by: Andy Brazier [ ]
Originally published on:
The Royal Scots Greys was a cavalry regiment of the British Army from 1707 until 1971, when they amalgamated with the 3rd Carabiniers (Prince of Wales's Dragoon Guards) to form The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys).
When news of Napoleon's escape from Elba reached Britain. The Scots Greys, which had been reduced in size because of the end of the Peninsular War, were expanded. This time, there would be 10 troops of cavalry, a total of 946 officers and men, the largest the regiment had ever been to that time. Six of the ten troops were sent to the continent, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel James Inglis Hamilton, to join the army forming under the command of the Duke of Wellington. The Scots Greys, upon arrival in Ghent, were brigaded under the command of Major-General Ponsonby in the Union Brigade, with Royal Dragoons and the Inniskillings Dragoons.
The Scots Greys, with the rest of the Union Brigade, missed the Battle of Quatre Bras despite a long day of hard riding. As the French fell back, the Scots Greys and the rest of the Union Brigade arrived at the end of their 50-mile ride.
On the morning of 18 June 1815, the Scots Greys found themselves in the third line of Wellington's army, on the left flank. As the fights around La Haye Sainte and Hougoumont developed, Wellington's cavalry commander, the Earl of Uxbridge, held the cavalry back. However, with the French infantry advancing and threatening to break the British centre. Uxbridge ordered the Household Brigade and the Union Brigades to attack the French infantry of D'Erlon's Corps. The Scots Greys were initially ordered to remain in reserve as the other two brigades attacked.
As the rest of the British heavy cavalry advanced against the French infantry, just after 1:30 pm, Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton witnessed Pack's brigade beginning to crumble, and the 92nd Highlanders falling back in disorder. On his initiative, Hamilton ordered his regiment forward at the walk. Because the ground was broken and uneven, thanks to the mud, crops, and the men of 92nd, the Scots Greys remained at the walk until they had passed through the Gordons. The arrival of the Scots Greys helped to rally the Gordons, who turned to attack the French. Even without attacking at a full gallop, the weight of the Scots Greys charge proved to be irresistible for the French column pressing Pack's Brigade. As Captain Duthilt, who was present with de Marcognet's 3rd Division, wrote of the Scots Greys charge:
"Just as I was pushing one of our men back into the ranks I saw him fall at my feet from a sabre slash. I turned round instantly – to see English cavalry forcing their way into our midst and hacking us to pieces. Just as it is difficult, if not impossible, for the best cavalry to break into infantry who are formed into squares and who defend themselves with coolness and daring, so it is true that once the ranks have been penetrated, then resistance is useless and nothing remains for the cavalry to do but to slaughter at almost no risk to themselves. This what happened, in vain our poor fellows stood up and stretched out their arms; they could not reach far enough to bayonet these cavalrymen mounted on powerful horses, and the few shots fired in chaotic melee were just as fatal to our own men as to the English. And so we found ourselves defenseless against a relentless enemy who, in the intoxication of battle, sabred even our drummers and fifers without mercy."
A lieutenant of the 92nd Highlanders who was present would later write, "the Scots Greys actually walked over this column".
As the Scots Greys waded through the French column, Sergeant Charles Ewart found himself within sight of the eagle of 45e Régiment de Ligne (45th Regiment of the Line). With a chance to capture the eagle, Ewart fought his way towards it, later recounting:
"One made a thrust at my groin – I parried it off and ... cut him through the head. one of their Lancers threw his lance at me but missed ... by my throwing it off with my sword ... I cut him through the chin and upwards through the teeth. Next, I was attacked by a foot soldier, who, after firing at me charged me with his bayonet, but ... I parried it and cut him down through the head."
With the eagle captured, Sergeant Ewart was ordered to take the trophy off, denying the French troops a chance to recapture their battle standard. In recognition of his feat, he was promoted from sergeant to ensign.
Info From Wikipedia
In the box
Packed in a black top opening box with a photo of the completed but unpainted model on the lid, the buff coloured resin parts are packed in re-sealable bag for the smaller parts with the two horse halves wrapped in bubble wrap.
All the parts are attached to a casting block, with the majority of the parts attached by the gluing faces.
A little flash is found on some of the parts, but wont be difficult to clean up.
The horse is cast as a left and right pieces, minus the head and neck, with the saddle, rolled up blanket and a saddle bag cast already on it. The halves do have a casting block, with a little flash, on the mating surfaces of the halves which will require removing and does look a little challenging to remove and clean up.
Detail is very nice with the muscles of the horse well defined.
The saddle as already mentioned is already cast onto the horse and features the saddle blanket covered with the saddle flap and seat. A saddle girth goes around the underside of the horse. The stirrups are separate parts to be attached, as well as a second saddle bag along with another rolled up item (probably a cloak) for the rear of the saddle.
The horses head and neck is beautifully done with the horse's head slightly turned to the right, with the bridle cast onto the head. The reins are not supplied so some other material will need to be sourced and used for this part. There are a number of smaller parts which connects the reins, bit and bridle together.
A separate mane and tail also need to be attached.
The rider is separated into several parts, with the lower torso with legs, main body, left and right arms, left and right hands, and finally the head complete with head gear.
The pose is dynamic with the Sergeant Ewart swinging his Sabre with his right hand and holding the French Eagle in his left hand along with the reins.
The right hand has the pommel cast in his hand so only the sabre blade needs attaching.
The left hand holds the French Eagle pole which will need the hand drilling out to slide the pole in.
The details for the legs and body are cast onto the resin parts and are crisp and have the folds for the clothing well taken care of. The uniform looks to be pretty spot on accuracy wise too my untrained eye, and looking at pictures of the uniform from various sources.
As per usual for a mounted figure the position of the legs is in a horse riding stance.
The head has the bearskin helmet cast as one part, with the bearskin having some very nice detail for the skin, cap badge and Sergeant Ewart's face, with moustache well defined.
The collar for the uniform is also cast onto the neck.
A water bottle and a bag attach to the left side of the torso.
Two weapons are supplied, a sabre which Sergeant Ewart is in the process of swinging and a musket.
The musket is cast as one piece and is placed on the upper right leg. The sabre as already mentioned has the pommel cast into the right hand with the blade as a separate part. The scabbard needs to be attached by the left leg onto the riders belt by two webbing pieces.
The French Eagle comes with a full standard and is made up of four parts.
The pole feels like its metal and has been painted black.
The eagle is one piece and is pretty well detailed.
The standard is a work of art with the raised writing and the fringing exceptionally done. The folds of the cloth is some of the best I have seen in resin, and is quite thin in places. There is a couple of holes in the thinner sections of the standard, but as musket balls were flying around during the battle, then this could be classed as battle damage.
A pennant along with two tassels need to be attached to the pole below the Eagle and above the standard.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on HISTORICUS FORMA.
Thanks to Mitches Military Models for the discounted model.