Some of my favourite things.. the Mackay gene pool

For those of you who read the title and were immediately stricken by the Julie Andrew's ear worm I apologize. To further disappoint, I can promise as none of my favourite things, pictures of naked nuns. These can be found on another site related to wargaming and anger management classes. OK, so that is half of the audience clicking elsewhere... on to the subject at hand.

I work on the assumption that some of the emotions and thoughts I experience are common to several, perhaps thousands of others. When I am working on a wargaming project or painting a range of figures I get a very deep sense of engagement with the activity. It is all I can think about. In idle time I am making lists and planning what to buy and paint next. I search out information, make little painting schedules, all the time trying to beat my self imposed targets. I look at the models again and again, set them up in rows, watch the collection accrue into something more substantial and marvel at the sense of joy I obtain from doing it all. I often tell myself it's the best work I have ever done.

I literally have dozens of box files full of the best work I have ever done! It was all the best work I have ever done until, the next project came along. I think my experience is common but I'm not sure so, this is an area in which you all may help me calibrate.

Meanwhile, back with the body of work which for most months of most years languishes in total darkness in  a box hidden under a larger pile of identical boxes. As a result I have decided in this post and maybe some others to follow, to lift the lid and expose to the light, some of my favourite things which now hide from humanity in storage.... cue Julie in the Tyrol...............

Dutch Regiment Waldek Pyrmont ex Mackays 
This unit was painted for the first time about 1991. Then, it guised as Mackay's Scots in Dutch service. The coats were a deeper and duller red. It was the first unit of Grand Alliance figures I ever painted. I fell in love with Copplestone's cartoon-like sculpts and their exaggerated detail. During a reorganization in the mid 90s I decided to do Mackay's again using Foundry models. The old Mackay's were broken off the bases, a few models were added (including the Essex ensign in the back row who I consider the best sculpt from their old 1690s range) and the coats were given a two tone uplift to a sort of shocking scarlet). New flags and voila! Waldek arrived. I had by this time mentally shifted to 15mm frontage per model from 20mm. I had also moved from 4 x 4 models to 6 x 3 models per unit. BLB was forming in my head but was far from being a rule set. My flag making technique was by this time well developed. The hugely thick piano wire pikes required real strength to snip and the 'recoil' always hurt my hands! This unit reminds me of all of that.

The replacements for the original Mackay's
Embarking on a new Mackay's I painted a very large regiment of 36 models based in three ranks. They were primarily for a Killiecrankie project which appeared on the cover of WI many moons ago. Having won painting competitions at Claymore, Targe and Durham I saw the unit had limited use so broke it up to form the BLB battalion above (which also has pikes). They provided  extra pikemen for Ramsay's regiment, sergeants for Montcashel's regiment and a few others were  're posted'. 

Ramsay's pikemen... transferred from Mackay's
Some of the surplus pikemen from Mackay's found their way into a fellow regiment of the brigade. This close up shows them off well. The dramatic figures is actually a converted artilleryman with linstock removed. Facings of course, retouched.

Mackay's original ensign and colours.. where are they now?

Mackay's original colours
In my original regiments I only used one flag.The two flag convention started about 1994. When Mackay's were broken up their yellow saltire on red was put in a box. I recycled it during a commission army for Julian Blakeney Edward's. I added a JR cypher.. shudders from the the Williamites! The ensign is the original model from Mackay's. The photo is by Julian and with his permission. Julian sold the collection several years ago so someone out there will own this piece!

Lord Montcashel's Regiment.. containing... Mackay's!
LORD MONTCASHEL'S REGIMENT.. Irish in French service
Another of my favourite units which was reformed in the mid 90s had some of Mackay's added and regrettably has move on I know not where. I sold it a few years back but don;t remember where it went. US or Holland I think. Mackay's provided two models on the 2nd rank far left and the chap on the 2nd rank far right.

McKellikut's Regiment.. another beneficiary of Mackay's abundance

The officer on the far left was the  Lt Colonel model from the original Mackay's. He found his way across the divide, got new facings and still survives in my collection.

Mackay's gene pool has spread far and wide from the original 16 models of 1991.