More Bluemoon French

I haven’t had much painting time recently, but finally got round to some more Bluemoon French. The aim is to make a varied series of battalions made of veterans. So I decided to mix some campaign dress and some men in greatcoats.

I had done this before in 28mm but I’m not sure how it will work in 18mm.

As part of the experiment I also wanted to see if using quickshade would speed up the process without compromising the results. I have a low attention span so I realise I can’t spend too much time on one unit.

So the technique is undercoat white, block colours, quickshade dark tone, matt varnish then highlights. In total it probably saved around 50% of the painting time.

Not quite finished, I haven’t painted the pom-poms yet. I always leave the Pom poms until the figures are based up.

Below is the campaign dress.

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And now the greatcoats…

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I can’t make my mind up on the quickshade, it does look ok and does save so much time but not sure on it with 18mm miniatures.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Blue Moon French

I think most people would agree that AB are the best figures on the market, but I could see 2 problems firstly they are expensive and secondly I don’t want to waste expensive sculpts when I am re learning to paint. I haven’t painted 15/18mm figures for a good 15 years.

So I opted for some French from Blue Moon, available from Old Glory here in the UK. I must say the services was excellent and the figures arrived in 4 days.

The idea was to just get enough figures in full dress to build some rank and file ligne battalions marching. The backbone of my french napoleonic army.

The figures are nice, detailed and size wise a good match for AB. They are slightly chunkier than AB but at least it doesn’t look like the bayonet will snap anytime soon.

I painted the first batch without noticing that there is a small amount of flash between the right hand and the cartridge box. I am aged to paint this out but have removed it in subsequent batches.

There are 3 poses per figure code and they are all very similar, so the units will look like units but with some variation. I do think they could maybe do with 1 or 2 more where the feet and hands are slightly different.

They painted up well enough and I think I will use them for the bulk of my French army but I have yet to try Xan figures so may change my mind.

Considering I haven’t painted at this scale for so long I am quite pleased with the results. Yes I made some mistakes but on mass I think they will look pretty good.

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I undercoat in black and then base coat in dark shade colours and highlight with light ish shade. I think they look good from 6 inches away… Zoom right in and they look messy lol.

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I have painted enough for around 2 battalions I just need to decide how to base them.

10mm eye candy

I once had a brief dalliance with some 10mm napoleonics. I liked 10mm as a scale, mass effect, detail and cheap. But at the time the ranges available were limited.

I look now and there are more ranges available so it’s possible to build complete armies.

There are now even Spanish buildings suitable for the peninsula in 10mm.

Below are some AIM French. I liked the figures they were easy to,paint and detailed enough to make them look ok. But expensive to get here in the UK and a very incomplete range.

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Now some Royal Horse Artillery have the French in their sights.

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Some 28mm Offensive miniatures French

I only ever painted one of these battalions. You can see how I usually plan my French armies. I either a) 4 bases all fusiliers and just assume the flank companies are detached b) 4 bases with 1 as grenadiers and skirmishes as separate detached figures.

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I always like big stands no more than 4 per unit. Usually between 24 to 32 figures.

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Offensive minutes paint up very quickly and I think they look good. The range is a little limited but good enough for the bulk of the line in the Peninsula.