Royal Ecossais

I have now added the Royal Ecossais to my 18th Century wargames armies.  They are one of my favourite units, so I have been looking forward to this.


I had made one figure already, of their Regimental Colonel Lord John Drummond.  He arrived in Scotland with his Regiment on 26th November 1745.  The main Jacobite Army was marching south from Carlisle towards Preston at that stage.  Major General Lord Strathallan had been left in command of a small number of Jacobite forces in Scotland, but Lord John Drummond was now appointed as a Jacobite Lieutenant General, so took over command of the troops in Scotland and set about raising considerably more.  I modelled him wearing the Scottish version of his Royal Ecossais uniform, short jacket and blue bonnet, with a plaid slung over his left shoulder.

I decided to make two battalions, a 1st Battalion which came from France in their normal French uniform, which I could also use in the War of Austrian Succession, and a 2nd Battalion, raised in Scotland, in their Scottish uniform.  I made both battalions as 14 figures, to represent 12 centre companies, a grenadier company and the equivalent of one more company, drawn from the other companies, of piquets.  Later in the 18th century these piquets evolved into light companies.  These two battalions are therefore exactly the same size as my British Regiments of Foot.


For the 1st Battalion I used figures from Strelets Swedish Infantry of Charles XII.  The figure I picked looked a bit like the illustration on page 79 of the Osprey “Culloden 1746”.  I made one modification to it.  The original had an elaborate haversack on the left, beside his sword, but the French did not seem to carry such haversacks, so I removed it.  The figure on the right is ready for painting on a temporary card base.




Here are a pair of completed figures.  Some illustrations show red breeches, but most show white, so that is what I painted them as.  Some illustrations of the French Army of this period show coats hanging loose but all those of the Royal Ecossais show turnbacks pinned back so I picked a Strelets figure which had that (they have both in the set).






Some illustrations (such as that in Plate F of the Osprey “The Scottish Jacobite Army 1745-46”) show the Royal Ecossais Grenadier company wearing a British style mitre grenadier cap, some of which were captured (and one is on display in Edinburgh Castle) when the Royal Navy intercepted a French ship heading for Scotland.  That was good enough for me to model one figure wearing them, by a headswap with a suitable Strelets figure from the same set.






Here is the completed 1st Battalion Royal Ecossais grenadier.










I wanted a two figure command stand.  For the officer I used another figure from that same Strelets set.










I changed the pike into a metal flagpole, lowering the left hand position slightly to give more room for the flag itself.  I also welded the front of the coat so it looked more open. and smoothed out the original waistbelt, as French officers wore these under their coats.







The Royal Ecossais had pipers, so I absolutely needed to show these, as per the illustration in Plate F of the Osprey “The Scottish Jacobite Army 1745-46”.  I had actually run out of piper figures when I planned this unit, but I picked a suitable figure from the RedBox Highland Infantry set and modified that.








I removed the musket, changed the position of the arms and added bagpipes by plastic welding.  I started the bagpipes by welding a piece of sprue on as the bag itself.  I then took other small pieces of sprue, touched those onto the bag, then gently pulled the hot sprue away, so that it stretched out and formed the drones, working from the one nearest the head outwards.  I formed the ribbon which connects the three drones in the same way, plus a chanter (where his hands are) and blowstick (from his mouth to the top of the bag).




Here is the completed command stand.  The 1st Battalion flag is the Colonel’s Colour.  For the flag, I found a suitable one online, used the Paint programme (on all PCs) to make both sides (obverse and reverse), then printed it out on normal paper.  I then spread PrittStick glue on the back, folded it around the flagpole, then bent it a little as though it was waving in the wind.  It goes quite stiff when the PrittStick dries.




Here is the complete 1st Battalion Royal Ecossais.




I modelled the 2nd Battalion in their Scottish uniform.  For the centre companies I used a figure from the RedBox Loyalist and Militia set, which looked right.  The only modification was to add a sword, welded on from a piece of sprue.





Here are a pair of completed figures.  They are slightly smaller than the Strelets figures, but not too much so.






The 2nd Battalion certainly had a grenadier company, but whether they wore British style mitres is less likely.  I decided that mine would, so did a headswap of one figure.  The head was a bit oversized, but not ridiculously so.








Here is the completed 2nd Battalion grenadier figure.








I used the same Strelets figure as an officer for the 2nd Battalion as I had for the 1st Battalion, but shortened his coat and gave him a headswap so that he was now wearing a Scots bonnet, which was the one originally belonging to the 2nd Battalion grenadier above.  Again I welded his coat front to make it appear more open and smoothed his waistbelt away, since French officers wore their swordbelts under their coats.







I used a piper from the RedBox Loyalist and Militia set for the 2nd Battalion, since I actually planned the 2nd Battalion before the 1st Battalion, so had not run out of pipers at that stage.







Here is the completed 2nd Battalion command stand.  Their flag is a Regimental Colour, produced in exactly the same way as that for the 1st Battalion.  Both the 1st and 2nd Battalion pipers are dressed exactly like the illustration in Plate F of the Osprey “The Scottish Jacobite Army 1745-46”, Rob Roy tartan jackets with a belted plaid in something similar to a Royal Stuart tartan.




Here is the complete 2nd Battalion Royal Ecossais.


Each battalion has 14 figures, a total of 28 in all.  However the historical truth is that they formed a composite battalion which did not number more than 400 men, and this fell to some 350 at Culloden, which could be represented on my 1:30 figure ratio by 12 figures.

At the end of Culloden they fought bravely to give some of the rest of the Army a chance to flee.  One battalion (or wing of the composite Regiment) surrendered on the battlefield whilst the other one did so at Inverness a few days later.  The officers and men of the 1st Battalion were treated as prisoners of war, whilst those who enlisted in Scotland had more difficulty in that status being accepted, but eventually it was, for all except those who had deserted from the British Army.

On release most went back to France, but some stayed in Scotland, including Captain Donald MacDonald, who in 1757 joined the 78th Fraser’s Highlanders, raised by Simon Fraser, himself a Jacobite officer, for service in North America.  In 1759, as General Wolfe’s boats approached Quebec down the St Lawrence River, he was able to use his knowledge of French and French Army  procedures to bluff his way past the French guard boats, then past the French sentry post guarding access the Plains of Abraham, thus playing a significant role in that British victory.


I decided that I would like the ability to play both complete battalions in a “what if” scenario, in which case I needed a Brigade (Regimental) commander for them.  Lord John Drummond had been appointed as a Lieutenant General, so his younger brother, Lieutenant Colonel Lord Lewis Drummond was actually commanding the Regiment.  I decided to portray him on foot, as I have for most of my Jacobite Brigade/Regimental  commanders.  I used this Strelets figure, again from their Swedish Infantry of Charles XII set.



I removed his musket, shortened his coat, welded an open front and gave him a head swap to a Scots bonnet, as can be seen here.

I used his original mitre grenadier cap for one of the Royal Ecossais grenadier figures.

He is mounted on a 20mm diameter 2 euro cent piece, as are all of my foot commanders.





Here is the completed figure.  I gave his sword a slightly thicker basket welded on, so that I could paint it as a Scottish broadsword, which many Royal Ecossais officers favoured.





At Falkirk, Lieutenant General Lord John Drummond commanded a brigade, and at Culloden his Division was not much larger than a Brigade, but I wanted to portray him as a Divisional Commander so I decided to give him an ADC.



The book “No Quarter Given – The Muster Roll of Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s Army, 1745-46” shows Major Hale as ADC to Lord John Drummond, so that is who I modelled.

The figure I used was one I had left over of a Strelets Napoleonic British Light Dragoon.






I removed his carbine, changed the position of his arms, twisted his head to face the front, welded his Tarleton helmet into a Scots bonnet, welded his jacket to look like an open fronted Royal Ecossais coat, added a sword (cut from a strip of plastic milk bottle) and added welded 18th Century cavalry boot tops.








The completed figure is here.









Finally, here is Lieutenant General Lord John Drummond with his ADC, Major Hale, with both figures slid into a 50mm Divisional Command sabot.


2 thoughts on “Royal Ecossais

  1. Peter August 5, 2017 / 2:56 pm

    Great job especially on major Hale.



    • rodwargaming August 5, 2017 / 3:17 pm

      Hi Peter,

      Glad you liked it. Just about to move on to the Irish Brigade next. I thought I would model all six regiments, so that I can use them for the WAS, but just take a stand from each as Irish Piquets for the Jacobite Rebellion.



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