Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

There’s nothing quite like it for cooling the blood

Posted by Martin on May 22, 2008

There have been a couple of comments about mud and the painting of it. Whether you do slosh mud on to your figures as part of that campaign look is a matter of personal taste, of course. Javi isn’t keen on it while I’m busy plastering the whole of my current Kurmark landwehr infantry battalion with the stuff. But I’m doing it judiciously, mind.

So here’s my recipe…

Firstly, I don’t drybrush. I actually paint mud deliberately using the layered painting technique in just the same way I paint any other part of a figure.

Secondly, the palette: basecoat of burnt umber (VMC941); first highlight is beige brown (VMC875) which covers up most of the basecoat but leaves a layer of it showing furthest from the edge of whatever is getting covered in mud; second highlight is cork brown (VMC843) which is restricted to areas close the the edges. The effect I try to achieve is that of the mud lightening as it dries – a lot easer to paint that explain. There are plenty of browns in the various paint manufacturers ranges so feel free to experiment with ones that give an effect that pleases you.

Thirdly, what gets covered in mud? I think the trick here is twofold: one, don’t go mad and overdo it; two: don’t give every figure the same uniform (yes, pun intended) amount of mud – varying from figure to figure makes life much more interesting. Places I target for mud include boots, shoes, gaiters and all other forms of footwear; the bottom of trouser legs and knees; the bottom hem of long coats like litewkas and greatcoats. I haven’t done this yet but I’m also looking at doing elbows on some figures. I also do some splashes futher away from the main areas mud to give an impression that the figures have stomped through some muddy puddles.

Next time I’m doing mud painting, I’ll try to take some photos of the work in progress and add them to this post.

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