Sonntag, 15. April 2012

Wellington in India

After showing a lot of stuff which my friends did, I thought it is time again to show something I am working on.
You all know my passion for the history of India in the 18th and 19th century from my Sikh-war postings and the own production Sepoys, Mysore etc.

As I have a job in which I am often on tour for hours in the car, I like to hear audio-books while driving. Last week I had "Sharpe's Triumph" (who wonders) and I always heard the 78th Highlanders in kilt and the white coated regular Sepoys of the Mahratta army.

Well there is no proof for the 78th. The only paintings about them with kilt in India are in the Osprey Assaye and other sources doesn't mention their outfit or simply speaking about the "myth" of the 78th in kilt. But as their are easier to get than British with hat and trousers I decided to make "true" Highlanders for them. The 74th on the other hand have the typical European uniform for India. Ingo volunteered to sculpt me some an in the meantime I use the Strelets Egyptian range guys. Well, these are not useful for Egypt, but for India (without backbag).

Then we have the Sepoys for which I used the GERman set of Sepoys/90th light for Egypt again.

Well I had the luck that just one of the 12 figures was completly broken and three others had their muskets off. Now I will try to proof that they can realy be glued as GERman usually mentions....

But the bulk of the Sepoys comes from my own production in metal. These are the first six poses in different headgear. In the meantime I was able to pay the sculptor for two poses more and have all eight poses in the four different headgears shown here.

Beside this we need the British 19th dragoons and some EIC cavalry units. Both should be easy to be converted from some existing Husar figures.

Coming to the enemies this is much more difficult. In the photo of the Bengal cavalry you already see Mahratta light horse. In the painting of the 19th you see Indian infantry. But these are wrong. It did me a lot of research and help from my friend Alfred Umhey to find out at least how the regular regiments of the Indian princes COULD have looked like. All began with a French officer of the name De Boigne who was the first to organise regular units for the Indian prince he was serving for. Later a lot of other princes wanted to have their own regulars too.

Here is my own humble drawing of a regular  under de Boigne's command. We know from British sources, that Scindia's sepoys at Assaye had a white uniform.The head is the same style as for Bengal sepoys of the EIC.

Other paintings of regulars in the Indian princes service showing troops in red coats with a kind of shako and long white trousers.  I asked Ingo to sculpt me some of these here which he promised me. And beside giving him this ugly drawing here, I also gave him the original 18th century drawing which I had. But as this has 15 MB, I didn't wanted to post it here.

So hopefully I can show a diorama of Assaye beside another about Seringapatam 1799 in the next two years.