zaterdag 3 augustus 2013

Enemies of the British East India Company

The Wars of Napoleon did not deter the East India Company from expanding their foothold in the Oudh, Rajputana and Punjab regions of India. Through coercion or aligning with local princes each of the three presidencies were able to expand their regions.

Currently, my opponents for the British East India Company are the Chinese (1st Opium War), the principalities of NW India and my Africans. In the coming weeks I shall post background information with photos regarding each of these collections. I begin with the hill tribesmen of the frontier. 

The NW Frontier of the early 19th century.
I have forty-five elements based and varnished. Tomorrow begins the process of texturing and flocking the bases of my Blue Moon Pathan tribesmen. Anyone thinking about collecting the period, I can heartily recommend the Sikh Army 1799 – 1849 from Osprey Publishing. This sketches nicely the rise of the Sikh, but also presents the Company’s systematic acquisition of territory before the first Sikh War. One of the most useful tools of the Company was the Doctrine of Lapse. 

Doctrine of Lapse
The Doctrine of Lapse stated any vassal state under the protection of the Company would be immediately annexed if its ruler were deemed incompetent or died without a direct heir.  This undermined a principality’s succession rights but also leveraged the Company’s right to say who were competent enough to rule. Its application was widely regarded by Indians as illegitimate, but that did not deter the Company from exerting the power of the pen.

Needless to say, this brought the Company with many small scale conflicts.

The Blue Moon Pathan tribesmen.
These are beautiful sculpts with much attention to detail. I have purchased the tribesmen with muskets and jezzail, tribesmen charging and cavalry. There are a variety of clothed types wearing sheepskin vests, sash, shawls, top coats and baggy pants. Plenty of options for colour.

Being pragmatic, I chose one colour for turban, sash and shawl and where a contrast colour did not suit for coat or shirt, I opted for basic white. Half the foot tribesmen wear white pantaloons, the rest are blue, brown or grey. Turbans varied from red, yellow, and white with some brown or blue. 

In contrast, the mounted tribesmen had little or no white items but followed the same pallet as mentioned earlier.

Tomorrow, the bases will be textured, painted and flocked (sparingly). Triangular flags will be added as the last step. Then let the "sport" begin.


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