Sunday, 20 September 2015

Burkish Infantry resumed - note to myself

Now I've done a refresher project and feel I have my FLW mojo back it's time to get back on track with some of my earlier work. First in line is my Burkish infantry.

These should have been an easy start for my new FLW hobby as they were a straight forward painting job based on Armies in Plastic's 1882 Egyptians. Though I have to admit I didn't think that this sort of 'simple' painting was as easy as I imagined it might be.

Getting nice solid flat colours was the big challenge for me. I'm a graphic designer by trade so I'm a might pernickety about staying inside the lines and flat colours!

Still, I found it very relaxing - once I had found the right paint for the job. For FLW glossy figures I found that the gloopy (it's a word, look it up) Tamiya acrylic range was right for me. While a little tricky to work with as it is quite thick it does produce a nice opaque coat.

Not easy to work with, in my opinion, but do give a superb flat opaque coat.

Anyway, this brings me to the matter in hand - restarting mu Burkish infantry project. First things first, just what colours did I use for my original test figure? That's right, I - Mr. Meticulous - forgot to make a note of exactly which colours I used for my Burkish colour scheme. Du-oh!

So today I have been going through all my paints to see if I can match up the correct colours. This is where I discovered just how many shades of brown I had!

Note to myself - remember these colours!
It took me a while of dabbing on different paints to recreate my original test piece but eventually I have several identical Burkish troops. Phew. So here is the recipe just so I can refer back to it in the future (I'll make a point of writing posts like this for each of my figure painting projects).

[Note: Although I prefer Tamiya paints for this I do use Vallejo for certain undercoats and when Tamiya doesn't have exactly the colour I want.]

• Orange: Tamiya Acrylic X-6 Orange (a git to work with!)

• Purple: Tamiya Acrilic X-16 Purple

• Flesh tone: Vallejo Model Color 70843 Cork Brown

• Black: Tamiya Acrylic XF-1 Flat Black 

• White: Tamiya Acrylic XF-2 Flat White

• Rifle wood: Vallejo Game Color 72043 Beasty Brown

• Rifle metal: Vallejo Model Color 70863 Gunmetal Grey

• Grass (undercoat): Vallejo Model Color 70891 Intermediate Green

• Grass (upper-coat): Tamiya Acrylic X-28 Park Green

Process - the production line
Just a little note about the production. Yes it's pretty straight forward and there's not a lot I can say about painting a unit of FLW soldiers. Again, it is a very relaxing activity - no brain required and it's something you can definitely do while watching TV (though I prefer listening to music).

As you might imagine I undertake a colour at a time across the 'regiment', all the trousers followed by all the tunics, etc, etc. And I work 'inside out' - by that I mean I start with the lowest layer and work outwards - beginning with the flesh tones and working up through the uniform ending with the webbing kit and weapons (ending with the base).

However I also have a procedure of three stages of coats; base coat, top coat and finally 'touching up'. It's a circle of painting where I run through all the soldiers in the unit and by the time I have done that the first ones should be dry and it's OK to start running though the next process.

And that's it.

Everyone will have their own technique and preferred style and I guess my little foible is that I do do eyes and eyebrows. But I don't shade - of course - and I don't do the 'red cheeks' that some traditional toy soldier painters like to do.


  1. Glad to see the return of your FLW project. I never got on with the Tamiya paints - but then I've only just figured out which end of the brush to use...

    1. Tamiya paints are tricky. I don't use them at all for my plastic scale model painting (I use Vallajo). Getting the correct thinning so that the paint leaves the brush nicely and yet coats properly. But, if you get it right it does make a lovely opaque and deeply rich coat (in my opinion). But certainly it's just a personal preference, there's no reason why any other acrylic paint won't do.

      ...And you do yourself down, Mr. Gow! Look who has an army (in fact several) and who doesn't! If I had to paint a unit in a hurry I'd be scuppered! ;)