Saturday, 26 April 2014

Never lower your Guard...

Since some courageous asked me how I paint my Toy soldiers,
 I would try to see to what little I have learned over the years by people much more skilled than me.
My level is what I need to give my figures a little bit of soul,
 I can not paint as if I were on a figure more defined and detailed as a model soldier, and I can not waste more time than necessary in the absurd search of a perfection that I have not and, quite often, do not even have my plastic subjects.
In this case, I am preparing three men of the Old Guard French, the Airfix brand is still a warranty and, despite his age, these grenadiers have yet expressive power and good definition, but to emphasize the steps that I have not photographed at first,  I have to start by two Russian Grenadiers of Armies in Plastic and the application of Primer rigorously matt black. I use the black primer (Army painter) because I can use it for defilade boundaries and keep my figures darker, but the color of the Primer is also a personal choice.

The first part of my work is to define the hands and face what I do with the Dark Fleshtone Game Color Vallejo, in the picture I also run a wash of dark gray on the shoes (you'll see the same passage on the boots of the Old Guard ) and a dry brush of lighter gray on plume, the Russian shako and the fur hat of the Frenchs. These steps (made ​​with Shadow Grey and Fortress Grey Citadel) if well executed not require a second pass and give the desired effect.

Now, we can move on to the real protagonists.

The boots and a fur cap are already defined. Here we also see the first light of the face and hands, performed with the Bronze Fleshtone (still Game Color).
As a basis for the pants and belts of accoutrements, use Yellow Ocre (I use in most cases Polycolor Maimeri, acrylic opaque real enough). Before The basis of the cuffs and lapels in red is given  with red ocher. For the parties gilded, the base is the Raw Sienna.
My work continues with the uniform (Imperial Blue + Black to dark) and the grays of the waistcoats of officer and soldiers. The base of the flap of the boots of the officer is yellow ocher and Raw Sienna.

Dietrofront! You can see the same bases distributed on the straps of the backpack, the golden parts of the sword and decorations and red ocher lapels. 
The plume of the officer is dry brushed with vermilion and sabretache was passed with a dry brush of light gray as the bearskin. 

The backpack has as its basis the Bestial Brown (Citadel) + black, the rolled-up blanket, Sky blue + black.

The next steps of color are given to veil the base. On the golden parts, after the Raw Sienna, it is passed the Pale Gold (always Maimeri); on dark gray, light gray more and more. The red ocher is covered by Vermilion. 
The face: After the bronze Fleshtone, is handed the Orange Brown mixed (50% and 50%) with the Dwarf Skins (Vallejo Model Color and Game Color) on the parts already highlighted. 
The next step dwarf skins mixed with Flat Flesh (50% and 50%). Then the lights are completed with just flat flesh. The whiskers are passages of gray illuminated with light gray. The scabbard is painted with black gray.
Pants: the yellow ocher is covered by a passage of beige with a hint of yellow ocher.
At the back, the backpack is lightened by increasing the yellow ocher, then a two-step increase in dry brush of light beige, while the deck is lightened before with Sky Blue after, completing the lighting of the parts out with Sky blue + white.  The golden parts are enlightened with Polished Gold. The sword is completed by a dry brush of Mithril Silver Citadel (you can use the classic silver).
It begins to glimpse the final result.
On pants, white + tip of beige on the parts in light. Third step on the reds with Blazing Orange Citadel to make red more alive. Is completed waistcoat clear, with dirty white with a touch of black.
On the straps, white with a tinge of yellow ocher.
For the rifle, the wood base has Burnt Sienna + black, the second step to lighten Burnt Sienna + tip of yellow ocher, still lighten increasing ocher, finish and illuminating the veins with Raw Sienna. The metal barrel is painted with a dry brush in Boltgun Metal (Citadel) and with Mithril Silver on the firing mechanism and  the tip of the gun.

The cockade on the Officer's cap has gray base, then brush up on white, with a hint of Blazing Orange inside.
For the uniform, another passage in Imperial Blue light on the parts, then the third step with Imperial Blue + a touch of white to brighten up the folds.
Finishing Touches for the buttons, black point then Pale Gold and point in polished gold.
Now, I can spry toy soldiers with Anti Shine Matt Varnish of the Army Painter

What do you think?

For the base I use bases in Forex that I play with Acrylic Coarse Pumice of Maimeri. When it is dry, I paint everything with Sap Green, dry do this a wash with Raw Sienna and, subsequently, a dry brush with Lemon Yellow, all acrylic Polycolor Maimeri.

Ready to fight! 
A question, but the Russians of the Armies in Plastic used in the early stages of coloration?

 Airfix against Armies in Plastic, all to see!

I close with my Russian against the four Voltigeurs Hat I'm preparing, 
I hope it was not boring even though I know that is certainly not everything was clear, 
 hope that at least the fun in painting has been seen!
and ... sorry for my english (but it was English?). 
See you soon 


  1. Very satisfied with this in depth tutorial. I'm aware that it takes precious time and effort to write something like this. On the other hand, it's so infectious to read, I can hardly wait and try to improve some of my work with the aid of hints like found here. Besides your intelligent use of shade and highlight colors it is obvious that you must have a steady hand. As a reenactor of the 3rd Reg. Grenadiers of the Imp. Guard I can assure you that the rolled-up item on top of the haversack (backpack) is not a blanket in essence. It's the rolled up 'capote' or greatcoat. There's a special (reglementary) technique to make it the shape as it is sculpted on the classic Airfix French Guardsmen. The color of the Grenadiers Hollandais (3rd Reg.) is as depicted on your figures: more or less sky blue, and light in appearance. The first and second Reg.'s had dark blue capotes. It must be mentioned here that the greatcoat was not only used as a coat to wear during service. It indeed did have a function as a cover against cold and rain when there was to be an improvised bivouac in the open field.

    1. Thanks Marcel of appreciation, in fact it was not easy trying to explain "in short" ( because I still I tried to shorten everything, often to the detriment of some passages), and especially in another language, "my" method of painting. "My" because I think everyone arrives at the level he is interested in and then only grow with time and experience. If there are any questions or unclear passages, you feel free to ask questions but, let's say I try to do a minimum of three passages in color from dark to light, illuminating folds and prominences (when there are, as the quality of plastic toy soldiers is not always good, as in the case of the two Russians of the Armies in Plastic). Since I am certainly not a pro, everyone can take what want from this guide, it is based on some classical painting technique, such as making the white more warm using the ocher yellow in the case of the belts or fade with the light beige pants, for to have a white "Isabella" just for that color of the lightly soiled tissue, but not forget that I can not spend all the time that I would like on a figure, because I am back hundreds of pieces. As for the clarification on the deck of the Grenadiers, I apologize if I'm wrong definition, but in some texts, I found this particular described as a blanket and not as a greatcoat, on the other hand, I'm sure the color used, although in many paintings colors ranging from dark blue to sky blue.
      As you have noticed then, I'm not too get dirty for the uniforms because I love the Napoleonic Period also for the beauty and variety of the colors of the uniforms, but we can say that this is my weakness ...

  2. It's clear all the way. And the comment on the overcoat is because I'm familiar to the subject, in fact so close that I can not leave you in doubt on that. On the colors of them, you are right. They were defined of course, by regulations but o a campaign the men had to do with what was available to local sutlers or village tailors. Nice work, we like it!

  3. Massimo, these are pieces of art. You really want to use them as wargame figures??
    I would be scared to touch them.
    Great painting job!

  4. Well, I'm scared too ... but by the number of pieces that I have to paint!
    I hope that since you asked me something for the blog, I did not exaggerate.
    For next time, I will try to show real progress and, why not,
    also some soldiers on horseback.
    A presto!