Napoleonic era project blog kilted scots

Napoleonic Scots

Why Napoleonic scots?

Having picked up the waterloo bronze campaign badge anniversary medal from the London mint office a couple of years ago, I have been thinking of a way to include this in a diorama. The seed was truly sown with this idea, and whilst in a shop I stumble across these Victrix boxes. Next thing I know I have a flank and centre highlander companies.

campain badge

Knowing how popular the British are in the game I decide at this point to theme the project from the start. The main reason is to paint kilts. Although after wards I will probably never want to paint another for fun again. It also enables others in the group to crack on with red coats too and not be the same on the table.

With the idea now set to include the medal in a display board and to use it as a objective (still not read the many rule sets to see if this is a thing or not) I jump straight in.

My plan for the display board is to have the units form squares and have the medal at the front with a brass etched label on a dark wood plinth. I am going to keep this very classic looking. A great deal of research is needed to get this right. From what I hear the Napoleonic scene is very historically accurate, and I will be told if something is not right.

So the idea is set, a blog is started, and here is where I record what I do with this project

Infantry of the Napoleonic campaign.

There are quite a few company’s that make Napoleonic infantry miniatures.

victrix, warlord, front rank, Perry’s

And all these company’s I will include in this project at some point or other.

The Muster

With so many company’s to choose my Napoleonic miniatures from I decide to get a core of cheap plastic troops in the form of victrix. These troops were a impulse buy from element games, Buying all the scots I can find I end up with a flank and centre company, 120 miniatures of great detail from the 2 boxes. I have been told that there are too much detail on them, but as yet I am happy with them. With the ground now truly broken with this project I start the stockpile.

Within a few months I now have miniatures from a few ranges, and happy to say that they are all along the same scale, the victrix are slim and front rank slightly chubby, but all in all I doubt you will notice when they are all mixed in together.

Front rank do great sculpts and I eagerly purchase a few, The command figures are exceptionally well done and I decide to make these the choice for all the regiments I can.

Purchasing victrix cannon was a no brainer, although I do like the look of some of the other company’s cannon, I’m sure I will give in and get metal ones too later. Although finding a artillery regiment that are Scottish opens a whole new research area.

Scots greys are about as Scottish as you can get for cavalry with this theme and I purchase 3 regiments from front rank. Front rank do great miniatures and the variation of their poses and horses are fantastic adding a lot of flavour. Expect to see falling, wounded and a jumping horse.

With this muster now numbering a few hundred its time to STOP. There is months of painting ahead to get through these, and as long in finding the right resources to find the correct colours.

Although I planned to stop collecting miniatures for this project, I required the core rule book, so added the wellington game set by warlord games. This box set is unbelievable value for money, Building all the allied troops as British (there are enough heads to do this) I recommend anyone to purchase this box.

But the last purchase I make is the overlord. Wellington.

Basing of a army.

After reading the rules I am torn between bases of 4 or 6 on square or rectangles. Initially I was going for strips of 4 and might have a unit on this to help with separating units. Warbases in Dunfermline will be my provider of this project, all though be don’t know it yet. The Cannon and cavalry will form the bulk of the dioramas  and visual delight with the troop on foot being of less visual interest due to the quantity, although a few mini dioramas will be added to break up the rank and file.

Reference material.

Knowing I need to do my home work on this project I start to get the library started with a my first reference material book. I picked up a copy of uniforms of the Napoleonic wars by Digby Smith. The guides inside are great although lacking pictures meaning I will have to read to find the colours required. This will not be my only book on the subject and plan to get more to cross reference it to make sure I get the correct details.

Flags and Pennants.

The regiments of the Napoleonic era all marched under flags of their regiment. There were a lot of regiments involved in this era and offer a vast amount of colour. The regiments being Scottish restrict the choice to a extent.

At brit con 2017 I spot a stand containing flags of war. Flicking through these I find regiments of Scotland and buy all 7 I can find. These prints are of a great quality, and are very popular amongst Napoleonic war gamers. Having the regimental colours now makes research a lot more easier, and I will be able to find the exact colours for each part of kit for each regiment.

flags of war

Black Powder.

Warlord games make a rule set called black powder. This book covers a whole era of conflict, and as a club is decided to be the rule set we will be using. Looking through I find the regiment sizes.


Being a fan of weathering and pigment style of work, I begin to look into the supplies for painting this collection. I use a airbrush (badger) so I know that there will be methods I use already involved in painting this lot, But wanting to try out new techniques, I decide that water effects are the new skill I will be putting into this collection, although the end result will be a few unit fillers containing this new method. You have to break from your comfort zone to learn new things. I will endeavour to make this force as all my personal collection as realistic as possible.

Pigments will be used, as well as oils, soot, and various tricolours. With the collection over all being so large I will be making most of the basing kit myself, tufts, textured paint, and other bits and pieces. If I can save a little on this part of the miniature I will be able to spend the savings on a new unit. The products already out there are great but not cost efficient, when compared to making the products yourself.

Paints will be a brand I know and love, with supplements from other ranges for colours I know and love to use.

Movement trays.

With units I own already being some size I have taken the decision to find movement trays. This will help keep the units together, and add speed to the game when I start playing it. I pick up 4 trays holding 50 a piece to make a start. The size of these trays are extreme but tbh I’m am looking for the space to create a diorama heavy army.

Work Begins

The work begins with priming what has been built, priming them my usual black. I use black as I believe it adds depth to the colours. The rubberised effect of the Vallejo primer I find personally is much nicer to work with, and like a primer should the paint settles nicely over this, although a little extra work is needed to achieve rich colours.

english line infantry by front rankfront rank centre company of highlandersvictrix flank highlanders





front rank and perrys scots greysFixing the models to the bases will enable me to batch paint in stands, with the bases I decided on there is enough space for me to get into the details. The cavalry are only blue tacked at this time as there is not enough room to get into the miniatures but will be based in 3s.



With the system I have chosen to use, the commanders are of great importance, wanting to have a good mix of generals and captains I had to get the man himself Mr wellington, Also looking for scot captains to command the brigades is a problem for a later date. With the supreme commander being immune to attack, this is a great area to have some extra detail.

wellington himself

A little bit of fun.

A brit con I stumble across a stall (so sorry I cant remember your name, although I find out you were in the police force) that was selling the flags of war but also a nice set of fun miniatures in the form of ladies. These were like the pin ups of most of the games I know so I just had to have a little fun items to slot into the mostly historically correct collection, for those that look close enough during the future games. Keeping the theme of scots, I pick them up.

scotish maiden fun










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