Trung Sisters

The Trưng sisters ride elephants into battle in this Đông Hồ style painting from Wikipedia

I was searching for some information in the Internet and I am not sure how, but the Trung Sisters turned up. Briefly, these ladies were responsible for the first successful revolt from the Han Chinese in 40 CE.

These two sisters successfully led the Vietnamese revolt against the Han Chinese and they were the military rulers of Vietnam for three years, until the Chin ese under Ma Yuan came and defeated them.

The sisters were born into a wealthy Lac family and were well educated. Trung Trac’s husband was Thi Sach and was the Lac lord of Chu Dien in northern Vietnam. Su Ding was the Chinese governor of Jiaozhi province at the time, remembered for his cruelty and tyranny. One thing led to another the result of which was Trung Trac and her younger sister Trung Nhi stirred the locals up into a rebellion to avenge the killing of her husband. It began in the Red River delta and then spread to other Lac areas and non-Han people from an area stretching from Hepu to Rinan. Chinese settlements were overran, and Su Ding fled. The uprising gained the support of about sixty-five towns and settlements. Trưng Trac was proclaimed as the queen.

In AD 42, the Han emperor commissioned general Ma Yuan to suppress the rebellion with 32,000 men. The rebellion of the two sisters was defeated in the next year as Ma Yuan captured and decapitated Trưng Trac and Trưng Nhi, then sent their head to the Han court in Luoyang.

There is a procession each year in celebration of the Trung Sisters and they are always depicted riding an elephant.

There is a good write up of this on Wikipedia, Trung Sisters


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Elephant Walk – a HotT army

Whilst chatting in the comments to the Burmese with Arsenus Lupenus it occurred to me that the big Burmese elephant with a crew reminiscent in numbers to a large McDonald’s outlet looked as much a piece of fantasy fiction as it did an historical miniature. I then started to think of what I could use it for in a Hordes of the Things army.

What conjured the images of elephants?

Tarzan movies certainly. I recall whenever one of the natives was about to be crushed by an elephant a look of absolute fear would come into his eyes and he would scream out the word “tondo!” which I took meant, when translated from Swahili to English, “bugger, I am about the be crushed by an elephant”!

The starboard side view of the elephant and crew - this is the side where the crew have fallen off
The starboard side view of the elephant and crew – this is the side where the crew have fallen off

The other word I remember from the Tarzan movies was “oong-gow-ah!” normally spoken firmly by Tarzan himself as he jumped in front of a herd of charging elephants whilst pointing to the right which I took meant, “‘ere, you lot, bugger off that way!”

Amusing certainly but not really HotTish around elephants. I mean, I could do a jungle themed HotT but I would need to add hunters, Tarzan, natives and so on. I wanted something elephantish.

The 1954 movie Elephant Walk then came to mind. It starred Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Finch and some other blokes and was set in Sri Lanka before Sri Lanka was Sri Lanka and whilst it was still British Ceylon. The tagline was “one man claimed the land. Two men claimed the woman who lived there.” So, the typical love story – he loves her, she loves the other bloke and the other bloke is bowling from both ends! It wasn’t the love story or the heat, passion and jungle that was interesting for me but rather that, as I remembered, the elephants seemed to have it in for Elizabeth.

Hmm, today it is Angry Birds, in 1954 it’s Angry Elephants. Now we are starting to get more HotTish.

Of course, if you are thinking about a movie called Elephant Walk, your mind is going to remember that piece of music called Baby Elephant Walk from Henry Mancini in 1962 movie Hatari ((or you mind turns to that if you are older than 45 I guess)). Click the link and listen to it.

Like a blinding flash of light the HotT Elephant Walk army came to mind. It is a 15mm army ((although if wealthy and built like an Olympic weightlifter you could do it in 28mm and if you do it in 6mm then use 2mm for the dwarf elephants))and looks something like:

  • 1 x Behemoth (the Irregular Burmese elephant illustrated – also look at Chariot Miniatures or Outpost)
  • 1 x Hero or Paladin (any Asia elephant with a bloke sitting under an umbrella – elephant should be a white elephant ((sorry, devil made me say it that way but I really mean a white elephant))
  • 1 x Artillery (the elephant with the artillery on its back – Irregular makes one of these)
  • 1 x Lurker (6mm elephants on a base – sigh – “dwarf elephants” living in the jungle)
  • 2 x Knights (elephants with a howdah and a bloke with a pike, amongst others – like a Greek Successor type) – elephants with a bit of punch)
  • 2 x Riders (elephants with archers on board – elephants with a bit of sting)
  • 2 x Beasts (riderless elephants that simply run amok)

A good mobile army, a bit restricted by bad terrain but the appearance of it on the other side of the table will likely cause a good degree of consternation in your opponent, leastwise once they get over the oh’s and ah’s as everyone loves a Nellie on the table.

It has been a few years since I have built or painted any HotT armies but I am tempted to do this one just for the fun of it. If anyone does build it, let me know and send me picture please.

The Burmese

All the materials ready for basing the figures
All the materials ready for basing the figures

I had ordered some Burmese – enough for one DBA army both as an opponent for the Khmer and because I needed to purchase 4 Khmer crossbowmen. I didn’t feel like sending an order to Ian Kay at Irregular Miniatures for four figures so he ended up getting the order for the Burmese. I reckon when I get around to the Indonesians and Malay I’ll be on to Grumpy’s figures.

The figures arrived very quickly from Irregular, taking about 7 days from order to delivery. In fact they arrived a few days sooner than I expected.

I put the magnetic material on the bottom of the MDF bases before starting on the figures.

I set to work with file and X-acto knife on the figures, cleaning the flash. Some of the figures had a fair bit of flash but it was fairly easy to clean off. Irregular seems to use a softer metal than some other manufacturers.

The figures on MDF ready for the flocking of the bases
The figures on MDF ready for the flocking of the bases

Once the flash was cleaned off the figures were attached to bases ready for the flocking to come.

There was no need to trim bases in this batch like I had to with the Khmer as there are no real close order troops in the Burmese army.

The elephant is a beast however. I have managed to delete my fingerprints again – I guess I’ll be using my plan B key at the office to get in tomorrow morning as the fingerprint reader is not going to be able to read me.

There are so many crew for the elephant – in fact two of them fell off just after the photos were taken. I’ve decided to leave them off tonight and will attempt to glue them on tomorrow night after all the other glued on blokes have had a chance to let the glue cure.

I decided to finish off this blog post with a couple if pictures of the elephant to give you an idea of how much of a beast it is.

The beast from the port side
The beast from the port side
The starboard side view of the elephant and crew - this is the side where the crew have fallen off
The starboard side view of the elephant and crew – this is the side where the crew have fallen off