Monday, 28 October 2013

(Not the) 51st Highland Division

Following completion of my English units for "Phase 1", and most of the Scots, I decided on a few "hairies" to round out Bruce's army, hence the need for Highlanders and Islesmen.

Here are the aforementioned Highlanders (plus dog!), newly painted and awaiting the usual varnish and base treatment. All figures are Old Glory except the dog, which is a Vendel mastiff. I just thought it went nicely with the unit and helped emphasise the more feral nature of the subject matter.

Not quite sure how to get these figures to my liking, with the "need" for lots of stripes and checks, and also lots of flesh on show, I tried two different basic undercoat options. The first, used primarily on those figures without too much in the way of clothing or armour, was a bone-coloured undercoat. The rest were done in my usual black.

In the end, I do not think it made a blind bit of difference!

Top Tip: If you want to paint Highlanders for any pre-clan tartan era, paint a batch of different castings all with the same patterns. Do this several times over, changing the colour(s) used and pattern completed with each batch. When you have enough for two or three units overall, mix and match to taste. Why do this? I started these figures doing different patterns on each but then thought that they would probably have made a batch of cloth which everyone could use, so identical patterns would feature. However, as we want colour and variety in our figures with minimal work, I reckon this is the best way to achieve that aim!


A horde of hairies plus very large dog.

Bone and black undercoat side by side. Like I said, no difference really.

I started off painting different patterns on each figure, but soon realised that they would probably have made a bolt of cloth which several people would have used, so some patterns appear more than once, but on differently posed figures.

The Laird of Clan Lard with his pet.

Ginger, breechless, barbarous - must be a Scot.....

And another, who must have beaten up a Viking somewhere along the line given his natty headgear.

As you can see, I have based half the unit singly. This is to allow me to use the figures for SAGA, WAB Arthurians, etc.


  1. Great work that is one big ass dog.
    Peace James

  2. Very impressive, beautiful tartans!

  3. Another good looking batch of northern types. The matching/similar tartan idea makes a lot of sense from a historical point of view.


  4. These will look great when the bases are finished, Im sure. The look really good allready.