A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

ECW - Mac Colla

Alasdair Mac Colla Chiotaich Mac Domhnuill (1610-47)
With some approximation in the tartan trews department, I have painted up the Mac Colla – otherwise known to you and me as Ali MacDonald – yet another figure I have assembled from Tumbling Dice parts. Alasdair was born at Colonsay, in the Inner Hebrides, the son of Col Chiotaich MacDonald – “Col the Left Handed”. Col was known as Colkitto, in Anglicised form, a name by which Nigel Tranter also refers to the son, Alasdair, in the Montrose novels. One would hesitate to suggest that Mr Tranter was mistaken, so let us assume that Alasdair was known as Colkitto as a sort of patronym.

Alasdair spent much of his life in Ireland, and he was appointed to command the Irish brigade which was sent over to Scotland to fight for the Royalist cause in the Civil War, joining forces with the Marquis of Montrose. Mac Colla is a bit nearer to the Warhammer end of things than I am used to – you will find a lot of stuff about him on the internet, frequently (apparently) confused with Conan the Barbarian, and representing a type of superhuman Celtic warrior hero much loved by American chaps with beards, many of whom would not know a Celt if they fell over one. 

The real Alasdair seems to have been a big, strong fellow – brave but sometimes a bit hasty. A head-banger, no doubt. He left Montrose, officially to raise more troops in the western highlands, but became distracted by the pursuit of his family’s traditional feud with the Campbells, who were – needless to say – staunch Covenanters.

My figure is simpler and calmer than most representations of this trusted lieutenant of Montrose.

11 comments:

  1. A splendid mini, love the pants!

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    1. Thank you Phil - I am going to get a pair for myself, I think.

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  2. He's quite fine. I agree with Phil, his trews are very fine.
    I haven't thought of Nigel Tranter in a long while - when I was much younger I knew his three books on Robert the Bruce almost by heart.
    Cheers,
    Michael

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    1. He's certainly better than I thought he might turn out - I'll adopt the standard humbly-pleased-gosh-it-was-nothing stance appropriate to the occasion.

      Tranter - I'm enjoying the 2nd of the Montrose books on my Kindle - I'm learning quite a bit about the personalities involved (though where Tranter got his info I don't know), but we still keep getting into noble brows and fiery glances and other writers' devices borrowed from the Woman's Own. Pretty good, really, but i keep the salt handy.

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  3. Well done, the trews are credible and his coat has an Irish flair.

    Montrose always makes me think of Nigel Tranter

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    1. Thank you Ross - I am quite pleased with him. The reference to Irish flair reminds me that there was a time when my pants were flared and my coat was incredible, so maybe that was an Irish influence too.

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    2. And though its hard to believe it now, there was a time when I wore tartan pants out on tbe town.

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  4. He certainly looks like a Big Mac!

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  5. And thanks to everyone who refrained from commenting on the size of his chopper.

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