Monday, 23 January 2017

King's Royal Regiment of New York (1)

The King's Royal Regiment of New York ("KRRNY") was raised in June 1776 by Sir John Johnson, a loyalist who had fled with his family and other loyalists to Canada in May after harassment by local patriots.  Johnson had started recruiting a battalion of loyalists in January and finished the process in Canada. (Johnson had his revenge on his local enemies - see my previous post on Frederick Visscher.)  Eventually two battalions were raised, nicknamed "Johnson's Greens" and "the Royal Yorkers".  The KRRNY was active in raiding down the Mohawk Valley and fought in the Saratoga campaign.  During the Saratoga campaign, the KRRNY formed part of the force under the command of Colonel Barry St Leger which was sent up the Saint Lawrence river to besiege Fort Stanwix.  When St Leger heard that a relief force of militia under Nicholas Herkimer was on its way, he and his Indian allies prepared an ambush, which became the battle of Oriskany.  Despite winning that battle, St Leger was forced to retreat back to Canada when he learnt that a further relief force under Benedict Arnold was looking for him.  He had intended to link-up with the main British force under Burgoyne, but St Leger only managed to reach Fort Ticonderoga by the time that Burgoyne surrendered.  The KRRNY remained stationed in Canada and continued raiding into New York and Vermont until the end of the war.  The regiment was disbanded in 1784 and its men were given land in Upper Canada (now Ontario).     

So for wargaming purposes, the KRRNY would be handy for F&IW-style skirmish games as well as being a key component for the battle of Oriskany.   The "British Grenadier!" orbat for Oriskany has two units of the KRRNY, of 16 and 12 figures.  The former is on the table from the beginning, whilst the latter is a reinforcement that arrives after a few turns.  These figures are Perry plastic British infantry with "Saratoga" caps and tricornes and represent the 16-figure ambush unit.  I wanted to re-create the look of the regiment in the Don Troiani painting of Oriskany that I used when I painted my Hanyery Tewahangarahken personality figure.  I've re-posted the painting as the KRRNY figure can be seen clearly in the centre-right - green coat with red facings and a cap with a red horsehair crest.  Before painting these figures I read all the materials on the excellent website of the re-created KRRNY about the unit's likely uniform.  The choice is basically green coats faced either blue or red.  The former was the established norm until Don Troiani's uniform researcher, James Kochan, concluded that red was the most likely facing colour.  I won't post the arguments either way - anyone interested should read the articles on the website I've linked to.  Kochan thinks that the regiment probably wore Saratoga-style cap-hats when on active duty; or at least it seems likely that the battalions' light companies would have done so.  I've gone with that for 12 of the figures and given them black belts to suggest that these are light company men.  I then decided to paint the remaining 4 figures as normal centre company figures in tricornes, on the basis that (a) more than 12 figures for the light companies would be excessive and (b) I'd be able to add the 4 tricorne figures to the next batch of 12 to form a unit of 16 which I could use for other Loyalist regiments.  I'll post those remaining 12 figures in a couple of weeks.  The coats shouldn't have lace; I decided not to cut it off or paint over it, and so painted it white.  So these figures are all a bit conjectural, to be honest, but they do capture the "look" I was after.           

16 figures.  Painted October-December 2016.



Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Extremely pretty figures!

Best Regards,


Dale said...

Really excellent paint job.

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Excellent work Giles. I'm in the camp of if it looks the part and generally has the overall impression then all is well so I totally agree with you taking whatever liberties you wish as I so very often do.:-)


AJ (Allan) Wright said...

Lovely unit - excellent brush work. I particularly like the extra company in tricornes being separate, rather than having the trocornes sprinkled throughout the unit. I wouldn't hesitate to use this unit as a stand-in for other loyalist units as well. Very versitile.

David said...

Another fine unit for your forces Giles and the usual interesting background to show their place in the scheme of things.

Simon Jones said...

Inspirational Giles! Unit research and their uniforms is a minefield for the AWI. Even more so for the Patriots.

All the best

Kevin said...

Beautiful work! Your collection is amazing.