Sunday, 30 January 2011

Grey is the new Black

I’ve completed painting my test figure for the Brunswick hussars BRN/17 Death’s Head Hussar (Horse Attached Series) charging. I had hoped that painting what is basically a completely black clad figure might be easy but I also had my suspicions that it might not be.

In fact it has been a bit of a pain in the proverbial trying to get this one right. My first attempt used a very dark grey for the uniform that looked ok close up but at a distance provided no contrast at all with the cross-belts and lace etc. I decided to repaint the uniform with a lighter grey and this seems more effective when viewing the figure at a normal playing distance.

However, I confess that I’m still not totally happy because now he doesn’t seem quite black enough. I have resisted another re-paint attempt by telling myself that in reality black uniforms would very quickly have faded to grey and that therefore grey is the more realistic choice but I’m not sure who I’m kidding. Any suggestions on how to resolve my dilemma would be welcome.


Paul said...

Hi Ian
I was going to try charcoal for the uniforms, and gloss black for the belts ect


lewisgunner said...

I have seen Brunswikers done brilliantly Thus:
Mix blue into the black for the cloth and lighten a little.
Highlight with blue black with quite a lot of white. Best to do two stages of highlights, so the really light stuff is a vet thin line.
Do the belts gloss as Paul suggests with no blue in the black.
Yes, in real life the black fades , but then everything becomes grey. it is the blue that lifts the black and yet it looks right.

Give it a try

Anonymous said...

Black uniforms are the only time I dry brush, using a dark grey. However could you not outline the belts etc. and paint creases on the "grey figure" you now have?

However, he is still a very dashing figure as he is!


Rafael Pardo said...

Black uniforms are a nitghtmare for me, as are also the white ones!. In addition to the troubles of painting, the photographies never make justice to the model

Stryker said...

Thanks for all the ideas chaps! I will try out some of them at the next painting session.

paulalba said...

Hi Ian,
Sorry I missed these updates on my blog?

These are really cool.

I have used a tiny bit of flesh in black to good effect on Brunswick coats. Grey in the black for the shako.
Looking very nice.