.  There were also Bethany Nama, though I can find very little about them except that the nephew of the overall commander von Trotha may have commanded them in the Waterberg campaign.  At need, either Nama group could be represented by Brigade Games Schutztruppe Askaris in slouch hats, distinguished  by painting armbands, handbands and hat covers as described above  .As for the Rehoboth "Basters", it would take some significant conversion to make a uniformed unit of these troops and I have not seen suitable figures on the market that would work for them.

There were both German and Boer settlers who fought the Herero during 1904.  The former were

North Star Africa NSA6001 - Boer Riflemen I
largely reservists in Schutztruppe uniforms.  As for the Boer, there are any number of manufacturers who offer both mounted and dismounted figures for South African boers as the appears between 1879 and 1902.  I am partial to Wargames Foundry Miniatures' sets from their Boer War range (DA-18/7 and 18/8), but also like those provided by Empress Miniatures for their Anglo-Zulu War Line and by North Star Africa
North Star also offers a boer wagon driver and native voorloper as teamsters for several authentic Boer wagons provided as laser cut wooden models by 4Ground, along with the oxen needed to pull them.  As the heavy sands of the Southwest African veld often required 18-20 oxen for a single wagon, you will want more than a two ox team to give the right impression.  I have at six on a jawbone wagon at the moment and may add two more.

No comments:

Post a Comment