Monday, February 15, 2010

More thoughts on the Indian Mutiny

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 repositioned 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, depite 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 (I think-I can't check as there sems to be a problem with it at present).

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.

1 comment:

  1. Uniforms are not as difficult as you think one of the good things about the mutiny was that uniforms where sourced locally with local dyes, When regiments arrived in India many changed to summer clothes sourced locally hence the smocks and then had them dyed khaki or 40 shades of khaki no regiment would be the same in fact woithin regiments they were different, One famous account of the 78th highlanders has them in indigo and lilac smocks as the dye used went off. so don't worry too much about accuracty you can use your imagination. towards th end of the war uniforms were in a mess and resembled tramps rather than soldiers. The french and Osprey books and a good source, but no difinitive info is available for all regiments.

    lovely painting

    The Mutineer