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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Bolt Action - Painting BEF and Tartan

My latest project is to create an all metal British Expeditionary Force (BEF). Whilst I have predominately used Warlord Games miniatures (which are excellent) I jumped with excitement when I saw Pulp Figures come out with a range for Highlanders. There are three separate packs being offered, Infantry Rifles, Command and Special Weapons, all wearing early war attire with kilts which is perfect for my BEF. While many of you out there might be put off painting tartan, I will hopefully show you an easy way to get them to a simple but effective standard so that you too can include them in your force. I will talk more about the composition of my force in a later article and leave this one just for the painting.

Note: Paints Used

I am lucky to have an extensive collection of paints from which to draw upon when painting miniatures. In saying that I often have to deviate from painting guides as I don't have the exact paint as described. When looking at the paints I have nominated don't feel like you have to use the exact same ones I have and do what I do, a policy of close enough is good enough works here!

I have skipped straight to the uniform and bypassed the skin again and other parts just concentrating on the tunic and kilt. As a guide I used Vallejo Orange Brown 70.981 as the base followed by Vallejo Dwarf Skin 72.41 and finally Vallejo Basic Skintone 70.815.

 Step 1 - Tunic Base

Working from a white primer I painted on the base colour of the tunic, being Vallejo English Uniform 70.921.

Step 2 - Tunic Highlight One

I mixed a 50/50 ration Vallejo English Uniform 70.921 with Vallejo Khaki 72.061 for the first highlight. With highlights it is important to reduce the size of the application for each layer in order to get a smooth transition from dark recesses to light higher areas.

Step 3 - Tunic Highlight Two

For the third highlight I used straight Vallejo Khaki 72.061. If you feel its necessary (I did) you can mix in some Vallejo Off-White 72.101 with Vallejo Khaki 72.061 and create some final highlights at places like elbows, edge of pockets, etc.

Step 4 - Accessories

For the belt and pistol holster I used Vallejo Parasite Brown 72.042, which I then washed with Army Painter Strong tone. This is then followed by highlight one, Vallejo Orange Brown 70.981, and highlight two being Vallejo Orange Brown 70.981, mixed with a small amount of Vallejo Off-White 72.101. I also use this same formula for the wooden stocks of weapons.


Tartan is intimidating to paint but when you break it down into easy stages it becomes a lot simpler and is just a matter of putting layers together. For these guys I chose the Gordon Highlanders Tartan and Bryan created a quick graphic for me to follow and show you guys. As you can see there are four simple layers to the pattern.

Step 5 - Tartan Base

The base of the tartan is Vallejo Ultramarine Blue 72.022.

Step 6 - Tartan Base Highlight

As the base is pretty dark I used Vallejo Magic Blue 72.021 to make parts of it lighter and to give some variation as the blue will be seen through the pattern and this will give it some depth.

Step 7 - Tartan Layer One

For the vertical lines I used Vallejo German Cam Bright Green 70.833 and placed them at approximately even distance along the kilt.

Step 8 - Tartan Layer Two

For the horizontal lines I used Vallejo German Cam Dark Green 70.979 and again at an approximate even distance.

Step 9 - Tartan Layer Three

This is the layer where I paint a thin line along each of the vertical and horizontal lines I created in steps 8 and 9. For this I used a very thin brush and a 50/50 mix of Army Painter Demonic Yellow and Vallejo Basic Skintone 70.815.

Step 10 - Tartan Final Highlight

In order to make the Kilt really pop, I put small dabs of Vallejo Electric Blue 72.023 as highlights in each square.

In order to finish off the miniature I use a Vallejo black ink and a very thin brush to black line all of the joins and creases making the actual colours pop more.

For other painting guides check out the following ones for Japanese, US, DAK, LRDG and Panzer Lehr plus man more at WWPD.



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