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Highlighting a whooole lot of French infantry (Painting part 2)

In my last blog, I looked at producing a pile of French infantry as part of our celebration of 6000 likes on Facebook. The results (so far) were okay and admittedly rushed, but I managed an impressive rate of 19 minutes per miniature. Am I finished there? Well I could be, but let’s take these and make them better.

The basic French infantry with wash.

In hindsight, a khaki or brown spray would have streamlined the process and made it even faster. Painting the greatcoats khaki did take time and some required a second coat as the colour I used wasn’t strong enough against the grey undercoat (white would have been an option for lighter greatcoats). I could have perhaps shaved more of that 19 minute target. Now, my original French took an average of 30 minutes a miniature, so how long would some simple highlights take? Would I end up spending just as long on the Greatcoats as the Line? Crazy…

Starting the highlights on the greatcoat.

The first highlight was on the greatcoat. The shade I used acts an excellent guide to which areas needed lighting. I used the original colour to highlight, usually adding a touch of ‘off-white’ to lighten the colour. This, or a cream colour, works much better than pure white, a technique I picked up from editing and reading painting articles for WSS! I also lightened the models with white trousers with the same off-white. 

Next set of highlights

Next was off-white on the cross straps. I only used a little to highlight part of the straps. The dark shako covers were highlighted in a lighter shade of grey. The same was done with the boots. I was doing this by eye, but I really could have done with a magnifier - my eyesight is still good but not quite 20-20. It’s amazing how taking pictures can show up the tiny flaws in your painted miniatures. However these are destined for the tabletop, not close-ups, so as a mass effect I was happy with the results.  

Final finished models.
Finally, I added some lighter flesh tones to the faces and hands and a wood highlight to the gun stocks. I was happy with the metal work but might have considered a coat of silver for the bayonets. The overall touch ups took approximately 5 to 6 minutes per figure, pushing my time from 19 minutes per figure to 25 minutes. While still 5 minutes faster than my previous efforts, I was expecting the greatcoats to be quite a bit faster. Curiously they weren’t, although as noted above perhaps a undercoat the colour of the greatcoats would have speeded up things a little more. Still I’m happy with the results and this means yet another unit on the table for Ligny! In future however, I will be using a magnifier for fine detail whenever possible.

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