Tuesday, September 18, 2012

MacColla Command Base WIP

Quick update on my brigade command base featuring Maj. General Alasdair MacColla, near legendary commander of the Irish Brigade. The Litko 60mm round bases arrived last night so settled on final layout and finished up the new flags.

I was thinking of adding a Covenanter casualty model behind MacColla as well as some detritus of battle (helmet, musket etc) but it just looked too busy so will likely stick with just the big man and his personal standard bearers.

The flags are speculative, but the designs use symbols common in the contemporary 17th century heraldry of the MacDonalds and other west coast clans with links across the water to Ulster. The yellow flag depicts 'the black galley' common in ancient West highland heraldry, especially amongst the MacDonalds and MacDougalls, the descendants of Somerled. It is typically taken as a representation of power and is also linked to the Lordship of the Isles. 

The white sheet depicts the infamous "red hand of Ulster", a symbol linked to Ulster since at least the 16th century, and common amongst the heraldry of the O'Neill family. It is also found in west highland heraldry especially amongst the MacDonalds. 

There is no evidence that flags like these were carried by MacColla, or that they even existed, but both seem like fitting motifs for the Ulster-backed MacDonald. I can't claim this as an original idea, it is actually borrowed from a description of MacColla in Nigel Tranter's "Montrose: Captain General". Although Tranter puts a white galley on a black sheet. I changed this to a black galley on a yellow sheet to be consistent with references to MacColla's colours at Auldearn, and to be faithful to West highland heraldry.

Will post the finished command base soon, together as well as the flag sheets. 

1 comment:

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

They look great and love the flags!