So to ease me back in, and cause less stress on the under-used paint brushes (I wonder the bristles haven't just dried out and snapped) I started off on what was always going to be a 'paint conversion' of a unit gifted to me all those years ago by Lofty C [clicky] and which had already been painted...
I think these were listed in the Miniature Figurines catalogue as Hungarians (Line Fusilier Advancing I think - product code ASW7 [clicky]) but from my perspective the most important thing was they were already painted largely hunting green and grey, and just needed a few modifications... so , I added knee length black gaiters (which I thought would be likely on campaign), and applied some paint to the trousers of about three quarters of them to give some variation (again I thought this might be likely for a unit on campaign) - I think that typically the regiment would have worn white trousers... touched up the helmets, added the silver crescent, and the flag started off as the one from Warflag but I modified the central shield and wreath with a better one I found elsewhere on the web... a coat of varnish and a quick wipe over with Dullcote, based, and the jobs a good'un - not as nice as Giles's [clicky] but they'll do!
So what of the history for this unit? Well there were a fair few Loyalist regiments raised in support of the British crown during the war of American Independence, and these were one of the better known ones...
They were originally raised by Robert Rogers (he of "Rogers Rangers" fame in the French and Indian War) in 1775/1776 at the start of the war, and were named after Queen Charlotte the wife of George III. In August 1776 at their first muster they numbered just over 900 men, organised in 11 companies of infantry, and five troops of cavalry (like Lausanne's Legion they were an all arms unit and eventually had their own artillery as well)
Rogers left the command in January 1777, following a surprise attack on the unit the previous October where they had taken serious casualties (other references refer to both his "poor health", his "alcoholism" and his poor choice of character in the officers he selected to lead the regiment as being behind the removal of command).
Despite this the regiment went on to distinguished itself at Brandywine [clicky] in September, under the new command of Major James Wemyss [clicky here for a good biography]; Howe personally thanked the regiment for "their distinguished gallantry, and good conduct."
In the October John Graves Simcoe [clicky] was given command (Wemyss - a British regular - was apparently dissatisfied at the lack of promotion and recognition and had resigned).
You pays your money and takes your choices, but Simcoe either turned them into one of the most successful British regiments in the war, or they already were that good as a result of Wemyss's previous work and Simcoe just benefited, but either way the regiment were present in a significant number of campaigns, battles and skirmishes. From Wikipedia....
- They provided escort and patrol duty around Philadelphia (1777–8);
- fought in the Pennsylvania campaign;
- served as rearguard during the British retreat to New York (1778);
- fought the Stockbridge Militia in The Bronx (1778); known as the Battle of Kingsbridge there's a fairly interesting account here [clicky]
- fought at Perth Amboy, New Jersey, where Simcoe was captured but freed in a prisoner exchange three months later (1779–80); this is well worth a read for the story of this raid [clicky]
- at Charlestown, South Carolina (1780);
- in the raid on Richmond, Virginia with Benedict Arnold and in other raids in Virginia (1780–1).
In 1783, when the war was ended by the Treaty of Paris, the Queen's Rangers left New York for Nova Scotia, where the regiment was disbanded.
Figures are 25mm Miniature Figurines