Sunday, 8 January 2012

Big Wullie

I don't know who was more embarrassed myself of the saintly Mrs. Awdry when she returned home, earlier than expected from the gym, to find her beloved with 'Big Wullie' in hand, singing along to A-ha!  (damn that iPod random song shuffle, you just never know what you're going to get.)  It wasn't until I read a comment by Der Feldmarschall on the previous post that I remembered that I too had a "Big Wullie" lurking at the bottom of the 'to do pile'.  Given that the tartan paint pot was still open on the table it seemed like an opportune moment to paint him up.

I've to photograph the process of painting the tartan kilt to demonstrate how a  simplified approach can produce acceptable and pleasing results.  It is only fair to acknowledge that there are some very good, and much more sophisticated, 'how to' guides available; one I find myself returning to time and time again can be found at 'Toy Soldier, online gallery'.  More recently 'Der Feldmarschall' directed me to a tutorial on painting tartan by Dave Taylor that can be found here.  The following is my humble attempt at a guide for 'Government' or 42nd tartan.

Stage 1: Base coat the kilt in Blue, in this case Games Workshop, 'Regal Blue'.

Stage 2: Paint vertical green stripes around the kilt.  Games Workshop 'Snot Green'.

Stage 3: Horizontal Stripes added in the same colour.

Stage 4:  Where the lines cross, paint a dab of lighter green.  For me it was a mix of Games Workshop 'Goblin Green' and Vallejo 'Golden Olive'.

Stage 5: Using a fine brush apply black ink to outline the green stripes.  This has the added advantage of tidying up any little wobbles that may have occurred earlier!

The black ink will often dry with a shine to it, but this can be rectified with a coat of matt varnish.  It really is that simple; just hope this helps to ally any fears or worries some may have at attempting tartan.


  1. Magnificent!! Thanks so much for the WIP stuff too.

    Big and his cousin Wee Wullie have been staring at me from across the painting table since last Fall (Awesome figs) Not only does your post up the pressure, but now they're both singing...

    "Take on me! Take me on!..."

    Help! :-)

  2. That is amazing and thanks for the tartan guide. Personally I use the Toy Soldiers Guide too it does make it look easy and very effective. But sing A-Ha, was "Sun always Shines On TV"?

  3. Excellent!!You certainly get a great effect painting the tartan that way, and it looks quite easy to do. Probably not so if you've got a unit of 30 Big Willies to paint, (Frankie Howard would love this!!)

  4. Excellent job, and a nice 'how to'.

  5. I do it similar. First the ground colour. The the vertical thick stripes and then next to them thin ones..white, yellow whatever. Then the horizontal ones.
    I like his face..excellent hair colour.

  6. Great looking paint job on your Big Wullie!

  7. Excellent work, shame this figure isn't available for seperate purchase as I'm not likley to buy the rules :(

  8. Excellent paint job,& love your bases!

  9. What a great looking Wullie you there Michael!! That is the way I do tartans too. Haven't come accross anything better yet.

  10. nice tutorial and what a fantastic painted figure. top stuff sir!

  11. Thank you all. There was quite a bit of cleaning up to do on this miniature but worth it in the end. @Smillie I actyally picked him up at Salute as an individual piece. He had been put up on the didplay racks by mistake and the nice man from Warlord Games took pity on me as I stood before him, Wullie in hand!

  12. Fantastic painted figure. Looks like a far bigger scale.


  13. Sir,

    Those flowers top it off, for where did you find those?


    1. Thank you my good man and welcome aboard. The flower tufts are made by a company called 'Green Line' these ones were coded GL-042. The company is based in Germany but I managed to pick these up at Euro Militaire last year.

      They are comparable to MiniNatur Silflor which you can pick up from

      Hope this helps,

      All the best,



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