Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Strathbogie Regiment

I finally finished the Strathbogie Regiment a couple of weeks ago, but a work trip to Canada and a heavy week of preparation for the trip have prevented me from holding a proper photoshoot until today.

The figures are all Perry Miniatures from the Scots of the Civil War and English Civil War ranges. Several of the figures have been converted from English troops to Scots by clipping/carving off the English head gear and addition of Scots bonnets with green stuff. This is an easy conversion and gives much more variety if painting a large Scots army, especially useful for command models.

The unit is modelled advancing into action at Auldearn and, within the constraints of available models, is based on the two-page illustration of the Strathbogie regiment by Gerry Embleton which can be found in the Osprey book "Auldearn 1645 - The Marquis of Montrose's Scottish Campaign" by Stuart Reid.

The regiment is clothed in hodden grey with many troopers wearing tartan breeks or shouldered plaids. This adds a bit of colour and a highland look, and distinguishes the regiment from the grey ranks of the government troops. Headgear is the ubiquitous blue bunnet with the exception of a couple of troopers with monmouth (woolly) caps and a sergeant with floppy hat. I did promise a step-by-step on painting the plaids and will try and get round to that next. 

The flags are based on a description of a set of colours ordered by Huntly in early 1644. The text and device is described by Spalding but the field colour is speculative. I have used yellow for a company colour as yellow is a most suitable field for a rampant lion. I have reproduced the same colour in white for a Colonel's colour. I have also followed Spalding and given the regiment black neck scarves.

"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"


For it's "I've come east and I've come west
And I've come through Strathbogie-oh
And the bonniest lady that ere I saw
She was followin three gypsy laddies oh"

Excerpt from the Lyrics to "The Gypsy Laddie" (trad.)

Strathbogie is the ancient name for the modern burgh of Huntly in the Northeast of Scotland. It was the principle seat of the Marquis of Huntly who raised this infantry regiment first in 1639 and again in 1644 and in 1645 for the King's service. In 1639 the regiment took the field with the Royalist Army at Megray Hill and defended the Bridge of Dee to Montrose's Covenanter force. The regiment was re-raised in 1644 and garrisoned Aberdeen for the Royalists. In October 1644 a small detachment of the Strathbogie Regt. was present at Fyvie with Montrose, but deserted before being engaged. 

In February 1645, following Montrose's victory over Argyll at Inverlochy, Lord Gordon, Huntly's eldest son, defected to the Royalists bringing the Gordon Cavalry, and the Strathbogie Regt was raised on a permanent basis. The regiment then fought with Montrose at Auldearn, Alford and Kilsyth. The unit avoided destruction at Philiphaugh as the Gordon's had left Montrose after Kilsyth due to a quarrel. The Gordon's continued to fight on for the King and the Strathbogie Regt took part in Gordon's  infamous Storming of Aberdeen in May of 1646.

The regiment numbered around 500 men at Auldearn and was armed as regular pike and shot. They performed well for Montrose throughout 1645 and are generally considered well trained and disciplined.

I am dedicating this regiment to my Dad who passed away this summer. My dad got me hooked on local history at a young age and was my companion on many visits to Northeast castles and battlefields including the spectacular Huntly Castle, home of the Marquis of Huntly.

The next regiment on the painting table is Farquharson of Monaltrie's Royalist Regiment. This unit will have two command stands to allow it to do double duty as the Earl of Sutherland's Government Regiment.


Millsy said...


mrtn said...

That's a great looking regiment, the time you must have spent on it can clearly be seen.

My condolences on the passing of your father.

Phil said...

Amazing work, beautiful figures!

The Wilde Goose said...

Excellent figures and images. Really looking forward to the images of the next regiment, and the plaid painting guide :-)

GaryA said...

Lovely figures and they make a very impressive unit.

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

They look fantastic! Your father would indeed be proud.


Rhys Thomas said...

I've been reading this blog on and off for years; it always serves as a kick up the arse when I need to get painting.

Just wanted to say that this is a fine and very fitting tribute to your father; indeed the entire blog is a credit and goes to show that if you plant the seed of an interest in history in a child's mind, fabulous creativity and a passion for learning can develop in later life, as this project has demonstrated.

Best of luck in the future; see you on the teeny tiny toy soldier battlefield someday!