Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bengali Command and Sepoy Variants Available

In addition to the Mysoreans, the Bengali command and sepoy variants are cast up and will be available at Historicon from Eureka.

They have had a quick clean up, but again I should have given them a black wash...

And four variants of sepoys.


Mysorean Command and Sepoy Variants

The command are now cast up and will be available for purchase at Historicon from Eureka.

Excuse the poor photos. I was in a rush to get these up. A black wash wouldn't have gone astray either...

There are four variants of sepoy - some with pants, others without.

poses 1 & 4 have pants... really.Otherwise arms are moved etc


Painting the Mysorean Regulars

 Further to the blog entry about how to paint the Bengalis, I thought it best to post some ideas about the Mysoreans.

The miniatures represent the Mysorean regular troops of Haider Ali and Tipoo Sultan - covering the period c1755 to 1799.

The regular troops wore mostly white uniforms early in Haider's reign. Towards the end of his reign they had started to be uniformed in bold colours embroided with a tiger pattern, seemingly at the request of Tipoo. The tunic could be worn with or without white trousers. Although some sources indicate the trousers to be short, Tipoo's palace guard at least wore long white trousers with pink vertical stripes. The guard also appear to have had white leather belts. Many sources indicate that the uniforms were purple and this is depicted in many illustrations. A description towards the end of the period states:

The dress of the regular infantry is generally of purple wollen stuff, with white diamond formed spots on it, which is called the tyger jacket. On the head is worn a muslin turban, of a red colour, and round the waist a cumberband, or sash, of the same. Their legs and feet are entirely naked, except a kind of sandal slipper, worn to protect their soles from the roughness of the march. They are accrouted with black leather cross belts, and commonly armed with musquets of French manufacturer...

Contemporary illustrations in Tipoo's palace disclose a much wider range of colours. The troops could also be uniformed in white with blue longitudal stripes or checks.

From Miniature Wargames - checks
A poor picture, but you can see the type of stripes used in some uniforms.
 Banners could be triangular or swallow tailed. Red was a popular colour.

From Tipoo's palace
The regulars were initially organised into units of  1,500 men called a cushoon. Each cushoon consisted of  two battalion-sized units called risalas. The risalas were further sub-divided into company sized units called jugs. In 1790 the senior formation became known as a cutchery of which there were four encompassing all the regular infantry.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Further Bengali Ideas

Although slightly different in dress to the miniatures, the above figures give a good idea as to other colours that you could paint the Bengalis.


How to Paint the Bengali Sepoys (aka Telinghas)

I have had a couple of people ask about clothing colours for the Bengali sepoys.

The figures can be used for a fairly lengthy time span. I had them designed to be suitable for the 8 battalions that fought at Buxar against the British in 1764 (although some appeared to be in European style jackets). They can be used for up to the 1850s.

All that I can turn up for Buxar is that they were uniformed and under 4 mercenary officers, one of whom was Armenian and another being Walter Reinhardt, also known as Sumroo due to his dark complexion. Each battalion is said to have had its own triangular flags although as far as I am aware there are no contemporary illustrations of these or the uniforms.It would appear that at least the turbans and waist sashes were uniform in colour. You would not be far wrong in painting the turbans and sashes the same or a similar colour. Yellow, blue, red and orange would be typical. An earlier posting on Buxar is here.

If used as Prince's sepoys the figures could be much more colourful - lilac clothing could be used. In that case, a yellow or linen turban and pants could be painted, but pretty much anything is the go...

Colours that could be used for a prince's sepoys.Miniatures by 1st Corp

Of course, the clothing could be as simple as just an unbleached linen for the poorer mercenary sepoys. White was also a popular colour.

A procession, but a good idea about possible colours.
The figures can also be used up to the early 1850s, pre-Mutiny, as part of the mercenary armies that roamed India. One such army was under the command of Begum Sumroo (died 1836), the widow of Walter Rheinhardt. The uniforms of that army were red turban, dark blue tunic, white pants, white cross belts, orange/ saffron sash. The flags of the battalions in her service were plain red and square for the infantry. As far as I can establish, there were two battalions under her control which appear to be uniformed identically.

Note the officers at the front in different uniforms.
Drums could be plain wood or painted colourfully.

Powder horns could be metal, horn or mother of pearl. cartridge boxes could be raw or blackened leather or even embroided.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Figures available at Historicon!

Rob at Eureka US will be selling my range of 28mm figures at Historicon which is being held at the Valley Forge Convention Plaza, Pennsylvania, between 7 & 10 July. His stand should be at Booth 6 in the Dealers Hall.

Nic at Eureka Oz has also been casting up stock for those who can't get there!

If you have any questions please feel free to email  me.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

254 Years since Plassey was fought!

Just a quick post to mark the 254th anniversary of the battle.

An earlier post relating to the battle is here.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Worth a look in my opinion...

I have been watching quite a bit of the 1990s Indian TV series Tipu Sultan.  Not that it is particularly good :  ) In fact, I would go so far as to say in some spots it can be quite tedious! However, overall, I like it. It reminds me of the 1950/60 movies I enjoyed as a youngster! Good old westerns and sword & sandal type stuff.

Its pretty much all wrong, but surprisingly in certain aspects things are correct. For example, a lot of the banners are incorrect, yet others are seemingly spot on. There are some nice ideas for an Imagination army that come out of it, particularly in the above clip. And it has elephants!  52 episodes were made.

Battle scenes are like the Sharpe series - a few men aside with lots of yellow and red smoke to try and hide the fact. Guys milling around doing nothing while others nearby come flying off their horses. I do like the fact that the British General in the next clip gets around with no hat (sunstroke anyone?) and doesn't speak English (well hardly any...mostly Hindi)...and where did his men get those funny hats????

Still, I find myself drifting further under Tipu's spell... I feel a new project coming on.


Firearms of the Islamic World - another book review...

While I wait on the next greens, I thought I would post a short review about this book. Lots of eye candy in this - not only photos of actual weapons but also period illustrations. And the text is excellent. Lots of stuff I hadn't seen before regarding peculiarities of the Indian firearms. It was interesting to note that the East India Company didn't manufacture any firearms itself despite having three arsenals. Further the captains of the East India Company ships ran an illegal firearm trade arming the Indians!

The official release states:
While much has been written about the history of firearms in Europe and North America, their development in the Islamic world and their subsequent history there has been almost totally neglected.

Elgood, uses the collection of firearms from the Tareq Rajab Museum in Kuwait to explore the subject. The collection ranges from Morocco to India, China and Central Asia, taking in almost every country in between. Elgood describes the artistry and beauty of antique firearms, focusing on the use of decoration and great craftsmanship as well as the technological innovations that were developed, and looking at the different cultures of the Islamic world.

Typical of the illustrations in the book - Janissaries c.1590
My scans really do not do justice to this book. The illustrations are vividly coloured-they appear washed out in these scans.

The down side? Possibly price. RRP is US$100 but second hand copies seem to start around $20. At that price you just can't go wrong.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

More on Lally - Thanks Laurent!

Following my earlier post today, Laurent has forwarded me links to the following pictures:

The first is from Recueil de toutes les troupes qui forment les armees françoises (1761).

Unfortunately, Laurent doesn't recall where he obtained the second illustration. It does look as if there is a green tint to the cantons.

Thanks Laurent!!


Friday, June 10, 2011

The Joy (or is it the Frustration?) of Research

The more research that you do into the period, in fact most periods, the more you find that the sources conflict. I have found this particularly so in the case of Lally's Regiment. The uniform details are consistent (although there is reference to white and yellow hat lace), although the information on the flags is not so!

Most references that I came across at the start have a Ordonnance with red and green cantons, I assume based upon the Mouillard record:

As found on  Kronoskaf  and based upon Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757:

As found on a French website and also in Osprey's The Wild Geese:

Normally, I would discount the Osprey where it was the odd source out. And I did that until I found the next reference to blue cantons. The French source has always, in my experience, been spot on.  This has got me reviewing what I decided for the miniatures.

So how does one explain this? Well there were two battalions in existence between 1744 and 1761. It  The second battalion sailed for India in March 1757. I don't know when Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère was published but I assume after that date. Could it be a case of company colours, or two of them being the colours of the first and second battalions? As Lally was the colonel from 1744 to 1761 it can't relate to a change in colonel. Could it be a case of pigment in prints changing overtime?

Green cantons make sense for an Irish regiment. However, Lally's coat of arms was red and blue...Guess which I am now thinking is correct???   :  )


A Local with Indian Connections

I grew up in a country town and went to the local high school. One of the stories I heard in my first year was about a family vault on top of a large hill overlooking the town. What was interesting was that one of the bodies had been interred allegedly standing up in order to survey the town.  We climbed up the hill one day when we should have been at school expecting to see, well... I don't know what... The view was great though!

Now what has this got to do with India? Well, the body standing up was that of Henry Colden Antill who had served in India at Seringapatam in 1799, carrying the Regimental Colours through the Breech.

Henry Colden Antill from Mitchell Library Collection
 Antill was born on 1 May 1779 in New York. His great-grandfather had migrated from England in 1680. His father was a major in the New Jersey Volunteers during the War of Independence, had his property confiscated and then moved to Canada as did many loyalists.

73rd Foot c 1786 from Black Watch Museum
 In 1796 Antill joined the British army as an ensign in the 73rd Regiment. He served in India and at Seringapatam was severely wounded in the shoulder. As a result of his service at Seringapatam he was promoted lieutenant and about this time became friends with Captain Lachlan Macquarie.

 Antill returned to England in 1807 and in 1809 gained his captaincy. In the same year he sailed to Australia with the 73rd Regiment, now commanded by Macquarie who had been appointed the fifth Governor of New South Wales. He was Macquarie's aide-de-camp and in 1811 was promoted major of brigade.  Antill was also a member of various committees concerned with the welfare of orphans, public schools and Aboriginals. and firmly supported the emancipist cause. He was a director of the first bank in Australia -Bank of New South Wales -between 1819-21.

Part of Antill's estate as it looks today
He married the daughter of an emancipist in 1818 at St Phillip's Church Sydney. In 1821 he retired from the army on half-pay, ultimately settling on his estate near Picton, named Jarvisfield in honour of Macquarie's first wife, Jane Jarvis, whom he had known in India.

The Breech where Antill was shot - with monument to the British fallen
Antill was appointed a justice of the peace in 1821 and in 1829 became resident magistrate and superintendent of police for the district. 

Painting of the Breech c.1800
He was well known for his generosity and for his earnest religious outlook which included a strict Sabbatarianism. He died at Jarvisfield on 14 August 1852.


Monday, June 6, 2011

More Painted Hindus

Inspired by Der Alte Fritz and the painted figures posted up on his blog, I decided I had better get these posted up.  I hope to have some units based up by the weekend...

Clothing colours at this time were generally more colourful than when the British came to control the textile trade.

Painted by Peter.