I’ve been trying to get back into painting and I felt like trying something different to get back into the swing of things. A while back someone kindly gave me some British Napoleonic miniatures to paint. I’ve had different phases of being interested in the Napoleonic era. I first came into contact with Napoleonics through a gentleman who handmade his figures out of modelling clay. He would then craft whole battlescenes and take some really impressive pictures using exploding firecrackers!
In the past, I have read article of people being very particular and critical with the colours use on painted Napoleonic figures. This initially made me somewhat cautious to even try painting them. However, this phenomenon isn’t limited exclusively to this era of painting and I know the community as a whole is good natured, enthusiastic and encouraging. I’ve decided that I would like to try dabble into painting these figures to get the creative juices flowing. Plus i’ve been wanting to get some more content out for a while. Seeing other people’s sites and blogs has been really encouraging me to set aside time to paint. Beside, it’s an opportunity for me dive deeper into a period and understand the history around it. Maybe someday I’ll even get around to painting some Roman and Samurai figures that have been catching my eye.
My overall knowledge of the period is very limited and so i’m slowly learning by watching documentaries and researching online. This also means that my painting references are also based to the things that I can easily search online and use simple cross referencing for validation. The gentleman who gave me the figures has also been really helpful answering all my questions like: “what is this thing on the mini? what colour is that thing supposed to be?”.
It’s a 28mm figure from Essex Miniatures like this one:
It’s a larger scale than i’m used to (28mm over 15mm) which has some up and down sides to it. It also feels strange to paint a miniature with so many bright colours on it. I’ve been painting too many WW2 miniatures, I have to mix it up. Looking at the original picture I can already see that i’ve done the shoulders wrong. I’m still learning the formations and the differences between all the uniforms and colours.
I’ve chosen to paint him in the colours of the 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot. At this stage it is base coated with a face.
Seeing these photos I’ve noticed a few things already:-
- the crooked left eye.
- the previously mentioned shoulder issue (pads?). I’ve since learnt that the figure is a grenadier (?).
- the tip of the bayonet scabbard is missing the brass colour.
- the back photo is from a later stage and so the red is different.
The figure has been moulded with some really nice detail and is a great base to work from. I recall having very little clean up work before putting on the undercoat. Planning out the finish, I’ve decided that I will try to minimise how much I will dirty him up. I do like the clean look, but it probably isn’t as “authentic” for a “battle” look. I’m not even sure whether that is a thing for this period.
I have somewhat enjoyed finding more details about the equipment and uniforms. It really can be a daunting task learning all the finer points of a new period. I’ve been trying slowly step my way through it. I’ve found interesting documentaries of the period really help to stimulate the painting process. Of course this has lead me to jump right in and buy more miniatures before i’ve even finished this figure. I’ll do a juggling act and prepare the new miniatures while finishing this one. I promise, I will finish this one – he has been fun to paint.
I apologise in advance if i’ve butchered the colours of your favourite regiment, but feel free to point it all out. Let me know what you think and pass me your invaluable painting references and links to cool Napoleonic documentaries/movies to watch.