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Thursday, May 18, 2023

My (Semi) Historical Late 19th Century Indian Army (Part One)

Yep. My games have a bit of Hollywood flair to them!

 As I have mentioned before, I'm a big Dave Mersey fan and my choice for gaming Colonial conflicts from approximately 1850 to 1914 is The Men Who Would be Kings. Based on the popular Knight Rampant, I love the approach that allows me to tailor the scenarios and forces in a realistic manner without getting bogged down in too many charts and mechanics. In addition, it's fun, fast playing, and allows me to have a "Hollywood" type of game!

As I started building my Indian Army, I did not have a particular table of organization (TO&E) or conflict in mind; I was picking units that I thought looked cool. As the force slowly took shape, I started focusing on the Northwest Uprising of 1897 - 1898 and still decided to pick units that looked cool! So don't expect to see the actual Indian Army forces organized by the historical TO&E when the uprising starts.

The first unit I painted were the 19th Punjabis consisting of these wonderful sculpts from Copplestone Miniatures from their "Back of Beyond" range and one Indian Officer from Artizan Designs. I love the way this unit turned out and it looks ready for action. The only problem is that they are uniformed and equipped for the early 20th Century with magazine fed rifles which Indian troops did not have at the time of the uprising. But they look cool - plus the commanding officer has a Wolseley helmet! Yep. And that is my interpretation of Rudyard Kipling.

Next up, also from Coppleston Miniatures, also from the "Back of Beyond Range" is the The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). Why did I do this unit? I love Wolseley helmets. As time went on the the collection, research and building of the force. the Royal Fusiliers are more appropriate for the early 20th Century as I was evolving my Indian Army forces to be from the 2nd Afghan War to the Boxer Rebellion. But they look cool! Last year I made the decision to auction them on eBay and they were able to provide some much needed funds from the Ministry of Finance to purchase the figures for the time period I wanted.

The Royal Regiment of Chaimbellistan

During my research I discovered, and had no idea, about the Princely Realms of India and the Imperial Service troops raised by the Princely States. So I decided to have my own Princely State and started working on the Imperial Service Troops of the Princely State of Chaimbellistan which is ruled by Maharaja Tukoii Rao II Holkar which is the setting for most of the (fictional) Anglo-Russian War. After looking at various ceremonial units, as I wanted the Royal Regiment to stand out, I became a fashion designer and designed the uniform of the Royal Regiment. All figures are by Artizan Designs (US Link and UK/EU,etc. Link) except for the European Advisor who is from Copplestone Castings (US Link and UK/EU,etc.).

The Himachal Militia known for its fierceness, marksmanship, and banditry.

Most of the militia of Chaimbellistan is little more than a rabble, but the Himachal Militia from the mountainous region near the village of Malana, not far from a tributary of the Amu Darya River, have a reputation for fierceness, marksmanship, banditry, smuggling, fixed card games, goat races, etc. As I am putting the forces of the British Raj and the fictional Princely State of Chaimbellistan together for The Men Who Would Be Kings, I wanted to have a mix of Regular, Irregular, and Tribal Forces. Thus enter the Himachal Militia/Bandits/Smugglers - you get the picture. Figures are from Pulp Figures.


1. Picking units because they look cool!
2. A controversy of color.
3. Turbans!