Monday, 31 May 2010

Contemplating paint shades etc.

Having returned to painting more French infantry I decided to try to pin down the actual shade of the coat worn during the period. I see so many variations on the French coat colour, and there is no doubt that wear and tear and fading would have produced such variation in the original uniforms. But I wanted to find a reliable match for the colour as a guideline. Back in my re enacting days we used a company called 'The Sutlers Stores' to provide accurate ACW uniform items as the guy who ran it was most meticulous in his research, ordering cloths from the states that matched precisely the originals, he would accept nothing less. His Napoleonic uniforms are also incredibly accurate and based upon surviving museum items for the cut as well as original patterns and cloths. I thought some might enjoy browsing through the companies catalogue at the amazing quality uniforms they produce. I found a French coat c 1810 (below) and decided that my GW 'Midnight Blue' is the closest match I have for it. The whole site is a wonderful mix of uniforms and accessories that I'm sure any military enthusiast will love.

On the subject of colours I am also thinking of going back to Games Workshop paints as some of my old Foundry paints begin to run down. I've tried most makes and have come to the conclusion that I like the GW range the best. They cover very well and are quite thick, but I can thin them down and they still hold the shade well. I find with Foundry that I'm wasting money as I only tend to use the 'mid' colour of the three, plus maybe a little of the 'light' shade. I'd also say the Foundry paints are also not as thick as GW. I did at one stage seriously consider using the old enamels over white as in the brilliant 'Unfashionably Shiny' blog, but I just did not feel confident that I could match that high standard and style, much as I love it. I have also tried other makes of acrylics such as Coat d Arms but again I found they just did not cover quite as well as GW.

Next I need to research the shade of the legere uniform coats as I believe that it was a lighter blue than the line? I hope my Osprey books will give me the correct shade for the later period.

Pics show my paints plus the 8 figures currently being painted. You can see how I like to put a thin (and rather messy) wash of black over the unpainted areas of undercoat that will be painted white, as I find it gives more definition. I need to try this with a black ink as I'm sure it would work better.


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

...but what would the midnight blue look like after 6 months on campaign in Spain, or Russia, or Austria, or... every shade under the sun! :o))

Stryker said...

Hi Lee - thanks for posting that link, quite amazing!