The Mahdists, or Ansar if you like, are one of the earliest 15mm armies that I actually painted myself. Fresh out of university, determined that 15mm 19th century gaming was what I wanted to do, I spent a ridiculous amount of money on a beautifully painted, second hand Zulu army, and then painted (badly) a whole lot British figures to fight them. Once they were done, and I'd had enough of Brits vs Zulu games, I decided that the next conflict to model were the various Sudan campaigns.
I'd also heard about this marvellous new painting technique called dipping or washing, where you roughly painted a figure (phew!) and then covered it in brown wash or magic dip. This I could manage, so away I went and produced the figures you can see below.
Now almost thirty years old, you can see how dark they are: at that time I didn't know the maxim "paint 15s one shade lighter than you would anything larger" that has recently seen me in good stead. The finish I use has also darkened over time. But, as I said, at the time these were the best figures I'd ever produced. You can also see how I've more recently added some command figures that are painted with highlights rather than wash: good to see how one's painting technique improves over time!