Lost Battalion 120mm Ensign, 3rd Battalion, 1st Royal Scots Regiment, Waterloo, 1815 Build Review
By Erik Fedde
|Date of Review
|Ensign, 3rd Battalion, 1st Royal Scots Regiment, Waterloo, 1815
|Resin, White Metal
|Brilliant details and sculpting; Unique subject
|Pieces required a modicum of sanding and filling to fit; Flag is very thick and heavy
1815: Two great armies line up against each other in a turning point of history. On one side: Le Grande Armee, commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte, freshly escaped from Elba. On the other side: The British Army, augmented by allies.
One of the British Army's regiments is the 1st Scots Regiment. An Ensign of the 3rd Battalion of that regiment is modeled here. At that time, the Ensign (rough equivalent of a Second Lieutenant in today's US Army) was the most junior officer in the Battalion. He was given the honor of carrying the colors for the Battalion- that is, carrying the Ensign, thus the designation of his rank.
On the battlefield of Waterloo, the 1st Scots were assigned to the 9th Brigade of the British Army. Drawn up in the famous "square" formation, the Scots were attacked by cuirassiers (heavy cavalry) of the Grande Armee. The line held and defeated the heavy cavalry attacks.
There is a legend about the Ensigns of the Royal Scots at Waterloo. Four out of the five Ensigns were killed outright by the enemy during the Battle of Waterloo. The fifth Ensign was severely wounded. His Colour Sergeant attempted to take the flag from the Ensign, but the young officer would not release his grip. The Colour Sergeant carried his officer to the rear for aid, and only then was able to take the flag back forward.
This model is a 120 mm scale Ensign, carrying the colors of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Royal Scots Regiment. It is manufactured by The Lost Battalion http://www.tlbminiatures.com/dreamcatcher/RC/RC.html, and sculpted by Maurice Corry. The model's main components are made from resin, with 3 metal and one brass piece (the flag pole). There are seven resin pieces. Manufacturer's retail price for model number LB16121 is $49.95.
I carefully separated the pieces from the pouring blocks and sanded them down. Next, I washed the resin pieces using dishwater soap and regular water.
The next step is to paint before assembly. I used a dark gray as a primer and let it dry. Then I started on the head.
In doing my research, I found out that the shako (the hat) was primarily made from felt. The bill of the shako was patent leather. The shako badge was gold, as was the chain across the front. I painted by hand; the felt was flat back, the bill gloss black. There was also a leather flap on the back of the shako designed to keep the sun off of the neck, and I painted this gloss black as well. One touch I added was the white and red fur flash on the left side of the shako. This does not come with the kit. I scratchbuilt it by using a white ball pin (a pin with a white top) and a trimmed Q tip. Superglue the pin into the hole in the top of the shako, then superglue the Q tip, make the top red, and there you have it: a convincing white flash on the shako.
The face of my young Ensign was painted using light and dark flesh tones. Hair was detailed as light brown (my wife's color), and I set the head aside for now.
The next job was to tackle the torso. The wonderful thing about this model is the amount of detail you can find. I started by painting the jacket flat red, since it's made of cloth. I then went ahead and went down from big to small. White belts were the next predominant color, from the neckcloth around the neck, to the cross belts, and finally, the white stripes on the sleeves.
Sea blue was next, and provided color for the collar, cuffs, and turnout lapels, as well as tail coat turnouts.
Gloss red was used for the officer's sash.
Gold was used for the million buttons on the jacket, shoulder board, main cross belt buckle and collar edges. Silver was used for the cross belt buckle.
I set that aside and went for something easier.
The pants (actually, overall pants) were already primer gray. I left them alone. I painted the shoes flat black.
Next came the flag, which is huge. I suspect the wind speed of the flag is somewhere around 20 miles an hour, and given the size of the flag, I came to respect the muscle power of my young Ensign in keeping it upright. I started off by painting the whole thing sea blue. I have no way of knowing whether that was the right color, but it seemed to be the closest I had in my paint drawer.
The details of the flag, with the exception of the Union Jack in the corner, are raised and are very detailed. With a little bit of patience (OK, a lot of patience) I started off in the center with the royal signet, then worked out to the campaign honors (Peninsular Campaign and Egypt), then the Scots garters and thistles in the corners, and finally the Union Jack. You have to be careful with the Jack, as the lines differentiating between colors can be difficult to see. I only hope my NATO friends don't take offense if I've goofed it up.
The metal pieces came next. One hand is holding a muzzle loader pistol. I painted the hand light flesh, the pistol handle black, the barrel gunmetal, and the securing bands gold. The instructions say that the pistol was probably private property, so I went expensive on the pistol with gold. The sword has a gold hilt, a flat black scabbard, and gold bands. The flag has a spearhead at the top, as well as tassels, and I painted them gold.
Assembly requires the following tools: cyanocrylic cement, preferably in gel form; pins; a floral cutter to cut the pins to size; and a pin vise. You will also need sand paper and filler.
The head fits very well into the high collar, and you can aim the Ensign's head practically anywhere.
The arms will need sanding down and must be pinned at the shoulders, especially the flag bearing arm. The flag is very heavy and will need a lot of support, not only from the staff, but the hand holding it as well.
You will need to sand down and fill in the join between torso and lower body. Test fit, sand, test fit again until you are satisfied. What's nice to me is that the clothes end logically at the join.
Shoes get pinned and glued onto the end of the legs. Make sure that you have enough pin so that the Ensign can be attached securely to a stand. Right now, I'm unsing the box the model came in. This makes it easier for me to attach and detach the model while I figure out what kind of stand I want to use.
I attached the pistol hand and noted no problems.
Next came the flag. The hand holding the flag is actually "wrapped up" in the flag itself, so you are attaching the flag arm directly to the flag. Additionally, you have to drill out the bottom of the flag and attach the brass rod the manufacturer sent along. I was not satisfied with this, so instead I took a suitably sized piece of plastic sprue, painted it wood brown, and superglued it to the flag. You may want to pin the staff to the flag for extra strength. NOTE: There is a way to "cheat" on the flag. You can go to the web, specifically this site: http://www.warflag.com/napflags/flaghtml/brit09.htm. There are detailed instructions on turning out the flag on a printer at the appropriate scale. Me, I went with the original instructions, because my printer is down.
The Lost Battalion has a Colour Sergeant and a Private to go with the Ensign, and before I build a permanent diorama, those two will be added to him. The sculpture is flawless, even brilliant. You do have room to improvise stance and direction of view, and the details (especially in the torso) can be picked out and painted using patience, the right color, and a suitably small paint brush.
If you are into Napoleonic figures, as I am, the Scots Ensign is a must have!