The wonderful thing about our North Star 1672 range is that the figures will do for many different nations armies in the period 1665-1680. This is  because it is a time just before uniforms, and the figures are all dressed in the fashions common amongst soldiers throughout Western Europe.  This of course includes Britain.  The years covered by our range is called the Restoration Period in Britain as it was the time the monarchy, represented by Charles II,  was  restored after the English Civil War.   It was also the genesis of the British Army. Britain, tired of soldiers and war, had disbanded much of it’s forces after the Civil War and Oliver  Cromwell’s reign. With the return of Charles II to England in 1660, the units still under arms swore allegiance to the King and became the senior  units of the British Army. Some of the infantry regiments:  Coldstream Guards Grenadier Guards Scots Guards 1st Regiment (Royal Scots) 2nd Regiment (The Queen’s) 3rd Regiment (The Buffs) st
By Chris Peers
The Founding of the Kingdom
The Matabele saga began in 1822, when Mzilikazi of the  Kumalo, a Ndwandwe clan which had been incorporated into  Shaka's new Zulu kingdom, was sent to attack the Swazis.  Mzilikazi succeeded in capturing a large number of Swazi  cattle, but rashly decided to keep some of them instead of  sending them all to Shaka. Aware that the Zulu king was not  likely to look kindly on this sort of thing, he went into hiding in  the hills of the Kumalo country. Eventually the Zulus found  him, took him by surprise and scattered his followers, but  Mzilikazi and a few hundred others escaped across the  Drakensberg Mountains and onto the High Veldt of what was to become the Transvaal. Here they encountered scattered groups  of Sotho, Tswana and other peoples, many of whom had  already been impoverished by Nguni or Afrikaner  encroachment, and whose traditional fighting methods were no  match for the Zulu-style tactics introduced by the newcomers.  There Mzilikazi's people continued to pursue their new  
vocation of cattle rustling. They soon made themselves rich at  the expense of the local Sotho and Tswana tribes, many of  whose survivors were incorporated more or less willingly into  their ranks in the same way as the Zulus had done to the  Ndwandwe. This was the beginning of the class system which  characterised their society in the second half of the century. The "amaZansi" or "those from the south", in other words the  original Ndwandwe families, constituted the aristocracy. Below  them came the "abeNhla" or "those from the road", who were  absorbed during their time on the High Veldt. Later, when they  moved north of the Limpopo River, the local Shona and  Kalanga tribes were brought in under the name of "Holi". It was  about this time that the name Matabele (or Ndebele) first came  into use. Among the various theories about its origin, the most  appealing is that it meant something like "They Disappear From  Sight", referring to the way in which the warriors took cover  behind their great Zulu-style shields.
 North Star Military Figures North Star Magazine home page Previous Page Next Page more Africa articles download pdf Click here to order Home Latest North Star Stargrave Frostgrave Oathmark Crusader Artizan Great War Shieldwolf The Matabele are an African tribe whose origins were in the mighty Zulu Nation. During the early 19th Century they rebelled and create an infamous name for themselves as they escaped North to settle in what is now Zimbabwe.
legends which haunted the European imagination - Lobengula's  gold, King Solomon's mines (in fact it is said to have been the  adventures of the hunter F. C. Selous in Matabeleland which  inspired Rider Haggard's story). And if they were not quite the  equal of the formidable Zulu war machine, they retained their  independence for more than a decade longer, surviving long  enough in their isolation to match their spears against Maxim  guns in one of the last and most heroic confrontations of the  imperial era. 
North Star's announcement of their new range of Matabele  figures will surely be exciting news to anyone interested in  wargaming 19th century Africa. In many ways Matabeleland  was the archetypal "savage kingdom" of Victorian  imagination. If ever the scenario beloved of fiction writers  took place - the white explorer forced to grovel before a  mighty African king, master of a huge fortune in gold and  ivory, who demonstrated the power of life and death over his  fanatically loyal warriors - then it was at the great kraal of  kwaBulawayo, "the place of killing". It was the Matabele who  stood guard over the land which gave rise to so many of the