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
emerged alive.” In Livingstone’s day it seems that one way of  getting rid of nosy visitors to the region was to provide them  with a guide with secret instructions to lead them into the  country of the Ila, who could then be relied on to do the dirty  work. Coillard, writing in 1888, listed several explorers and  traders who had disappeared and were believed to have been  killed by the Ila. However in the 1880s a couple of their  intended victims managed to get away to tell the tale. The first  of these was the Bohemian explorer Dr. Emil Holub, who  arrived in the country in 1886 with his wife and a colleague  named Oswald Sollner. The couple were saved from an Ila  war party by an amazing display of shooting by Mrs. Holub,  but Sollner was speared to death and the survivors fled from  the country. Then in 1888 the famous elephant hunter F. C.  Selous arrived in Ila territory - apparently by mistake, as he  knew all about the Holubs’ experience and had sensibly  intended to avoid the area. One evening, while he was  encamped outside the village of a chief named Minenga, he  was on the receiving end of a shower of spears, the prelude to  the inevitable rush. He managed to escape into a patch of tall  grass but had to leave his rifle behind. Despite this record of  violence the Ila received a visit soon afterwards by some  brave Methodist missionaries, and proved surprisingly  welcoming. By 1900 they had all meekly accepted British  rule. It is likely that after the attentions of their predatory  neighbours they were well aware of the benefits of the “Pax  Britannica”.    Ila Warfare Ila warriors were particularly expert with their favourite  weapon, the throwing spear. They did not use shields, but  instead would carry an elephant’s tail, or a bunch of feathers  on the end of stick, which could be twirled to distract an  
enemy’s aim. (Some ideas for figure conversions there. They  were keen head hunters, so it would also be appropriate to add a few severed heads to the tips of their spears.) Men who wished  to show their contempt for an enemy spearman whose throw  had missed would ostentatiously sweep the ground in front of  them, a display of coolness which was much admired by their  comrades. Otherwise they relied entirely on speed and mobility  for protection against missiles. In the colonial era the Ila  continued to perform dances which resembled mock battles, in  which the warriors could practice their spear throwing and  dodging skills. Even the young boys were said to be able to  throw their spears accurately up to 50 yards, while the longest  throw recorded was an incredible 75 yards.   They produced a variety of spear types, designed for different  tasks in hunting and warfare. These included the spike-headed  “mumba”, which was the first to be thrown in an engagement  and was presumably optimised for long range; the short, broad-  headed “impengula”, which resembled a Zulu “iklwa” and was  similarly used for thrusting at close quarters; and the viciously  barbed “lukona”, a specialised war spear. In internal Ila battles  the warriors relied on retrieving spears thrown by their  opponents, and this sort of exchange could continue for many  hours, but against enemies like the Matabele and Barotse, who  tended to discharge a few volleys and then close for hand-to-  hand fighting, the Ila were at a disadvantage because they  quickly ran out of missiles. The recollections of veterans of the  Barotse wars suggest that the Ila were not well prepared for  hand-to-hand combat, and were all too often knocked on the  head with knobkerries while looking around for something to  throw. But as mentioned above they did have spears which were obviously designed for stabbing at close quarters, so they can  hardly have been completely helpless.
Young Ila warriors with freshly done hair cone or “isusu”.
Below. Young Ila warriors with freshly done hair cone or “isusu”.
Above. Chief Shimunungu and two of his men.