I’ve been quietly making a return to the 54mm yeomanry figure painting with one of my two remaining Mitrecap Miniatures figures. The figure in question is a 1908 officer of the East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry which, together with the Yorkshire Dragoons and Yorkshire Hussars, are one of all three Yorkshire yeomanry regiments covered by the manufacturer. This bias towards Yorkshire can be explained by the manufacturer heralding from Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
The painting instruction for this metal 54mm figure includes the following advice:
Thankfully, I already had one of these references, the former being a plate illustrated by E.A. Campbell in R.G. Harris’ 1972 book. This artist also inspired the previous Mitrecap figure I painted this year of the Surrey yeomanry. Campbell’s illustration of the East Riding soldier appears at the end of the book:
The other reference comes from the April 1983 edition of Military Modelling which I sourced cheaply from eBay. The relevant article is “The East Riding Yeomanry (Wenlock’s Horse) 1902-1947: Part 1” by Major R. Wilson. It contains information on the regiment’s formation, a detailed description of the uniform and a number of watercolour illustrations by an artist identified only with the initials “M.J.T.”.
The first challenge was trying to replicate the particular shade of the tunic which has variously been described as being either “claret” or “maroon” both in the Harris book and in the painting advice provided by Mitrecap, but simply as “maroon” by Major Wilson in the article. Not having a ready-made maroon/claret in my paint rack I had to set about mixing my own shade and, after a couple of abject failures, finally settled on one I was content with which, I hope, does the job.
This is the first 54mm yeomanry figure I’ve painted wearing a lancer cap (Czapka). It’s cloth panels are a colourful light blue with a black patent leather skull cap and gold lines and chin scales. The plume is described as a white and pale blue feather affair, the blue is really clear on Campbell’s illustration but less so on MJT’s which appears largely white. I’ve gone with MJT with just a hint of light blue peeking between the white feathers.
East Riding Museums have this lovely yeomanry czapka as an exhibit available to view online which seems to be white with a very feint hint of pale blue about it.
The light blue appears again as double stripes on the dark blue overalls. My captain also wears a lancer’s girdle of red and gold bands which had to be painted freehand, a bit tricky as there were no sculpted lines.
Pale blue piping is also on the rear and edges of the jacket. These rear views show my addition of some details on a plaque. The plinth is alder wood and hand-made in the Ukraine – very posh!
The figure came with a sword and scabbard with slings but, no matter what I tried, I just couldn’t place it anywhere which looked natural. So as he looks entirely happy without it, I simply left it off completely. However, since taking these photos, I’ve found an image which better explains its positioning so I’m going to have another go but it’s just too late for this post, I’m afraid!
The plastron on the chest, the shoulder straps and collar are also pale blue which, as a combination with the maroon/claret jacket, puts me in mind of the claret and blue of the football strips of West Ham or Aston Villa). The overall effect is to add a nice addition of more vibrant colours in contrast to the predominantly khaki and dark blue colours featuring on the rest of my 54mm Yeomanry Cavalry figures.
Finally, the regiment has a badge on the collar featuring a guilt metal fox with the legend “Forrard” which wasn’t at all present on the figure so I’ve simply painted my own approximated version.
Overall, I’m very happy with this new addition to the yeomanry fold. I’ve a number of figures to keep adding to the project but only one Mitrecap version. The now sadly demised Mitrecap Miniatures made some terrific yeomanry figures and I’d dearly love to source those remaining ones one day (there are about five that I know of). The sculpting on this Captain of the East Riding yeomanry stands as testament to their quality figures.