The Royal Highland Emigrants 1775/6
By smacdowall, Mar 6 2019 02:04PM
My latest troops off the painting table are a bit of a departure from the norm.
This because I am running a small game based on the American invasion of Canada in 1775. A key unit in the defence of Canada was the Royal Highland Emigrants, later 84th Foot, raised from veteran Scots of the French and Indian War who had settled in Quebec. A second battalion was raised in Nova Scotia.
My AWI collection is all 1/72 plastics — a mix of Airfix and Revell. I am rather fond of them and have no desire to replace them with more modern metal miniatures, despite the excellent ranges now available. Raising a highland unit from plastics would, however, take more difficult conversion work that I was inclined to undertake.
So I looked to see if there were some metal figures that might fit in with my plastics. With some trepidation I ordered a small number of 20mm Irregular Miniatures’ Scots. My trepidation was down to the fact that some Irregular castings are, well, somewhat irregular. I was reassured by the fact that the website says this range has been designed to fit with the plastic figures currently available, and the photos (above) looked OK.
I was more than happy with the result. The miniatures are well cast, with an old school charm — their size and proportions indeed fitting well with 1/72 plastics. They were a joy to paint and I think the final result gave me just what I was looking for.
The 1775 uniform of the Royal Highland Emigrants was a typical loyalist green coat. It is likely that they did not yet have Scottish distinctions but I wanted my unit to stand out from other loyalist troops — hence choosing figures with Scottish bonnets.
I based the unit’s flag on an original held in the Fort Ticonderoga museum. Judging by the writing on the flag, it may be at this time the regiment was known as the Royal Emigrants rather than the Royal Highland Emigrants. On the other-hand this may have been nothing more than limitations of space.
I copied the original photo into my computer, added a copy for the reverse side, scaled it to fit, printed it and then painted it over. I find over-painting a printed flag looks so much better. Otherwise it looks too much like what it is — a computer print out — rather than colours that blend with the painted miniatures.
Later the Royal Highland Emigrants were kitted out in full highland dress with red coats and government tartan kilts, as shown in the above contemporary print from 1778.
Fantastic explanation and result!
I"m begining to know about the difficulties of making a 1/72 AWI army!
I"m begining a blog about the same matter...
Please feel free to coment!