Sunday, January 26, 2014

Blue Moon 18mm British Highlanders

Although descended from highland Scottish stock myself (the MacPhee, or Macfie, or McFee clan hails from the island of Colonsay in the Inner Hebrides), I have never painted the 42nd foot, in which several MacPhees served.  Who knows, but maybe one is an ancestor.

Those highland uniforms have always been a little daunting, with their checked hat band, hatched stockings, and patterned kilts.  So when Blue Moon released their highlanders, I bought a few packs, prepped and primed the figures, and then let them sit for several months.  I started painting these figures in June, tackling them a little bit at a time.  This weekend I made the final big push and got these ready for the table.


I painted enough figures to field the 42nd Foot at full strength of 800 men in a 1:20 figure ratio.  There are 27 center company men in kilts, 4 grenadiers, 4 light company men, and five command, including drummer and piper.


The Blue Moon figures are well proportioned and attractive.  The sculptor has included an impressive amount of detail, right down to cuff lace.  I resisted the urge to make an attempt at the MacPhee tartan and painted a simplified version of the government tartan instead.


I cut away the oversized cast flagpoles, drilled out the standard bearers' hands, and inserted some .020 brass rod.  The flags are from GMB's outstanding 15mm range.  Now that I have tried their flags for a few units, I will not use anything else.  These are the best looking and most detailed flags on the market.  I always paint them with a clear matt varnish before sealing the figures with Dullcote.  Otherwise the inks will sometimes fade.


The figures all carry a backpack with blanket roll, haversack, canteen, and cartridge box.

I am very pleased with how these figures turned out, but one highland regiment is enough!  I have prepped two regiments of Blue Moon British line to fill out the brigade.  I'll be painting those as the 24th Foot and 61st Foot.

16 comments:

DeanM said...

Truly superb brushwork on these Highlanders, Scott.

Ray Rousell said...

Excellent work!!!

WarRaptor said...

Those are beautiful. They look like 28s!

Jonathan Freitag said...

Stunning work, Scott! Tackling 40 of these kilted and cross-hatched devils in one go is only for the strong willed.

Nice job!

Greg Sapara said...

Breathtaking!

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

Tartans in 18mm - such precise work - lovely stuff.

Phil said...

Beautiful work!

Monty said...

Gorgeous paintjob. I saw less detailed paintjobs in 28mm.

Excellent!

LittleArmies said...

They look absolutely superb!

My mother wasn't an admirer of the Black Watch - referring to them as the "collaborators" (they were originally recruited from clans that had sided with the Whigs against the Jacobites and their initial role was to police the vanquished clansmen).

I'm sure your ancestors weren't "black hearted scoundrels keeping decent Scotsmen down" though!

Glenn Drover said...

Really beautiful. Amazing that they are 18mm.

James Isaacs said...

I can't believe they are 15mm soldiers. You should post a youtube tutorial on how you paint figures. Amazing work.

What sizes bases do you use and how thick are they?

Scott MacPhee said...

The figures are based for Age of Eagles, which will also work with General de Brigade. The frontage is .75" and the depth 1" wiyj a height of 3mm.

Gonsalvo said...

They are spectacular, Scott. I will need a unit of Highlanders for my British Army, and decided to do them with Perry figures, one as it will make them easier to paint, but also if I use old Glory I'll have 30 instead of 18 to do! :-)

Monty Luhmann said...

Oh, these are so lovely. Killer plaids, Scott!

Jason said...

Beautiful work. What brand of matte brush-on varnish do you use?

Scott MacPhee said...

Jason, the matt varnish for the flags is from Delta Ceramcoat. Then the figures get an all over matt finish from Testor's Dullcote spray.