Painting the Highlanders
A big issue when painting these was that I could simply not find a single contemporary colour photograph! Given that my cursory amateur research didn't show any signs of wether or not they actually fought in kilts in North Africa to begin with, I ended up going with a painting scheme that was based more on feeling than historical records. So if my colour choices are way off, I apologize in advance.
The biggest choice came when painting the kilts. The miniatures didn't include the pocket that comes in the middle of the kilt covers, so I assume they are not meant to look as if they wear them. However, it's also a very special look, and I didn't want to miss out of it - but I also didn't fancy converting kilt pockets on every single model. So I ended up half-ways, merely painting some sections as wearing kilt covers and painting the full pattern on other sections.
The kilts were not as hard to paint as I expected. I painted them dark blue, and then did the broad green lines and finally the thin yellow lines. The platoon was meant to be ready for my clubmates to use for our North Africa games, so I painted for speed. This meant that I only did highlights for a few of the colours, which I think is quite fine for tabletop quality paintjobs.
Some of the photos ended up really badly, but I hope it will give you an idea of how they ended up. Overall I really enjoyed this project, as it gave me a chance to both try out to do some conversions and also paint a unit that I had never heard of, or even less seen on a gaming table, before.
The Whole Platoon
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Here it is, the whole lot of them. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. As you can see it's a lot bigger than an actual platoon, with five sections and several extras and support options. In Chain of Command you can use support points to buy extra sections, so it's always handy to paint up a few more men than the minimum number. However, that always puts you close to the temptation of just painting up a few more men to make a second platoon as well.
Officers, Medics, NCOs and Mascots
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First out is the platoon commander, flanked by his batman, a trusty bagpipe player, and two medics. All of them are from Wargamers' Homestead. As you can see on them and the rifle armed NCOs I decided to mix and match, giving some of them the red-and-black regimental socks and some of them the simpler grey woolen ones. Some also have kilt covers. This way I think the multiples of the same casting doesn't look as obvious when using them on the table.
Finally I couldn't help painting up two mascots to follow these South Africans into the desert.
The commonwealth infantry platoon structure for 1942's North Africa calls for the NCOs to be armed with SMGs, so these Warlord conversions with Thompsons are there to make the platoon historically correctly equipped. However, if the rifle armed NCOs previously showed are used, these guys can also serve if the player buys extra SMGs to a section using support point.
Riflemen & LMGs
I painted up a some sections without kilt covers, and I think they will really stand out on the table next to the standard 8th Army or DAK forces. As mentioned before I used a minimum of highlights on these, yet the bold colours on the kilts are enough to make them special. The riflemen are all from Wargamers' Homestead.
I still gave some kilt covers though, which I think also ended up looking nice. I did a bunch of google image research when basing these, and found quite a lot of colourful wild flowers in Tunisia, Libya and Algeria. So I decided to use flowery tufts on some of these bases, and I really like the results.
The Bren gun teams are again just two single poses (Bren gunner and prone rifleman) being repeated, so I used a variation in the tufts on the bases to make them look less samey.
Examples of complete sections. Click for larger images.
The various extras such as mortars, anti-tank rifles etc. are a big part of Chain of Command games, so I couldn't do without them. It's also the part of this force where the new Warlord 8th army box came in handy, making up some gaps. All of these can be clicked for larger images.
Sniper team (Wargamers' Homestead)
Light mortar team (Warlord)
MMG team (Wargamers' Homestead)
Boys' anti-tank rifle team (Warlord gunner, Wargamers' Homestead spotter)
3" Mortar team (Wargamers' Homestead)
Extra Bren gun team (Bren gun from Wargamers' homestead, rifleman from Warlord conversion) and extra generic crew member (Warlord conversion)