Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Verdun Project: Painting Late War French Infantry - Part 3

This is the third and last part of my short series of posts about painting late Great War French infantry. In the last post, I covered painting the mid-tone and highlights for all the colours but for Horizon Bleu and a couple of details on the figures.


I left the Horizon Bleu until last to make sure that the colour tones blended uniformly across the demi-platoon. I used a 50/50 combination of Vallejo Model Colour Grey Blue and Vallejo Model Colour Mirage Grey for the mid-tone, with a highlight of nearly 100% Vallejo Model Colour Grey Blue mixed with a dab of Vallejo Model Colour white. (Full painting details are on the “Late Great War French Infantry Painting Template” in the resources section of this Blog).




It took some time to work through the Horizon Bleu colours on the figures, but I resisted the temptation to move from the mid-tone to highlight each figure individually. I’ve tried this figure-by-figure approach in the past, but I’ve generally found that it takes longer.



I tend to apply the highlight in short lines of paint, attempting to follow the folds of cloth on the figure. I found dipping the paintbrush in Windsor & Newton Acrylic Flow Improver helped before painting the highlights, just to make sure the brush ran smoothly over the ridges and edges where the highlight would show.

After about 90 minutes, I was done. The only thing left on the figures was to make a couple of small marks on the collar tips of each figures (with Vallejo Model Colour Dark Blue) to denote a representation of the regimental unit. And finally, I painted the edges of the bases of the figures with a hard wearing coat of Louvre Acrylic Black.


Painting a thick black edge on the figures is always the last thing I do to the figures before varnishing. I like the way that the edge breaks the figure from the terrain on the wargames table. It’s a personal choice, but its something I like to do with my figures, at least for the Great War where I’ve universally used 3mm bases for ease of players picking them up during our games.

And there we have it.  A French demi-platoon, with Vivien-Bessieres rifle grenades, from around the time of the battle of Verdun in 1916.


 

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this short series. Next post will be a figure scale comparison across a number of late Great War French 28mm manufacturers, followed by a book review or two. Hope you can join me for those.

40 comments:

  1. What a superb finale to your tutorial Sidney! They look fantastic!

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks Christopher! Glad you like them!

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  2. Thanks so much for this series! WW1 French are still on my to-do list, but had to be pushed down several times unfortunately. However, your great effort might draw them up again.

    Cheers, Tilman
    mountainsoflead.com

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    1. Tilman, thanks so much. I am going to do my very best, Sir, by the end of this year to have got your WW1 French to near the top of your list! :)

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  3. That is just awesome. You realy did a tremendous job on them. It's getting harder and harder to resist the whole WW1 thingie...

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    1. Moiterei, resistance is futile, Sir.....give in now!

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  4. It has been a real joy to see the unit progress over the series of posts, thank you for sharing Sidney.

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    1. Michael, thanks so much - it's been a pleasure!

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  5. Lovely work as usual, very, very nice.

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  6. Love them, thanks for the tutorial. Outstanding results, keep up the great work.

    All the best

    Airhead

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    1. Thanks Airhead. Very pleased you like them.

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  7. Great tutorial Sidney, thanks. Excellent results the on those French boys too!

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    1. Thanks Rodger - I'm really pleased you liked the tutorial.

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  8. Excellent stuff Sidney. The tutorials were really appreciated. Allez les bleus!

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    1. Mark, my great pleasure, mate! You're very welcome!

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  9. Lovely work Sidney. They look great individually and as a group.

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    1. Tamsin, thanks so much, and thanks again for dropping by!

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  10. As always Sidney, a great looking unit.

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  11. Absolutely gorgeous work, Sidney!

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    1. Curt, thanks so much. If they look OK, a large part is due to you and so many others sending photos, links, email and comments about how les Poilus should look. Thanks so much again, Sir!

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  12. Excellent work as ever Sidney, really inspiring work! Thanks for the step by step instruction!

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    1. Alex, you're very welcome! Always great to see you visiting - thanks so much!

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  13. Great step by step..and as always, lovely looking figs

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  14. Sidney, many thanks for these three very useful posts. I have printed them in pdf and safely stored in my hard disk . They are really worth keeping them for reference in the future

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    1. Thanks Benito! I enjoyed doing the template for the late Great War French. When there's a quiet time in the next few weeks, I'll post the painting template guides for the late War British and Germans as well. Thanks again!

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  15. Beautiful instructive stuff my friend, top notch as always.

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    1. Thanks Fran! Very pleased you liked them!

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  16. These are just gorgeous mate. Thanks for sharing your technique!

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  17. They look splendid!

    But I have to say I am amazed... I am already bleeped off if I have a single drop of paint on my finger when I am done... having them look like yours would drive me mad!

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  18. DHC, many thanks indeed! Fingers - it's a very personal choice!!! I found that using my fingers and hand as a painting sponge or palette works pretty well, at least for me. Thumbnails and fingernails are particularly good. It's all about having a surface you can "bleed" off a little excess paint on the brush. it also helps that fingers can be brushed without any surplus fibres getting on the brush (as sometimes happens with kitchen roll). But yes, it very personal choice! Stick to what works best for you, definitely, DHC!

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  19. The icing on the cake Sidney. I think figure sales for WW1 French has just gone up.
    Cheers,
    Pat.

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    1. Pat, thanks very much! I'm hoping so, if only to encourage Brigade Games to do a few more WW1 French miniatures sets!

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