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Thunderbolt Mountain Highlander

Product #
Suggested Retail Price
$8 USD

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Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP writes:

I was a bit surprised by the look at first – but since it was part of a "caricature" range it's reasonable in that light (we won't go into the rights and wrongs of caricature as an art form right now!!).

Great paint job, and nice that it found an appropriate home!

Revision Log
25 June 2015page first published

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dampfpanzerwagon Fezian writes:

There have been many Workbench projects over the years that have tempted me to volunteer my services, take delivery of the miniatures, and paint them. Most get ignored as pressures of trying to set up my own business producing terrain pieces takes priority. When I saw the Thunderbolt Mountain Napoleonic caricatures were up for grabs, I was immediately on to Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian asking if I could take one. I choose the Highlander as it brought back many fond memories of my childhood (more later), and within a couple of days the miniature was with me.

I had read about these figures on earlier threads, and had been tempted to purchase a set for the fun of painting-up such beautiful castings. On receipt, I was struck by the fantastic sculpting and detail of the small resin piece. One other point was just how light the figure was – I have been used to metal pieces, and the two-inch-tall resin soldier really is very, very light!


I washed the figure in warm water and washing-up liquid, and then proceeded to check the figure for flash and/or damage. There was very little flash, and the small amount was soon removed with a scalpel. There was some misalignment in the mold that left a nasty join down the front of the kilt and the left leg. Once again, both flaws were removed with a scalpel and some sanding sticks. I also sanded the point of the bayonet.


The figure was undercoated with Games Workshop Skull White spray paint, and mounted on to a Games Workshop 40mm square base, and the ground work built up with DAS Modelling Clay, some cork pieces, and fine sand. I also added a small cannonball made from the head of a dressmaker's pin. The pin was cut down with a pair of pliers and the pin section pushed into the still-wet clay, producing the correct trough and build-up of earth. (This is a modelling trick that I and others have used to add interest to their dioramas and bases, and is well worth trying!)


After touching up the spray paint with Vallejo Game Color White and some Reeves Titanium Whitetube acrylic paint, I started on the flesh.

Throughout the painting of this figure, I used three paintbrushes: two old ones for undercoating and drybrushing, and one of the new GW Citadel brushes, the Standard Brush. I thought that this painting project would be a good test of these paintbrushes.

The flesh was built up from GW Snakebite Leather and GC White, as I wanted a paler skin color than normal. Highlighted with more white, and then washed with Citadel Colour Flesh Wash (the old blue-topped pots, which are now very difficult to get hold of). A further light highlighting of Snakebite Leather and White finished off the skin base.


The main colors of red for the jacket and dark green/blue for the kilt were lightly brushed on with well-diluted GW Blood Red (with just a touch of green) and GW Midnight Blue and a very old pot of Warzone Centurion Green (with a little bit of GC Black and a touch of clear acrylic gel).

The bonnet was painted in detail at this point, as I wanted to check out the new paintbrush and see how well I could paint the red-and-white checks.

Paint colors and painting references came from two sources: an article in the Bill Horan’s book Military Modelling Masterclass, Painting a Stock Figure, and the Arms and Uniforms book The Napoleonic Wars, Part 1 by Liliane and Fred Funcken. In both cases, I used the 79th Cameron Highlanders as the inspiration.

More detail to the kilt: The main green checks have been added with WZ Centurion Green, and the first black lining with GC Black.


The yellow or lighter striping has been added with watered-down Vallejo Model Color Dark Flesh and highlighted with GW Yellow.


At this point, I realized that some of the reference was not going to work with this figure, as the illustrations I had showed the jacket buttoned down and therefore all red, while the figure showed the jacket buttoned back and a waistcoat showing. I decided to paint the waistcoat pale cream, a mixture of White, Snakebite Leather and Dark Flesh.

I have also started to ‘rough-in’ the white straps and cuff detail. At this stage, I am not looking to detail-paint – just to define areas.

Once again, I find myself apologizing for my haphazard painting process. I’m human, after all, and jump about from one area/color to another, nothing like the step-by-step painting processes that you find in some ‘glossy publications’. I hope that you will forgive me this flaw.

In this step, you see how I refine the painting of straps, cuffs and details, tidying them up with small brushstrokes and subtle highlighting.

The stockings were first painted GC White with a small touch of GC Stonewall Grey before highlighting with pure White. The red (or in this case, pink) check was added with watered-down GW Blood Red, and the points where the two cross, picked out with pure Blood Red. The second stocking was painted in the same way, but with less control as it has fallen down and very little is seen of the pattern.

Further detail-painting is done with a variety of paints, all following the illustrations detailed earlier. Once finished, the whole figure was given washes of black, brown, green, and even red (the hair) from the range of new washes from Games Workshop.

I have written on many occasions as to how well I believe these new washes work, and heartily recommend them.

At this stage, most of the uniform painting is finished. I expect to go back over the miniature later and touch-up anything that may have been missed or needs further defining.


The musket has been painted and the edges of the GW base painted black. I highlighted the earth color with some drybrushing, while the stones were painted dark grey and then light grey. The cannonball has been painted dark grey, and then lightly drybrushed with GW BoltGun Metal. When fully dry, the musket and groundcover have been washed with GW Badab Black.


This close-up shows some of the detail.


While this shows the rear of the figure painted.

The GW Citadel Standard Brush has performed very well at £3.20 GBP – some would say that this is expensive, but I have been happy with the performance and have already bought a second. If I have an issue, it is that in choosing the two brushes, I checked through a number of brand-new brushes before finding one that had a perfect point. In addition, after washing, I have noticed that the bristles have a tendency to ‘open-up’ but are simply ‘pulled-back’ between the tips of my fingers

After one project the bristles have held up well, and the point remains needle-sharp.

I mentioned earlier that the Highlander figure brought back some very early model soldier painting memories. As a teenager, I had bought myself a box of Airfix 1:32nd scale soft-plastic Highlanders, and had begun painting them with Humbrol enamels. My memory of these figures is somewhat vague, but given that they are long gone, I can romance over how beautifully painted they were – Gold Standard, in fact! A family friend saw the figures and bought me an Airfix 1:32nd scale plastic kit of a Napoleonic Highlander, and after loads of glue and paint were added, I was well on my way to a lifelong obsession with model soldiers. The friend's name was Bill Thurlow, still known amongst figure modellers and wargamers.

Thank You, Bill!



Article set-up by Editor Hebber