Sunday, July 7, 2019

How regimental traditions are made.

I have finally finished converting my 1775 Royal Highland Emigres to 1793 Black Watch.

Mostly this consisted of building the bonnet up into an early version of the feather bonnet, and repainting a few details.

Sources on details of Highland uniforms in the 1790s are scarce, vague or  contradictory. For example,  the feather bonnet developed during this decade but pictures vary from a few feathers to your common Napoleonic version. I decided to go with the latter since a trial version with just a few feathers didn't look quite right.

Then there was the red hackle or plume. When in doubt go with the legend they say and when I was a young lad in the Black Watch of Canada Cadet Corps, we were told that tradition has it that during the Duke of York's retreat to Holland, the Black Watch repulsed a charge by French Dragoons then plucked their blood soaked plumes and attached them to their bonnets.

Souvenirs from my days as Corps Sergeant Major before heading off to Military College in 1972.
(Hmm looking a little dusty there, where's my batman?)

Yeah ok that's the legend, all we really know is that the red hackle wasn't worn during the American Revolution but was worn during the Napoleonic wars.  That's good enough for me though. There are a couple of other details I umhhh decided to overlook lest I spoil the toyish look of the Miesterzinn figures that were used as a base for these conversions. Or maybe because I was lazy and someone would have to look closely and know their subject matter to spot the errors.

Now I have build 11 more for the 2nd unit and make a bicorne head and a better round hat, then make a mould and then start work on the rest of the armies. 10 months and 10 units to go.


  1. The Highlanders look great, as do the Hussars.

  2. Looking good! You can never go wrong with a few Highlanders in your army.

  3. There are always a few things that I deliberately do "wrong" on many units in order for them to look right, particularly on high profile units. Splendid fellows, these: well done!