Lace Wars: Sankey’s Soldiers

The War of the Spanish Succession, indeed much the 18th century’s so-called ‘lace wars’, have been significantly overlooked in plastic at 1/72 scale until Strelets began to put things right towards the end of last year. At time of writing, Strelets have four sets slated for release:

  • British Infantry in Advance (1701-1714)
  • British Infantry in Attack (1701-1714)
  • British Infantry Firing Line (1701-1714)
  • French Fusiliers (Early War)

The first two have been released and the first set has already found its way to Suburban Militarism. This “in Advance” set includes around 20 marching figures and a similar number again advancing with the point of the bayonet – I’ve started with the marching boys.

I’ve been struggling to find Marlburian uniform information on specific regiments on the net, so I may have to turn to actual ye olde books for more info. Eventually, I turned to one of my postcards which was part of a set bought from The Keep Museum in Dorchester about the Devonshire and Dorsetshire Regiments.

The postcard shows an illustration by Rob Chapman of a soldier from Sankey’s Regiment in 1718 (regiments being named at the time after their colonel). Depicted just after the end of the War of the Spanish Succession on ‘sea service’, they would later be numbered as the 39th Regiment of Foot.

I was attracted to painting this regiment by the green facings, yet my copy of W.Y. Carman’s “Richard Simkin’s Uniforms of the British Infantry Regiments” tells me that for this regiment “no distinctive facings may be quoted before 1742” but does have this to say on their subsequent green facings when :

“…pale green was used for the facings and waistcoat. The green was later named as ‘willow green’, ‘popinjay’, ‘light green’ and other variations, no doubt because a fixed shade of green was hard to find in those days when dyes changed under battle conditions.”

In the end, I’ve been happy to go with the illustration and (in the spirit of those endless shades of green that they enjoyed) have given them some lime green facings, to match Rob Chapman’s illustration.

My marching figures are now about 90% finished, but you will note that some work does still remain to be done. This grenadier company above, for example, are still awaiting some attention to their grenadier caps. No idea what the actual caps looked like but I’m thinking some more of that lime green and some other detailing might do the trick.

Also on the march are some sergeants carrying halberds and a couple of officers too wearing their gorgets. The ensign has a black flag which needs painting in some manner too:

Sankey’s Regiment: A brief history

This regiment was orignally named “Colonel Coote’s Regiment” when it was raised in 1702. The said Colonel Richard Coote however was soon to die in a duel to be succeeded by Colonel Sankey, whose name the Regiment then took. Though missing out on all of Marlborough’s great battles of the war, they still campaigned in the Low Countries, France, Germany, Spain and North America. At the battle of Almanza, the regiment mounted mules to earn the ironic nickname “Sankey’s Horse”. After the war, having been raised as infantry and later serving as psuedo-cavalry when mounted on mules, the men found then found themselves acting as marines when on ‘sea-service’!

The remainder of the box I intend to paint up as a different British regiment, though I’ve yet to decide upon which one. Another aspect on my mind is for me a somewhat novel approach to basing, but more on that in another post.

11 thoughts on “Lace Wars: Sankey’s Soldiers

  1. Those look great. I’ve not seen much of Strelets’ stuff “in the flesh”. PSR tends to show them with a lot of flash – has this been your experience?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Markus, I would say that generally Strelets don’t have a lot of flash. For example, I haven’t removed anything from these figures – though there was a bit of flash around some of the legs.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, they’re coming on nicely. And I must confess, I’m no expert either! I’ve read a little about the Blenheim campaign in the past, but finding a little more about the era is part of what attracts me to it.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Matt, 1/72 is my preferred scale. It’s a new venture into a period which I know relatively little but I’m looking forward to finding out more and building my forces.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Just when I see some sets of periods I’m not interested in along comes Marvin and his magic paintbrush and turns it all on its head ! Great mate !I would not have looked twice at these guys as the uniforms of this era don’t appeal to me, but seeing what you have done has piqued my interest, and so its of to the PRS to check to see what they have to say, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with the rest of the lads .
    Sorry mate, I’m all over the place at the moment trying to catch up with everyone’s posts so I’ll wish you and the family a Happy New year just in case I have missed doing so earlier , Cheers Pat.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Pat. To be honest, I’ve been inspired by this set and have really enoyed painting them up. I’m thinking I might look at building a range of this era’s figs if Strelets keep expanding it. I’m no expert but I’ve read a little about the Blenheim campaign before now so I was really pleased when this set arrived.

      Happy New Year to you and family too! 🙂


      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John! When I first used that green, freshly painted it looked like Hi Vis! A little black wash just dulled it down enough and I’m pleased that it looks pretty much like the artwork on the postcard.

      Liked by 1 person

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