Phil returns Michael's volley with his own with these excellent Sudanese infantry and a Mahdist Khalifa.
The Sudan project continues apace (well, apace for me). Tempted as I was to save everything up for a Millsy-esque points bomb, I decided against that folly. Today I bring you another unit for the Anglo-Egyptian forces: the Sudanese IXth infantry. The Sudanese battalions were regarded as the elite of the Egyptian army, being professional soldiers recruited for life from Southern Sudan and the Nuba mountains. The Xth and XIth were even recruited from old soldiers that had been captured by the Mahdi, served in his Jihadiyya before escaping en masse in 1885 and re-enlisting in the Egyptian army.
Mine are officered by an Egyptian (in the final photo, painted pre-challenge), though it was also known for Sudanese to be promoted from the ranks. The IXth's conduct alongside the Cameron Highlanders at the battle of Ginnis led to them being presented a unique standard in 1886: of red silk fringed in red and gold with Kosheh and Ginnis as battle honours and a central wreath. Other Battalions carried a green standard with only an Arabic numeral.
The uniforms of the Egyptian army changed quite a lot between the various campaigns. I've settled on having my Egyptian units in a white summer uniform and Sudanese in a blue with white trousers. All units were later issued khaki uniforms.
Also rolling off the table is this Command stand for the Mahdists: a Khalifa and his faithful standard bearer. Both were part of my first challenge batch but set aside part way through. I pondered a while how to paint the Khalifa, given he has such a large robe aching for some freehand like patches in the Mahdist style. But for a religious leader, I was also tempted by the understated purity of a plain white robe. In the end I settled on white with a jagged edging in blue. The standard bearer is converted from a standing spearman, carefully trimming his cast on spear off and replacing it with the Flag Dude banner.
Beautiful work Phil! I really like both of the banner bearers, especially the Sudanese trooper. The flags from Flag Dude have such excellent animation, and I love the all-in-one cost (I have quite a few myself), but I wish he would upgrade his image files to eliminate the jagged line art - there really is no excuse for it in this day and age.
This Khalifa and his uniformed Sudanese opponents will give Phil 56 points, placing him one point behind Michael in the Victorian Side Challenge. A tight race - well done!