Men in Scarlet

Just a quick update on my painting exploits here at Suburban Militarism. The past couple of months has seen my latest project (Victorian rifle volunteers) take shape with mini dioramas of the Cheshire Greys and the Robin Hood Rifles. I can announce that the third instalment has finally begun.

Rifle volunteers 3 (4)
First basecoats for my new Rifle Volunteer Corps…

These figures arms and heads have been glued and the whole thing primed. Indeed, the first lick of paint has been applied and, after the grey Cheshires and green Notts rifle volunteers, you will notice they are being painted scarlet – a more familiar colour for a British soldier at this time. The majority of Rifle Volunteer Corps initially had red tunics and later the government stipulated that any change of colour to existing RVC uniforms had to be red.

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Another thing that is slightly different about these figures are the puttees around the calves rather than the leather leggings worn by my previous two corps. Essentially, my idea is to recreate the men depicted in a colourised photograph on the front of “Riflemen, Form!”, a book studying the Victorian rifle volunteer movement which I read recently.

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3rd London RVC, 1896 with Gatling gun.

The group in the 1896 photograph of the 3rd London Rifle Volunteer Corps (11th Volunteer Battalion, Kings Royal Rifle Corps), posing nonchalantly with a Gatling Gun. They are wearing red tunics with yellow facings, white leather equipment, spiked Home Service helmets, and white trousers with dark blue puttees.

Rifle volunteers 3 (3)

To enable me to replicate this dress, I’ve purchased some loose sprues of Perry Miniatures Afghanistan War British Infantry figures which feature the puttees seen in the photograph. This set, however, doesn’t come with the home service helmets so I’ve used those which came with Perry’s Zulu War kit.

I’ll be back with more pics once I’ve progressed this group a little further!

4 thoughts on “Men in Scarlet

  1. Really enjoying your new venture into the Rifle Volunteers, an absolutely fascinating subject, I must get the book. I will have a go with the Perry’s to produce Kent & Surrey Volunteers and with reference to chaps on horses the East Kent Mounted Rifles. I may even get the blog Victory V going again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks David! Very pleased you’re enjoying the Rifle Volunteers project. Perry’s figures are excellent in my view and it would great to see your own volunteers. Interested to hear which figures you’ll use for the East Kent Mounted Rifles with those astrakhan type hates, yeomanry being an interest of mine.

      And have you a link to your Victory V blog?

      Like

  2. looking on Amazon is dangerous book ordered plus saw this and the authors surname
    Historical Records of the 5th Administrative Battalion Cheshire Rifle Volunteers Paperback – 31 Aug 2017

    by Astley Terry (Author)

    Liked by 1 person

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