Sunday 18 October 2020

How to paint tartan, ideas please.

  I am looking for very simple ideas of how to paint tartan in 25/28mm . The simpler the better, thanks.


  1. This is what I do. Paint entire kilt dark blue. Paint vertical and horizontal black lines approx. 1mm wide at 5mm intervals - usually get two or three vertical on the flat front of the kilt and a couple horizontal. Go over the black lines with slightly thinner dark green lines. Mix up a lighter shade of green and highlight each intersection og the dark green lines with a dot of lighter green. If its government tartan - Black Watch, Argyles etc - that's it done. If its the Gordons, just add a few vertical and horizontal lines in yellow. Other regiments like the Camerons are more hassle as they have yellow and red for the Cameron of Erracht tartan..... The rear pleats I try to do every third or fourth one with the black/green stripe.

  2. One method I use for my 25mm - 28mm tartan I use Microsoft photo it to produce cut and paste tartan. Any image from internet of chosen military or non military tartan. Shape to figure size and print off on paper, you may have to do a couple of trail runs to get the correct size for the figure. Having painted your figure in your chosen colours minus the tartan, the glue the paper tartan cut to the required size on to figure using PVA glue.
    The link below shows my Highlanders painted tartan and using the printed paper method. The right hand unit in the first picture has been done using the paper method.

    Stay safe and happy gaming,
    Willz Harley.

  3. Hi Alan,

    It's not something I have ever tried however this method looks about right

    I have also seen transfers on the Internet for this but can't remember where.

    Thanks, Ross

  4. I use the technique described here:

  5. I always thought you could get tins of tartan paint but only once a year.

    1. I'm quite surprised Vallejo or GW haven't managed to produce one by now 😄

  6. I've used the same link recommended by Mike earlier...nice and simple and looks very effective.

  7. As I have a Montrose army lurking in the wings I will follow this with interest!
    Best Iain

  8. My approach to painting such details is to first think about the purpose. If I'm painting for the tabletop a lot of fine detail will hardly ever be seen (that's part of why I don't always paint eyes, for example). For tartans, which I will never claim I do well, I paint the base color, then paint vertical and horizontal stripes in a secondary color (better if it contrasts enough with the base color), and often leave it at that. At most I might go in with a third color to dot it in where the lines intersect each other. And mine still come out wonky, but it's more of a suggestion of tartan than an accurate representation of it. :)

  9. Its been a while since I painted tartans but I won't bother talking about how I used to do following Peter Blum's guide. Instead it occurred to me a few years ago that if you look at my old Black Watch kilt from across the room, you can't really see much if any of the sett or pattern. I started looking more closely at highland games etc and the same applies, at even a distance where the wearer is equivalent to GI Joe, you only get a vague sense of a pattern.

    That led me to look again at how Britain's painted theirs and I started copying therm.

    Essentially a very dark bluey-green base with 1 colour of thin coloured cross hatching or very occasionally 2 colours, usually 1 vertical the other horizontal.Its a toy soldier dodge not a detailed model approach but surprisingly effective at arms length and certainly much MUCH more realistic.

    Well worth going to a highland game or tattoo etc and have a look from the stands.