Monday, 1 June 2009

Blue Regiment of Foot completed

The 48 men of my Blue Regiment of Foot for Parliament (yes I know all the ensigns should be in the pike block but I think they look better scattered about!)

At last, despite my daughter having been sat at my desk for weeks "revising" (i.e: looking at the Britain's Got Talent website) I have finished the four musketmen that complete my second ECW Foot Regiment. They are a generic Blue Regiment; probably also a London Trained Band. These regiments are from the early war period when tassets were still worn. There are several factors that have made me go for an early look for my armies.

Firstly, the influence of my first wargame book, The Wargame, edited by Peter Young, which had a piece on Edgehill in it, written by Young. As with the whole book there were evocative photographs by Philip O Stearns of Peter Gilder figures and scenery.

One of the excellent pages from The War Game featuring Edgehill

Stearns was also a member of the Sealed Knot as well as being a photograper and Art Director for Penthouse magazine when it started in 1965! He also took this photograph of Amber Dean Smith, Penthouse's first ever Pet of the Year, for Mayfair Magazine in the August 1969 edition. I am sure the 17th Century costume and background was not an accident (not that she kept the costume on very long).

Amber does 17th Century

My second influence was the Nicholas Carter novels about the ECW from the late nineties. He wrote five and then the series abruptly stopped for some reason. He wrote a couple of novels set at the time of Henry VIII and then disappeared. A shame, as his Shadow in the Crown ECW series was really enjoyable and focussed (at least initially) on the Hopton and Waller clashes in the West featuring battles like Roundway Down and Landsdown. One of my best friends lives in Bath and you have to drive across the Landsdown battlefield to get there. Carter's description of the different groups wandering around in the dark before Landsdown and taking pot shots at the glow from burning matches gives a great feeling of what warfare must have been like at ground level. Like Stearns he was also a member of the Sealed Knot so had some feeling for being involved in a big push of pike.

The flag is by Body's Banners

I have a few figures painted for my next two regiments: the Earl of Essex's and Hampden's Regiment who wore orange and green respectively. I then ought to paint some smaller (than the 48 figures of my first two) units who look a bit tattier. The units at the recent Loseley Park re-enactment were very much on the scruffy side. Coat colours seldom matched and breeches were usually a different colour from jackets. My units by contrast are very smart. This is justifiable as they are early war Parliamentarians and, thus, better equipped. Also I can't help thinking that there are many examples of Colonels buying large amounts of a particular coloured cloth for their men. Surely it is likely that at least in some cases this would have been sourced from the same place and therfore jackets and trousers would have been the same colour and there would have been considerable uniformity. Later in the war you would expect more of a patchwork, perhaps.

In the meantime I have started on my second unit of horse; a straight cavalry unit to join my painted cuirassiers (another early war unit).

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