English uniform is a ghastly colour

It’s been a wee while since I updated the blog – I’ve been a little busy for the last few weeks, and haven’t done a lot of painting since I got back from Ingolstadt. I did head down to London for the British Model Soldier Society’s annual show, where I picked up a bunch of very nice medal (three golds, two silvers and a bronze). As I explain to people, the BMSS seems more interested in history than in painting, so the bar wasn’t set as high as it might be at other, larger shows. Regardless, it was very nice to get the medals (and they really are very, very nice – probably among the nicest I have from any show).

Since then, all I’ve really put a brush to is a WWI private of the Lincolnshire Regiment by Tommy’s War. I’ve painted a few pieces from the range in the past, but I’d steered away from WWI over time because of the uniforms – British uniforms in the Great War were a really, really ugly colour. Pick up a bottle of VMC English Uniform and have a look.

On the plus side, the dyes they used were pretty cheap and the uniforms were mass-produced by a range of different manufacturers, so there’s a bit of variety in the actual colours, especially after a few weeks in the trenches. As such, I thought I’d try to make my own uniform colour, which has sort of worked and sort of not:

The trousers I’m pretty happy with – they have the sort of finish I’m after and the hint of green is what I wanted. The jacket, however, has turned blue-grey somehow. I used the same colours for the mix, but apparently a very slight difference in the ratios has resulted in quite a different colour.

I’ll need to rework that quite a bit to make it fit – I’ll probably shift it more towards brown than the trousers and then glaze the green in at the end.

You’ll also note that the unpainted parts have been washed with brown, which I don’t normally do. For Tommy’s War figures, however, it’s pretty essential. They all have a lot of straps, pouches and other accoutrements, which means that it’s very easy to miss undercoating certain areas – especially recesses that can be hard to get shading into later. The wash lets me confirm that all those areas have been hit, and also helps to spot mouldlines I might have missed and get to know the model a little better.

Unlike a lot of other WWI figures, I fancy putting this one in an urban setting – the Tommy’s War page conveniently mentions that the regiment was involved in a withdrawal action that required them to fight street-by-street.

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