Monday, April 28, 2008

My Jacobite Army

Front Rank Jacobites painted by Der Alte Fritz

Well, I've been painting Front Rank Jacobites for the past couple of weeks now and I finally have a reputable number of figures painted and based for show and tell. The picture above depicts 60 figures divided into two clans. The Appin Stewarts with the blue flag and gold saltire are on the right. The Camerons, with the red flag, are on the left.

Stewart of Appin clan regiment

As you might imagine, painting Jacobites is a challenge and is not the easiest subject for one to paint. For starters, there are no uniform tartans worn within each clan regiment, so each figure has to be painted as an individual. This translates into very slow painting. After completing the first dozen or so figures, I hit on a formula that sort of speeds up the process. I would select a group of five or six different poses, but paint them in the same combination of colors. For example, they might all have red kilts and plaids, and white shirts, but since there were multiple poses, they would all look like individuals once painted.

I also settled upon a couple of color schemes that I liked or were easy to paint. Red was a common color for the plaid. So most of the reds are painted with black boxes and then I mix up the color where ever the window panes cross. One might have a dot of blue at the intersection of the panes, others grey, or green, etc. I also have a standard green plaid that I like: green undercoat, medium green window panes, and light green dots where the panes intersect. It looks a bit like the modern Gordon plaid.

The clan standards are reviewed by Prince Charles. All figures are from the Front Rank range.

So far, I have been hand painting my own flags. I have a couple Signifer brand 25mm flags, but they look rather sterile in comparison to hand painted jobs. The commercial grade flags are better, but my crude, rough hand painted jobs somehow look better to me. Unfortunately, GMB Designs does not make flags for the Forty Five, otherwise I would use those. I still have to investigate flags from The Flag Dude. These are printed on cloth and look very nice.

Lord George Murray (left) & Prince Charles (right)

I used a "lowland cavalry officer" for my version of Lord George Murray, the commander of the Jacobite army. Front Rank makes a nice Prince Charles, seen above, but all of the other Jacobite personalities are on foot. That simply won't do. So the lowland cavalry officer looked like it would make for a nice stand-in. I may use some French mounted officers and do a head swap, putting them in bonnets. More on that idea later.

We play our first game of the campaign next Saturday, May 3rd. I think that I've done a pretty good job getting the first 60 figures done on time. Imagine how grand another 60 figures will look!

Jacobite artillery & crew supervised by Prince Charles. Gun model is the Elite Miniatures Swedish 4 pounder. Everything else is from Front Rank.


  1. great stuff! how you get so much done so quick is beyond me. I like the handpainted flags, and the technique looks effective to me. I think your technique is interesting, it probably has a lot to do with your speedy results. Don't know if I could do it.

    On another note, any chance you could do an article about the various poles that 7YW officers and NCOs dragged around?


  2. Damn' foreigners - barbarians, the lot of 'em!

    Still: damn' fine looking barbarians, and a damn' fine paint job!
    (I don't know how you manage to cope with Real World and still maintain such an output. I don't know whether to congratulate you, or turn green with envy.;-) If the evidence is inconclusive, then give the benefit of the doubt... so...) well done you!

    I look forward to the after action report, which I am sure will be in your own inimitable style.



  3. Nice work. You use a similar technique to me for painting tartans - basecoat, with contrasting weave and a highlight at the center of the intersections. I personally like blue with red weave and a yellow intersection.

    If you want to stretch the history a bit - the Swedes were within an ace of sending troops to help the Jacobite cause.

  4. Jim
    Well worth the wait to see ! I am sure that such fine fellows , expertly painted will fair well upon the field of Mars on Saturday.
    Do you still see tartan when you close your eyes....

  5. A wonderful effort with marvelous results in (relatively) so little time!

    For a lot of reason they deserve to win - even if the image of the Stewart of Appin clan regiment, with already cruel casualties, looks foreboding.

    Cannot wait for the battle report!


  6. Excellent painting, I like your idea for painting tartans in bulk, thanks.

  7. Your killing me!!! These look great. I can only hope to paint so many and have them look this good.
    Thanks for the tips on painting tartans, very helpful. BTW where do you get your bases? I like the lower profile they give.

    Have a great game!!


  8. Grimsby: I like your idea for a different tartan pattern. It is hard to come up with combinations that look good on a 28mm figure. I also like your idea of the Swedes. I also recall that some Hessians were stationed in Scotland for awhile and some Dutch were down in Carlisle. Those could be added at a later date too, especially if this campaign gets bigger.

    Rob: I simply use 1-inch square metal bases that I buy from Wargames Accessories (via the Last Square or Wargames Inc.). thus they adhere to the magnetic movement trays that I use.

    I am really looking forward to the game this weekend. I plan to play my own brigade of Jacobites and let Randy or Bill play the British. I am really keen to paint another 60 Jacobites, but I ran out of metal bases. I'd rather glue them to the bases before priming as this saves a step later when I have to apply the terrain - i.e. I don't have to paint or undercoat the bases.

    Frank H: if you happen to drop in, I tried out your basing technique on the Cameron standard bearer, and I have to say that it looks pretty nifty. I will be experimenting with your method on future units. Thanks for the help.

    BTW, this is my first posting from my new laptop. There is more than one way to skirt around the web censors at work. :)

  9. Jim,
    another stray question. The spontoons from minden - have you had any problems with breakage? The metal is fairly stiff, and b/c they are in scale I was afraid they might snap. I was considering removing the heads and putting them onto piano wire, what do you think?

  10. Jim,

    Excellent work, as usual! Your plaids have set a hig hstandard that I can only hope to come close to when I paint my Campbell regiment later this year.


  11. erb: i think that the Minden spontoons are fine, but you have to be careful in handling them in a game. That goes for anything like that. I would think that cutting off the head would be a difficult task given that there is not much metal to work with. I would like to see some company make just spontoon heads that you could attach to wire.

  12. Jim
    I love the idea of introducing the Swedes /Hessians /Dutch at some later stage in the campaign.
    Would a letter across the sea elicit some Tradgardland reinforcements from the Shetland isles - now that order has been restored and the Northern Isles are safely garissoned by pro Jacobite tradgardlanders once more?
    BTW Are we going to see such units as General Oglethorpe's Royal Foxhunters, the Yorkshire Blues or the Loyal Associators appear for the Hanoverian crown?
    best wishes
    p.s great news about the laptop - a cunning plan as Baldrick would say!

  13. Very very impressive, sir. I give you a quite respectful tip of the tricorn.

    -- Jeff

  14. I love them! Great tips on painting tartans/plaid, guys! That'll come in handy for me some day (hopefully this year!).

  15. Fantastic, I will drink a single malt hoping for a successful campaign this spring!


  16. DAF,

    I emailed The Flag Dude and he said he has ALL of the flags for the '45.

  17. Excellent work set off by some very nice terrain. The way you flags look I would keep going with what you are doing rather than go for commercial ones. I think painting your own adds extra character to the army.

  18. Those boyslook ready to charge and scatter the Sasenachs.

    As usual some fabulously painted figures.

    How do you paint your figs so quickly ?? DO You have a bionic arm and eye ?

    -- Allan :)