The Black Watch was one of the most famous regiments in the British Army (since 2006 it has been a battalion within the new Scottish Regiment). It was originally raised in the late 1720s to police the highlands and stop livestock rustling and general inter-clan feuding. In 1739 the various companies that existed were turned into a formal army regiment. The origin of the regiment's nickname seems to be the very dark colour of its tartan and the fact that it existed to "watch" other highlanders, although I have also read that the "black" might refer to the element of spying and night-time police work that the regiment engaged in. The regiment saw action at Fontenoy and the French & Indian War. It was after the Battle of Ticonderoga in the latter (1758) that the regiment was awarded "royal" status.
The regiment arrived in America in July 1776 and participate in the battles of Brooklyn, Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth before heading down to Charleston in 1780. After a another spell in New York the regiment was posted to Canada. Along with the Queen's Rangers, this was the first AWI unit I painted. In fact, these charging highlander figures were largely responsible for tweaking my interest in the period; they just seem to sum up everything that makes the horse & musket era so dramatic. The battalion was built up over a fairly long period of time, with a final base of 6 figures added for the NAM Monmouth refight in November 2005, as the "British Grenadier" scenario requires 32 figures for this regiment. The photos show 4 stands of centre companies and the light company. If necessary, I can add another stand of 6 grenadiers to bring the unit up to 36 figures. The Brandywine scenario requires 24 figures, so just leave off the light company.
Being one of my earlier units, the figures are glossier than they should be. The flags are also far too high and some of the figures were painted unsing the "black eye-liner" technique that I stopped using shortly afterwards. Those issues aside, this is the unit in my collection of which I am most proud, not only because it took far longer to paint than anything else, due to all the tartan, but also because it has seen more action on the tabletop than any other. The "government sett" tartan pattern was built up using a base of GW "Dark Angels Green", onto which checks of "Royal Blue" were added. Those checks were then highighted with "Ultramarines Blue" and the intersecting light green checks are the middle colour from the Foundry "Bright Green" pallette. The connecting black stripes were added once the check pattern was finished. It takes time, but once you work out the method it is a relatively straightforward way of painting tartan (the grenadiers have a red stripe instead of black). The second photo above shows the figures charging through an orchard made by Realistic Modelling, which I took because at Monmouth the regiment spent a period fighting in an orchard....
32 figures. Painted at various times in 2004-2005. Flags from GMB.