Saturday, 1 October 2011

Donald, whurs yer troosers?

I haz a noo hat.

It's a glengarry, a sort of Scottish bonnet, which has been official military headgear in the British Army since Victorian times. Mine is wool and was a steal at around a tenner including postage from eBay. It's comfortable and surprisingly cool to wear, even in the indian summer we're currently experiencing.

I picked this up because I have a couple of units of glengarry-wearing figures on the painting table now and wanted to see what one looked like in real life. That and... y'know... hat. The figures are from Rapier Miniatures, from their Zulu War line. To be honest I'm hesitant to recommend them, as most of the figures have had a serious flash line down the left side of the face, which with the best trimming and filing I can manage will leave more than a few of the laddies looking badly battle scarred. But they were the best option I could find for representing Scottish troops in the “England Invaded” games. Many manufacturers do figures in pith helmet & kilt but I couldn't find any kilted troops suitable for Home Service. The Rapier figures, in glengarry and trews, will do for one of the lowland Scottish regiments I think, though frankly I'm going to chicken out of attempting a tartan for the trews and put them in regular blue pants. (I know tartan is easier than it looks if you know the technique, and have even managed a passable plaid in the past on 15mm figures, but right now I'd rather not strain the eyes too much. I'm in two minds whether to attempt any impression of the red and white chequering

These chaps will be the first British troops I've done using the Army Painter Pure Red primer. So far the results are looking good, with the Pure Red being a near exact match for the craft paint red I used for the other British troops. I've painted one Sergeant figure to near-completion and made a start on four more. With luck I'm hoping to have at least one unit completed by Sunday.

I've also been experimenting a bit with the Army Painter Dark Tone Quickshade. This is advertised as being a very bold shading, suitable for dark painted figures. In actual fact I'm finding that's not quite the case. Whereas the Strong Tone pigment is a sort of brown, the Dark Tone is a much purer black. If you use the “paint on” technique rather than dipping, you can easily reduce the amount of shading to a much greater degree and the lack of “colour” in the shading has less of an effect on the base colour. This makes the Dark tone ideal for figures with a lot of white in their outfit, which the Strong Quickshade would turn into a dirty khaki.

Finally on a personal note I now have internet access at my elderly parents' house, which means I'm no longer totally cut off from the 21st century while on Family Duty. Ah sweet Wikipedia, how I've missed you! Never leave me like that again!


  1. You got a big magnifying glass for that job? (Not bad photo's you're getting btw - macro's not that easy). More of those please, especially as you go along. As a complete novice the only thing I've ever painted similar are radio control pilots, and they're huge by comparison.

    Hat,.. I think you peaked too early with the pickelhaube, it's all downhill from there!!

    Good to hear the ISP is sorted, it's amazing how cut off you can feel without even the slowest web. Love to your folks.

  2. I think you may be right about the pickelhaube. The only thing that will top it, I think, would be a British Home Service Helmet, but since they're d**m hard to get hold of and several hundred pounds apiece, don't hold your breath.