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Miniatures Adventure => Colonial Adventures => Topic started by: Rogerc on April 23, 2019, 05:25:46 PM

Title: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on April 23, 2019, 05:25:46 PM
I am making some progress with my Sikh Wars project and I really want a couple of units of Gurkhas. I dont really like the old Foundry, New Studio or Mutineer miniatures figures (I know I am picky) mainly because they have caps and I ideally want a bell top shako. I considered converting Perry Carlist war British in bell top shakoes but they have too much equipment and adding moustaches and importantly Kukris seems a lot aof hard work. Iron Duke may be bringing some out in the future but again will probably have caps.

So whats the hive minds thoughts on this? Does anyone do seperate covered shakos I could use for instance?

Let me know what you think.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Arthur on April 23, 2019, 10:02:53 PM
During both Sikh wars, Gurkhas wore a green rifle uniform that differed only slightly from that worn by regular HEIC regiments. The shako they used was peaked however. The men were also generally shorter of stature, but I'm not sure you want to try and represent that in 28mm. Despite their uniform and contrary to popular belief, both Gurkha battalions were also armed with standard issue smoothbore muskets rather than rifles in the 1840's, which at least solves one of your problems

I'd go with the Foundry HEIC flank company sepoys (BRV 133) as they already have the shoulder wings and add greeen stuff peaks to the shako (fussy, I know, but I can't think of another solution). The buttonhole lace down the front of the coat is largely hidden by the arms and the musket, meaning you won't have to worry about it.

http://www.wargamesfoundry.com/collections/sikh-wars-1846-46-1848-49/products/brv133-bengal-or-bombay-infantry-in-shako-advancing-flank-company (http://www.wargamesfoundry.com/collections/sikh-wars-1846-46-1848-49/products/brv133-bengal-or-bombay-infantry-in-shako-advancing-flank-company)

As for the kukri, don't you know someone who can sculpt one for you and cast it ? All you'd have to do then is stick it on the figure. 
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on April 23, 2019, 10:51:23 PM
I like your thinking Arthur. I would prefer a covered Shako but other than that worth considering, the Kukri I can perhaps make some enquiries.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on April 23, 2019, 10:57:57 PM
Thinking about it would it be easier to use a bit of green stuff to create the look of a shako cover and add a Kukri to these fellas? Carlist Wars British Marines.

https://www.perry-miniatures.com/oscthumb.php?src=/images/isa/ISA_59.jpg&w=540&h=201.34285714286&f=jpg&q=95&hash=bb8a04d5c5ea4a42aeb3ad9e809aacb3
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Arthur on April 24, 2019, 01:01:44 AM
I suppose they'll do if they are your preferred miniatures. You'll still have to create the wings with putty as marines wore brass epaulettes, add mustaches and work a bit on the shako plate, though none of it could be considered major surgery. This is the look you're after (anonymous watercolour dated 1834 and depicting men of the Sabathu - later Sirmoor - battalion, from the National Army Museum archives) :

(https://collection.nam.ac.uk//images/960/132000-132999/132576.jpg)

 
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on April 24, 2019, 09:28:02 AM
nice one cheers.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on April 24, 2019, 07:33:10 PM
Heres what I had in mind, but with musket rather than rifle.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/33811926638_cb6c128c85_k.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/TvQXNo)20190424_183954 (https://flic.kr/p/TvQXNo) by Roger Castle (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Romark on April 24, 2019, 10:51:10 PM
Just an idea for you
How about Orinocco Minis,they have  British Legion troops in plain Tunics and covered bell top shako,armed with muskets in a variety of poses and in light kit.
However,you are still left with adding kukris and modelling shoulder wings.
Hope this helps,looking forward to what you come up with  :)
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on April 25, 2019, 05:09:07 PM
Greast minds Romark, I also looked at these, nice figures and light kit as you say. I just felt I would have to add a little too much. I decided to try Arthurs suggestion with a test figure using the Sepoys on shako and adding a peak (that was difficult) and a Kukri (surprisingly easy) will share an image shortly.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Romark on April 25, 2019, 06:24:07 PM
Ok,no problem  :)
Will look forward to you posting up the conversion  :)
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on April 25, 2019, 11:28:28 PM
So here is the first test figure, not nearly as hard as I had thought. But ...... it it looks a bit boring to me. The peak is green stuff which was a pain, the sheathed kukri is just a spear head to give the shape I wanted. Adding a couple of guys with Kukris in hand will add soem flavour but I am not convinced. I will try another one using the same sculpt but with a covered shako probably using a plastic Chasseur a cheval head which conveniently comes with a moustache, see if that adds anything. Thoughts welcome.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47699919581_0b904218a9_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2fF5yfz)IMG_20190425_173052 (https://flic.kr/p/2fF5yfz) by Roger Castle (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Arthur on April 26, 2019, 01:20:11 AM
Well, he looks properly gurkha-ish to me. The trick with the green stuff shako peak - as with pretty much everything really - is to do enough to get the hang of it and make it a routine conversion.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: jambo1 on April 26, 2019, 05:39:59 AM
Looks fine to me, nice job on him! :)
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Romark on April 26, 2019, 08:05:58 AM
That conversion went well    :-*
Agree about the pose,a unit of those would look a little staid,I always imagine a model Gurkha unit to be dynamically posed,charging around waving kukris or at least in attacking poses  :)
Looking forward to the head swop picture :)
oh! Just thought of something.
Iron Duke produces sepoys in bell top shakoes,charging,and with uniform wings,if you have mastered the peak and sheathed kukri thing they may be a viable option ?
Just an idea  :?
Cheers
Keith
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on April 26, 2019, 08:59:02 AM
Romark again great minds, those are exactly the figures I am looking at. Depending on whether I go for head swaps or peak additions depends on whether I get the shako's or covered caps (the caps left over are slightly more useful for other conversions I think.) Picking up some Chasseur a Cheval heads over the next few days so hope to have an example next week.

Having got the itch I also started messign about with conversions for govorner generals bodyguard cavalry, will share soem thoughts on converting Perry plastic British Light Drafgoons later.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Romark on April 26, 2019, 09:21:35 AM
Sounds great :)
Looking forward to your update already  :)
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on May 15, 2019, 12:04:32 PM
Working on the test Gurkha with covered shako today but yesterday I got the first Govorner Generals bodyguard finished. Still to decide on using the Perry plastic horse or the Iron Duke metal horse (I think the latter ismore accurate) what do you think? Simple to do, using Perry plastic light dragoon in overalls, trim the peak from the shako and add a flowing (ish) plume, I also had to add tails to the Perry horses.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/46938618155_5160299acf_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2evNFRV)gov gen 1 (https://flic.kr/p/2evNFRV) by Roger Castle (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/40888246623_afd5aa3c3d_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/25i9Xcn)gov gen 2 (https://flic.kr/p/25i9Xcn) by Roger Castle (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on May 15, 2019, 02:14:58 PM
Gurkha test figure mark 2 with shako cover.

I think both with cover and without look good, I may be less than enthusiastic because the pose is a bit wooden and Gurkhas as suggested above need to be in aggressive poses. If I use the Iron Duke flank sepoys that will solve this, I just need a couple with hands in the air I can convert to take a Kukri, just two or three Kukris waving about will make the difference I think with this unit.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/33978227328_b71a246697_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/TLxicE)gurkha1 (https://flic.kr/p/TLxicE) by Roger Castle (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/40888909423_a55beaf8a4_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/25idmdX)gurkha 2 (https://flic.kr/p/25idmdX) by Roger Castle (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: OB on May 15, 2019, 05:32:41 PM
That's been a very useful thread to me.  I hadn't realised that the Gurkhas wore shakos.  Very nice figures as ever Roger.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on May 15, 2019, 05:57:08 PM
Your very welcome, I just need to decide what I do next, is it a green stuff peak or a covered shako head swap, or do I do a mix (that might work well) the test figures show me what the unit will look like so no rush yet. I will almost certainly use the Iron Duke sepoys, I do need to find a couple of figures with a waving hand or similar to chop up and give them a Kukri still. Gettign there. And pretty happy with the Govorner Generals bodyguard to be honest.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: OB on May 15, 2019, 07:36:07 PM
I'm pretty much shadowing you in 15mm at the moment with British Gurkhas and the Governor General's Body Guard being my next two units.  Your GG's Body Guard looks good. Do you happen to know if it was a full strength unit?

I've put the order of battle for Mudki and Bhudowal on my blog should that be of interest to folk here.

https://youdonotknowthenorth.blogspot.com

Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Romark on May 15, 2019, 10:31:34 PM
Gurkha head swop looks great :)
Nice idea with the cavalry mini,my vote is for the Iron Duke mounts  :)
Have you looked at the Mutineer Miniature horses?The horse furniture is the same.
Ebob sculpts I believe,look very similar to ID but only 3 for a pack of three horses.
Just an idea :)
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on May 15, 2019, 11:47:00 PM
A great idea Romark thank you, will definately have a look at them

OB I think Govorner Generals Bodyguard were a full stregnth unit and well thought of. In the frst Sikh war I am pretty sure they were split into two wings so two small units and at least one of them was an all Native cavalry unit, so these would have been the equivelant of the European cavalry in that Brigade, will have to check y sources to be sure but I am pretty sure.

For the moment I am doing just 8 figures to represent it as just over half stregnth being a small unit for Black Powder. 
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: OB on May 16, 2019, 08:35:23 AM
Yes, they deployed one wing to re enforce the flank at Mudki so that makes sense.  It hadn't occurred to me that presumably the other remained with Hardinge the GG.  I had thought the rank and file to be all Indian should 50% be British troopers?
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on May 16, 2019, 09:56:11 AM
No they are all Native troops, what I meant was that most brigades had 1 European and 2 Native units, the European troops providing the core of each brigade. One of the exceptions was the Brigade with the  bodyguard as they provided the core rather than a European unit. Apologies, I didnt explain myself very well.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: OB on May 16, 2019, 01:35:38 PM
Thanks Roger.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on May 16, 2019, 03:18:46 PM
I am looking at the orders of battle in my old Miniature wargames sikh wars articles.

Mudki has Goughs cavalry brigade with the bodyguard and the 5th BNLC.
Ferozeshah the same as above
Aliwal they are in Stedmans brigade with the 1st and 5th BNLC and the Shekawatti cavalry
Sobroan they form their own brigade weirdly, the third brigade makes me think it was a particularly large formation hence the ability to slit it into two wings.

I cant see any reference to them in action in the second war which is a shame as in many ways tha seems a more interestign set of scenarios.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma - Making the Gurkhas look authentic
Post by: ARKOUDAKI on May 16, 2019, 05:57:31 PM
Well some great points about one of my favorite periods but some of which aren't exactly correct. For example, the Gurkhas didn't wear shakos with peaks. The graphic cited by Arthur was from c1830, and the Sikh Wars took place 1845-6 and 1847-9. The following graphic by Grant - who was actually on the scene - gives you a good idea of what the Gurkha's looked like during the 1st Sikh War. It is entitled "The Nusseree Battalion teaching the Sikhs the art of Cookery".  Grant's watercolors are a very useful source for sorting out costumes, as are others who were actually there and paid attention to detail.

The second graphic is from the Gurkha Museum in Winchester, and while I think the hat looks a big off on the display it gives you some idea of its appearance. FYI, the Gurkha was capturing a flag during the Sikh War but the flag shown isn't a Sikh flag, but rather more like an Afghan banner. The flag shown in the Grant graphic, which is an Akali type flag, is the one the Gurkha units actually captured during the 1st Sikh War. Having done the research via the National Army Museum (NAM), I became aware that the Gurkha Museum display got this wrong as they used the wrong flag. Mistakes like this creep into historical research over time. That's why you always have to be careful when you are looking at things.

The third graphic is an Ackermann print of the 31st (with some Gurkhas in the foreground) at the Battle of Sobraon that ended the 1st Sikh War. It again shows the Gurkhas in the cap.

The fourth graphic is of Gurkhas during the Indian Mutiny but again captures the look of the units. The Gurkhas were not all tiny men but varied in size like most Asians of the time. Hence, I wouldn't worry about 'stature' too much.

Sorry that your conversion of the peaked shako isn't much use but it just wasn't worn by the Gurkhas during the Sikh Wars.

As for the Gurkha Kukri, these aren't difficult to make using plasticard. If you need a lot then you can always make a resin cast. Alternatively, I am sure there is someone who has done one of these as a STL file for 3D printing, so perhaps you could look at that option.

Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: OB on May 16, 2019, 06:02:43 PM
According to Amarpal Singh Sidhu Gough's brigade was transferred from the centre to support White's cavalry brigade on the flank.  If you're right about the size of the GGs bodyguard that is useful in our understanding of the battle.   

As far as I can see the minimum British cavalry brigade was a full unit and a wing.  That might mean that the GG's bodyguard met or exceeded that size requirement f they could be considered a brigade in their own right at Sabraon.  Interesting stuff.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: ARKOUDAKI on May 16, 2019, 06:34:49 PM
Code: [Select]
As far as I can see the minimum British cavalry brigade was a full unit and a wing.  That might mean that the GG's bodyguard met or exceeded that size requirement f they could be considered a brigade in their own right at Sabraon.  Interesting stuff.
I would be careful using OB as a basis for things. While it shows what the units started off with there were casualties. Also, if you look at the actual dispatches and battle maps drawn up then you come to realize that the cavalry was widely dispersed, with squadrons sent here and there at times. The general aim was the same with the infantry, to partner up more reliable Queen's troops with Native units. That said, some of the Native units proved more reliable then the British regs at times!

As for the size of the Governor's Bodyguard, it was around 350 at Sobroan.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on May 16, 2019, 11:24:59 PM
Interesting stuff here, I love that first watercolour and I have seen that before, they look quite different  in that one to the others, more like a covered peakless shako than the much lower cap in the photo from the museum. Some serious food for thought.  dont really want to use Mutiny figures as most have rifles and just one cross belt rather than two. It does however leave the interesting potential of using the Studio miniatures Sepoy flank companys in their covered peakless shakos and just painitng them green and adding a sheathed Kukri.

Ah back to the drawing board I think.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: ARKOUDAKI on May 16, 2019, 11:37:21 PM
Putty...make your own! ;)
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: OB on May 17, 2019, 12:26:00 PM
I was thinking it looks to me like a low peakless shako rather than a cap and in 15mm I know just where to go for that.  It will mean a Green Stuff Kukri and wings but that is simple enough.

Thanks for the numbers of the GG's body guard at Sabraon.  It gives me something to work with.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on May 17, 2019, 03:11:27 PM
But is it a covered peakless shako as the the cookery wtaercolour suggests (and the image I had much earlier int he thread) or is it a really weird looking image of the caps lower down, it looks very different from the caps.

I am wonderign if in common with both Queens and Sepoy regiments they had both Shakos and forage caps and we are seeign images of both here? May just have a lie down.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: ARKOUDAKI on May 17, 2019, 04:26:29 PM
The Sepoys in HEIC had proper shakos...the Gurkhas didn't during the Sikh Wars.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on May 17, 2019, 05:03:58 PM
I am considerign using the Carlist wars British legion flankers in forage caps, I have no confidence in my ability to get a result I am happy with using putty. Either that or I wait for Iron Duke to release Gurkhas in the comign months (it might be a while) and see if they fit the bill.
https://www.perry-miniatures.com/images/isa/ISA%2042.jpg

Only thing they are short of is a Kukri on the hip.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47817348742_320ea409eb_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2fRspRh)ISA 42 (https://flic.kr/p/2fRspRh) by Roger Castle (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: ARKOUDAKI on May 17, 2019, 07:55:58 PM
Why not get the Foundry HEIC and use them as a basis. You can cut the shako part of the head off and put some Perry plastic Russian Nap heads in caps on. Not hard with a good razor saw! You can do it!
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on May 17, 2019, 08:42:45 PM
Actually thats quite an interesting thought, I will have a good think about that thank you.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Deflatermouse on May 18, 2019, 10:10:46 PM
Dammit! And I  did my GGBG in a "Bearskin".
:(
 :(
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: ARKOUDAKI on May 18, 2019, 11:46:48 PM
That's accurate for the Madras Presidency forces.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on May 19, 2019, 08:39:17 AM
Two consequtive threads running for this stuff, apologies. Here is my finished test figure after making changes suggested.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47821350132_e9b2bfe219_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2fRNVjL)IMG_20190518_100024 (https://flic.kr/p/2fRNVjL) by Roger Castle (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Plynkes on May 19, 2019, 08:55:03 AM
If you don't want to keep maintaining two threads I can lock one of them and post a redirect link to the other. Entirely up to you.

Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on May 19, 2019, 07:00:28 PM
Cheers Plynkes, its OK I will leave as it is and try re-direct the threads on their correct course.

I will keep this for updates on the Gurkhas, got a chum to pick up a pack of Iron Duke Sepoys so I can have a play around with converting the caps. Will update when I have progress.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: ARKOUDAKI on May 20, 2019, 02:42:34 PM
Rogerc...heads will be in the post to you on Wed! Hope they are helpful! ;)
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on May 20, 2019, 08:35:06 PM
I really appreciate it thank you. Pack of Iron Duke HEIC Sepoys to pick up Thursdayso will make a start after the weekend.

Will keep you posted.
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on June 25, 2019, 11:12:25 PM
So having received the heads from Akoudaki and dithered for a few weeks I took three Iron Duke Sepoys and tried my hand with green stuff as first suggested. I will still use the Russian caps but decided to see what came of these. Not sure if they look ok or just like deflated french chefs hats! Anyway will organise a group of 6 skirmishers for now as Iron Duke are promising to release mutiny Gurkhas, let see if they are suitable or not before I do any more surgery.

I may turn my warped OCD and need to buy unavailable figures to the Skinners horse in helmets next, assuming of course that they were wearign ehlemts!

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48128807242_9bd743bf64_k.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gjYHBq)IMG_20190625_224728 (https://flic.kr/p/2gjYHBq) by Roger Castle (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: Rogerc on June 26, 2019, 01:05:12 PM
Dodgy  French chefs?

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48131664358_a0feccda83_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gkemW3)IMG_20190626_091856 (https://flic.kr/p/2gkemW3) by Roger Castle (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Gurkha Dilemma
Post by: OB on June 26, 2019, 01:32:23 PM
That look works for me.