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A Call To Arms

Set 56


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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 2001
Contents 32 figures
Poses 8 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Light Tan
Average Height 22 mm (= 1.58 m)


By the time this set was released, A Call To Arms had already released eight Zulu figures in 1:32 scale, and a further four have since appeared, so clearly they like their Zulus. It was therefore no surprise to see this set of scaled down warriors.

The figures are superb, armed with a mixture of stabbing and throwing spears and knobkerrys (clubs), plus a handful of rifles that would have been obtained either from European traders or perhaps from some unfortunate British soldier. Clothing is of course minimal, but the loincloths and headgear are correctly sculpted, though it is slightly disappointing that no chieftain is included as they would have had a more magnificent headdress. Still with only eight poses there is perhaps less room for variety, and some of these warriors have headdresses that would be more sophisticated than many would wear into battle. The rest all have the isicoco ring in the hair which identifies them as married, which is fine as there were several regiments of married men in 1879.

The poses are excellent, but the shields present something of a problem. On the 1:32 figures, the shields fixed onto a peg on the warrior's hand, and were very secure. No attempt has been made to duplicate that here, so there is nothing to hold the shields to any figure, making gluing the only option. As a result, they may not stand up well to rough handling. However, this does mean there is no compromise like the Esci figures had, where the shields were secure but had a gaping hole in the middle of each one. The shields are all 16 mm in length, making them the large war shield which was certainly still carried in 1879, but was less common than the smaller model fashionable at the time. All are very well sculpted, with proper detail on both front and back.

In short, an excellent set. Eight poses is sometimes quoted as the minimum for a decent infantry set, but each one is beautifully sculpted. Put them together in large numbers to recreate one of the much-feared Zulu impis, and mix them freely with the other sets of Zulus made at this scale (listed below) to create some very impressive formations of native warriors.


Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 10
Pose Number 5
Sculpting 9
Mould 10

Further Reading
"Isandlwana 1879" - Osprey (Campaign Series No.111) - Ian Knight - 9781841765112
"Rorke's Drift 1879" - Osprey (Campaign Series No.41) - Ian Knight - 9781855325067
"The Zulu War" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.57) - Angus McBride - 9780850452563
"The Zulus" - Osprey (Elite Series No.21) - Ian Knight - 9780850458640
"Uniforms and Weapons of the Zulu War" - Batsford - Christopher Wilkinson-Latham - 9780713406474
"Victoria's Enemies" - Blandford - Donald Featherstone - 9780713720815
"Zulu 1816-1906" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.14) - Ian Knight - 9781855324749
"Zulu: Isandlwana & Rorke's Drift" - Windrow & Greene - Ian Knight - 9781872004235
"Military Illustrated" - No.70
"Tradition (English Language)" - No.23

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