Those of you listing and playing with the Italians will probably have been drawn to the colonial troops – one of the most interesting infantry units in the Italian players arsenals.
Recruited largely from Eretria in the east and Libya in the north, the colonial troops have tough fighter and are inexperienced. This makes them stand out against the majority of other infantry options that are fairly vanilla. These rules were a serious draw for me.
Their history is also compelling. In the East African theater in particular colonial units were widespread, and often served with distinction.
So it didn’t take long for me to decide that I wanted colonials. Not only did I want one or two units to add flavor to my list, I wanted enough to field a full colonial list!
There are actually some pretty great options out there for Italian colonials. My two favorites are Empress Miniatures and Darkest Africa.
However, with the shoe strings tightening and my demand for quite a few miniatures, I had to get creative.
So, I turned to Perry plastics. I love Perry stuff for value and quality. It was a weird option, but I decided to get the Perry Zouaves and paint them up to fit my needs.
The method through which I painted these guys will not give you the sexiest miniatures. However there are some serious advantages. Using Army Painter Dip and speed painting is a bit ruff but is so so quick – a matter of a few painting sessions for 40 miniatures – an looks quite respectable on the table.
Step one: Spray base coat, I use Army Painter bleached bone.
Step two: apply your base colors.
Slap on a wash or drop in a dip.
Matte varnish spray!
So there you have it!
The next step is to make these guys work on the table. I ran a list with 3 units of 10 at Conquest a few weeks ago. I found the threat of 20 attacks in assault was generally undermined by my opponent’s ability to rip these squads apart with small arms fires.
Furthermore, I find that even with ten rifle shots I struggled to put pins out with these inexperienced squads -
- but I haven’t given up! I’ll keep playing with my colonials and make them work.