Thursday, October 2, 2014

New Painting Style Attempts!

The Napoleon at War rule book has a nifty painting guide for French troops and British Cavalry and I thought I would give it a try.  Ever since the first day I realized I couldn't paint miniatures to save my life, I started using a block-method for painting 15mm troops using a black undercoat and highlighting details.  The results have worked for my skill level fairly well and the result is a collection of respectable (I think they're respectable) looking forces on my table.

I don't usually like white primer or undercoating because I feel like it exposes my horrid painting skills.  The method from NAW, however, is the best of both worlds I believe and I'm happy with the results of this stand of French troops I have almost finished now.
White primer

Blue coat (or whatever the primary color is)


White undercoated Frenchmen.  I'll explain everything.
The NAW guide tells you to paint them BLUE after the white undercoating.  Then, cover the entire model in a black wash.  After the wash dries, paint the solid details in a series.  So paint the white pants, belt, lapels all white. Then paint the face and hands. Then paint the knapsack and musket brown.  Then paint the red cuffs.  Etc.  You can't really tell but beneath the white lapels and the jacket front, it's still the blue from their first coat.  

Then you wash out the white with a diluted gray paint.  When all finished, highlight in the original color.  I haven't highlighted the pants yet or detailed the accouterments but they look very nice, especially compared to my first French unit:

these gentlemen are block-painted over straight black, and while they're "not bad" I dont think they're as clean as the other set above

  I also tried out the technique on a SYW Prussian figure from Old Glory:
Not bad.  The wash settled into the right areas and the grey wash actually looks better than block-painting all that white on the trousers and waistcoat.
Here are my block-painted Prussians.  Again, not a bad look but I don't think it's as clean as this style.

Here they are side by side.  You be the judge.  

Side by Side

Frenchmen side by side.  Much cleaner.  The chaps on the left look like they've soiled themselves... 
So that's it.  Next challenge will be painting white Austrians in this manner.  Hopefully they turn out OK and not goofy looking or I'll have to resort to the block technique again!  By the way, another French Battalion, Prussian Regiment, and Austrian Regiment on the workbench.  Those Austrians from last week have been finished and just need flocking.

Scaling down to 3 stand battalions allows me much larger battles and literally doubles the forces I have available for various games.  That means more battles and more battle reports coming up!  Huzzah!


  1. Why not undercoat with the base color from the get-go? I've been using army painter undercoat sprays in blue, red, grey etc. for years and they work really well when your models are predominantly of one colour and especially in the smaller scales. My 6mm ACW union army was undercoated blue and my confederate army gray. The cans are a bit pricey but the quality on the spray is also excellent so I'd say they are a good value.

    1. It would save me some time Mikko, that's for sure! Those Army Painter primers are pricey but I'll bet eliminating an entire step would be worthwhile.

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  3. You know, I think I like the white primer look better. I used black primer for decades, and in the last couple of years have switched to grey. I'll try white next.

    1. Mike,
      This method seems to look good and it still covers my mistakes from my shoddy painting!