Thursday, April 3, 2008

Painting 15mm AB - Spanish Napoleonics

Hello everyone and thank you for visiting. An article I did for the Wargames Directory( ) on painting 15mm Spanish Napoleonics forms the basis for this post. The figures are 15mm AB:

I am starting a new unit for my Napoleonic Spanish and I thought I'd do a work in progress article on how I paint my 15mm Napoleonics. I always paint a couple of test figures for each battalion before I dive in anyway and I thought it'd be easy enough to take a pic or two while doing it.
I have decided I will paint these as one of the Swiss regiments in the Spanish army though they can double for lots of other units as well with a bit of leeway accorded.
Here they are in all their bare (don't get excited everyone lol) glory:

For the first step we will prime the figures in black. I tried spray primer for the first time on 15s and I was not satisfied at all. Lots of tiny spots left bare and I had to track them down and coat them by brush. Back to brushing on the primer for me when it comes to 15mm.

Next up, I painted the trousers with Vallejo intermediate blue as a first coat on which to build up the white trousers.
I also painted Vallejo Chocolate brown in the areas which I will be painting red facings; lapels/cuffs and plume etc
Finally, I painted a coat of Vallejo Dark Prussian Blue on the coat of these figures as they are in dark blue coats.

This is it for starters. Please note that the figure on the left has a thick bit of flash between the musket and the lapels which I could do nothing about. I will try to disguise it with paint.

Next step:
-I painted the flesh with scorched brown,
-the cuffs, lapels, collar and turnbacks with vallejo red(in the lapels I left the indentations the sculptor did to represent the buttons the original brown - just paint around them. As a principle I refuse to paint detail that is not there so since the buttons are not raised detail they don't get painted silver or gold or brass or whatever, merely left as dark indentations. I reckon it works well enough to illustrate what is there).
- then painted a white line to represent piping on the collar and the cuffs. There was similar piping on the lapels and the turnbacks but I decided not to bother.

Third step:
using white we highlight the trousers leaving the intermediate blue as the shading colour. It's also time to paint the crossbelts. In 15mm I don't bother with more shades(say using offwhite or stone grey as I do for 28mm) even for the white. I reckon it looks decent enough as it is.
then vallejo flat red to highlight all the areas we had previously painted vallejo red.
the cockade was painted by painting a line of white, tidying it up with black on the sides and then a base of vallejo red highlighted with vallejo flat red.
Finally, using vallejo medium flesh I painted in the face. Again, for 15s no more shading is required.

ok last few steps to complete the figures:

using Vallejo Dark sea blue I highlighted the areas that had been painted black such as the bicorn, the boots, the ammunition pouch.

Vallejo Leather Brown as base for the pouch on the back of one of the figures and the backpack on the other. Highlighted with Vallejo Flat Earth. Finally, a very thinned down wash of GW brown ink.

vallejo prussian blue as the highlight for the blue coats

with vallejo brass paint the cocks of the musket and the triggers.

with vallejo oily steel the rest of the metal parts of the musket.

vallejo flat brown for the wooden parts of the musket.

This completes the article; I hope you enjoyed it lads and that it may prove useful to newbies to the hobby. I am not claiming this is some super duper, perfect way to paint Napoleonics in 15mm; so please feel free to weigh in with comments on how certain aspects could be improved on.
Cheers all,