Friday, 27 June 2014

Indian Mutiny Posts

Here are the posts I did on The Indian Mutiny for my Legatus Wargames Armies blog.  I have put them all in one post and edited them somewhat.

Oh no! More Highlanders!

I was intrigued by the announcement of the new firm Mutineer Miniatures on TMP the other day.  The good (or bad) news is that they intend to launch a lot of packs (they now have 30 listed on their site) at once. Of course, the last thing I need is yet another army to start but I have been interested in wargames set in India for some time, partly as I usually travel to India once a year on business and the relics of the Raj are still much in evidence in Indian cities. The Indian Mutiny was, in reality, a particularly nasty conflict involving atrocities on both sides but the uniforms, of course, were gorgeous.

My knowledge of the period is almost entirely based on reading George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman and the Great Game so today I picked up The Indian Mutiny by Saul David on the basis that I enjoyed his book about the Zulu War (even if Ian Knight didn't!).

So I intend to start reading it when Mike Owen's figures make an appearance!  Can't wait!


I spent ages painting subtle shading on the off-white trousers. All invisible because of the flash!

I have just painted my first Mutineer Miniatures new (ish) Indian mutiny figure sculpted by Mark Owen.

I hadn't got any information on uniforms so didn't start the figures I bought at Colours (or was it Warfare?) but I picked up the Foundry book The British in India by john French and The Indian Mutiny by Saul David. The latest release by Mutineer announced on TMP got me to base the 12 figures I had got and over the last few days I have painted my normal test figure. Like all of Mike Owen's figures it was a delight to paint. So much so that I have now started work on three more and have undercoated the other eight. Worse than that, I ordered enough extra figures to form a TSATF unit of 20 of my first chosen unit: the 53rd foot. I found some TSATF Indian Mutiny rules on the net so now aim to get a unit of each done in the next month.

I have also just started the Saul David book and it looks like it will be as enjoyable as his one on the Zulu War (even though that was not well received by the likes of Ian Knight).


Mutineer Miniatures figures under way.

Having painted my first figure from Mutineer Miniatures range, and started the other ones I had bought, I decided to order enough for a The Sword and the Flame unit for the British. I got these cleaned up and based whilst watching Dancing on Ice with the family yesterday (that Emily Atack is a finely wrought young woman, I have to say). I returned from London a bit early today to watch the mens' downhill from Whistler (a place where I had a very enjoyable week's mountain biking about ten years ago) and had time to undercoat the figures and put the base coat of flesh down too.

Spot the difference. The original figure I bought last year and the one I got from Mutineer last week. The head is in a different position, added cuff and rifle strap

Whilst doing this I noticed something I have never come across before: the figures I bought recently are very slightly different from the original pack I bought when they first came out. In particular, they have all had straps added to the rifles. In addition, one figure has also had his head re-positioned slightly and has had cuff detail added which was missing on the original figure.

I am enjoying painting these very much, as I always do with Mike Owen's figures. I had a bit of a panic at the weekend as someone on TMP said that there was a new sculptor for the range which usually presages disaster! Fortunately, the latest figures up on the Mutineer website are also by Mike Owen so perhaps its all an unfounded rumour. Certainly Mike's splendid work is the main reason I am buying these figures as I never had an interest in the period before, despite visiting India quite regularly.

I am struggling a bit with the research on the uniforms. I have the Foundry book which is pretty informative and have bought the Osprey History too. The first unit I am working on is the 53rd Foot and I spent quite a lot of time tracking down details of their colours (as there is a standard bearer in the comand pack) but I think I have enough information for a fair representation of it. The next unit I am looking at is the 32rd Foot who were besieged in Lucknow. The Foundry book has them in forage caps with pugri and in khaki-dyed shell jackets and blue trousers. The problem is that there is quite a famous illustration of them on a sortie wearing the more traditional red, with grey trousers and wearing covered forage caps with a neck flap. The Mutineer website has them in a different uniform again.

Oh well, It would take too many units to build my usual historical armies so I am just going to get some representative units and play some fictional games, in which case it doesn't matter too much what uniforms they have.  Except, of course, it does.

I also find that a novel set in the period helps my concentration on a project so I picked up the splendidly titled Nightrunners of Bengal by John Masters. Masters was an Indian Army officer who also wrote the well known novel Bhowani Junction (made into a film starring Ava Gardner). The fictional Bhowani is also the setting for Nightrunners. This, his first, novel was written in 1951 and by all accounts he was a first rate writer so I am looking forward to it.


Mutineer Miniatures 53rd Foot

Anyway, last weekend I did get some painting done as I attempted to reduce the number of half painted figures on my desk. I had some success on Saturday as I finished seven of the Mutineer Miniatures Indian Mutiny figures. I've now done eight and have twenty four more on the go. I used the new(ish) Citadel Dead Grass on these which looks quite good.

Mutineer mutineers

I haven't decided which unit the mutineers belong to so haven't given them a number on their hats yet. I am reading Saul David's Indian Mutiny but it's taken about 120 pages before we have had any wargameable action yet. Once I have a better feel for what units were where and who they fought against I can work out what units to paint.

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