Painting: Napoleonic British step-by-step

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Warlord’s Dave ‘Boycie’ Lawrence shows how he paints his Napoleonic British

Dave: I’m a big fan of the Napoleonic Era. My first ever wargaming army was a British Napoleonic Army using Minifig models. Twenty-odd years later, with the release of the Black Powder rules, the Albion Triumphant supplements and our expanding range of Napoleonic plastic models, I have decided to start collecting again.

I have gone for the Peninsular war, and I am collecting a force based on Picton’s Third Division, “The Fighting Division”, in the later part (1812-1813) of the war. The first brigade of the division comprised of three battalions; the 1/45th Nottinghamshire Regiment, the 1/ 88th Connaught Rangers and the 74th (Highland) Regiment of Foot. The first battalion I will start painting is the 1/45th Nottinghamshire regiment.


Stage 1

I undercoated the models with the Army Painter Pure Red colour primer spray.

Stage 2

I then started painting the model in the following order:

Facings (Collars and cuffs) – Army Painter Warpaints Greenskin
Breadbag – Vallejo Model Colour 976 Buff
Canteen – Vallejo Model Colour 900 French Mirage Blue
Musket wood, hair – Vallejo Model Colour 871 Leather Brown
Trousers and Greatcoat roll – Vallejo Model Colour 992 Neutral Grey
Shako, shoes, scabbard and backpack – Vallejo Model Colour 950 Black
Flesh – Army Painter Warpaints Barbarian Flesh
Bayonet and musket metalwork – Vallejo Model Colour 865 Oily Steel

Stage 3

The part I normally find takes the longest is painting the crossbelts, lace and musket slings. I used Vallejo Model Colour 820 Off White for these, and took my time! Once this was done, I finished the models by painting the Shako badge and the crossbelt plate Vallejo Model Colour 801 Brass and the canteen strap Vallejo Model Colour 871 Leather Brown.

Stage 4

Next, I applied Dark Tone Quick Shade Dip. I actually paint the Dip onto the model using a large brush. I use Dark Tone as I find that as well as shading the model, it also gives a bit of a black line definition around the lacing and crossbelts.

Stage 5

Because the Dark Tone also acts as a gloss varnish, I gave the models a quick coat of the Army Painter Anti-shine Matt Varnish spray.


Stage 6

The last stage is to put our single figure into context within a unit. The first six models fully based, only 24 models more to go to complete the battalion.

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