Seil Models’ SH54046 ‘Scottish Highlander, 17th Century AD’ is a 54mm white metal figure sculpted by Yury Serevryakov, with the box-art by Wang Yue Fang. The figure stands proudly in a stereotypical Highlander pose, perhaps surveying a battlefield or enemy.
Seil Models’ ‘Scottish Highlander, 17th Century AD’ is a very stereotypical representation of a late 17th/early 18th century Scottish Highlander during the Jacobite Rebellions. The figure is posed proudly gazing perhaps upon the battlefield or an approaching host, presumably on the eve of the Battle of Culloden.
The Highlander is typically attired for a contemporary representation of a Highland warrior of the period.
During the 50-odd years of the Jacobite Rebellions, during which this figure is placed, the basic dress of the Highlander was the belted plaid, a rectangle of tartan cloth about six yards by two. This was belted round the waist so that the lower portion hung to the knees as a roughly pleated skirt, leaving the mass of material either to be wrapped round the upper part of the body, or draped up and fastened near the left shoulder to leave the arms free, as is the case with this Highlander. To this, according to his means, the Highlander has added a woollen bonnet, a shirt, hose and shoes. Lastly he wears the earlier Highlander’s purse, a small leather pouch suspended from his waist belt.
He bears almost a full complement of Highland weapons: the basket-hilted broadsword slung from a shoulder belt which spans his broad chest; the 18 inch dirk; the cutting blade mounted to a pole, known as a Lochaber axe; and the leather-covered, wooden shield known as a targe, with a long steel spike attached to the centre boss, slung on his back.
What’s in the box?
The figure, cast in white metal, comes in a kit form consisting of eight (8) white metal pieces and an etched brass name plate and accompanying screws. The kit is packaged in a heavy-weight cardboard box, with the figure’s parts sandwiched between two thick pieces of foam. A painting guide consisting of two of the box-art photos (front and rear) is provided – these pictures, and more, are also available on the product page below.
The figure consists of the following white metal parts: The figure proper (sans full right arm and left forearm);
Right arm, excluding hand, raised to hold the Lochaber axe;
Left forearm holding the broadsword;
Section of kilt covering (and including) the broadsword scabbard;
Lochaber axe with attached right hand;
Targe with steel spike; and
The figure is generally very well sculpted, and the sculptor has achieved the effective he desired: a defiant Scottish highland warrior armed to the teeth and ready for battle. The casting is unfortunately not the best I have experienced from Seil Models: the two-part mould seems to have been misaligned, which has resulted in rather annoying seam lines running the circumference of most of the parts.
The figure proper is a single piece cast consisting of the head, torso and legs. This piece is in a whole well rendered. The face is excellently sculpted with a suitable expression of defiance and fantastically textured hair. The only flaw I can pick up with regards to the head is a very obvious one: there is a heavy and rough cast block or vent on the top of the bonnet that must have slipped past quality control. This will need to be filed away and blended into the rest of the woollen cap.
The rest of the figure proper is similarly sculpted and cast: generally well detailed and fairly cleanly cast (bearing my above comment regarding the seam lines in mind). The highlander’s kilt is gathered realistically around his waist with folds in all the right places. The weapon belts, while hanging correctly, I feel at times they are too soft with regards to detail. I refer specifically to the point where they cross on the chest. It appears as though the sculptor has chosen to rather imply the bands as opposed to building them up slightly when sculpting the figure. He undoubtedly had his reasons for doing so. Unfortunately what this means for the modeller is that it will be up to him or her to give the belts the required depth with the paintbrush.
As I have mentioned, the casting on this figure is not the cleanest I have seen from Seil Models. In addition to the seam lines and the rough remains of the casting block on the bonnet, a fairly heavy and thick casting block has been left on the underside of the figure’s left foot. Normally something like this would be of little concern to the average figure modeller; however this one really is quite heavy and unexpected. This cannot simply be filed away, but will have to be cut away with a fairly heavy blade.
Something I do, however, really like about this figure is the use of locator pins and sockets and recesses which really make fitment easier.
The right arm, the arm poised for holding the pole-axe suffers from similar afflictions to the figure proper. At times the detail is really quite ‘soft’. An example of this is the leather bracer around his wrist, which will essentially conceal the join to the right hand (which is cast attached to the axe shaft). In certain places, for example on the upper part of the wrist, the definition is so poor the transition from arm to bracer can barely be seen. I also feel that the definition between the sleeve upper and the rolled portion is not crisp enough. I will concede that the sculptor has achieved a very nice effect of drapery with regards to the shirt sleeve though.
The right arm has a very fine casting seam running the upper and lower lengths of the forearm. These are easily removed with fine grit sand paper. A casting vent or block has also been left in the socket, next to the two locator pins. This should be easily removable – the modeller should ensure that only the blemish is removed, and not one of the locator pins.
The left arm is of a better quality than the right. The forearm itself is fairly well-defined. The guard of the broadsword is quite finely detailed, and fortunately the casting compliments it well and the details can be appreciated by the modeller.
As with the right arm, the left forearm also has a very fine casting seam running the upper and lower lengths of the forearm. These are easily removed with fine grit sand paper. A small casting vent or block has also been left in the socket, which will need to be rubbed down before fitting the arm.
The section of kilt covering (and including) the broadsword scabbard features a tear-dropped section of kilt which partially covers the broadsword’s scabbard. The drapery of the kilt is very convincing of the heavy cloth. The scabbard is rather plain as per the period and Highlander’s class. The piece has both a tear-drop shaped locator section and a pin, so the exact fitment should be precise and easy to fit. Unfortunately this piece has quite a bit of flash all around it. It is, however, reasonably light and can be removed with a shape hobby blade and then sanded smooth relatively quickly.
The Lochaber axe is cast with the right hand attached. As one can see from the photographs this is quite a long piece of the kit – simply due to the nature of the axe. The shaft of my sample was slightly bent when it arrived. This is not a serious issue, as the metal is reasonably pliable: simply practice caution when attempting to bend it straight. The hand is cast holding the shaft quite tightly, and appears proportionally correct.
The axe has a fine casting line running the full circumference of the piece. It is fairly light along the shaft, and this can simply be rubbed down with sandpaper. The spots where one will need to practice caution so as not to eviscerate any detail would be the back of the hand, and the axe head. There are also a few spots of light flash around the hook and the residue of the casting block on the hand, which are easily dealt with prior to sanding with a sharp hobby blade.
The sheathed dirk is quite a finely sculpted piece. The scabbard itself is plain like that of the broadsword, but the handle is intricately sculpted. A locator pin on the reverse side will make fitment really easy. Cleanup should be minimal as there is only the ever-present fine casting seam along the side of the scabbard, and a small amount of residue from the casting block.
The targe has been sculpted with a steel spike attached to the centre boss. Historically these spikes could be unscrewed and placed in a sheath on the back of the shield when not in use. So, should the modeller not desire the spike on the shield, this may be simply removed and the boss sanded smooth. The targe is finely sculpted with many small studded bosses. The reverse side has a locator pin which facilitates placement to the Highlander’s back. The edge will need to be sanded smooth with sandpaper, and the spike cleaned up slightly as there is a small amount of flash.
The groundwork/base provided with the kit is fairly neat and will give the figure a firm standing. Holes have been provided for the foot locator pins which will make placement easier. Strangely enough a hole has also been provided for the foot of the axe shaft.
Seil Models’ ‘Scottish Highlander, 17th Century AD’ is a well sculpted figure which unfortunately suffers from a few maladies like soft detailing and not the best quality casting I have seen from Seil Models.
I have referred to the figure’s pose and attire as been somewhat stereotypical. That said it is this kind of pose that appeals to figure painters as it best displays the figure and period dress.
Seil Models’ ‘Scottish Highlander, 17th Century AD’ is by no means a terrible figure, in fact despite its shortcomings I like it, but it will require more clean-up and perhaps some ”re-detailing” than usually expected from Seil figures.
The following references were used for purposes of this review: “The Jacobite Rebellions 1689-1745”. Men-At-Arms Series 118.Michael Barthorp and Gerry Embleton. Osprey Publishing. 1982.
“18th Century Highlanders”. Men-At-Arms Series 261. Stuart Reid and Mike Chappell. Osprey Publishing. 1993.
“Culloden 1746: The Highlander Clans’ Last Charge”. Campaign Series 12. Peter Harrington. Osprey Publishing. 1991.