Saturday, June 18, 2011

A brief diversion

Last March, we happened across a large collection of figures in the flea market at Cold Wars, which we promptly snapped up. Their origin is somewhat murky, but we touched up and based a couple companies' worth for a pair of little skirmishes a few weeks later. The one issue is that the standard infantry company, under Charge! rules consists of 16 rankers, an officer, a sergeant, and a drummer, and the troops we had acquired were notably lacking commanders.

Since the fortress is basically on hold for a couple of days, I spent yesterday evening painting up some officers and sergeants for these troops. It was an interesting experience, as I was doing my best to match the style of the troops painted by our Mysterious Benefactor, which was somewhat different than my usual.

For one thing, I started with a white basecoat rather than black, as I figured it would be easier to match colors that way. Our Mysterious Benefactor used an entirely different palette than me, so I borrowed a few paints from my dad's collection to get better matches. Unfortunately, nowhere did I find a precise match for the shade of red used by the redcoated company, so I had to do a little mixing to come up with something plausible.

A few other things I noted as I was painting:

  • The bluecoats have red turnbacks, white cuffs, and blue collars. Ordinarily these would all be the same color, as they are for the redcoats. Makes me wonder if MB was familiar with the period before he started the project.
  • Gun stocks, wigs, and pouches are all the same red-brown color--something like burnt sienna.
  • Gun barrels and bayonets are a flat gray rather than a gunmetal color--a quirk I extended to the officers' swords and the blue sergeant's halberd. I think it's an interesting look--kind of more stylized than my usual.
  • Our Mysterious Benefactor had a thing for buttons--all pouches and turnbacks are marked by little gold buttons.
All in all, it was interesting to examine some familiar figures painted by an unfamiliar hand. It makes me wonder which details I put peculiar emphasis on and which ones I ignore. A few of these were almost refreshing, but I don't know that I want to do too many like this, so I'm not sure what we'll do with the piles of troops who don't fit neatly into Charge! units...

Anyway, here's a couple of shots of the orphan companies drilling with their new officers and sergeants.


  1. Looks like a good job of matching styles. Don't worry about any minor colour variations, officers and sergeants often had coats of a better quality cloth and thus a slightly different colour. And of course anyone whose coat was newer would be a bit different.

    As for the red turnbacks, they were quite common amongst various German states which followed Prussian fashion. see
    for an example of a Brunswick unit with yellow facings and red turnbacks.

  2. Huh. Interesting! I stand corrected...

  3. And of course, we have molds for the figures as part of the deal, so we can eventually fill out any odd units. I'll have to have a look at color conventions myself, though I thought, I admit, that cuffs and turnbacks are all of the lining. I suppose there is no compellving reason to sew the sleeve linings out of the same cloth as the coat body lining. Perhaps I should look at reenactor pattern resources as well...

  4. Of course, if the different facing colors of the various "turnbacks" bothers you, it isn't too difficult to repaint them into a consistent color.

    If not, then leave it as a regimental quirk.

    -- Jeff