I realized the other day that I hadn't shown you some close-ups of my second Highlander regiment when I presented the "whole army so far" a few posts back.
This unit, the 74th Regiment of Foot, were one of five Highland regiment recalled from India during the first decade of the 1800s. These five regiments apparently struggled to recruit enough replacements from amongst the population of the Scottish highlands. The Army high-command were concerned and looked at ways to break down any barriers to recruiting lowland Scots into the regiments. After much deliberation it was decided, in 1809, to de-kilt the five regiments in question (71st - 75th). They were instead to wear trousers of their regiment's tartan. It seems that quite a few English officers thought that would be enough "Highland" for the highlanders, and enough "Lowland" for the lowlanders. Only the pipers were allowed to keep their kilts.
Seems like it might have been a bit of a kick in the balls to me. As the 74th were present at the Battle of Salamanca (the battle we've been building for) in 1812, I figured that they'd be wearing trousers similar to that of the rest of the army was by the time they'd been in Spain for three years. It has been reported that the tartan trousers would only last three months on campaign.
So there you have it, a bit of research on my part, coupled with a slight stretch, that leaves the 74th Regiment of Foot in my army with the bonnets of a Highland regiment and the trousers of an English regiment. I couldn't find any info of the bonnets, so I decided to keep them to create a unique looking unit in my army. The heads are from the Victrix Highlander kit and the bodies are from the Perry Miniatures set.
Of course, I could be completely off base. If so, please be gentle with me.
As with my 79th Regiment (Cameron Highlanders) I wanted to add a mounted colonel (also from Victrix) and create a bit of a scene on a "command stand". Here, the colonel and probably a captain are discussing the next move for the regiment, while the ensign, NCOs, and other troopers take an interest in their immediate future. One soldier on the right is calming down the colonel's horse. It's a fairly simple scene, but I'm quite happy with the way it turned out.
This shot from behind shows the kilted piper and the standards of the 74th. My friend Brien originally purchased these from Victrix (I believe) to give to one of his kilted Highlander units, until he read the terrible news (no kilts for the 74th). Knowing he had such nice looking flags just lying around was another factor that prompted my to put these guys together.
And here's another shot of the discussion between the officers.
Finally, the eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that my number of "Miniatures Purchased" has jumped considerably. Well I recently placed an order with Victoria Lamb Miniatures for 45 of her Highland Guard conversion kits. I'm going to add them as an "assault platoon" for my 33rd Genswick Rifles at some stage this year. Can't wait for the package to arrive!