Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Lord Chancellor's Regiment

John, 1st Earl of Loudoun, was Lord Chancellor of Scotland, and raised his regiment in August 1643.  Although he had little military experience himself, his senior officers, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Home and Major John Haldane had extensive experience on the continent.  The regiment was recruited in Glasgow and Paisley to full strength, before departing south in January 1644 to join the main field army with Leven. 
It served at Hilton and during the siege of York during the spring and early summer.  On July 2nd it was at Marston Moor, brigaded with the Tweedale Foote.  However, with the breakthrough of the Royalist cavalry, the regiment was routed, but with minimal casualties.  After the battle it recovered to continue campaigning through Yorkshire after the fall of York. By late summer it was again brigaded with Tweedale’s Regiment in the siege lines around Newcastle, where it participated in the storming of the town via the Closegate breach in November.
It headed north in March 1645 to join Baillie, pursuing Montrose after the recapture of Dundee, before being detached to Hurry’s command. Here it was brigaded with Lothian’s Foot and Halkett’s Horse, garrisoning Aberdeen.  During this time the regiment had left 200 of its men sick in England, detached another 300 in small garrisons along the north east coast, leaving Aberdeen for the field in April with a strength of 500 men.
At Auldearn it served in the front line, and although not singled out for special treatment like it’s sister “Irish” regiments, it still incurred heavy losses.  It remained in the northeast through the remainder of the summer and although recruits were recorded to be drafted from Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, Pebbleshire and Midlothian it is not clear whether they reached the regiment before it was engaged at Kilsyth.  Here it formed the left of the front line with Home’s regiment .  Ordered to hold their ground, they instead advanced to contact with the Maclean’s opposite them in a series of enclosures.  A prolonged firefight erupted but with no real success (perhaps a reflection of the input of new recruits) and the regiment eventually advanced on the Macleans.  However, timely reinforcement by Clanranald turned the tide after bitter hand to hand fighting, and the regiment was destroyed during the subsequent rout.
What remained of the regiment tried to reform and recruit, but ultimately it was disbanded, with some of its men rolled into the General of Artillery’s Foot in the New Model Army.

I couldn't find any record of its standards so was left with a lot of room to be creative. The Regimental standard was the Saltire, broken into alternating red/blue eigths, with the usual invocation to the covenant. The colonel's colour incorporates the actual crest of the Scottish Lord Chancellor, so though it may not be correct historically, it offers a link to the real role.

The tartans for the blankets again bring the unit together, whilst a little diversity from the hodden grey gave the unit a weathered appearance. A couple of dead and wounded figures also broke up the firing line, making for a couple of dramatic vignettes.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Three Steps to...Scotland's Taliban

Below are shots of the general approach we have used to painting on this site. Most of the colurs we use are from Foundry's range and as such the general techniques have utilised the 3-step layering process. That doesn't mean we are adverse to using other manufactures wares or applying other techniques (washes, dry-brushing etc.) but you will see nothing that has been dipped!! - This means this project will take years.......

Anyway here are some shots of some covenanter foot musketeers loading - Perry Miniatures. Blankets have been left undone as I like to do the tartans last.

View 1 - Back

View 2 - Front

View 3 - Back detail 1

View 5 - Front detail 1

Friday, August 1, 2008

Auldearn Battlefield

Picture taken 31st July, 2008 from Castle Hill. The hill in the centre is Garlic Hill, the site of most of the fighting. The Government army advanced from the right (west) along the crest of the hill, avoiding the boggy low lying land to the south and north of the hill. The Royalists were based in and around the village of Auldearn visible on the left (East).

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Another Royalist flag added....

There haven't been any updates for a while, and thats because I (the Royalist) am in the process of packing up and preparing to move to India with my family, and my fellow blogger (the Government) is off on his world travels; a combination of summer vacation and business trips.

Although all my Royalists are safely packed, I was recently treated to excellent rendering of the Strathbogie Regiment flag in white chocolate. It was my 40th birthday recently and my wife conspired with a talented cake-making friend to surprise me with an extra special, and undoubtedly unique birthday cake....

At first I thought it was just a standard scottish Lion Rampant (me being Scottish and all), but then I noticed the text. It's the flag of Huntly's Strathbogie Regiment, and one of my favorite ECW flags, and it's on my birthday cake in coloured white chocolate!
They had sneaked into my painting room and discretely removed some pictures of the flag and had worked on this over several days. It was a great birthday surprise, and left me quite speechless. An explanation was also required for the gathered guests, which led to me "coming out" as wargamer to several friends from whom I had previously hidden my love of toy soldiers.

Anyway I thought I would share that, and because it cheered me up no end I decided to share the miniature flag that I created to use on my own WECW Strathbogie regiment, with you all for use in your own Scots Royalist armies...

The flag is based on contemporary descriptions temselves based on an order placed for regimental colours of the Strathbogie Regiment. The text and device is described by Spalding, but the yellow (or) field colour and exact layout is speculative.

"Upon Monday the 15th of April he [Huntley] returned about six hours at even to Aberdeen he caused make some ensigns where upon ilk side was drawn a red rampant lion having a crown of gold above his head a 'CR' for Charles Rex having the motto 'For God the king and against all traitors' and beneath 'God save the king'. There were diverse others made for the barons. The marquis and his followers wore a black taffeta about their craig whilk was a sign to fight to the death but it proved otherwise"


Friday, May 2, 2008

Flags for the Irish Brigade

The colours used by the Irish are not described at all in any of the contemporary accounts of Montrose's 1644-45 Campaign. There is only a brief mention of MacColla's lifeguard carrying a yellow colour at the Battle of Auldearn.

This has been interpreted by Nigel Tranter in his fictional account of the campaign as being the King's Standard (a red rampant lion on a yellow field), which MacColla carried to attract the attention of the covenanters while Montrose rallied the rest of the Royalist army. Stuart Reid, not unreasonably, supposes that the Irish would have carried colours similar to those described for the Irish Confederacy forces in the Ireland, and that the yellow colour is one of 12 colours described in the contemporary gazette, "The True Informer".

Reid lists the descriptions of all 12 colours in his book "Scots Armies of the C17th. III: The Royalist Armies, 1639-46" (published by Partizan Press). Two of those descriptions form the basis for the colours given to my first Irish Regiment. Most of the colours have overt catholic imagery, and latin religious mottos, both features that would not have endeared them to the presbyterian burghers of Scotlands towns and cities.

All of the colours are thought to have featured a red saltire on a yellow field in the canton, and the Royal Crown and cypher (CR), together with the latin motto "Vivat Carolus Rex", or "long-live King Charles".

The first is a green sheet, with "Christ carrying his cross on his shoulder", and the motto "PATIOR UT VINCAM", which translates as "I suffer so that I may conquer".

The second colour is a red sheet with "the name of Jesus", which I have chosen to interpret as meaning the common Catholic abbreviation "IHS" for "Iesus Hominum Saviour", or "Jesus, Savior of men". The motto on this sheet is "IN NOMINE JESUS OMNE GENU FLECTITUR", which loosely translates as "In the name of Jesus all knees shall bend".

At this time, fear of the Roman church ran so deep, that just having an Irish accent in Scotland could prove fatal. So Montrose's use of Catholic Irish mercenaries to press the King's will in Scotland could not have gone down well with the locals, and no doubt these colours fluttering over his victorious army would not have helped matters.

Both flags were made in photoshop, and printed on paper. They were subsequently entirely painted over, to give them the hand-painted look. They were also cut to give a torn and ragged campaign look. More flags to come. Next: MacColla's Lifeguard.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Alasdair MacColla, "The Devastator"

MacColla was appointed commander of the Irish Brigade by the Earl of Antrim. He landed the brigade in Scotland in July 1644, and in August the force met Montrose in Atholl where the King's standard was raised marking the start of Montrose's campaign in Scotland.

This rather dandy MacColla is produced by Eureka. He is an exceptionally tall figure, reflecting the description of MacColla in Celtic poetry as being 7 feet tall.

James Graham, Marquis of Montrose

James Graham, the Marquis of Montrose and the King's appointed Lieutenant-General in Scotland from 1644 until 1646.

This excellent figure is from the Old Glory Scottish ECW Personalities pack.

The Fightin' Irish

My first regiment of the rock hard Irish brigade are finally finished. Experienced soldiers and good catholic boys, they formed the solid core of Montrose's motley Royalist army. They are mainly Eureka Miniatures Irish pike and shot, with a few Perry ECW English, and at least one Foundry ECW casualty figure.

They are painted using mainly Foundry paints, with Granite, Quagmire and Slate for the greys, Bay Brown and Peaty Brown for the browns, Drab and Arctic Grey for the unbleached wool trews. Bonnets have been added using green stuff.

The occasional highland targe has been added, using Old Glory Highland shields. The pikes are 80mm long Foundry steel pins.

The flags are printed on paper from homemade Photoshop designs. They were subsequently hand-painted over, and attached to shortened Foundry steel pins.

The bases are 3mm plywood from Litko, with flex-steel base bottoms. The bases are finished using sand glued on wood filler. After painting the bases were flocked with static grass in 2 stages; first green, and then an autumn brown. Small pieces of dark green clump foliage were added, and this were sprinkled with purple flock to represent heather.

This unit represents the Irish that took a forward position on Garlic Hill together with MacColla and his Lifeguard (to follow). These units held off the government army long enough for the the rest of Montrose's surprised army to rally and organise a counter-attack.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Flags for Campbell of Lawers' Regiment

The colours for Campbell of Lawers' Regiment are not well documented. A single colour captured at Dunbar (1650), bearing an older version of the Covenanter inscription, is thought to have been carried by the regiment. The flag is a traditional Scots Government colour with blue field and white saltire. The absence of any additional documented colours from Dunbar is attributed to the fact that this tough regiment retired from the field in good order despite the Scottish defeat.

"Company" Colour


For this project we are providing each regiment with 2 flags. A typical company colour, such as the blue saltire above, and the colonel's colour. The colonel's colour for Campbell of Lawers' regiment is unknown so we have decided to use an unknown colonel's colour, captured at Dunbar (1650), depicting a gold thistle on a white field and the motto "Nemo me impune lacessit", an ancient Scottish motto which translates as "None provoke me unpunished".

"Colonel's" Colour


The flags were created using photoshop. In this case the flag designs were then copied onto foil by hand, and hand-painted. They can also be printed on paper and either used as is or painted over. The level of subsequent hand-painting is down to individual preference and can range from a complete paint-over to some additional minor highlights and shades.

All flags created for this project will be shared on this site. Up next - the Irish.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Finished Campbell of Lawers' Regiment

Raised by Sir Mungo Campell of Lawer’s, in the Strathtay area, for service in Ireland in 1642.   Fought in the Bann campaign and other associated activities of the Army of Ulster throughout 1642.   No direct information on activities throughout 1643, but unit strength had declined from 1100 to 300 by the time the unit embarked for Scotland in 1644.  In early 1644, they operated in association with Lothian’s Regiment in activities against the Marquis’s of Huntly and Montrose.   Lawer’s crossed the border in June and participated in the siege of Newcastle, before being recalled to Scotland in September.  It spent the balance of the year and the following winter based in Inverness where it carried out harrowing activities on royalist lands.
In the spring, they, along with Buchanan’s regiment joined Hurry as he marched from Inverness to meet Montrose at Auldearn.  Lawer’s men formed the centre of the vanguard and at first successfully drove back the Irish from Garlic Hill before fighting got bogged down in Auldearn.  As the line collapsed, the regiment was the focus of little quarter, due to its history in Ireland and it’s Campbell associations.   At the close of battle, Sir Mungo, four of his captains, five of his lieutenants and 50% of the regiment lay slain, their bodies later buried in the churchyard at Cawdor.
Sir Mungo’s son, Sir James Campbell, took command of the regiment and through a series of levy’s in Perthshire recruited it back to some semblance of strength, before it was shipped to Ulster in 1646.  No detail of it’s activity in Ulster is known but by spring 1648 it had once more returned to Scotland.  The regiment officially became part of the kirk party following the Whiggamore Raid.  Through late 1648 and 49, companies were quartered throughout the east and northeast, where they generally made a nuisance of themselves on the local community (indeed, the regiment had a history of fornication, drunkenness and adultery – so the ministers were busy).
In 1650, part of the regiment marched north to join Strachan’s force, and where thus the only regular infantry engaged at Carbisdale. By the summer it was in central Scotland, were it successfully engaged Cromwell’s troops in Holyrood Park before the debacle of Dunbar.  At this battle, the regiment served on the right flank, successfully covering the retreat of the army to it’s own detriment;
“only Lawers, his regiment of highlanders, made good defense , and the chief officer, a Lieutenant Colonel being slain by one of the Generals Sergeants, the Colonel was absent of the name of the Campbells, they stood to push of pike and were all cut in pieces those were all the Foot that engaged”
However, the regiment were forced to retreat when the English horse joined the attack, but even with heavy losses, some made it safely off the field.  The balance of 1650 and early 1651 were spent recruiting, but it did not participate in the 1651 campaign.

Here's some shots of the finished regiment - should worry those papist's.

Standards painted onto foil to get the windy look. Bases from Litko, with woodfiller, local sand textures, base coat, highlights - two flocks and some bushes. If anything, some purple highlights will be placed on the bushes to give that heather look.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Goverment Troops oan the horizon

Campbell of Lawers' Regiment

Although not finished yet (still missing two privates, the standards, a good coat of Testors and the scenic touches) these shots should give the general feel for the style of painting and shape/form of the regiments.

The regiment has been unified by having the same ribbon colour on the trews and green/ochre plaid. The later didn’t come out as well as I wanted so don’t know how far I’ll pursue this (painting tartan).

This was the lead regiment of the Government line at Auldearn so glad to have them in the bag.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Painting Covenanters

What could be more boring than a grey army? Connotations of John Major aside, it still doesn’t inspire you with a lot of passion. After all the rest of the war of the three kingdoms had some pretty colourful troops, with white, green and red all making a show.

But if you are fighting the war in Scotland you take what you get (or you’ll have your porridge and like it (and mind just salt, nae namby pamby sugar like yon Sassenachs)). So the question was how to make the painting of the governmental regiments interesting enough (upwards of 150 infantry) but allowing a show of uniformity.

With the move to Foundry paints, this wasn’t too much of a problem as they have a wide variety of dour paint types. However, to try and attain some uniformity, but with suitable raggedness, and also distinguish the individual regiments the following painting scheme was adhered to.

Jackets – Slate Grey (majority), additional Rawhide, Drab and Granite
Trews – Quagmire (majority), additional Rawhide, Drab
Socks – Raw Linen (majority), additional Moss
Webbing/Belts – Buff Leather (or rawhide if over Buff Coats)
Buff Coats – Buff Leather
Cuffs and Collars – Arctic Grey/White
Bonnets – Night Sky/Storm Blue
Shoes – Bay Brown

Guns – Spearstaff (wood), Boltgun/Chainmail (metal – GW’s), Boneyard (matches)

Bandoliers – Bay Brown
Powder Pouch – Conker Brown
Tassels – Night Sky/Storm Blue
Scabbard – Conker Brown
Sword Scabbard – Bay Brown
Sword Hilt – Boltgun Metal/Chainmail (GW)

Blankets – varied by regiment – uniform colour/plaid choice
Trews Ribbons - varied by regiment
Drums - varied by regiment

Officers/Ensigns/ Drummers – potential for some additional colour in jacket and trews selection.

Additionally, for some variety, one regiment may get some red jackets, implying they had returned from active service in Ireland where the English parliament had undertaken to clothe Scots troops in the field. However, this is not tested on the figures yet.