Army of the Lord of the Isles, 1411

My blog updates are becoming much less frequent (a temporary condition I hope) so this one will include progress notes on several different small scale projects. The Most extensive, the completed army of Donald MacDonald of Islay, Lord of the Isles, is shown in several photos below:

<All the following photos may be enlarged by clicking>

The MacDonalds of the Isles are in the forefront of the van in the very center of the army. In line behind Donald of Islay are (from left to right) Alisdair MacDonald of Ardnamurchan, Clan Cameron with their chieftain Donald Dubh (Black Donald) and Ian Mor (Big John) MacDonald of Dunnyveg and the Glens.
Ian Beag (Little John) MacKintosh leads the right flank followed by the warriors of the Clan Chattan Confederation.
The left is commanded by Hector Ruadh (Red Hector) MacLean supported by Clan MacLeod and their warrior chieftain, Ian Borb (the Turbulent). The MacLeods of both Harris and Lewis are united under the Fairy Flag of Dunvegan.
A rear view showing all of the Lord of the Isles’ army.
A closeup of the left flank. Approximately half of the army is unarmored levy infantry with mainly axes, spears and bows.
The right flank. A few of the higher status levies (with crosspiece supports for their banners) are better equipped and armed.

MacKay’s Army, 1411

When the MacDonald host invaded Ross in the summer of 1411, they were first opposed by the MacKays near Dingwall, northwest of Inverness. The MacKays were vastly overmatched, but the presence of their arch enemy, the MacLeods, with the islanders caused them to fight with great ferocity.

In the center is the MacKay chieftain, Angus Dubh of Strathnaver. Covering his right is his brother Rory Gald and his left, Hugh Monro of Foulis, a close ally.
The MacKay host in total, well less than half Clan Donald’s size and much weaker in heavy infantry.

FK&P in Half Scale

The half-scaling of my For King and Parliament 17th century armies continues apace.

Getting back to the 17th century, the basing is being reworked (again) so I can play For King and Parliament games in half the ground scale I formerly used. This allows me to set up in much smaller areas. The unit base frontage is now 50mm (to represent 100 yards). Above is the Scots Covenant army for Alford with its rebasing nearly complete.
The 100mm (4 inch) grid of my base game mat (3’ x 3’) has been marked into two inch (50mm) boxes which gives a play area of 18 x 18 FK&P boxes. The photo above shows the area marked out for the Alford (1645) scenario, 12 x 8 boxes. The unit base width is the same as the box which will give a somewhat crowded look but comprises have become necessary.

An Arrow Storm

I had made a couple of “loosed arrow” markers a few months ago and liked them so much I decided to make a bunch more for my medieval games. These serve the same purpose as cotton wool smoke markers for gunpowder weapons.

Hope to soon be able to stage Peter Page’s Alford scenario. That is at least the next agenda item. 😀

10 thoughts on “Army of the Lord of the Isles, 1411

  1. Nice to have an update on things Bill and hope it’s all going well with you. I must admit that I love the look of the Lord of the Isles army/warband, from the cloth colours through to the fantastic flags. The arrow storm markers are brilliant. Hope for another update soon.


    • Steve, thanks for your comments. You are always very encouraging! We likely never know what the highland Warbands of the period actually looked like but this is the best interpretation I can come up with based on the less than extensive sources. Hope to get back on the PF fairly soon. Having be following your many projects with great interest.


  2. Hey, Pixie! Thanks!
    Yes, in each of the heavy infantry bases more than half of the figures (Gallowglass and Kern) are Techno’s new sculpts.


  3. I’m glad you’ve found some time for your passion. I hope you’ll be able to find more time soon. I’m always impressed by the amount of time and level of detail shown in your work.


  4. As always, Bonnie, thanks! With hours spent on the increasing frustration of watching college BB, I think that particular waste of time will soon disappear. 😉


  5. Great work on the Army of the Isles, looks really well. Looking forward to seeing how your FK&P smaller base project turns out. What I’ve seen so far, it looks like you’ve got plenty of character in the units despite the smaller base area.


    • Matthew, thanks for the comment! Sorry for the very late response, just noticed it this AM. I seem to be behind in everything in my hobby life right now. I need to catchup with much including your fun series on the Crusades. Take care!


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