I'm having a bit of a Funny Little Wars flurry at the moment while I continue to decorate and organize my man cave (and my new spray-booth/airbrush workstation), so fear not normal 1/72 WW2 service will be resumed as soon as possible! :)
(I find I can easily work on this larger scale on a tray in front of the TV!)
'Toy Soldier' technique...
OK, this ISN'T as easy as you might imagine (or as I imagined I should say). I thought 'easy, flat colour areas', and while that's basically true I *think* there is a 'look' that you have try and achieve For a start vivid colours are the key - I guess this is for identification at a distance when war gaming on the lawn!
But painting toy soldiers for Funny Little Wars is more than that - I am sure Tim and the other FLW veterans will pull me up if I am wrong - but there is a 'feel' to vintage toy soldiers that I want to capture too. If you look at the old Britains' tin soldiers the first thing you will note is that they are not too neatly painted at times - well, these things were mass produced after all. Sometimes the paint didn't stay 'inside the line'.
Colours - designing a uniform...
As I said, Edwardian uniforms for FLW are colourful. At first you might think - as I did - too colourful at times! But there is method in this 'madness'. Obviously I suppose unit identification is one reason, but also if you are creating an imagin-nation then you want your units to differ from the historical red, blue or green jackets that we instinctively associate with historical nations. ALthough - conversly - FLW is designed to be used with existing historically painted toy soldiers which can be used to represent semi-fictional factions like 'Army Red' or 'Army Black' (no prizes for guessing which real nations these are based on)!
(Phew! Again, as a complete novice in the art of FLW I concede I am speculating here and may - in all likelihood - be talking complete nonsense!)
Incidentally, despite this soldier being an example of my Marmeluke Marine (see below) I have used a more Western flesh pink as I want to experiment with a little facial detailing (not too much though). And I have not glossed this figure yet.
I think my green isn't vile enough and my plum purple is too dark, and I need some contrasting detail to make it more interesting. But I guess that's a good reason why you should do a test figure before undertaking a whole unit!
Long Live Vulgaria!
(Note: At this early point I was intending to use the name 'Vulgaria' as my chose imagi-nation, butas it turned out someone was already using that name. So I later chose Molatero.)
My preferred imagin-ntion is Vulgaria - Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang made a big impression on my as a kid! - mainly because there were some interesting uniform and costume designs done in the film. The primary colours were the traditional movie 'villain' scheme of the time - notably purple, black, white and vile green, which while not being as bright as some FLW schemes might be interesting enough.
So I drew up a sketch of how I might handle these given the models I had in mind using for my Vulgarian army (and it's colonial forces).
This sketch was modified based on my practice paint job pictured at the beginning of this post and I decided to add a little more contrasting detail to pick up the scheme a bit - epaulettes and collars and cuffs, etc.
Edit: Dear me! I nearly forgot to mention and give a big thank you to the Funny Little Wars Yahoo Group whose member gave me a lot of sage advice on how to approach this project: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/Funnylittlewars/
Finally, here's how another FLW enthusiast (James from the Dancing Cake Tin blog) tackled his AIP Egyptians, here in the form of 'Tarbooshians'!
I dug around in my paint box and found a couple of Tamiya pots that I forgot I had...
The green is still a wee bit dark I think, but the alternative I have is shockingly bright. But anyway I think the purple is spot on what I want so I did a bit of repainting...
And the final version...
Still wasn't happy - the green. It looked OK 5 or so inches away from my face, but at a distance it was still too dark. So I went for it and tried the really bright (and vile) green I had, and would you believe it - it worked...
This is a learning curve for me, so I guess the idea is that - so things look right at a distance - choose the colour you want, then lighten it a couple of shades lighter for effect. (Maybe?)
Anyway, I'm happy now.