Thursday, March 19, 2020

Armies In Plastic 54mm Dervish

AIP Dervish

Hello everyone. I'm taking advantage of the social distancing these next few weeks to get in some serious painting time. So yesterday, I knocked out 7 Dervish figures that I bought from Armies In Plastic. These are compatible with 54mm toy soldiers and I bought three boxes (20 figures per box) to add to my Dervish forces on the cheap. There are two each of ten different poses in the box, although one of the poses is of a Dervish laying on the ground with his rifle - this is a completely uselss pose for war games so I won't paint that pose. Elimanating the crawling guys then, three boxes yields a unit of 54 figures.

Closeup view of the Dervish

Rear View of a different lot of painted Dervish

I finished all seven figures in one day. They have a minimal amount of equipment so the painting goes very fast and smoothly. I gave them a gloss coat to finish them off. I don't know why, but it seems as if the gloss spray-on finish is harder than the Dull Coat. The other 20 Dervish previously painted were finished with Dull Coat. However, I may give all of the figures a gloss finish to give them a toy soldier look.

So the first 27 figures of the hoard are finished. I didn't make any conversions to them other than putting a wire spear into the hands of one warrior. I cut off the plastic spear with my Exacto knife and then drilled a hole through the plastic hand. This was a bit of a revelation as drilling through soft plastic is so easy to do compare to drilling through metal figures. So going forward I will replace all of the swords and spears with metal pieces so that they survive rough handling during a war game.

I plan on buying another three boxes of the Dervish so that I can build the hoard up to around 100 figures. The other figures in my 54mm Sudan collection are largely Beja/Hadendowa warriors so I wanted to add more Dervish wearing the jibba shirt.

Once the first group of AIP Dervish are finished, I will have a total force of 306 foot, 52 horsemen and 12 mounted camel warriors. I want to have a 3:1 ratio of Ansar to British/Egyptian troops.

What do you think, should I paint more Dervish? Your thoughts and comments would be appreciated .


  1. Your latest Dervish warriors look super, Jim. If your rules include unit DISORDER or GOING TO GROUND, I would use the prone figures as status markers of some sort.

  2. I have never read anyone "saying" that they had too many dervish(native) figures in a game.

    I have read many a time "We didn't have enough dervishes, so it looks a bit thin. So we recycled units... "

    Although, one idea I had ages ago-but have yet to try, is to create rear echelons/ranks that were either just dust clouds or had a couple of figures in the front partially obscure by the dust.

    Don't a lot of accounts talk about the amount of dust kicked up by the Dervishes? Not my area really, my Nile War is a few magazine articles and some movies.

    I assume clumps of cotton wool died beige/tan/ecru would work.

  3. Good work Jim,
    I like them.
    Bill P.

  4. Nicely dome, great addition to your collection.

  5. Can you ever have too many Dervishes?

  6. They look fantastic, and yes, paint them glossy! There is something very 'Wells'ian about gaming with shiny colonials in 54mm.

    1. I went back and spray glossed the flat finished Dervish.