Thursday, December 30, 2010

How this all began...

Tradgardmastare posted a comment on an earlier thread asking how I started in 18th Century India.

Reflecting on it, I can blame my grandmother! I recall being about 8 years old when I was given some old books and magazines by her to look at. I used to visit her on her farm every Saturday  and, during school holidays, Tuesdays.

I complained about being bored one day and was given access to books, magazines and old model kits left there by one of my uncles (being of good Irish Catholic stock, my grandmother had 13 children!). In that bundle was a copy of a Look & Learn Magazine from the 1960s. I was amazed because not only was the magazine older than me, but it was "cartoon" type artwork (well, not really looking back all those years) and grabbed a kid's attention. In the magazine was an article about the battle of Plassey, or another battle of the time. How the years dim the memory : )  . I was hooked. It was exotic! It had elephants!

Plassey from Look & Learn

Look & Learn was published between 1962 and 1982. It had a number of artists, some of whom went on to illustrate Ospreys. Angus McBride and Gerry & Ron Embleton are three such artists that spring to mind.

In the pre-internet days, and living in the country, it was not easy to find further information. I did find some short articles and encyclopaedia entries.

Then in the 80s there were a series of articles in Miniature Wargames and Military Modelling on the period.

Military Modelling with Buxar article

 I was hooked again. And I had been a gamer for a few years by this time. I needed an army! So I went 6mm, on the theory that I would need far too many Indian troops and that a larger scale was cost prohibitive. I used Heroics & Ros initially, then Irregular. I painted thousands of these guys, well, it felt like it. I found remnants of the army today and some pictures of it follow:-

East India Company Battalion
Aldercron's Regt

Aldercron's Grenadiers

Grenadiers from behind - did I really paint that cap lace!?

British Regulars in line (not many really...)


You can't have enough sepoys!

Indian artillery

I don't think that I even had rules for it - or they may have been TableTop or Newbury. Either way, I can't recall ever playing.

Many years later, Might & Reason became the flavour of the group. An Imagi-nation campaign was set in Pangea. In the exotic East was Golconda. It was Indian. It was mine! Shame that the rules punished an essentially all irregular army ( at least that's my view!) and that the Moghul Indian List was, well, not correct!!

Golconda in Pangea - a work by Akula_au and the Cardinal

And of course, there was Frank from the Adventures In Lead blog who convinced me to blog this! Without his assistance this blog wouldn't exist.

Having found most of the 6mm stuff, I think I will rebase them and post up pictures when done.

For abdul666 - more on Native artillery

Abdul666 posted a comment on the earlier post regagding native artillery seeking further information on the bullock pulled artillery platforms used by the Bengali army at Plassey.

There are numerous mentions of the bullock drawn artillery used by the Bengali army at Plassey. Unfortunately, most of these are from later Victorian accounts.

These later accounts seem to be based upon two contemporary accounts. The first is A History of the Military Transactions of the British National in Indostand from the year MDCCXLV, published 1763 and written by Robert Orme. Orme was as a Member of the Council at Fort St. George, Madras between 1754 and 1758 and one of those who ordered Clive to march against the Bengalis.

The other account is A Voyage from England to India in the year MDCCLVI and a Historical Narrative of Operations of the Squadron and Army in India, written by Edward Ives. Ives was the ships surgeon on the Kent between 1753 and 1757. The Kent was the flagship of Vice Admiral Watson, Commander-in-Chief in the East Indies. Ives was a witness to many of the events described and, if I recall, was present at Plassey.

Between these two accounts it is clear that the native artillery were 18, 24 and 32 lb. guns, each mounted on platforms dragged by 40 or 50 yoke of white oxen and nudged into position by elephants. Ives states that the enemy:

…attempted to bring their heavy artillery to bear, but they met with so warm a reception, and lost so many draught-oxen and drivers, that they failed in their attempt.

Ives also refers to three elephants being killed and the rest becoming “unruly”! The oxen also became terrified by the gunfire and stampeded. You get the idea that this system may not have been trialled before the battle... 

Ives also refers to the piece-meal use of the artillery by the Bengalis – something out of the norm for them. Usually, native artillery was used in mass batteries. On this occasion they were used in groups of three or so guns, resulting in more desultory fire than usual.

As regards a model, or what the platforms looked like, I can do no better than post the above picture of the model in the Dorsetshire Regimental museum. This unit is the successor to Aldercron’s 39th Regiment which was present at Plassey. I have read somewhere that the gun carriages were of European style, not native, although I can’t recall the source of that statement at the moment.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Native Artillery

I have nine pieces of field artillery in the army so far. In addition there are some camel jingals and rockets.

 The guns are a mix of manufacturers including London War Room, Old Glory, Redoubt, Eureka and Games Workshop. The crews are a mix of London War Room and Foundry and Eureka for one of the mortars.

London War Room Tiger Gun

Redoubt Malabar Gun

Old Glory Gun

Mortar Battery

Redoubt Tiger Mortar
Eureka Mortar
Redoubt dog in action

Ziterdes Desert Sanctuaries

The following are the two Desert Sanctuary models by the German company Ziterdes.

Desert Sanctuary 1 - a simple box shape, with nice detail. Three sides are similar to the first photo.

Desert Sanctuary 2 - a very nice building!


A few too many shadows on the pictures - sorry about that!

The link to the first model on the Ziterdes site is:

All painted by Peter - yet again!

This seems to be a day for buildings

Here is another, again by Herb at HG Walls! The roof and first floor are removable.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

For Furt!

As requested by Furt, here are some pictures of the building shown as a work in progress in the previous post:

Shades of the Raj!

I received my order from Vedams today. For those that don't know, Vedams is an online retailer of books based in New Delhi. I have dealt with them for about five years and have never had a problem with them. The orders are always received promptly and well packed.

You can find them at

Anyway, I was amazed today at the wrapping of the books I ordered. Shades of the Raj, I thought. Wrapped in linen, hand stitched and the ends of the stitching sealed with red wax! I haven't been able to bring myself to open it...and it will be a real shame to do so!

So what did I order?
The Private Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai : A Record of Matters: Political, Historical, Social and Personal from 1736 to 1761 (a 12 Volume set). Pillai was a dubash (native representative) in the service of the French East Indies Company.


His diaries are an important source of informatio regarding the Carnatic Wars.

He was particularly close to the French Governor of the time, Joseph Francois Dupleix, who favoured Pillai with a number of important appointments.

More Buildings

Here is some of Peter's work on my buildings.

The first is a building and courtyard made by Mutineer Miniatures:

Peter has added the door and shutter.

Second is a kit building by Najewitz Modellbaushop with walls and arch by Hovels. The doors have again been added by Peter.

Najewitz can be found online at The buildings are a combination of resin walls and high density compressed card and extremely durable. Their mail order is also first rate.

Here are some pictures taken by Peter of another building he has constructed using the kits. I will post a picture of the completed version shortly:

Top notch work by Peter!As usual : )

Monday, December 27, 2010


What would a Moghul (or indeed, any Indian) army be without a few elephants?

I have 10 in the army, including 4 generals.The miniatures are a by a number of manufacturers and I have mixed and matched bodies and heads. Represented are Foundry, Essex, and the now defunct and much lamented London War Room.

There are references to Moghul elephants carrying towers, rather than howdahs, up until the early 17th century. There are even written technical details regarding how to build a tower, including dimensions. Interestingly, it appears that towers are not represented in art of the period.  Although my army is representative of a later period than the 17th century, these can be used for an earlier time, or in a straight imagi-nation role. I like armies that can morph easily : )

 Of all the figures that the London War Room did, I believe the elephants were the best. The models are armoured in an appropriate manner and no other manufacturer makes anything like these. The howdah with jingal is particularly nice.

Although now from quite an old range, the Foundry Indian Prince is also a nice model:

A Mutineer Miniatures elephant with canopy removed:

Moghul elephant armour:
Captured by Clive at Plassey
Moghul armour

From Osprey War Elephants

tusk swords

As usual, the figures were painted by Peter.