Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Friday, 18 June 2021

WSS: Queen Dowager's Regt of Horse

 This unit has taken a while to finish - the hot weather has been a problem for painting, and also the football has been a very enjoyable distraction. Anyway - here they are. They still have to have their flag fitted, and I'll see to that in the morning when the varnish is properly cured.

Problems with the heat? Well, mostly these are to do with my own tendency to snooze in hot weather, but I did have some issues with paint going off too quickly, and also some concerns about my varnish. Normally, I apply gloss varnish with a fairly large brush - it floods on well, and the fact that it goes on a little frothy is OK, because the bubbles disappear before the varnish dries. However, this can be tricky if the ambient temperature is high - it's possible for the varnish to start to set with the bubbles still present. I was prepared for this, so I've been careful to use the varnish in a cooler room, and everything is fine.

If the flag goes on nicely in the morning I hope to add another photo, and I may line up the growing British contingent for a group photo. 

 ***** Late Edit *****

Righto - good morning - the flag is now in place, and here are the extra pictures:



 This little British army is still to receive 2 more regiments of horse, 1 of dragoons, 3 (possibly 4) of foot, 2 more field guns and some staff - probably a commander and a couple of brigadiers. After that I have to finish some bits and pieces for the Imperial and Bavarian forces, and then start on the French. There are plans beyond that, but let's keep it sensible for the time being!

I am prepared to bet that you probably know who the Queen Dowager was, but I certainly didn't (being an ignopotamus), so I did a bit of reading, and I now have at least some basic facts:

She was the widow of Charles II - Caterina de Bragança. She seems to have had a fairly poor time of it when Charlie Boy was still alive (having to accept Charles's mistress into the Royal Household, among other outrages), and she famously had no children, as a consequence of which there were quite a few British monarchs in a short time. Partly because she was trying to secure her inheritance, she hung around in Britain for some years after she was widowed, and her regiment of horse was still in evidence in 1703 (though known as Wyndham's Horse by this date). She returned to Portugal before she died in 1705.

 
Here is a portrait of Queen Caterina, dressed as a shepherdess. You probably recognised her outfit immediately, since all shepherdesses dress like this - certainly in Scotland they do. The cherub seems dubious. 

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12 comments:

  1. Very nice indeed Tony…
    That’s a fine looking British force you are assembling…

    The cherub is quite accurate for England…It was however too cold up north for them.😁
    All the best. Aly

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    1. That cherub is just messing about - he's putting flowers on the sheep, for goodness sake. Always intrigues me that queens and suchlike (see also Marie Antoinette) used to like to dress up as peasant characters whom they would neither have understood nor tolerated.

      I am very fond of this Jake Thackeray classic, which sets out for us what the reality of being a shepherdess was - I find this very moving - rather more so than the thought of Queen Caterina being cheated on by the randy rum pot she was married to:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiXINuf5nbI

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  2. Great stuff. I do like that officer with his hat off. (Irregular?)

    I know what you mean about the hot weather; glad to see the rain back. (Wargamers are strange creatures.) Of course, if I wasn't so set in my ways I could go somewhere else to paint that's not close to a sun-facing window. Never thought of that before.

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    1. One additional problem with the heat is that my painting desk is coming unglued - no, really. It's a great big old 1930s effort as well, so if it falls apart it may kill someone, or go through the floor - whatever, it will spoil my day. Fixing the painting desk - in situ - may become my big hobby project very soon.

      Yes, the officer and cornet are Irregular - the trumpeter is one of Old John's Higgins conversions. All the horses are Les Higgins, to help even out scale issues.

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  3. Not a particularly flattering portrait of the poor lady...the way the artist has done the shadow of her chin, it looks like she needs a good close shave!

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    1. It's not great, is it? Maybe that's what the cherub is worried about.

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  4. Pah, that hat would be totally unsuited to shepherding! I've heard of artistic licence but that oversized floppy thing takes the biscuit.

    Last week I had paint actually drying on the brush as I tried to apply it. Now its raining again I have no such issues.

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    1. Agree entirely - someone should have set her up with a few acres and a hundred or so sheep, and see how she managed - that would sort out her cherubs too. Loading them into a cart would be challenging. That's the sheep, not the cherubs.

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  5. A handsome regiment, Tony, and far more attractive than its namesake’s portrait!

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    1. Thank you Peter - to do the poor lady some justice, there are quite a few official (non-shepherdess) portraits which are much better, but I thought this was the funniest.

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  6. Another gorgeous looking unit Tony and the army is looking d@mned fine indeed.
    The Braganças did seem to fall often in the 'not attractive to men' category, didn't they?
    Regards, James

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    1. Thank you James - aw shucks. Poor old Caterina was hardly a pin-up, but she was certainly presentable. One problem for her was that the classic English beauties of the day were fat and pale (which proved that they were too rich to go out and work). I wonder whether the shepherdess painting highlighted her rather more swarthy complexion deliberately (with whatever intention you may wonder - malice? showing what "real" foreign women looked like? No idea).

      She was unlucky with babies, and had some mental health issues too. Still, she had plenty of money, and she was famous, so most of our millennials would not be able to see why she might have been unhappy...

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