Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

Dabbling with dappling

Posted by Martin on July 14, 2007

Grey w-i-p #1I’ve moved on to the next figure in the command set and it’s time to paint up General Borstell himself. As benefits a Prussian brigade commander, I’ve decided to give this figure a grey horse. When I started out I had it in mind to give the horse quite a lot of dark grey and black rather than white. Living in the Wiltshire countryside gives me the opportunity to observe many “greys” in the flesh and you’d be surprised how many of them have dark legs, bellies, tails, manes and so on.

I only thing I was sure of was that I wanted the horse to have dark legs but beyond that I wasn’t really certain how things would turn out. So I sat down with five or six paint pots ranging from pure black to pure white and just let things take their course. It was only during an inspection break after the first painting session that I decided to take the plunge and apply some dappling to the hind quarters. So far I’ve only worked on one side of the horse to this level of completion and I’m pleased with the effect. I achieved this by the simple expedient of painting little dots of light grey, white grey and white while trying to avoid overdoing it. I’m now planning to extend the dappling to the shoulder and neck.

Palette for this so far is (all Vallejo Model Colour acrylics):

  • Primer and basecoat: black (950).
  • First highlight: dark grey (994).
  • Second highlight: neutral grey (992).
  • Third highlight: light grey (990).
  • Fourth highlight: white grey (993).
  • Fifth highlight: white (951).

Er, yes, six shades does seem a bit excessive, doesn’t it? But remember, we’re going across the furthest possible range here from black to white, so it takes a lot of intermediary shades to keep the transition smooth enough.

Next steps are a bit more dappling and then “rinse and repeat” on the other side. After that, I’ll tackle the head where I’m planning to give the horse flesh-coloured nostrils and mouth. Or maybe I’ll do those the other way round. Depends…

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4 Responses to “Dabbling with dappling”

  1. Svennn said

    Martin, looking good, oddly I have just completed a horse in a similar colour for the Feldjaeger on the leaping mount from one of the other command sets.
    Thats two horses, one rider and the roadside shrine we have seen so far – when are we going to see the completed set?
    I painted the two feldjaegers with a clear idea in my mind of how they were going to be based but must admit the set I am doing at present has me stumped. I dont think Peters description would look right without the french so am tryng to come up with another idea.
    I will probably end up leaving them un-based whilst I tackle the set you are doing – that just leaves me wondering what to replace the tree stump/shrine with on my base.
    Look froward to seeing your finished set
    cheers Svennn

  2. Martin said

    Svennn: it’s a bit spooky hearing about other people painting the same stuff as me.

    How are you counting horses on my painting roster? The grey is actually the third one from this command set. There’s the ADC’s pale one and the dismounted Feldjaeger’s bay one too – that’s makes three by my reckoning – or two and half given that the grey isn’t finished 🙂

    Some ideas for other decorations on your command base: how about a casualty figure or two? A cavalry escort? A roadsign? A ruined artillery piece (or bits of one)? Some fencing? A ruined farm gateway or bit of walling?

    Now that I’ve recovered from illness, I’m hoping to complete this set in the next week or two (my painting is always limited by work and family commitments).

  3. Svennn said

    “The grey is actually the third one from this command set.” we should get to see it a bit sooner then!!!! 🙂
    ” (my painting is always limited by work and family commitments).” that does’nt sound familiar at all either!!

    Thanks for sharing your stuff on your site. When your younger with loads of mates and club nights etc. you get carried along on the wave of mutual enthusiasm but now I am much older, everyone is married with kids, interests change etc. its sites and articles like this that replace all that and dont leave me feeling like a sad old git who paints toy soldiers.

  4. Definitely an eye catching horse Martin.

    More more came the cry from the cheap seats! 8O)

    Salute
    von Peter himself

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