Friday, February 10, 2012

How To Paint Austrians (Or Not)

"Here they come lads!"
As the Painting Challenge over at Analogue Hobbies has been underway, I have used it as an opportunity/motivation to add more 28mm Austrians.  I have finished three more battalions since the Challenge started, and in the process, several folks have emailed/commented asking about the paints/process I used on them.  So for fun I thought I would attempt a time-progression-style photo tracking of a group of Austrians I finished recently. 

The figures are 28mm Wargames Foundry Austrians in the "March Attack" pose.  They are mounted four to a stick using two-sided carpet tape and primed black.  All paints are GW unless specified otherwise.

1. Drybrush the figures with Shadow Grey - helps my beady eyes "see" the detail on the black-primed models, plus serves as a first highlight for the helmet, gaiters and cartridge box.
2. Drybrush the figures with Codex Grey - further highlight for both my eyes and the gaiters, cartridge box and helmet.
3. The troops carry their coats rolled on their packs; paint these Shadow Grey.
4. Highlight the coats with dabs of Codex Grey.
5. Use Boltgun Metal to paint the bayonets and tubes on the muskets.
5. (Continued) Boltgun metal for the buttons on the gaiters - these are not always cast well, so I can be a bit tricky.
6. Americana Burnt Umber for the packs, canteen and muskets; also for the hair for some of the models. I also paint the little lead tag at the base of the model brown - this will help with the basing/painting later.
6. (Continued) You can see the Americana Umber on the muskets, and also for the cipher plates and visor rims of the helmets - this will serve as a base for the metal colours to come later.
7. Snakebite Leather as a base for the flesh, and the comb on the helmet.

8. Dark Angels Green for the little tree sprigs on the helmet (always a nice touch on Austrian figures).

9. Bestial Brown as a first highlight on the packs - just dab it to give them some texture.
10. Vermin Brown as a second highlight for the packs, and a first highlight for the canteens; make sure to avoid the black straps on the canteens (tricky).
11. Dark Flesh for highlights on the muskets and caps on the canteens.
11. (Continued) Hard to see with this iPhone pic, but the Dark Flesh is used to highlight the caps on the canteens.
12. Fortress Grey is applied as a base coat for all areas that will be white; for Austrians, that will mean quite a bit; this is the longest step, and personally the one I find most challenging/annoying; once I get past this, finishing the figures feels like a breeze.
Another view for Step 12, showing the Fortress Grey. Be sure to get the straps on the pack, the rolled coats and the musket.
13. Kommando Khaki is applied as a first highlight to the cloth areas - coat and pants.
Back view of Step 13.
14. Bleached Bone is applied as a second highlight to the cloth areas; doesn't show well on the iPhone pic, but the white cloth will really start to pop at this point (and serve as big motivation to get the figures finished).
Step 14 seen from the front.
15. Americana Titanium White is applied as both a final highlight to the cloth areas and the straps.
16. Now I start on the facings; these models will represent IR #23, which had dark red facings, so Red Gore goes as a base colour on the cuffs, collars etc.
17. Highlighting the green-leaf bit on the helmet - up first is Goblin Green.
18.  Final highlight of Scorpion Green for the greenery.  Hard to see in this pic, but I find it's a nice little highlight for the Austrian models, and the Scorpion Green really helps it pop.
19. Golden Yellow is dabbed on the Snakebite Leather on the base of the "comb" on the helmet. I try to dab/stipple to leave some texture.

21. Blood Red is applied as the final highlight for the facings, and Boltgun Metal is used to on the buttons on the coat and the cuffs/shoulder strap.  Some units had gold buttons instead.

22. Shining Gold is applied for the brass bits - the helmet visor, the helmet cipher, the rings on the musket, the butt of the musket.  I also put a little dot of the Shining Gold on the cartridge box as a nod to the Imperial cipher that was there. On the Victrix plastics that cipher is actually sculpted on to the figure - really nice...
23. Dwarf Flesh is the first coat for the flesh areas - hands and face. You can also see the areas where the Shining Gold was added to the front from step 22.
24. Small amounts of Elf Flesh used for highlight of the knuckles, nose, cheeks. And you're done!
Side view of the finished figures.  Repeat ten times and you have yourself a grand-manner style Austrian line battalion!
So there you go.  The iphone isn't exactly up to 'Eavy Metal-style studio photography (and neither is my painting, for that matter) but this is the manner in which I am plowing ahead with my Austrians.  I typically finish a "stick" of four figures in an hour-and-a-half. Hopefully there are some tips here that are useful - or maybe lessons for you to avoid yourself!

I have finished this unit, and will post some pictures of the completed bunch once they have been scored through Analogue Hobbies - as you can see when you visit that site, the volume of entries is pretty staggering.  I don't know how Curt is keeping up....


Grenzer John said...

Supremely nice! I just love how the ol' Kaiserlichs look. Some of the best uniforms of the era. Keep up the good work!

BigRedBat said...

Very nice work! I love to see a big battalion!

Cheers, Simon

Dallas said...

Holy smokes those guys look good. Doesn't make me so eager to start my Brits...

Curt said...

Dallas, you have to get over your painters block on those Brits! They go by pretty quickly once you get the scheme down.