The wonderful thing about our North Star 1672 range is that the figures will do for many different nations armies in the period 1665-1680. This is  because it is a time just before uniforms, and the figures are all dressed in the fashions common amongst soldiers throughout Western Europe.  
This of course includes Britain.  The years covered by our range is called the Restoration Period in  Britain as it was the time the monarchy, represented by Charles II,   was restored after the English Civil War.   It was also the genesis of the British Army. Britain, tired of soldiers  and war, had disbanded much of it’s forces after the Civil War and  Oliver Cromwell’s reign. With the return of Charles II to England in  1660, the units still under arms swore allegiance to the King and  became the senior units of the British Army. Some of the infantry regiments:  Coldstream Guards Grenadier Guards Scots Guards 1st Regiment (Royal Scots) 2nd Regiment (The Queen’s) 3rd Regiment (The Buffs) st
The Ila (otherwise known as Baila) are a cattle-herding tribe  inhabiting the valley of the Kafue River, a northern tributary  of the Zambezi, in what is now Zambia. In the 19th century  they were better known to whites as “Mashukulumbwe” or  “Bashukulompo”, but this was a term used by their Barotse  enemies, and it was regarded as an insult. In fact the Ila were a  touchy lot who regarded just about everything as an insult:  their own name for themselves is believed to mean something  like “taboo” or “set apart”. They seldom got a good press from the old explorers: Colonel St. Hill Gibbons, who passed  through the area in 1895 - 96, rather unkindly called them  “quite the most hopeless savages it is possible to conceive”,  despite the fact that they lived in “the finest country in  Africa”. The Ila grew some crops, but their lifestyle was based  mainly on herding cattle. The floodplain of the Kafue provided  excellent pasture, so they were able to raise very large herds -  more cattle per head than any other tribe in southern Africa  according to some. This, however, was not such a good thing as it seems, because they were surrounded by some very formidable warrior tribes -  including the Barotse, Ngoni, Bemba and Matabele - who  regarded them as a convenient source of cattle which could be  stolen to replace their own losses. The missionary F. Coillard  described how the Barotse never learned to look after their  own livestock properly, but slaughtered and ate them faster  than they could breed. So when famine threatened, “Then as  always the cry arose, ‘to the Mashukulumbwe!’” But the Ila  were not helpless victims. They were very tough customers  with a reputation for quarrelsomeness, both among themselves and in their relations with outsiders. They were tall, strong  
men who could travel 50 or 60 miles a day on foot, and they  were exceptionally deadly spear-fighters. Robert Baden Powell  wrote of an old chief who had killed a lion single handed, armed  only with a spear - a feat even more impressive in view of the  fact that the Ila never carried shields. Unfortunately their disunity prevented them raising armies large  enough to confront the raiders successfully, and they lost huge  numbers of cattle over the years, though the herds never seemed to run out. In 1886, not long after a Barotse raid had netted a  staggering 40,000 head, the explorer Emil Holub wrote of the  “great herds” that still remained. No doubt the Ila were able to  hide many of their beasts in the extensive stands of tall grass  which covered the plain while the warriors fought delaying  actions against the invaders, and we also know that they  mounted counter raids in which many stolen animals were  retrieved. During one campaign in the 1880s a Barotse army  was isolated and wiped out at the Battle of Mbeca. A pile of  skulls, erected by the victorious warriors as a trophy, was to be  seen on the site for many years afterwards. The Ila and the Explorers Livingstone met some Ila in the 1850s, but they were otherwise  virtually unknown to Europeans until the late 1880s. Not  surprisingly in view of their experiences at the hands of their  neighbours, they regarded all outsiders with suspicion and  usually killed them on sight. The first explorers to reach the  country were probably Portuguese, but none of their accounts  have survived. According to a 20th century study of the Ila, “it  is certain that in more recent years travellers entered the country and left no record, for the simple reason that they never  
The Ila produced a variety of spear types, designed for different tasks in hunting and warfare. Apparently most Ila men originally went naked, but hide loincloths and cloth blankets were coming into widespread use by the late 19th century.
Below. The Ila produced a variety of spear types, designed for different tasks in hunting and warfare. Apparently most Ila men originally went naked, but hide loincloths and cloth blankets were coming into widespread use by the late 19th century.