THE BRITISH IN VICTORIAN AFRICA
In the area around Lake Nyasa, first the British Lakes Company (much less grand than it sounds) and then the Central African Protectorate fought a series of battles against local slavers, both Arab and Yao, and unruly tribes. In the course of these campaigns the Company station at Karonga was besieged, Arab stockades attacked (sometimes unsuccessfully), dhows boarded and all manner of unlikely events occurred - all with eccentric British adventurers, stalwart Sikhs, plucky Jack Tars and Atonga Askaris.
The Royal Navy operating in the Indian Ocean and on Lake Nyasa kept a constant watch for slave carrying dhows, capturing them and freeing their cargo whenever possible, as well as burning slaver villages and on one occasion bombarding Zanzibar itself.
Askari units in British service were often given rather cosy-sounding names involving the term "constabulary" to give the impression that conquering Africa was merely an extension of policing Surrey.
We have a large number of customers fighting battles and skirmishes in historical, Victorian adventure, Steampunk or roleplay settings. using our Victorian Adventurers from the Darkest Africa range alongside the many hundreds of miniatures from our various African, Asian, Oriental and Victorian Historical ranges ( lots of appropriate models in the Old West ranges too ).
These chaps are typical of the officers who, in the 1890's, were seconded from their regiments to command small askari units somewhere in Africa - sometimes they were just using their leave to do something constructive, like claiming Uganda for the Queen. When not wearing their tropical uniforms they adopted a casual style complete with rolled up shirtsleeves to give mosquitos a sporting chance. Actually, all of our colonial europeans will serve perfectly well as european or american adventurers, adventuresses and officers boldly going forth in anywhere hot in the world!
To the British of the later nineteenth century the Sikhs were the epitome of stalwart native soldiery. Small units of them pop up all over East Africa during the Scramble, backing up local levies and generally saving the Empire. Add more Sikhs and mountain Artillery from our NW Frontier range, or use these "Darkest Africa" Sikhs in the any of the other battles and campaigns that they fought in all over the world.
More clean limbed sons of Albion ready (and willing: by God!) to bring their brand of civilisation of Africa. Imbued with a love of manly sports, Fair Play and rough cut marmalade they might even, when meeting by chance on the shores of Lake Victoria, go so far as to shake hands with an old school friend. Actually, all of our colonial europeans will serve perfectly well as european or american adventurers, adventuresses and officers boldly going forth anywhere hot in the world!
Officers - If not wearing the British army’s standard khaki drill and equipment, they tended to dress casually in shirtsleeves and trousers worn loose or with gaiters/puttees. Trousers and shirts could be pale khaki or white. Occasional public school or cricketing club ties.
Askaris - Based on the troops raised by the British around Lake Nyasa to fight the Arab slavers. They were dressed in khaki with black fezzes with (sometimes) black tassels . Other hastily raised units may have dressed in blue with red fezzes.
Sikhs - Dressed as regular Sikh units in Indian Army - khaki drill with brown leather equipment. The unit raised in Nyasaland had black turbans in full dress and may also have worn them in action in preference to khaki service pagris. The pag worn beneath the turban and visible at the front may have been red or white.
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