Sunday, 6 January 2013

Reviewing Black Watch

First of all thanks for the kind comments and good wishes. Although breathing is still a bit difficult, my cough seems to get better. Hopefully the antibiotics do their work well.

However I used this afternoon for the last finishing touches on my Black Watch Highlanders. After the poor snapshot which I used last week to prove that painting was finished in 2012, here is a much better one. I hope, you enjoy it:
My interpretation of the I / 42nd (Highland) Reginent of Foot (Black Watch) during the Napoleonic Wars.
Here's a short review:

1.) Abstract from the history of the "Black Watch":

The predecessor-units of the regiment were formed in the early 18th century to assure law and order in the Scottish Highlands after the Jacobite Rising of 1715. Originally these were sic independent companies.
In 1739 the number of companies was raised to ten and they were combined to a single Highland regiment: The 43rd Regiment of Foot.
During the seventeen-fourties the regiment fought during the War of Austrian Succession and  was present at the Battles of Dettingen, Fontenoy and others.
1749 the regiment received its enduring number 42 following the disbandment of the former 42nd: "Oglethorpe's Regiment of Foot".
From 1756 until 1767 the 42nd Highland Regiment of Foot served in North America and fought during the French Indian War.
After some years in Ireland and Scotland the 42nd is shipped to North America in 1776 once again to defeat the revolutionists during the American War of Independence. After the Treaty of Paris the regiment marched to Canada and later was shipped back to Scotland to quell disturbances there during the "Year of the Sheep"(Scottish mass emigration in 1792).
During the next twenty years the Black Watch fought in nearly every campaign during the Napoleonic Wars: Flanders (1793-1794), Egypt (1801-1805), Peninsula (1808-1814) and Waterloo (1815).
There we reach the point where my figures represent the Black Watch. But even after those heroic fights I mentioned the 42nd Highlanders continued to be one of the bravest and most engaged regiments of the British Army. They fought during the Crimean War, during the Anglo-Boer-Wars and during both World Wars and many other conflicts of the 20th and 21st century.
A closer view on the command base and the Colour Party.

2.) The figures and painting

Because I'm still at the very start of my Napoleonic efforts I chose to buy the plastic figures from Victrix. The box contains 60 multi-part-figures and I mixed twenty centre company Highlanders with four men of the flank companies to get a 24 men standard unit for Black Powder. The figures are exelently detailed and there are enough of them included to form one unit marching / attacking and another one shooting / loading / receiving cavalry. Probably the latter will find their way into my collection as Gordon or Cameron Highlanders.
As always I used Vallejo paints to daub the boys. Since I posted a tutorial for the kilts here and some other information on the colours there, I don't want to bore you with repetition.
The excellent flags are from GMB Designs. Actually a bit large for 28mm scale but there awesome quality compensates that I think.

Just a few words to uniformity of kilts:
After some research and comparison of several sources I was completely confused which kilt the pipers wore. Some authors "assume" that they might have worn the Steward Sett during the Napoleonic Wars already. Others "suppose" that they have worn the Government Sett as the rest of the regiment did and the pipers got the Stuart Sett later. Additionally there appeared some confusion about a red over-stripe which might be worn by the regiment earlier but maybe was held by the grenadiers during the Napoleonic Wars. But nobody seemed to know that for sure... So I decided to paint the whole unit in Government Sett. It looks belonging together and it's justifiable.
A view from above: Combined single and four-men-basing.

3.) Main Sources

There were many smaller or larger sources I drew some drops of honey from. Nowadays the internet hold many information for each and every topic and I cannot mention every website I visited to get a feeling for the Black Watch. However my main sources were written works:

"The Highland Furies" by Victoria Schofield

An excellent regimental history with lots of information for the long story of the Black Watch.

Osprey MAA "The Black Watch" and "Wellington's Highlanders"

The Men-at-Arms series is well-known for wargamers and modellers. These two books were really helpful for this toppic.

"British Napoleonic Uniforms" by G. E. Franklin

In excellent guide for British uniforms during the early 19th century. It covers detailed information about every regiment of infantry and cavalry. Unfortunately the specifications of the kilts are a bit confusing.

"History of the Scottish Regiments in the British Army" by Archibald K. Murray

A book which was originally published in 1862. It's easily and freely available on Google Play Books. It's a kind of regimental history with a lot of details about the history of the different Highland regiments.

Well then... I hope you enjoyed this review as much as I enjoyed painting the Highlanders. I was a lot of work but I'm looking forward to more kilt-wearing Amazons.  Hence I'll present the closing word to Napoleon:

"Has Wellington nothing to offer me but these Amazons?"
Actually from 0:15 minutes, although it' the 92nd.


  1. Stunning! The painting is bright, clear and crisp. A fine looking unit. Best, Dean

  2. Ditto what Dean said!

    The movie Waterloo is full of so many great wargaming quotes, unfortunately no one around here knows what I'm talking about when I use them. :-/

  3. Fine looking unit. Inspirational!

  4. Beautiful work, a history lesson and a vid.

  5. Beautiful work Monty, having that infection sure worked out well!

  6. These are great looking figures, hope your health continues to improve


  7. Black Watch is always a great unit, and you did a fantastic work on it, really impressive!

  8. Lovely... Be happy you used marching poses... The kneeling ones are a pain in the behind to paint!

    1. Thanks a lot.
      The kneeling ones will form the 92nd (Gordon's Highlanders)...