I've been busy trying to build enough figures to play a basic, 70pt game of Congo. Here are the latest additions to my Forest Tribes force. Mind you, even with these additions I think that I'm still slightly short of my goal, though I haven't stopped recently to add it all up. Just one more unit should do it, I think...
The Forest Tribes list for Congo has the potential to have 3 classes of warrior, all of whom are basically a man with a loincloth, spear and shield. It may seem obvious to others, but I struggled to think how I could make these categories visually distinct from each other. I don't know about anybody else, but I don't enjoy games with units or models which have different capabilities but which look very similar to each other.
Eventually I came to the conclusion that I'd finish my Cannibals or Married Warriors (I doubt that I'd want to use both classes in the same game) with war paint. These are the most experienced guys in the tribe; it seems reasonable that they would take the effort to do things properly!
The pattern I've used for my war paint is a simplified version of a scheme that originates in Papua New Guinea. That's a long way from where my tribe is based, of course - but I figured that skeletal designs of paint are probably quite universal. In any case, I found some excellent & very detailed photos of the Papuan tribe on the internet...
I remembered to add some war paint to the backs of these natives as well. This is, again, for the benefit of the players: these models are distinctive from any viewing angle.
In contrast, the Young Warriors have no markings or decorations, though a few have beads or bracelets. They are either too brash and hasty to have applied war paint, or they can't afford the ingredients. Or maybe it's just that they don't have a wife to apply it for them! One way or the other, it doesn't really matter.
All of these figures are 28mm models from Foundry. The natives are really quick to paint, so I expect to have my Forest Tribe ready for a game within a week or two. Who knows? I might even post a picture of the completed group at that time. If nothing else, such a group photo would enable me to check whether I really do have the right number of figures after all!