Now that my Royal Artillery battery from the 1860s has been finished and gone to take their place in my display cabinets, it’s time to turn my attention to a new challenge. Alongside the Royal Artillery figures, another Christmas/birthday present that I received in December was Perry Miniatures Napoleonic British Light Dragoons set. They are also the larger 28mm scale and come with a choice of creating either early or late versions of the uniform (there’s even an interim version available with a Heavy Dragoon style helmet). The two uniforms were radically different and, having painted the later version at 1/72 scale last year, I’ve opted to go for the earlier version which features hussar style braiding, breeches and boots, and the crested tarleton helmet.
The box comes with full colour detailed uniform information on all the British light dragoon regiments of the time, potentially saving me lots of research. Only – being me – this early uniform got me thinking…
In the past couple years, I’ve visited a number of military museums that have featured displays on local yeomanry forces. Yeomanry, being essentially volunteer cavalry intended strictly for homeland service, were first raised in response to the growing threat by revolutionary France. Around this time, they were dressed in very similar uniforms to the regular light cavalry, so this set also offers the possibility of painting a yeomanry regiment. The question is: which one?
A couple of years ago I had planned to visit the Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum in Warwick; the pleasant little town having no less than three military collections within walking distance of each other. Unfortunately, being staffed by volunteers, the day I had rashly arranged to go coincided with a closure. I was cheeky, however, and contacted one of the trustees, a Mr Philip Wilson, who most generously agreed to open up and show me round for the afternoon. When we met, it transpired that we were both long-time members of the Victorian Military Society. The personal tour was terrific and I could not have asked for a kinder or more knowledgable guide. Whilst there, I purchased a couple of books on the Warwickshire Yeomanry and these are going to form the basis of my guide to painting their early regimental uniform, an example of which can be seen below. So, in respectful tribute to Mr Wilson and the Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum’s generosity, these will be the next Suburban Militarism painting project*.
*(After my contribution to the Benno’s Figures Forum Group Build, that is… More on that later…)