A decade later during the German-Herero war, Assa fought in a German uniform and carried a sword. By that time, his old cuirassier koller may have seen better days, but since we have a description of him wearing it in the 1890s I've decided to paint a mounted figure of Assa in the coat of the Kaiser's bodyguard.
The full uniform, it would have included the gilt helmet of the Guard du Corps, possibly
stretch, both from an historical point of view and as a practical matter to find a suitable figure to represent an African wearing this uniform. There is better documentation, though, for a spiked cork sun helmet such as the Schutztruppe wore before 1896. There is even an image from 1904 of a "Bambuse" - a German officer's native orderly - standing at a railroad siding and wearing what is probably the Schutztruppe tropical helmet authorized in 1891. I have selected a figure to use for Assa Riarua who is wearing one as well.
I'm very fond of the sculpting that Paul Hicks has done for Empress Miniatures and its Anglo-Zulu War line, and have used his Natal Native Horse figures (sans the spears in their shoulder quivers) for mounted Hereros. For Assa Riarua, though, I wanted something special and selected one of two figures in a set of Mounted Natal Carbineers.
The cuffs of this figure are pointed, but a little green stuff helped to modify it satisfactorily. I painted up Assa Riarua in the koller and trousers of an enlisted soldier in the Garde du Corps, mixing Vallejo Sand Yellow and White to get the color of his proud but well worn off white wool uniform. I painted the old 1891 Schutztruppe spiked pith helmet with Vallejo New Wood for the darker colors, working up through German Ochre Orange with a touch of Dark Sand. I'm pleased with the finished product, which unfortunately I had to photograph inside with the flash rather than in natural light, but the end result is a proud Herero commander in one of the most unusual uniforms ever to grace a colonial Africa gaming table.