AB Dragoons with quickshade

Well let me get this out of my system. Everyone says AB are the best figures around in 18mm so I got some Dragoons and hating painting horses I decided to test with army painter quickshade. But my test figures had a lot of flash much of which I didn’t notice until I was painting, I just don’t expect that at this price point.

So one with how I painted them…..

Firstly I undercoated them white, normally black but I figured using a dip it will darken or muddy the colours a little bit.


Next it’s blocking out the colours. This form of painting can take much less time than normally because any mistakes will be covered up my the quickshade. The end result at this stage reminds me of how I used to paint many years ago.


So at this stage I then brushed on the army painter quick shade dark tone. After a couple of minutes I brushed off some of the major pools of gunge.

Then I left them for 24 hours, the longer the better. The figures look better over time.


The figures at this stage are perfectly good, if you like the glossy look. Personally I don’t, I like a flat finish but with some shiny metal bits.

So next it’s Matt varnish, I use Windsor and Newton Matt varnish brushed on. The it’s the highlighting.

Now the highlighting doesn’t take too long, some green here, off white there. I actually enjoyed painting them, normally hate painting horses. This method took a lot of the monotony out of the process. I think the finished product looks ok.


Now there are things I would do differently…..

A) I would undercoat with the horse colour, that would have saved more time

B) removed a lot more flash before undercoating, but at the price paid for ABs I don’t see why I should

C) I would have looked at the bases when removing the gloop, it has pooled and made painting the hooves difficult

So I look forward to more Bluemoons and in the meantime I have some more test figures to paint and some Dragoons to base.

Will I use more quick shade ? Yeah probably as long as you apply mat varnish and highlight I think you get some pretty good figures.

When I’ve based them I will post up the pictures.


Army Painter quick shade dip test

Starting collecting Napoleonic figures not only got me researching figures and rules, but also painting tips.

I had read about army painter quick shade and thought I would give the strong tone and dark tone a go on the remaining Blue Moon French.

Now my figures look ok so my only reason for using army painter would be to produce basic line infantry to a reasonably good standard but in at least half the time.

So first the results…

Strong tone


Dark tone


I think I prefer the dark tone, especially the effect of the flesh but not sure about the rest.

Anyhow here is how I did both figures.

1) undercoated in White
2) blocked out blue, black, brown etc etc silver gold basically all the colours. I used the mid or highlight tone for the colours.
3) paint liberally with army painter quick shade
4) leave for 1 minute and then take off excess

All that took 15 minutes for both figures

Leave overnight

5) Matt varnish then leave a few hours
6) highlight, flesh, off White, red, blue and dark grey for both figures this took another 15 minutes

Considerably quicker but I am not sure I like the effect or not. The skill level and care needed is lower as you can slosh paint on and the quick shade hides the bad stuff.

For now I think I will stick with the old ways.

First units complete

After 5 weeks I have finally completed and based my first 2 French Napoleonic infantry from Blue Moon manufacturing.


I went for 4 bases each 40mm x 30mm. This gives 32 figures and I think the mass effect looks quite pleasing. The basing will work well with Blackpowder, Lasalle, Fields of glory and probably Piquet as well. I planned on playing Blackpowder with half distances but the unit width may push that a bit.

Future units I may only do fusiliers, with separate voltigeurs and then combined grenadiers. We will see.


The basing is done as follows :

A) Glue the figures with Bostick, then coat the bases with PVA then dip in sand.

B) cover the sand in watered down PVA. This seals the sand and stops it chipping off.

C) Painted burnt sienna, the. Dry brush heavily with a lighter brown and then dry brush again with a grey, medium or light will do.

D) Put some PVA in patches around the bases then add some static grass.

E) Then using tweezers, glue some tufts and some stones just to give a little added effect. In my pictures you can still see some of the PVA drying.

So what’s next ?

Firstly some army painter tests, I want to see if I can speed up the basic line infantry and still achieve acceptable results. I will do that this week.

I have orders some Xan miniatures line and some AB dragons. I will probably paint up the Xan next as its always good to get though the line infantry first. Then progress onto 1 line then 1 other unit or model.