Jacobite Cavalry



I painted one small unit of Jacobite Cavalry when I made the Jacobite Army for Prestonpans.  This was Strathallan’s Horse, shown here.  They are converted from Strelets British Light Dragoons in Egypt.




I have now created the remainder of the Jacobite Cavalry.  The units were all quite small, but I have modelled them at the greatest size they reached during the Jacobite Rebellion, which was the strength that they were at the invasion of England and Falkirk.




Here is a typical figure before conversion.  All of the figures in the Strelets British Light Dragoons in Egypt set are in different poses, which creates a nice irregular look to my Jacobite Cavalry units.








Here is the same figure converted by welding with my miniature welding tool.  I have welded the Tarleton helmet into a Scots bonnet, added knee-high tops to his boots and added a plaid cloak slung around his body, hanging down at the back.  I have also thickened the hilt of his sword to make it like the basket of a Scottish broadsword.




He is going to be part of Pitsligo’s Horse, which reached 120 strong, so at my 1:30 figure ratio I am representing it with four figures.



Here is his horse, before conversion.  It has a typical Light Cavalry shabraque and only two of the horses legs are attached to the base.

The Strelets set has two horses of each pose so I have grouped them with similar ones in each unit.




Here is the same horse after conversion.  I have welded the shabraque into a square blanket shape, and roughed up the pistol holster covers so that they look like sheepskin.  I have also bent the rear leg down and welded it to the base, since I try to get all of my horses to have at least three points of contact with the base, since this makes them more stable.



To give some weight to the base, I have attached two strips of magnetic tape, not because it is magnetic, but because it is heavy.  For some horses I would put this between the plastic and card, but Strelets horses have quite thick bases anyway, so it makes them appear too tall if I do that.




Here is the horse with plastic sprue welded over the magnetic tape and card.  The base is 40mm x 20mm.

This particular horse is one of those for Bagot’s Hussars, so the original shabraque has been welded into a sheepskin.





Here is the completed Pitsligo’s Horse.  Their jackets are Caledonian tartan and their plaid cloak is Hunting Stewart.




Here are Bagot’s Hussars, with the original Tarleton helmets welded into French style early hussar or dragoon caps, basically a red bag with a fur border.  I picked figures with very active poses for these, as it seemed right for dashing hussars.  They are wearing Jacobite tartan jackets with a brown hunting tartan plaid.





This is Kilmarnock’s Horse Grenadiers.  I have given them welded Kilmarnock bonnets, which are blocked up to make them taller, with a red/white/green diced band.  This is the headgear for this unit as described in the trilology of novels in the Jacobite Grenadier series by Gavin Wood.   I am not sure of the accuracy of this, but I liked the effect.  They are wearing Kilmarnock tartan jackets with Royal Stewart plaids.


The horses for the Kilmarnock Horse Grenadiers are not the normal Strelets ones.  I have used some standing horses for dismounted British dragoons, and swapped a few around, so I needed extra horses.



These are from Eagle-Gryphon Games a couple of years ago.  They were doing a special offer of 72 horses for $2.99.  The postage cost from USA to UK was $17.75, so the total cost was $20.74, which converted to £14.20, approximately 20p per horse, which I thought was very good value. The saddle is a bit lower than the Strelets ones, so I have put the Magnetic tape below the plastic base.



The last unit of Jacobite Cavalry is the Prince’s Lifeguard.  They had about 90 men in the unit just before Falkirk, so I have shown them with three figures.  They are wearing blue French cavalry coats with Royal Stewart tartan carbine belts.  The figures are Strelets Russian Dragoons of Peter I, which I plan to use for all of my 18th Century French cavalry.



Here is the entire Jacobite Cavalry as it was during at Falkirk.  They were about 360 strong so at my 1:30 ratio, 12 figures is correct.  The units have been amalgamated into three squadrons, each of four figures.


The left of the picture has a composite squadron of Prince’s Life Guards and Kilmarnock’s Horse Grenadiers.  One figure of the Prince’s Life Guard’s is missing, since I have assumed he is the escort to Prince Charles.  The centre squadron is Pitsligo’s Horse and the squadron on the right of the picture is a composite of Strathallan’s Horse and Bagot’s Hussars.  The Jacobite Cavalry is commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John MacDonald, who accompanied Prince Charles when he first landed.  He is wearing the uniform of his unit, Fitzjames Cavalerie.


2 thoughts on “Jacobite Cavalry

  1. Gavin Wood March 16, 2017 / 10:59 pm

    Ah yes! Kilmarnock’s Horse Grenadiers. There is no recorded uniform for this regiment but they were described as coarsely dressed and indifferently armed fellows. In my book, it gave me wide scope for indulgence. The inhabitant’s of Kilmarnock did indeed make bonnets for Prince’s Charlie’s army – so maybe the Grenadiers did wear the Kilmarnock bonnet of the period which was widely worn by militia companies. The Prince issued an order for all his army to dress in tartan whilst in Edinburgh, so tartan jackets would seem to be fitting. Two members of the regiment were definitely recorded as wearing tartan plaids: James Brand and William MacKenzie. There was at least one deserter in the regiment after Prestonpans – one suspects he kept his red coat. In Inverness, the regiment was dismounted. They took red military coats from the prisoners held in the town to the indignation of the French Ambassador, so I guess at Culloden many of Kilmarnock’s men were dressed in red. Curiously, James Brand also wore a chainmail neck and shoulder guard when he was captured on the road to England – a right motley bunch, one would imagine!
    Gavin Wood.


    • rodwargaming March 16, 2017 / 11:41 pm

      Hi Gavin,
      I liked your books, and was happy to accept the suggestion that Kilmarnock’s small unit might have worn Kilmarnock bonnets as good enough for my couple of wargame figures representing the unit to do so.
      Best wishes


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