Saturday, March 28, 2009

Great War Update

Finally got around to slapping some paint on these guys. So far, only the flesh & Horizon Bleu uniforms on the French. I plan to give them the Mini Wax Tudor stain treatment. I've only tried the "dip" method once; and it was with a homebrew mixture of Future floor wax and some added "stain" - I was not impressed with the results. It may be that my mixture was flawed, so I will give the Mini Wax a shot.
Since I understand the stain will darken the finish, I have tried to use colors that are slightly lighter than what I actually want as an end finish. I added white to the Vallejo Medium Flesh. The Horizon Bleu is a mix of the colors you see in the background of the photo. Americana True Blue & Neutral Grey, with Ceramcoat White. I used these colors as they are what I already have; you could probably use any blue-grey mix for this blue. I read that the uniform quickly faded to a light bluish-grey. Although I thought I started out with a light shade, I ended up dry-brushing a lighter second coat with more white added. They are actually a bit more of a baby-blue in-person; the picture is a bit washed out with the lighting. I hope the stain doesn't darken the finish too much - I'm hoping it'll just highlight stuff like belt straps & the puttees (the cloth bands on their lower legs).

Here are some reference images for the Poilu's uniform - Poilu - "The Hairy Ones" - not sure if this nom de guerre enhanced their reputation at the time or not. I also have a great WWI uniform reference book, "Heraldry & Regalia of War" - I had a copy of this book as a kid, but gave it to my Brigade Sergeant Major, of all people, when I was stationed in Korea over 20-years ago. He had borrowed the book from me a couple of times, and I knew he liked it so I gave it him as I wasn't so interested in it at the time. I recently managed to get one off of eBay for less than $5 including shipping. Ha - timing is everything.
I'll probably paint the Germans the same way (Feld Grau for the uniforms) next, before I paint the webbing & weapons. I have a bottle of Vallejo Fieldgrey from the WW2 German paint set I bought awhile back. Ha, it's nice of them for using the same color for both wars. I'm not painting eyes or anything like that for these guys. I want to be able to get these guys ready for gaming - not close-up photos.

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