Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

Confessions of a figure painter #1

Posted by Martin on September 22, 2008

Prepare to be amazed, here is my confession: I’ve never painted a Perry Miniatures figure.

I’ve acquired a few over the last couple of years and I’ve often thought about taking the clean-up tools and brushes to them but I’ve somehow never quite got round to it. Why? Well, I’m not too sure but I suspect its a combination of things. There’s typically quite a lot of clean up of flash and casting runners on Perry figs; the sculpting style makes for a challenging paint job and I’ve got plenty on my plate with Calpe Prussians.

But, after returning from my Summer holidays, I’ve found it difficult to get motivated to start painting again so I reached the conclusion that a change is as good as a rest. But what I needed was a change that wasn’t going to commit me to too much of a distraction from the Kurmark landwehr. So, at Colours, I was tempted by a pack (just the one) of Perry French cuirassiers at rest. I’m not really sure what I’ve got in mind here. Eventually I’m going to need a single squadron of the 13th Cuirassiers for my 1813 OOB but there’s also the lure of just doing a single figure from the pack and maybe (if it turns out well) putting it into one of the SD Forum painting competitions.

Then there’s my pipedream of experimenting with decals – believe me, cuirassiers have some awkward bits of painting that would be well suited to some decals like the grenade insignia on the shabraque (or saddlecloths) and the regimental numbers on the valise ends. And I’ve got some ongoing correspondence with a nice chap in Oregon that might be fruitful on that front.

The other thing I’ve got to consider here is that the 13th Cuirassiers had an unusual distinctive facing colour for collars, cuffs and hounds tooth edging on the sheepskin saddle covers: in French, the colour is known as lie de vin which best translates as wine dregs. It’s a sort of purply-red winestain colour and some sources describe it as carmine. Now that leaves a lot of room for interpretation. The Foundry paint range has a triple of shades described as “wine stain red” (17A, 17B and 17C) which sound tempting and Valljo has a “carmine red” (908) in its range. It would be good to know if anybody’s got experience with these.

So I don’t know where this’ll finish up (or even if it will finish at all) but it’ll be a bit of fun. Plus, there’s the bonus of some painting inspiration already knocking about to fuel the creative juices. Sascha Herm’s done a lovely vignette of charging Perry cuirassiers and Carl Robson painted a whole unit of the at rest figures recently.


2 Responses to “Confessions of a figure painter #1”

  1. You’re not the only one Martin, I too have never painted a Perry Miniatures figure. Not so much a deliberate act on my part so much as their ranges not having been ‘in the slot’ for me and my projects.

    The ease, or otherwise, of painting the Perry figures has occasioned a bit of discussion locally. I’ll be interested to hear your views on the matter. Then again you create individual masterpieces with each figure whereas we tend more to producing gaming figures (if that makes sense!). Perhaps this will give you a different viewpoint as your painting techniques may be quite different.

    von Peter himself

  2. Phil said

    What’s the latest from Calpe?

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