Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Avoiding snow blindness

It’s back to painting white on white as I try to refine my test figure for Musketeer Regiment No 4 Hoch-Und Deutschmeister. Painting figures with white uniforms should be the easiest thing ever but I seem to have deliberately chosen to make it as hard as possible.

The problem is that I paint my Austrians in a stylised way with plain white uniforms, no shading and all the lining in black. I’ve found that this only really works if the black lining is very thin and I can only achieve this by laboriously changing between black and white paint to thin the lines until I get the desired effect. Take a look at this photo against the one in the last post and you’ll see what I mean – I hope.

Of course I could avoid all this by using more realistic colours with either cream or grey for the uniform with white straps lined in dark grey. This would be more forgiving of the odd error but it’s too late to go back now.

Suddenly painting Highlanders doesn’t seem so bad at all.


lewisgunner said...

Emphatically not cream! Austrian uniforms were a very white pearl grey so only use white and grey for uniform and shading.

the Archduke said...

Having mended my lederhosen, I'm venturing back into a field where I have some experience. However, I'm going to be courageous to the point of needing re-education by venturing to disagree with Roy......it's either that or repaint 300 odd Austrians. I accept the parade ground purity of his view, but I am confident that after a week or two in the field, pearly white uniforms would look cream at best. And cream gives ample scope for highlighting in pure white. I've been thinking about the anguish of black lining straps and have an idea that I have not yet tried, of block painting the jacket in white, then painting the straps black before overpainting in white leaving the black edges exposed. I've actually done this in reverse on Prussian fusiliers and the effect is quite interesting. Happy to be howled down on this one, however, as I haven't invested time in it.

lewisgunner said...

That sounds a bit hard edged,but I once had to repaint an Austrian unit I had. painted cream and I wouldn't want another enthusiast to go the same route. Of course if anyone can find a genuine illustration around the time of Austrians in anything but pearl grey It would be bith interesting and challenging!

Stryker said...

Archduke - that is more or less the technique I'm using painting the straps black and overpainting white but it is very fiddly!

Roy - I was sent this link that does seem to indicate a cream or natural linen colour

Anonymous said...

I've been experimenting with ink washes on a cream (GW sepia) base or grey (home made) on a titanium white. I then highlight with the base and paint the belts titanium white. I can't say that I'm happy with it yet. I'm not a great fan of washes as it can look like there has been an outbreak of dysentery but I'm looking for something to get Austrians done quite quickly. In any event they can only be quicker than British infantry- one colour and no lace.

This blog has done masses (750 28mm Austrians in 4.5 months!) to a high standard and recommends a black undercoat.


lewisgunner said...

Sorry Stryker, I looked at the picture which you kindly linked us to and the whole print has a golden hue, thus distorting the colours of the uniform coats and f the white walls and display board. I have been to the Heeresgeschictlesmuseum in Vienna three times , but the coats it displays are all white!
not cream, double, Jersey, single, clotted or pouring....pearly white!


Phil said...

Very nice figure.
I'm painting lots of Austrians at moment (18th century), and have found that undercoating white, blocking in main colours, then using the dip, and then highlighting in white gives a nice effect... en masse, at least. I've also been timing the project, and I reckon on average it's working out just under 25 minutes per figure, which for me is pretty good going. Im also finding that the painting is very easy to do... The dip 'layer' does the work, and really picks out the detail. Of course, there's no black lining, but I'm happy with the effect.
Looking forward to seeing how yours turn out. Good luck!
Best regards.

Stryker said...

Thanks for the comments everyone - interesting stuff!

Roy - I'm going to stick with white myself anyway.
PS I couldn't publish your link as it was distorting the screen on my ipad.

Wellington Man said...

Black straps overpainted with white is how I do all of mine. It's tricky at first, but once you've done a few times it gets easier. I found (with Humbrols at least) that the secret is not to use paint strokes over the straps, but to 'dab' on the white with the point of the brush. The main problem is getting exactly the right consistency - generally the gluier the better!

Stryker said...

Now this is what I call painting Austrians
Thanks to Don for that link!