Jacobite Highland Infantry

I got a bit behind my planned schedule over Christmas and the New Year.  I have finished my Siege Works and will post a blog showing a complete siege soon.

Meanwhile I have been painting another Brigade of Jacobite Highland Infantry, which completes the Jacobite First Line units at Culloden.  This is the Mixed Clans Brigade.


I had already painted one unit of the Brigade, the small (six figure) combined MacLachlan & MacLean Regiment, since they were at Prestonpans, whilst the rest of the Brigade were not.  I have now completed the Brigade and this blog serves as a good example of my modelling and painting technique.

My first step was to look at my schedule to see which Brigade to model next, which is Lord John Drummond’s Mixed Clans Brigade.


I then looked at my Figures to Units chart to see which figures I needed for all of the units in that Brigade.


Units in Red have been completed, those in Orange are next, then Yellow, Green, Light Blue, Mid Blue and Dark Blue (in other words a rainbow).  The dark pink units have been sorted into plastic bags but not yet completed (because they had some headswaps with other figures).  You can see for the Fraser (Lovat) Regiment I needed one each of D14, D15, D16 etc.  I try to have not more than one figures of each type in any one Jacobite unit, so as to give them an irregular look.  The purple highlight indicates Pipers, and I use an Orange highlight for Officers.  Grey highlight across the row indicates a mounted figure and Pink highlight a horse.  I use other colours for Artillery Guns, Limbers etc.  Men (foot or mounted have codes with capital (upper case) letters, whilst horses, guns limbers etc have lower case letters

I then turned to my chart showing the codes for each figure.


This extract shows Strelets boxes Jacobites (1) and Jacobites (2).  A code of J-D14 means Jacobites – Strelets Jacobites Box (1) – figure number 14.  From this I can select all of the figures which I need for each unit in the Brigade.



I then assemble the Brigade.  The figures in the first unit, Lovat’s (Fraser), are stuck onto temporary thin card squares, as I paint them individually but Strelets figures do not stand up very well by themselves.  The second unit,  Clan Chattan (MacKintosh) is awaiting some conversion, so is not yet temporary based.   I have printed off flags and you can see them in front of the units.  The flagpole for the first unit has been attached to the officer figure, whist that for the second unit has not yet.




This figure is a typical conversion.  The original Strelets figure was carrying a pike.  That may be OK for the 1689 or even 1715 Jacobite Rebellions, but in 1745 most Jacobites carried muskets, so I have cut the pike off and replaced it with a musket.  I keep plastic bags of spare heads, muskets, swords etc for conversions. The conversions are all done with plastic welding, using a miniature welding tool.




I dislike wasting figures, so in this case I have converted a dying Jacobite into a very much alive one, charging forwards.





I pick suitable figures to command each unit. My Jacobite Rebellion figures are based in pairs (apart from two per unit based individually, since I prefer figure removal rules).  My Command Stands therefore contain an Officer, who is also the Standard Bearer, and a Piper.  This figure will command Lovat’s Regiment.  Originally his left leg was raised in a running position, but I try to avoid figures standing on one leg (and he did not look right holding the flag on one leg), so I have bent his leg and welded it to the base.  I then made a hole (with a map pin) in the base, pushed the bottom of the flagpole into it and welded the hand around the pole.


Here is the whole Mixed Clans Brigade ready for painting.


There is a mounted officer, Lord John Drummond, Lovats’s Regiment (16 figures), Chattan’s Regiment (16 figures), Farquharson of Monaltrie’s Regiment (8 figures) and Chisholm Regiment (4 figures).  The unit sizes are based on my 1:30 ratio, at the highest figure reached at any stage in the campaign, slightly rounded up to produce even numbers in each unit. In practice the tiny Chisholms were probably amalgamated with an adjacent unit at Culloden (some accounts show them separately, but Christopher Duffy’s “The ’45” shows them amalgamated with Farquharson of Monaltrie’s Regiment).



I start painting tartans with a base coat.  This figure is part of the Lovat Regiment, so his primary tartan is Fraser of Lovat.  I know that there was no such thing as Clan tartans in 1745, but I paint my Jacobites regiments with a modern primary tartan for their belted plaid (great kilt) and a secondary tartan for their jackets which could be any of the various modern tartans associated with that clan.





Tartans are very complex, and I do not try to portray every nuance of them, but just aim for an overall impression.  In this case the red base of the Fraser of Lovat has a broad dark green overstripe.







I have then overlaid the dark green with a thin white stripe.  For the jacket I have used a red base, dark green overstripe and light green topstripe to represent the Cumming tartan.  Other figures in the unit have secondary tartans of Frazer Ancient, Lovat, Hunting Cumming, Fraser, Hunting Fraser and Fraser Major, and the combination of these, plus the different figure poses, creates an eclectic mix, but with a common theme of a primary tartan.






Here is an example of another figure, in this case the Officer of the Clan Chattan Regiment.  His primary tartan is Chattan, with a red base, dark green overstripe and pale yellow topstripe.  His flag is conjectural with a Clan Chattan badge.



I paint all of my Jacobites’ socks in any of red, blue, green or grey, with diagonal stripes of pink, pale blue, pale green or light grey and a diamond (actually a dot) of dark red, dark blue, dark green or black where the pale colour diagonals cross each other.  The figure above has socks with a red base, with pale green diagonals and dark green dots.  There are potentially 12 different variations for the socks, since I do not use all of the same colour (ie not red, pink and dark red).



Having painted my figures individually, I now fix them onto bases.  Because they are plastic I add weight to the base, using magnetic tape, not because it is magnetic, but because it is heavy.  The one I use is manufactured by Nicolecrafts, is 12mm wide and comes in rolls 7.6m long from Hobbycraft in UK.







My figures are going to be based in pairs on card 30mm wide and 20mm deep.  I cut the magnetic tape into sections 27mm wide, so they are a bit shorter in all dimensions compared to the base.  The tape cuts easily with a normal craft knife.  The tape sections are slightly curved when first cut, due to coming in a roll, but I bend them backwards to remove this.




The tape is self adhesive on one side, so I remove the protective paper then stick this to the card base.  If I was basing some figures individually on 15mm wide x 20 mm deep bases, then I would cut the magnetic tape in 12mm sections.





Here are a couple of figures from the Lovat Regiment on their base.  I use Bostik glue to stick the figures to the base.






As I stick the figures to the bases, I arrange all of the bases in the unit into a column, to check the any protruding muskets or swords do not prevent the bases touching each other.   This is the Lovat Regiment.


In doing this I slightly angle any figures if necessary, as can been seen in the fifth row of figures, where the man with the sword is now at an angle, overlapping the figure in front of him.



I now weld bits of plastic sprue onto the base, to cover it completely, smoothing the figure base into the new melted plastic base.  I use a miniature welding tool for this.  It has two bits, a wide one, filed down into a palette knife shape which I use for basing, and a smaller one, which I have filed into a sharp point for fine conversions.







Here you can see the completed base.  As the hot plastic shrinks it does tend to make the base curve up at the ends. but I bend it back whilst it is still warm.







Finally, I paint the bases and here you can seen the completed Lovat Regiment.  I put a label on the underside of the command stand, in this case saying “Lovat (Fraser) Regt”, and I also write just the word “Lovat” on the underside of all of the other bases in the unit.





I wanted to model Colonel Francis Farquharson of Montalrie, who commanded the battalion of that name, in the greatcoat which he was described as wearing, and so looked for a suitable figure to convert.  I decided to use this figure from a box of Strelets Swedish Infantry of Charles XII.  I removed the musket, saved into my bag of spare muskets, and the mitre cap.  I replaced the cap with a blop of sprue welded into a Scots bonnet.




Here is the completed figure.  I have painted him as shown in the plates in both Stuart Reid’s “Like Hungry Wolves” and his Osprey “The Scottish Jacobite Army 1745-46”.  I have extended his original coat with welded plastic sprue into a greatcoat and added shoulder flaps.  The flag is conjectural, with a Farquharson badge. He actually has a piper standing to his left on the base, but hidden behind him in this view.




Lord John Drummond commanded this Brigade and for him I took a figure from the Strelets Swedish Trabants (Dragoons) of Charles XII, removed the slung carbine and tricorne hat (saving both for future conversions), then repositioned the sword into a more upright position.





Lord John Drummond was the Colonel of the Royal Ecossais, and is recorded as wearing their uniform of a short blue jacket, with red facings, and a Scots bonnet.  I therefore shortened his coat, welded it to make it look slightly open in front, welded a bonnet and also gave him a welded plaid cloak as worn by many Highland officers of the 18th and 19th Centuries, both in the Jacobite and Government armies.






His horse was again from the Strelets Swedish Trabants of Charles XII set.  Here it is before conversion.





I have changed the shape of the saddlecloth by plastic welding.  I have also welded the front left leg of the horse to the base, since I prefer all of my horses to have three points of contact with the base for greater stability.  Finally I have added a pin (section of cut off staple) to help fix the figure to the horse.  Here it is mounted on its card base.  The base is oval as are all of my Command figure bases.





Having painted both figure and horse, I push the figure onto the pin in the horses saddle to fix them together.  Here is the completed figure, which I am very pleased with.




Finally, here is the complete Mixed Clans Brigade, Lovat Regiment, Chattan Regiment, Farquharson of Monaltrie Regiment, combined Maclaren & Maclean Regiment and Chisholm Regiment.




3 thoughts on “Jacobite Highland Infantry

  1. Graham Evans January 26, 2019 / 11:10 am

    I’m just starting to put together generic Jacobite armies to cover both the ’15 & the ’45. Having acquired both Strelets & Red Box figures I went looking for some pictures of them painted and stumbled across your blog. I thought my painting schedule was well organised, but this is truly impressive. I have this blog nailed on now as a resource to keep an eye on. My first regiment for the campaign have been painted and posted about over on my blog at: https://wargaming4grownups.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-tartan-terrors.html .


    • rodwargaming January 26, 2019 / 1:49 pm

      Hi Graham,

      I have really complex spreadsheets to plan my allocation of figures to units and my figure production schedule (the latter always falling behind and being revised).

      I have figure allocation spreadsheets for Napoleonic (includes Peninsula, Waterloo and 1809 Campaigns), 18th Century (includes Jacobite Rebellion, War of Austrian Succession and Seven Year’s War in North America), Zulu War, and Roman Era (including most of the enemies Rome fought against during the late Republican and early imperial Roman period).

      I have separate sheets within each spreadsheet for each army (sometimes more than one, for instance my Napoleonic one has separate sheets within each nationality for Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Logistic). I think making these spreadsheets with all of the complex links to automatically add up figures from different sheets helps to keep dementia at bay!!!!



      • Graham Evans January 26, 2019 / 2:03 pm

        I am in awe of your organisation. I recommended something like this in a blog post I wrote called “How to finish a wargames project” a few years a go, but you have taken it to another level. I also just read your “autobiography” on the blog, – a very full wargaming life. I’ve met a few of the people you have name checked through Wargames Developments and the Society of Ancients, but that’s another list to be proud if.


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