Sunday, 21 February 2016

Painting Tartan

Following my last post showing my new highlanders I was delighted to see a note from the great A.W.Kinch asking for advice on painting tartans. The following is the system I followed since finding it in the Toy Soldier and Model Figure magazine, issue 7 (Aug/Sept '96), and was the first of a series of articles by Martin Tabony, who produced many 54mm figures for a lot of ranges at that time. Note that these illustrations are for the 'Government Sett' and while others varied in colour scheme the basics are the same.

It is possible to get away with just showing one black line through each stripe, unless you have a VERY steady hand and extra fine brush.

The following picture is from an old catalogue of  the 'All The Queen's Men' range by Derek Cross (recently retired, though the range now taken over and continuing). I've only shown the one page, as the catalogue has details of most tartans used by British regiments. Anyone wanting specifics has only to drop me a line and I can e.mail the appropriate page.

Finally, a picture of three figures I painted as trials some 20 years ago, when I had a steadier hand. These show three different tartans, with the Black Watch being on the left. I hope the clarity is sufficient, but I took the photo in a hurry about half an hour ago as a lst minute addition.

I must admit that when painting smaller figures I was far more stylistic and didn't follow the detail so avidly. If it looked right I was happy.


  1. If only you could still get the Humbrol Tartan paint, Tony

    1. A couple of amendments. The missing picture and a new one!

    2. Thank you for that Joppy. Now if only I had the time to apply it!