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"The Highlanders during the Indian Mutiny." Topic

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Paskal Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2023 3:18 a.m. PST

Hello everyone ,

Who owns or has seen the references of Highlanders figurines from the 25 mm MiniFigs range entitled: Indian Mutiny in the Colonial Wars range?

If anyone knows about the Indian Mutiny, please explain to me what type of cap is worn by these figurines and which regiment of highlanders wore this type of cap during the Indian Mutiny.

The figurine references are:

IM 8 Highlander – Advancing
IM 9 Highlander – Firing
IM 10 Highlander – Kneeling Firing
IM 11 Highland Officer
IM 12 Highland Piper
IM 13 Highland Standard Bearer



42flanker08 Mar 2023 9:16 a.m. PST

The cap is a traditional, flat Scotch bonnet, worn with a white cotton sun cover- (as opposed to the cylindrical, 'Kilmarnock' forage cap so-called- worn by Highland troops from the 1770s and then by all British infantry from the 1830s).

It is associated with the 78th Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs)- as seen in a painting by Louis Desanges (1822-1887), illustrating an episode from the Indian Mutiny. SEE BELOW.
The Desanges painting may have been the source of a Pierre Turner illustration in Michael Barthorp's 'British Army on Campaign (3)' showing uniform worn by the 78th in Persia prior to their service in the Indian Mutiny.

It seems that in the mid-C19th Highland soldiers did continue to wear the flat bonnet informally but it seems anomalous for it have been worn in the field. Like the Glengarry bonnet, it did not suit the white sun cover very well(as the Desange painting indicates).

If there was a contemporary source for that arrangement, I am not aware of it. Barthorp & Turner did draw on contemporary paintings rather than documentary sources, and these might not be wholly reliable.


Paskal Supporting Member of TMP09 Mar 2023 12:33 a.m. PST

Thank you because what the 25mm MiniFigs Highlanders figurines from the "Indian Mutiny" range are wearing is what we see in your illustration!

It is in this outfit that the 78th fought its way to Lucknow!

So these miniatures are only valid for the 78th which fought its way to Lucknow, although they lack their 20 -round expense pouch carried in front which I will add.

42flanker09 Mar 2023 2:24 a.m. PST

"It is in this outfit that the 78th fought its way to Lucknow!"

Allegedly. I would still like to see some primary sources.

But they are the figures you have so, on ye go!

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP10 Mar 2023 12:27 a.m. PST

Anyway I won't use others, unless they are compatible with my 25mm MiniFigs and in my opinion there is nothing apart from Ral Partha 25mm which has nothing on the Indian Mutiny.

Otherwise this outfit of the 78 th was not worn by another regiment of highlanders during this conflict?

On the other hand, I don't know if you know the mutineers figurine references of MiniFigs 25 mm , in my view they are in the various outfits they wore before the mutiny :

IM 19 Sepoy Infantry Advancing (Full Dress)
IM 20 Sepoy Infantry Officer (Full Dress)
IM 21 Sepoy Infantry Advancing (Service Dress)
IM 22 Sepoy Infantry Firing (Service Dress)
IM 23 Sepoy Infantry Advancing (Summer Dress)
IM 24 Sepoy Officer (Summer Dress)
IMC 1 Mutineer Cavalry

What to do with it historically?

If you know the figurines below from the "Indian" range of 25mm MiniFigs, would some of them be usable for the indian mutiny , even with some modifications?

IC 1 Indian Army Infantry Advancing
IC 2 Indian Army Officer
IC 3 Sikh Infantry Advancing
IC 4 Gurkha Advancing
IC 5 Gurkha Officer
IC 6 Afghan Hillman Firing
IC 7 Pathan Advancing
IC 8 Pathan standing firing
IC 9 Pathan Officer
IC 10 Wazire (Spear/Shield)
IC 11 Peshawar Mountain Artilleryman Standing
IC 12 Peshawar Mountain Artilleryman Kneeling
ICC 1 Punjab Cavalryman (Carbine)
ICC 2 Punjab Cavalry Officer
ICC 3 Bengal Lancer
ICC 4 Bengal Lancer Officer
ICC 5 Pathan Cavalryman
ICC 6 Pathan Cavalry Officer

42flanker10 Mar 2023 2:57 a.m. PST

I can only repeat that I haven't seen primary evidence for the flat bonnet with sun cover being worn on campaign instead of the 'Kilmarnock' forage cap- only the illustration references I mentioned which feature soldiers of the 78th.

As for the 78th at Lucknow, you may not be aware that included in Michael Barthorp's "British Army on Campaign" (3) is a contemporary painting showing two soldiers of the 78th and 90th at Lucknow in 1857. The soldier of the 78th is in what is sometimes called a 'smock frock' and blue trousers. His headgear appears to be a wicker sun helmet with white sun cover- or the cover being worn alone.

Officially the Glengarry bonnet had been regulation for Highland regiments sinc 1851 but there are indications that in India the Kilmarnock remained in use by some Highland regiments as it better suited the sun white cover. Others persisted with the feather bonnet combined with quilted neck shades.

The Black Watch were unique in not adopting the Glengarry bonnet and persisted with the Kilmarnock until circa 1870. There is no clear evidence as to what the 42nd wore during the Mutiny. A Kilmarnock with cover seems most likely. There is an Osprey-type illustration (Fosten perhaps?) doing the rounds on the web showing a soldier of the 42nd wearing the flat bonnet arrangement under discussion. I have no idea what basis is claimed for that.

42flanker10 Mar 2023 7:40 a.m. PST

As you are committed to your Minifig highlanders, you might as well go for broke and see the image Pierre Turner contributed to Michael Barthorp's 'British Army on Campaign' (3) which doubtless informed the sculpting. We do know they left their feather bonnets in store.


42flanker10 Mar 2023 10:21 a.m. PST

To round off this survey, here is the section on the 78th from the fairly authoritative Iron Duke Miniatures website. There is detailed comment on the Home Service clothing worn in Persia and adapted clothing for field service.

78th (Highland) Regiment of Foot (Ross-shire Buffs). (Buff). [Allahabad Moveable Column, 1st Relief and Extended Siege of Lucknow].
Up to September 1857 by far the greater part of the regiment was armed with P1842 muskets, with Enfields in the light company only. Standard infantry equipment (see above).
The regiment had recently returned from the Anglo-Persian War where it had worn Home Service (winter) dress, including scarlet doublets and kilts. There was difficulty in re-equipping the units of the Allahabad Moveable Column with summer uniforms. The 78th received trousers, but no lightweight shell jackets or smocks. As a result the men's heavy cloth highland doublets were discarded aboard the transport by day and worn by night or in foul weather. Only four companies, including the flank companies, participated in the initial march of Havelock's force. They were commanded by Colonel Walter Hamilton, 'Watty' Hamilton to his men.
The 78th fought in white shirtsleeves and white drill trousers. In practice white shirtsleeves and white drill trousers would stain very quickly, particularly wherever the equipment was in permanent contact with the body and, of course, at the knees and buttocks. Importantly no kilts were worn: they were however imagined in England, so that it is not uncommon to see portrayals of the 78th in red doublets and kilts. It is even possible to read hammed up accounts in which the kilt features prominently. There were five pipers present with Hamilton's wing which did indeed go into battle to the sound of the pipes.
The headdress was a covered 'hummel' bonnet, (not unlike a Kilmarnock), which was worn with a white cover and curtain, swathed with a pugri. A cap and cover would likely spend a good few hours a day lying in the dust, while the soldier was in bivouac, and thus is unlikely to have remained pristine white for long. The officers' forage caps were dark blue, with a black leather peak and were adorned with a red and white diced hatband. The diced hatband was common to all ranks and is visible on the uncovered bonnet of our piper figure and the forage cap of the officer flourishing his sword (IMBC 16). It is not visible on our ensign, whose cap is covered, with only the peak exposed. It is likely that some officers would have worn regimental trews ('MacKenzie of Seaforth' tartan) and that most or all carried their regimental dirk (black leather scabbards with ornate silver decoration). The oils by Desanges, which portray the regiment fighting at Lucknow in kilts and scarlet doublets are entirely spurious, as is his portrayal of the regiment's bonnets, which rightly belong in the eighteenth century, not the nineteenth.
In early Sep 57 there was a universal issue of Enfields, and of off-white smock-frocks which were probably dyed to shades of khaki. All the companies came up in time for the First Relief of Lucknow. The colours are known to have been carried during the fight through the streets of the city.
An eyewitness watercolour postdating the first relief of Lucknow shows a soldier of the 78th in a cane or wicker sunshade, (in shape and appearance much like a helmet), enclosed in a white cover and swathed with a pugri. The cover buttons at the front: with three buttons visible above and below the pugri. His trousers are blue-grey; so are either blue dungri or Nanking cotton. There is nothing to say that the type of headdress seen in the watercolour was universally issued in the 78th, or that it was in any way unique to the 78th. With no clothing but that which they were wearing on their backs when they entered Lucknow, the 78th, in common with all the other units of the relief column, became exceptionally dirty and ragged over the course of the extended siege. After Campbell's Second Relief of Lucknow, and the subsequent extrication of the garrison, the regiment was amongst the units left to hold the Alambagh under Sir James Outram.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP11 Mar 2023 12:29 a.m. PST

Thank you for your help because for uniformological documentation on this conflict I only have the M.A.A. n198 – 219 and 268.

Please, are there any other books – for wargamers like M.A.A, ELITE, WARRIOR and CAMPAIGN – published by Osprey on indian mutiny?
Given the miniatures I intend to use (only 25mm MiniFigs as well as those that would be compatible with them if it exists on the Indian mutiny?) and given that it would be a shame to deprive myself of my miniatures of highlanders which, being only possible for the 78th, I will concentrate on the operations around Lucknow…

So I would also have to find a book where there would be OOBs on the operations around Lucknow with the manpower of the units that took part in them…

The challenge will also be to use only MiniFigs so I need to know what I can use at MiniFigs for mutineers.

42flanker11 Mar 2023 6:34 a.m. PST

There's nothing I can add to the above. As I indicated, I don't believe the Minifigs Highlanders are based on reliable information, but that appears to be what is on offer.
As far as mutineers are concerned, I'm afraid I have no useful information.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2023 12:40 a.m. PST

In any case, thank you for your help.

Regarding the mutineers of MiniFigs, I will start a topic on it

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