Tuesday, 13 May 2014

AWI - British Infantry 33rd Foot (1st Yorkshire West Riding)

My second British AWI regiment is now finished.  This time we have the 33rd Foot who fought in the same brigade as the 23rd Foot at Guilford Courthouse.

I painted these troops in a completely different style to just about anything posted on my blog to date. I was inspired by a brief painting guide in Miniature Wargames April edition, which showed a figure of Commander Maude, the Beach Master of Juno Beach painted by Kevin Dallimore  This figure was basically wearing the standard British khaki battledress but the subtle shades applied over a black undercoat, getting lighter each time, was so effective. It really made me think in greater detail about the use of shadow in the early stages of painting and ways of adding light to get the contrasts. I bought the Kevin Dallimore Painting and Modelling Guide published originally by Wargames Foundry and a large set of Foundry paints (Napoleonic Colours) and set to work.

If you are unfamiliar with the techniques used in the book, Kevin Dallimore commences with painting the flesh tones first over the black undercoat, so you are essentially finish all of that detail first.  It was quite a surprise to find that I treated my entire painting process differently from the time I had a miniature with a fully detailed face looking back at me, even though everything else (bar hands) was still black!  I was really careful throughout the process not to put a brush-stroke wrong (though occasionally I did of course but it was easily touched up at the end).

The plus side to this was that shadows were left by the black undercoat where I carefully left space around the edges.  This would save a lot of lining in at the end.  The foundry 'Triad' system of three tones of colour getting lighter each time worked really well and meant that I didn't need to apply washes over base colours and then go back over them again. To this end, the new techniques really worked.  Detail was much improved and painting time was considerably less.

The downside was that the level of concentration from the beginning was huge!  I also became detail obsessed from the beginning rather than just dealing with fine detail in the later stages (as I used to do).  The Foundry paints are wonderful.  I really like them and the British redcoat red does seem spot on.  I did an extra layer of colour on the trousers so you are seeing 4 layers over the black undercoat.  I used 'Austrian White' shades but the final light coat seemed too grey for my liking.  I resorted to my usual Vallejo White to finish off the highlights of the white and this really brought out character of the stereotypical British Infantry in the AWI. Campaigning would no doubt make whites turn into off-white hues, but these are British Infantry after all and it just felt wrong not to make the white stand out with purity.

This unit took about three weeks of work compared to five weeks for my old method.  I did spend a lot of time each week painting these, but I also spent a lot of time revising for study work.  The hours per week probably therefore equalled each other between the previously painted unit and this one.  But two weeks were saved overall with this new method.

The figures are from the Perry's plastic range and are simply superb.  They can be assembled advancing like this as shown,or advancing at the trail position. They were a joy to assemble and the choice of headgear give them an awful lot of flexibility for use in different campaigns.  The flags are again from GMB.

So in conclusion, I think I'll stick with using the new technique.  I might do things differently if I'm painting ancients in white tunics (like Persians etc) where I would probably be inclined to use washes again. But for these AWI chaps, black undercoat and Foundry Triad system paints is the way forward I think. I'll definitely be getting some more of these Perry's plastics AWI figures, especially now that the Continentals are out.  I have some metals from the Perry's to paint first (study work permitting!) and I just can't wait to paint some more.


  1. very nice work! the faces look especially good as well!

  2. Hey came out great! I am bot ordinarily a fan of black priming,. as they tend to make the figures look "dark" overall, bur these don't seem to have that problem!

  3. Stunning paint job, I love them!

  4. Looks like you've mastered the technique. I painted Napoleonics similarly - leaving black undercoating for much of the "black lining." A fellow local gamer (Doug aka Larry Leadhead) told me of the technique several years ago.

  5. Top notch painting, I've seen some very impressive results using this technique.