In fact, the first figure I painted was this one to serve as a princess. She definitely needs a repaint. I might have a go to see if I can improve her this weekend. It might make a good "before and after" project.
I like the Azande as an army; they are the Uruk Hai of Darkest Africa! Their name means the people who possess much land, and refers to their history as conquering warriors.
The Azande were experts at ambushes. In the early period they used bows and then later muskets.
During all periods, however, they used their characteristic throwing knives the kpinga.
These Azande musketmen are a mixture of Foundry and the later ones Mark Copplestone did for his own Copplestone castings, some of these were painted more recently and are a bit better done than some of the earlier figures I did.
This is my Azande command group, at least they know what to do with a Belgian!
An Azande chief's hut
Classic basketwork shield and knives. The sickle bladed ones are for hand to hand combat rather than throwing. The caption on this picture refers to them as Niam-Niam (or Nyam-Nyam) both of which terms were used to describe them by 19th century Europeans; the word being of Dinka (Sudan) origin and meaning great eaters (they were reputed to be cannibals).
The Azande would hold up to four kpinga in their left hands concealed behind their shields. In 1925 Emil Torday wrote; "The first attack was made of arrows..then all of a sudden some objects glittering in the sun as if they were thuderbolts come whirling with a weird hum through the air.. it smites the warrior behind his defence with its cruel blades." Nasty!
They also have a good collection of Azande and Belgian colonial stuff in the military musem in Brussels. It's rather an old fashioned museum with everything in old wooden cases but it suits the material somehow. I'm over there later in the year so will try to take a picture or two but I remember it being very dark and flash photography is probably not allowed. I also recently saw a nice Azande shield in the National Museum in Copenhagen. They had quite an interesting exhibition on the colonial Congo when I was there in March.
I played a Darkest Africa game at Guildford against Mike's (of Black Hat Miniatures http://www.blackhat.co.uk/) Belgians but my Azande got quite comprehensively massacred by his White Men and gunboat mounted cannon. Jolly unsporting! Most of my units were destroyed or ran away before they even came into combat!