Naturally, I have gone for the coolness and not the complete historical accuracy factor. And what can be cooler than the uniforms of the Bengal Horse Artillery? Maned helmet? Check. Blue, red, white and gold uniform? Check. Dinky 6-pounder guns? Check. So I went ahead and ordered some in 15mm from Black Hat Miniatures, together with a set of their gorgeous 6-pounder guns.
They came out quite well, especially considering they are 15mm. One was slightly miscast, but nothing some "modelling skill required" could not fix. However, I did have trouble with one of the gun carriages. In cleaning the flash between the spokes, I broke a couple. OK, more than a couple. I binned it and in my next order I'll get some 9-pounders instead as the Bengal Horse Artillery used some in the Sikh Wars. Purists may also note that the gunner handling the shot will have a pretty rough time sliding it down the scales 6-pounder barrel. We don't like gaming with people who notice things like that.
Another part of my order was some Sepoys. You are spoiled for choice. Covered, uncovered shako or foraging cap? Winter or summer uniform? Personally, I like the winter uniform, with the smart blue pants and their red stripe. More like a dress uniform. I also went for covered shakos in order to cut down on the gold braiding. In choosing poses, I prefer the advancing pose. It looks good whether the troops are marching, forming a line or engaged in combat. A command pack, a flank company pack and troop lack gave me my first unit. I painted them up in batches of five each (roughly two afternoons work per batch). In choosing a regiment (which would affect the colour of my facings), I went with the 31st Bengal Native Infantry. A regiment with a long history that fought in the Mahratta Wars, First Afghan War, the Sikh Wars, and the Indian Mutiny on the side of the British. You can read about the regiment's history on Wikipedia (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2nd_Queen_Victoria%27s_Own_Rajput_Light_Infantry).
I downloaded some regimental and John Company flags, resized them, and glued them on the poles. Yes, the regiment number is wrong, but if you like to bring up things like that when you are gaming with me, I will throw my dice at you. Hard.
I still need to get some more infantry for my force (British regulars this time). I got tired of all the braiding, so I ordered some Gurkhas from Irregular Miniatures. They'll be part of the Sirmoor Battalion fighting the Sikhs, the sepoys, or general unrest in the frontier. I know they did not fit in Afghanistan during the first war, but they look pretty nice with their rifleman green uniforms. However, they have no faces (not the best work I've gotten from Irregular, although they paint up nicely). The Afghans that were a part of the same ordered look quite handsome, and I'll paint some up soon to see how they measure up.
That's all for now from rainy old England. Model on!