This product is sold unpainted.
‘In Deutsch-Ostafrica in the late 1890s the Colonial Office and the
Reichstag yielded to pressure from German colonists and their administration to
substantially build up the strength of the Schutztruppen. Recruiting from
regular units at home and a massive incorporation of native troops called
Askaris swelled the ranks.
The native troops were superb pathfinders and scouts, with the
additional assets of physical hardiness and immunity to tropical diseases so
destructive to Europeans. The Askari were led by competent and well-trained
German volunteer officers and NCOs who soon became fluent in speaking the
native Swahili language and, as importantly, adding to their acceptance, were
dedicated to the well being of their troops.
The Askaris were originally equipped with the Gew.M71 of Mauser design,
11mm, single shot firing black powder which, because of its smoke, made
concealment difficult in battle conditions.’
Source. ‘Uniforms of the German Colonial Troops 1884-1918, Charles Wooley, Schiffer Military History, 2009. An exceptional book if you are looking to find some of the best reference material for German colonial troops. Much of the book is taken up with colour plates from 19th and 20th Century artists. Some of the illustrations of battle scenes from the early twentieth century are lovely.