Down to work
Posted by Martin on June 26, 2009
The trials and tribulations of my various palette experiments are complete so there are no remaining excuses for not starting on the job to paint up my first Calpe Saxon battalion. I’m beginning with the 1st battalion of the Prinz Friedrich August regiment – that means green facings and yellow metal buttons.
I’m going to ease into things by working on just a couple of figures at a time to begin with and then scale up to doing a company at a time (i.e. eight figures). I’ve aleady posted a photo of the white trousers on one musketeer, so I thought I’d show you something a little more colourful this time. The second figure I’m working on is an officer. There are several interesting uniform features of note with this chap.
Firstly, the colour of the metal buttons (white or yellow) was used as a distinction between the Prinz Friedrich August regiment and the other regiment with green facings (the Prinz Clemens regiment). But buttons weren’t the only metal parts of the uniform that followed this convention. The officers’ epaulettes and the tulip-shaped plume holder on the shako were also in the regimental button colour. Note that the chinscales on the shako were always brass, regardless of regiment. Yellow metalwork on the figure pictured is painted with Vallejo Flat Earth, Brass and Gold.
Secondly, the shako cover. The Saxons had their own distinctive shako covers (more about these another time) but when supplies were short (as they often were on 1813) the Saxons used French ones. These were the linen-coloured ones with the earflaps that could be tied up. The officer I’m painting at the moment has this latter style and though the upward fold of the earflaps is hidden behind the chinscales, Peter F. has sculpted the ties behind the plume holder. I’ve painted the shako cover using a palette of Vallejos: Flat Earth, Ochre Brown, Yellow Ochre, Buff and Ivory.
Thirdly, the coat. Officers had the choice between wearing the distinctively Saxon blue-grey surtout of the normal white uniform jacket with lapels, cuff and collar in the regimental facing colour. The surtout was more practical but also made officers easier for the enemy to spot. The officer I’m painting is in the white jacket. For the green facings I’ve used Vallejo Black Green, Deep Green (I love this colour) and Intermediate Green.
Lastly, the trousers. There are plenty of options here. Sometimes officers wore white breeches but they also worn overalls in grey or the same grey-blue as the surtout. These overalls often had a stripe down the outside in the regimental facing colour. The figure I’m painting has the stripe sculpted on which makes it nice and easy to paint. I opted for colourful blue-grey overalls using Vallejo Prussian Blue and Blue Grey with a final highlight of Sky Blue. The picture here makes the effect look a much brighter blue than it is in real life.
There’s not too much left to do to complete this figure: hands, sword and some work on the turnbacks (with their fiddly buttons and piping).