Thursday, 25 July 2019

India/ Generic troop types for 18th - 19th century armies

 As regular reader may know I have log been interested in warfare in India. Especially from the 18th century onwards. I have been slowly building up forces for the Indian Mutiny of 1857 but having said that other campaigns have taken my fancy. . The NW Frontier is an obvious one but also ealier campaigns of the  18th century- but not only the usual ones of Clive and Dupleix but also those of the Marathas and Haider Ali and Tippo Sultan.

2 shots of Matchlock armed Infantry. Variously called barkanzyes of Najibs. Al Indian forces used them - even as late as the mutiny rebellious zamindars still had numbers of these.

 Si it struck me that-aside from specialist forces for these campaigns I would ned sme generic  forces to represent those troop types that were scattered all over  India and fought for almost everyone at one time or another from 1760 to 1860. Now that IS stretching a point but it seemed to me, reading the sources that assorted matchlock armed infantry  fought in Indian armies from the late 16th century to around the time of the mutiny with very little change in appearance.
 As for cavalry- that is a bit more complex but from the mid 18th century onwards  the bow mostly disappeared- though I will have some bow armed heavy cavalry when I finish them- and firearms Lances and swords take the lead.
2 shots of the irregular cavalry. These kind of horse were about from the mid 18th century to around the 1840s. The use of armour declined but I would be happy enough using large mobs of these up to and including the Sikh wars and smaller numbers thereafter. 

 So here are a few pics of the initial results of this line of thought. Some of the cavalry were painted by Dave Jarvis about a decade ago and have been given a reviver.
 All the models are Old Glory 25mm - or 28 if you prefer and come either from the Sikh Wars or Indian mutiny ranges. I shall also be using packs from the Renaissance Persian range and  from the later Ottoman Turkish
Wonder where this project will end up?


  1. Really colorful and an interesting idea.

    Best Regards,


  2. Great stuff Andy. Mix and match (as long as they do match).

  3. This is exactly what I'm considering for my 1/72 collection - horde armies take ages to get on the table so I want versatility in units and so my Indian forces will have to be a mish mash of infantry and cavalry covering different periods. Lovely looking models, great work!

  4. If you are anything like me, the answer is 'in boxes in the loft''!

    Good idea to get more mileage out of figures, though, especially when they are as well painted as these. Some figures just shout out to be put on a table.

  5. Thanks Chaps. The advantage of Indian armies of this wide period is simply that they do not change much- especially as regards much of the infantry. Though of course by the late 18th century the more powerful rulers have their regiments of European trained mercenaries. I can also add Arab mercanaries Afghan mercenaries and all sorts of other strange stuff