Sunday, 5 November 2017

2/15 London Regiment (Civil Service Rifles), 179 Brigade, 1917-18.

I took some time to experiment with speeding up the painting process for my own collection of Tabletop Tommies given that I don't have a lot of time to devote to painting my own figures. I decided that I would cut cards with the Devil and have a go at a basecoat-wash-highlight technique. I have not done this before. Needless to say that this speed painting technique is NOT something I will be offering to my paying clients!

I had all the ingredients to make up my own ink washes (acrylic medium/inks/water/a drop of washing up liquid and some 10ml plastic dropper bottles). I mixed up three different shades and intensity of wash not really knowing what the end results would be like and tried all on these ten figures.

I think I found the right one by the end... a mix of six drops sepia ink and six drops umber ink in a 10ml bottle. Some washes are too subtle and do not pick out the detail enough, particularly on the front of the tunic. 

I also tried both a black and a grey undercoat. Again, I think the two figures painted on a black undercoat are more successful.

These figures are a mix of Woodbines, Mutton Chop and a Footsore officer figure, all with Woodbine tin helmets with neck flaps. The Brodie helmet arrived in Palestine in the interval between the Second and Third Battles of Gaza when there was sustained period of trench warfare on the Gaza front.

This technique worked better with the Footsore and Mutton Chop figures. The Woodbines (the Lewis Gun team) are very "smooth" figures and in my opinion, do not take well to washes. 

This was very much a steep learning curve and when I repeat this technique on the 2/13 London Regiment (Kensingtons) I think all will be black undercoated and washed with the sepia/umber mix.

Did it save time? Yes. I was able to "knock out" this unit of ten in half the time it would normally take to paint in my normal style.

Would I use it for everything? No. The bulk of the infantry would look acceptable from a distance but I don't think they bear up to close scrutiny. Command figures and other specials will always get my normal painting method. 

So, these are, I think, the two most successful of these experimental ten. The figure on the left is black undercoated. The figure on the right is grey undercoated. Both have the darker sepia/umber mix wash.

The blue patch is correct thanks to some interweb trawling and the excellent pool of collective knowledge that is the Great War Forum. 179 Brigade adopted a system of circular patches during their short time on the western front prior to being dispatched to Macedonia in June 1916. They brought this scheme with them to Palestine in the early summer of 1917:
2/13 Kensingtons - green
2/14 London Scottish - yellow
2/15 Civil Service Rifles - blue
2/16 Queen's Own Westminster Rifles - red.

2/14 London Scottish are almost complete. I relised that I lacked a kilted Lewis Gun team. An order to Empress Miniatures is in the offing.



Phil said...

Beautiful figures, love this impressive uniform, great job Mark!

Michael Awdry said...

Splendid work Mark.

rross said...

Lovely paint job on these figures

Service Ration Distribution (Hobby) said...

Looking good.

Phil Curran said...

Anything that makes for speed is worth doing.