Lovat’s Scouts

As my immanent house move appears to have suddenly become less then immanent due to circumstances beyond my control, I’ve been occasionally getting some work done on another of my growing 54mm yeomanry collection. The figure is from Tradition of London and shows a trooper from 1911, squatting down to pet a cat.

The Lovat Scouts were founded by the 16th Lord Lovat in response to the Anglo-Boer War emergency in 1899. The Boers were proving so elusive and manoeuvrable on the veldt that Lovat recognised the need for an effective mounted scouting force which could match them. He identified the stalkers and hunting assistants on his own estates in the Highlands as being ideal for this kind of work and by May 1900 many of them were serving in South Africa. Disbanded after the war, they were re-raised when accepted into the Imperial Yeomanry in 1903 as two regiments of the 1st and 2nd Lovat Scouts. The name seems to be variously either Lovat Scouts or Lovat’s Scouts, and so I’ve simply gone with Tradition’s own title.

Although it’s not a pose based directly on any of R.J. Marrion’s covers for the “Uniforms of the British Yeomanry Force” series, Marrion did indeed paint this uniform on the cover of Volume 8 in the series on the Lovat Scouts and Scottish Horse (see figure below on the right wearing a bandolier). Being clean shaven like my Tradition figure, (and I’ve given him the same ginger hair) perhaps I could consider Marrion’s illustration as a key inspiration behind him.

Trooper of the Lovat’s Scouts, 1914.

Tradition’s trooper wears a dark blue bonnet called a ‘Balmoral’ or ‘Scout’ bonnet. The top features a dark blue bobble known as a ‘tourie’. Around the side of it is a blue and white diced band which was challenging to paint but fun. At the back are two black silk ribbons.

Our trooper is wearing a 1903 pattern, 50-round, leather bandolier probably with Short Magazine Lee-Enfield ammunition, replacing the Lee-Metford which were exchanged around 1910.

The honour guard at Lord Lovat’s wedding in 1910, looking much the same as my figure.

The ‘scout’ bonnet he wears includes the regimental badge which I’ve managed to replicate quite well but which I haven’t captured very well on my photos!

Other Ranks, such as this trooper, wore khaki drab cord riding breeches with thin blue piping down the seam, blue puttees and black ankle boots with hunting spurs. The riding breeches were apparently a very slightly lighter shade than the khaki jacket, particularly on the inside parts, which I’ve – sort-of – replicated.

The colours of the cat are based on one of my own cats. He is much bigger, fatter and lazier than the playful proportions of this little feline, so there the similarity ends! The cat figure was very tiny and, being cast in metal, the details were too subtle for fussing over so I’ve kept it very simple, but it’s a lively figure and the first cat I’ve painted in any scale. I’m not sure what inspired the sculptor to go for this eccentric pose but I love it and it provides a nice contrast to the other poses in my 54mm yeomanry collection.