Experimental block painting

These are 20mm plastic HäT Peninsular War British troops. I've been experimenting with a style of painting for wargames figures I've seen around quite a bit, but which I've never actually tried myself. I don't really know much about Napoleonic uniforms; these guys have just been painted to more or less match the picture on the box they came in.

The one on the left (I'll call him Figure A) has been block-painted and then shaded with one of the Citadel washes — Devlan Mud in fact. This is the method I've been using on my WWII figures, and it works well enough for that. The method has the virtue of speed, and it doesn't look absolutely terrible (OK, it does look fairly terrible) but it does look rather flat and the wash has muddied the colours a bit. It's a process that really needs the sharper detail of metal figures to work well.

The one on the right (Figure B) is the New Method (that's the Old Method to many, many figure painters). He's has been painted solid black, and then blocks of colour added over the top, leaving black outlines between and to denote creases and the like. The flesh and trousers have also had some highlights painted in. It is slower than the block-and-wash method, but not cripplingly so, and the results are a lot crisper and the figures look better at arm's length (tabletop distance) than the other. Close up it looks pretty messy, but after all wargames figures aren't diorama figures, and the exaggerated shadow and highlight works well for the purpose.

I like the results of Figure B a lot, and I think I'll do more of it. I'll have to practice my creases though; I tend to guess a bit about how fabric falls rather than referring to live or photographic references.

Note: You can click on the picture to see a larger version of course, but the small thumbnail shown is closer to what the little 20mm figures look like in real life.

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