It's all Sharpe's fault... And Hellion & Co's...
Whilst painting over the last year I've started listening to the Marius Mules audio novels set around Rome invading Gaul, however fancying a change from pila and scutum I started listening to the Sharpe books as it was a long time since I'd read them and I'm not sure when I'll get around to it again. As you probably know the first three are set during the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1798–99) and Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803-5) in India and proved an enjoyable, and inspiring listen.
As I was painting my Napoleonic Italians listening to Sharpe in India thoughts turned to the idea of some Anglo-Maratha War gaming, maybe a little project using Rebels and Patriots or Sharpe Practice, which might have remained a pipe dream until Hellion & Co released two really good books on the topic, Bullocks, Grain and Good Maderia (focusing on the Maratha and Jat campaigns) and Their Infantry and Guns Will Astonish You (focusing on the Maratha army).
This led to a lot of Googling and a lot of disappointment. Despite the Battle of Assaye being one of the most notable in Wellington's military career there are almost no available 28mm figures for the war, most notably the Marathas. One option is to use the Perry Egyptian Campaign British and Sepoy figures and the Empress Indian Mutiny Maratha Household Matchlockmen (although this would leave some hard to fill gaps). The only other option was Redoubt Enterprises who do a dedicated range for 'Wellington in India' with some figures only available from them (rocket armed infantry for example) but they have a reputation for their figures being a bit on the tall side. That said with scale creep etc how bad could it be though?
Well having sent off for some samples the answer was pretty bad! :D The Redoubt Maratha towered over their Empress equivalents by a full head. That said they were nice characterful sculpts so I set about painting some of the samples to see what they looked like painted...
|8th Madras Native Infantry|
|Pohlmann's First Compoo|
The larger figures were a lot of fun to paint (rather like the Galloping Major French & Indian War ones) and I must say I am very tempted by them as there are more poses than the Perry march attack ones. Whilst incompatible with most of the miniatures I do have for Indian in general I did find that they look ok with the Studio Miniatures Afghans which could supply an additional source of irregular troops being about a mm or so shorter. You probably could get away with them in the same unit, they certainly would be ok in their own units on the same tabletop as the Reboubt ones.