Friday, November 4, 2011

How to Paint Napoleonic Uniforms Without Black Lining

Your faithful host posting another WIP on these nice OG 2nd Ed. Napoleonics. Continuing with Doug Hamm's method of a reverse sort of painting. The order being the piping (both red & white), cuffs and color, lapels, small clothes, breeches, shako cords, and blue coat proper. The metal buttons were painted earlier. Oh, I painted the Grenadiers' plumes and epaulettes too as I didn't want to waste any of the red I had in the palette. I'm still deciding on the drummer's colors.
Interestingly, very little time was spent with the blue, as there isn't very much of the blue cloth showing.
Full disclosure: the strip below the cuff buttons are still black - I couldn't fit my brush in between the buttons to add blue - maybe I'll paint that little strip blue on the next batch of French.

Here is how they looked with the the red areas painted - that is, the piping, collars and cuffs. The ones in the back have the base dark blue added to the coats. White was added to the blue for highlights.
Here is how the looked with the white added - cuff and color piping, straps, lapels, turnbacks, small clothes and breeches. I'll soften the folds of the breeches with a gray.


  1. Well, this method appears to be working for you Dean. Looking really good.

  2. Given the amount of work that's required painting Napoleonics, this production-line approach seems to work well. I've done something similar with the FPW figures - getting all the base colours done first, leaving the flesh until last, then followed by the washes. Finer details like piping and some highlights are left till last. But I'm not as skilled as yourself and usually confine it to batches of 20 or so figures - its about as much as I can manage. Have you worked out how long per figure by this method? I reckon following this sort of formula cut my painting time by 30% or more. Look forward to seeing your finished figures too!


  3. Thanks, Gents!

    Doc: Hmmm, I'm not sure how long per figure - mainly only know how long it took for the batch of figures I'm working on at the time. Usually several hours before my lower back starts hurting. Sometimes I want to finish a project so bad, I pop some Aleve. Best, Dean