Thursday, 2 August 2012

1st BTN Royal Highland Emigrants

When planning to have a Highland regiment I decided to paint the 84th Regiment of Foot, the Royal Highland Emigrants because they stuck to their Highland gear throughout the war. Besides, its two battalions operated separately. So that reduced the number of figures to be painted.
As figures I chose the Perry kilted Highlanders. Unfortunately the rank and file of this brand do not have broadswords, dirks and Highland pistols . This may be correct for the 42nd, but the American Highlanders were more traditionally minded. Some even brought their own Scottish weapons. I had first thought to engrave pistols, dirks and broadswords, and glue the casts to the figures.  But then I gave up that plan because the broadswords could not be added without completely changing the folds of the plaids. So I hope you do not have too close a look at my soldiers.

von Germann Sketch
According to the Karl E. von Romann sketch of the "Regiment Bergschotten", the regiment wore the Government tartan with a red overstripe. I reserved this stripe for the grenadiers. In painting, I of course simplified the Government Sett. The pattern painted was just to give the impression of this tartan. I achieved the result by first painting the plaids in a dark grey shade, and then criss-crossed this with dark green  stripes. The remaining grey squares I then painted with a dot of blue. And finally the green stripes were bordered with thin black lines, and the fields where the green lines crossed, were coloured with a lighter green. It was quite some eye-straining bit of work - but the effect is not too bad, I think. In short: I am quite proud of my job.
For the piper I decided to have him clad in the tartan of the commanding officer, the MacLean of Duart sett.
MacLean of Duart Tartan (ancient)
This may be historically incorrect as the only source for a piper's uniform of the period, the Minorca painting of a piper of the 25th, depicts the musician in a plaid of government sett.
Piper of Minorca Painting
However, I wanted to have some variation.  And it is possible that pipers were not officially part of the regiment, but supplemented by the commanding officer.
This is also the reason why the piper of my grenadier officer wears a plaid with the MacDonald Clan tartan presuming that the officer was of that clan. (This figure is a modified Redoubt product.)
The colonel on horseback is a 30mm Jacdaw figure, seated on a Front Rank horse. He is thought to represent Lt Colonel Allan Maclean, the commander of the 1st battalion.
As the name says, the Royal Highland Emigrants were a royal regiment. That means that their musicians did not wear coats with reversed colours, but red coats faced blue, adorned with Royal lace. This too was quite some task in painting: first adding a yellow stripe, and then a blue centre line with a very thin brush.
As far as hair colour is concerned I relied on a study of 7000 adult males and half a million schoolchildren which delivered the following results: Black hair 0-8 % by counties; dark brown hair 38%; medium to light brown shade 42% (the most numerous); fair hair 11%; red hair 5%. I painted the hair of my soldiers accordingly.

And here are some pictures of my battalion:
1st Btn 84th Regiment of Foot
Lt. Col. Allan Maclean

The colours

Rank and File
Rear View
Light Company


Ray Rousell said...

Nice work!!!

Phil said...

Very nice units!

Anonymous said...

simply beautiful paint work. I am jealous of your skill to paint the tartan pattern.

Best wishes,