Sunday, 19 March 2023

British Highlanders

I understand that PA are planning to go ahead with the British, which will be a useful addition to armies in both the European and North American theatres. The intention is to start with the Highlanders, as these are something a little different.

Do we know if during the SYW, the highlanders operated in close order similar to the rest of the line infantry, or were they sometimes used in more open formations - I ask as it will influence what poses to produce? 

I am not sure if the plan is for 3 or 4 moulds, for now assuming only 3 then I would suggest the 6 figures should be:

  1. Officer
  2. Standard Bearer
  3. Musician
  4. Private advancing

Then another two chosen from:

  • NCO
  • Private at march attack
  • Private standing firing
  • Private kneeling firing
  • Private loading
  • Any other ideas?


According to Kronoskaf the highlanders had drummers and pipers - presumably for character a piper would be preferred?

Marching Pose

Is this the correct hand position for British to hold the musket when marching -  it is different to what has been used for the figures in the past?

I have to confess I am not too well read on the British, so more than ever, input from this group would be useful.


  1. By way of an update, I have just spoken to Chris Tubb (the sculptor) who is about to work on the Highlanders, so any comments would be useful.

  2. That is great news. I really look forward to these moulds.
    Musician: Certainly the piper.
    Mould 5 and 6: First preference: Private standing firing/Private kneeling firing; second preference: NCO + Private march attack
    Marching pose: I am not an expert, however, all other sculptors show it as you do, e.g. sculptor of minden miniatures.

  3. Fraser's Highlanders and the Black Watch by and large operated as regular line infantry but when launched in a charge they went for the claymore rather than bayonet, usually dropping their muskets. The Black Watch charge was stopped by an abatis manned by infantry and artillery. The Fraser's were repulsed by accurate fire from Canadian militia firing from the edge of the woods. Since they had dropped their own muskets hundreds of yards away, it was a rather bloody and unsuccessful charge.

    1. Thanks, if they were used as regular line then it will make sense to provide the normal 6 poses.
      Do you know what the regulation way of holding the musket whilst marching was?

    2. Once upon a time I had a booklet (Cdn War Museum I think) which included reproductions of drawings from an 18thC manual. I'll dig about to see if I still have it. I know I have the reproduction of an illustrated French drill manual. There are plenty of photos and videos of SYW reenactment groups, both historic site paid ones and hobby ones. I'll put together some links etc.

    3. This might be worth your look:

      There are several videos on youtube showing american reenactors using the drill.

    4. Thanks - that is where I pinched the drawing from.

  4. Another thought, the British uniforms went through some of transitions, influenced by Prussian styles, so tighter clothes, smaller cuffs, front point of the tricorne getting less pointy vs the 1740's style but if memory serves the later style was in place for most of the big battles and for the Quebec campaign.

    1. When we get to the British infantry your input will be very much appreciated.

  5. Wegmueller Stefan23 March 2023 at 18:28

    I have no knowledge about the British army, so I can only reply to the question of musician: as the bag-pipe is so typical, I also prefer the piper to a drummer. Also I think it is easier for somebody who really wants a drummer to convert an existing SYW drummer into a Highland drummer than to modify an existing SYW drummer into a piper. As much as I would like the standing and kneeling musketeer (as a 4th mould only), it is better to follow the existing line of the other armies and go with your proposition. I look forward to these Highlanders and will certainly buy them. Great, that PA intends to produce British AND Highlander troops.

  6. Osprey's Men-at-Arms "Wolfe's Army" has an illustration of a Black Watch private at attention holding the musket as in your illustration. My musician preference would be a piper, though I think that if you are looking for poses to fill out a third mold I'd go with a drummer over the other choices since nothing beats a pipe and drum band on the march.

    1. I think the current plan is to add NCO and march attack figures - so the usual 6 poses.

  7. Late to the party the Highlanders in many cases were used as close order and open order troops. They were our special forces. So I would certainly have marching figures but then I would go for poses for skirmishing, so a form of advancing and firing and or a loading figure ( working in pairs)

    1. Late comers are often the most interesting :-)
      I am hoping PA are producing the following:
      Officer with sword (but can swap for musket)
      Standard Bearer
      Musician with bagpipes
      NCO with pole arm (again can swap for musket)
      Private advancing
      Private at march attack
      These will make up close order units, and the advancing figure looks OK as a skirmisher.
      Once these are available it might be worth seeing if they will add a firing and loading figures in the future.