Fitzjames Cavalerie


The French-Irish Fitzjames Cavalerie were sent to Scotland in February 1745, but three squadrons were captured at sea by the Royal Navy and only one squadron landed.  This is shown here.

I have shown them on matched black horses, but actually all of their horses were captured and they were remounted by dismounting Pitsligo’s Horse and Kilmarnock’s Horse Grenadiers, who then formed a Jacobite foot regiment, Kilmarnock’s Footguards.

I decided to model the entire Fitzjames Cavalerie, partly because I would need them for my planned future expansion into the War of Austrian Succession, but also so that I could use them for a “what if” scenario of the entire Regiment arriving to reinforce the Jacobite Army.

I had no problems finding Infantry figures with a combination of the three sets of RedBox 1745 British Army and two sets of Strelets Jacobites.  Cavalry figures were more of a problem, but fortunately uniforms did not vary much between nations, nor change much during the 18th Century.  I therefore used Strelets Swedish Trabants (Dragoons) of Charles XII as my British Cavalry and decided to use Strelets Russian Dragoons as French Cavalry, so as to provide a bit of variation.



The figure which I picked for Fitzjames Cavalerie was this one.  Not particularly suitable, but I like using all of the figures in the box and this was just how it worked out when I assigned figures to units.

I replaced his head with one from a set of Hät Prussian infantry, which I had bought speculatively.




Plastic Soldier Review said that these Prussians were very large, and I wanted to check how large, but they really were giants compared to my RedBox figures.   However I was able to use their heads for my Fitzjames Cavalerie. The Hät Prussian heads and hats come separately so I fixed them together, better than this picture, before adding them to the Fitzjames Cavalerie figures.


I bent and welded the figure’s left arm, so that it looked more as though he was controlling his horse, removed his pistol and replaced it with a sword.



I used a tip which I read recently on TMP (The Miniatures Page) of using strips cut from plastic milk bottles to make swords.




It worked really well and the “milk bottle” swords weld easily to the hands of the figures.

I used my clamp and magnifying tool (originally designed fly fishing tying) to hold the figure, whilst welding the sword in place.






I also added carbines to the figures.  These were ones which I had removed from British Dragoon figures which I had used as Officers or Kettledrummers.  I pinned the carbines in place as I welded them.




My 18th Century Cavalry Regiments are all in 3 figure squadrons, one of which is a command stand of an Officer, Standard Bearer and either a Kettle Drummer or Trumpeter.  The figure I used as the Fitzjames Officer was this one.  He comes with a separate sword, which I welded in place then twisted and welded his wrist to a more upright carrying position.  I removed his pistol and bent his left hand to a better position to control his horse, and finally removed his carbine.




I used this figure as a Standard Bearer, removing the carbine and welding a section of cut-off hairgrip in place as a flagpole.

For both the Officer and Standard Bearer figures I removed carbine belts and ammunition boxes.




I had previously assembled a set of all of the French flags which I would want.  The original images were on various internet sites, and I modified these (using Paint) to create an Obverse and Reverse, if it was not already there, plus an extra section in the middle to wrap around the flagpole.  Fitzjames Cavalerie is the second image on the second row.


I cut this out, smeared Prittstick on the back, wrapped it around the pole, then bent it to look as though it was waving in the wind.  This is just a section of my flags pages, which include French Maison de Roi flags and French Infantry flags.



I used this figure as a trumpeter.  I removed his sword and carbine as well as twisting and welding his head around almost 180 degrees, so that he ended up facing more towards the left.









I added a trumpet (a spare one from when I converted Strelets Swedish trumpeters into British Dragoon Kettledrummers) and also welded on a trumpet banner from a small piece of cut up plastic shopping bag.  I welded extra pieces of plastic onto the back of the figure to represent the false sleeves worn by trumpeters and kettle drummers of several nations.





There are only two of each pose in the Strelets boxes, so I used those from six sets to give me 12 identical horses.  The horses requires less conversion, just welding down of the left rear hoof to the base.  I pushed a pin (section of cut-off staple) into the centre of the saddle to help fix the mounted figures in place.




After painting, I fixed the figures onto the horses and then mounted them onto card bases.  If I am building a complete Regiment, with three figure squadrons as here, my squadrons will each have one two figure base and one single base, since I prefer casualty removal rules.  The bases are 20mm per figure frontage and 40mm depth.  I stick strips of magnetic tape onto the bases to give them more weight.



Finally here is the complete Fitzjames Cavalerie Regiment.  They were issued with breastplates to wear under their coats, but I decided not to paint them with their coats open to show these, since several sources state that most French Cavalry hardly ever wore them, and it is highly unlikely that Fitzjames Cavalerie would have done so when the were mounted on rather poor borrowed Scottish horses.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s