I don't know who was more embarrassed myself of the saintly Mrs. Awdry when she returned home, earlier than expected from the gym, to find her beloved with 'Big Wullie' in hand, singing along to A-ha! (damn that iPod random song shuffle, you just never know what you're going to get.) It wasn't until I read a comment by Der Feldmarschall on the previous post that I remembered that I too had a "Big Wullie" lurking at the bottom of the 'to do pile'. Given that the tartan paint pot was still open on the table it seemed like an opportune moment to paint him up.
I've to photograph the process of painting the tartan kilt to demonstrate how a simplified approach can produce acceptable and pleasing results. It is only fair to acknowledge that there are some very good, and much more sophisticated, 'how to' guides available; one I find myself returning to time and time again can be found at 'Toy Soldier, online gallery'. More recently 'Der Feldmarschall' directed me to a tutorial on painting tartan by Dave Taylor that can be found here. The following is my humble attempt at a guide for 'Government' or 42nd tartan.
Stage 1: Base coat the kilt in Blue, in this case Games Workshop, 'Regal Blue'.
Stage 2: Paint vertical green stripes around the kilt. Games Workshop 'Snot Green'.
Stage 3: Horizontal Stripes added in the same colour.
Stage 4: Where the lines cross, paint a dab of lighter green. For me it was a mix of Games Workshop 'Goblin Green' and Vallejo 'Golden Olive'.
Stage 5: Using a fine brush apply black ink to outline the green stripes. This has the added advantage of tidying up any little wobbles that may have occurred earlier!
The black ink will often dry with a shine to it, but this can be rectified with a coat of matt varnish. It really is that simple; just hope this helps to ally any fears or worries some may have at attempting tartan.