Saturday, 20 October 2012

Earl of Northampton's Regiment of Horse

As much as I like painting infantry, there is something quite powerful stirred in the imagination in seeing a completed regiment of model cavalry.  Here is the Royalist Earl of Northampton's Regiment of Horse, finally complete and ready for action.

I must confess that the bulk of the painting work was done some years ago....probably around 1994 if I should make a guess. I have spent the last couple of weeks carrying out the re-basing work and doing some minor touching up work on the figures.  It's quite funny how 18 years ago card bases with green flock sprinkled onto green paint looked quite good and was very acceptable.  Nowadays we all seem to make the bases as pleasing to the eye as the figures, and it does seem to be very worthwhile.

The figures are from Redoubt, and I have to say, back in the early 1990's they really advanced the quality of wargames figures generally with these. The torsos are separate to the legs and heads so you could build up a good choice of different figures.  If I recall, you could also choose either hard heads or 'soft' heads, being helmeted or un-helmeted.

Since my purchase of these figures, my views on whether helmets of soft hats were worn has changed substantially.  I would think that for any man who could afford a buff coat or a back and breast plate, a good helmet was the first thing you would purchase.  The head seems to have been such a major target in most forms of slashing sword combat. Le Marchant's sword cuts in his cavalry training manual in the early 1800's seemed to focus on the head, and in Kendo the head always takes the greater part of thwackings (technical term...not!) as my head would often ring post-Kendo lessons!  I cannot but help think that wearing a soft hat in a cavalry melee would equate to taking an early bath in sports-speak (if you could find your head that is!).

As nice as many of the figures are, some of the Redoubt figures do seem to suffer from 'cymbal-itis'.  The condition of where a figure has clearly gone to a heavy metal concert and fell in front of the drummer just as a   great big hairy bloke slams his cymbals together in a crashing finale.  The head is narrow and squished - demonstrated here by the Guidon bearer (Cornet) in this shot above.  There are a few figures like this unfortunately and is the main reason why I probably wouldn't add to my forces from this company (I have another regiment or so which I bought in the early 90's which are yet to be shown).

I always liked the pose on this figure (above). A hearty yell and a swing of the pole-axe.  There are a number of good aspects to the Redoubt figures (oh why the squishy heads!). I also like the detail such as lace-work over the top of the boots and also the good number of sashes worn by the cavalry figures.     I do think that the sash/scarf would have been an essential piece of wear in a melee, if you didn't want a wheel-lock pistol from a friendly cavalryman pushed against your back and fired because of mis-identification in the swirling confusion of action.

Another shot of just the command stand.  I think I have enough re-vamped forces to have a brigade a side battle of Pike and Shotte tomorrow, just a solo play test effort in readiness for the larger battles to follow.  I can't say just how much I am looking forward to that after spending 5 months or so on these solidly this year already!


  1. Sounds very exciting to finally be that close to getting a game in. That's a really nice looking unit you got there!

    1. Thanks for your kind comments :-) I must admit I cleared the wargames table this evening and set everything up. All evening I have just sat back and admired everything, having seen it all together for the first time. I haven't chucked a single dice yet several hours later!

  2. Say now that's a great looking cavalry you done!


  3. A top job Jason, very very cool!!!

  4. A wonderful unit, painting is on top...Charge!

  5. Those are really good, very lovely!

  6. Thanks again all for your encouraging comments. I think I must be due to make another ready... :-)