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"New Scots "Red Shanks" Mercenaries" Topic

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660 hits since 17 Feb 2018
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Comments or corrections?

Ferreo Cuore17 Feb 2018 4:40 p.m. PST

I was reading interesting book that had me looking up army in my old DBR book. I ended up reading the Old Irish list #44, which had an unusual troop type:

New Scots "Red Shanks" Mercenaries, Warband [Ordinary]

The description was "mercenaries from the Highlands and Isles started as mailed archers with two-handed swords but shed their mail as their wealthier members replaced their bows with firearms. They were called "red shanks" from the bare legs showing beneath their plaids.

What in the world would these soldiers realistically look like? Does anyone make figures for them, or that could make a start to modify of them?

much thanks!

clibinarium17 Feb 2018 7:03 p.m. PST

I did some figs for Khurasan that might be useful, though they were focused for the later 16th century.

Malatesta150018 Feb 2018 5:14 a.m. PST

Yes they were more a thing in the second half of the Sixteenth Century, Shane O'Neill for example was a big employer of them, as well as having his own problems fighting the Scots of Clan Ian Mor of the Antrim Glens.

There is some evidence to suggest that they may have been employed on smaller numbers before this, excluding of course the Galloglass who by the 1500s were often native Irishmen with only the constables bearing the Scots family names.

There are some contemporary images of what they may have looked like:




Notice how in the last image the chap hunting looks pretty much identical to a Kern, even wearing the characteristic jacket or Ioanar.

Khurasan do some great figures for them in 15mm, suitable for the second half of the 16th Century. I have just completed a unit for my Irish army using a mix of converted Claymore Castings figures, now sold by Antediluvian Miniatures and Old Glory. I will probably do a blog post on them in the next week or so.

Prince Rupert of the Rhine18 Feb 2018 8:55 a.m. PST

Old TMP thread for Khurasan Irish with good pictures

TMP link

Druzhina18 Feb 2018 5:49 p.m. PST
gavandjosh02 Supporting Member of TMP19 Feb 2018 12:48 a.m. PST

According to Ian Heath's Foundry Book on the period, those huge sleeves disappear in the later 16th C.

Guillaume deGuy Supporting Member of TMP20 Feb 2018 12:30 p.m. PST

Thanks for putting all these links in one place, Druzhina, very useful indeed!

Guillaume deGuy Supporting Member of TMP20 Feb 2018 12:33 p.m. PST

And dittos to Malatesta and Rupert as well!

Malatesta150002 Mar 2018 6:51 a.m. PST

Here is my take on some 28mm Redshanks accompanied by some ramblings on them as a troop type: link

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