By Todd Pressley


This class covers techniques and tricks to help you get more done, faster. The goal of this class is to create a full 10mm base (i.e. an ESR battalion) within the class time (typically 90 minutes). Discussions will include planning your work, workspace efficiency, creating tools, and painting effectively. If the student is taking this class at an HMGS, Inc Hobby University session, the student will receive a base of Napoleonic French infantry to take home as a model for continuing in this style of painting. This class is sponsored by The Wargaming Company, LLC. This class will replicate the 84th Line Infantry.

Step By Step

Step One: Bases, Shadow, Faces

  • 9109: Ruddy Leather
  • 9090: Misty Grey
  • 9047: Fair Skin

I like to paint the bases with a neutral color, I used Ruddy Leather. Staring with the pants, paint the crotch area with Misty Grey. Paint all of the faces with Fair Skin.  You can paint the hands now or later. Painting the hands later is recommended.

Step Two: Block Painting

  • 9061: Linen White
  • 9039: Pure White
  • 9003: Blood Red

Back to the pants, paint the pants Linen White. Paint the turnbacks Pure White.

The collars and cuffs are painted Blood Red. (Note that Voltiguers get a yellow collar).

Step Three: Jacket

  • 899: Dark Prussian Blue

Paint the jacket Dark Prussian Blue. This will probably result in some over painting. This is evident in this turnback picture. The first figure from left has the turnback repainted, the second figure from left requires it. Repaint any turnbacks that get paint on them now.

The reason the turnbacks get painted early is to preserve the white primer for the bright, white color. If the whole jacket is painted and then the turnbacks, the white needs to be built up again in several layers to overcome the dark blue.

Step Four: Pack & Greatcoat

  • 9029: Earth Brown
  • 9089: Cloudy Grey

Paint the pack Earth Brown and greatcoat Cloudy Grey. Also paint the eagle a convenient brown.

Step Five: Muskets

  • 9053: Honed Steel
  • 875: Beige Brown

Paint the musket Beige Brown and the barrel and bayonet Honed Steel.

Step Six: Wash

  • Soft Tone

Wash the dark part of the figures with Army Painter Soft. Don’t get this on the pants or the turnbacks as it will dull them down.

The Army Painter Soft goes on the face as well.

Step Seven: Light and Dark Details

  • 9089: Cloudy Grey
  • 9037: Pure Black
  • 9039: Pure White
  • 995: German Grey

Use Pure Black to paint the shako, boots, gaiters, scabbards, and ammo box.

Using the Cloudy Grey, paint over some of the lapels and the cross straps. Apply also to the shako cords on the drummer and the standard bearer. The officer, drummer, and standard bearer can get a coat of grey paint on their shako plume. Use Cloudy Grey to highlight the back of the shako, top of the shoe, and edge of the scabbards. There are straps hanging below the drum, make sure that you paint these grey.

Use Pure White to paint the shako cords, ties on the bedroll, and cross straps. Lightly paint the officer, drummer, and standard bearer shako plumes with white.  Note that the voltigeur, grenadier, and officer shako cords are not painted yet. Paint the cross straps and fix up some of the lapels using Pure White, leave the grey showing through between the lapels and cross straps/belts.

Step Eight: More Details

  • 9051: New Gold
  • 9011: Leaf Green
  • 9008: Sun Yellow
  • 9004: Fire Red

Paint the drum, shako plates, eagle, and hilts with New Gold. The officer shako should receive a gold band around the top and paint the gorget and the epaulettes. (Note, I completely missed the epaulettes on my photo! – ed.)

Use Leaf Green to paint the shako cords and epaulettes on the voltigeur.

Paint the grenadier epaulettes, plume, and shako cords with Fire Red.

Paint the voltigeur plume, the officer sword knot, and the officer shako cords with Sun Yellow.

Step Nine: Company Details

  • 9082: Jungle Moss (3rd Company)
  • 9016: Sapphire Blue (4th Company)
  • 9007: Marigold Yellow (5th Company)
  • 9023: Imperial Purple (6th Company)

Paint the company pompons per your preference. There are two schools of thought, paint one per company, or group several so that the figures represent the ‘mass’ of troops for a single or two companies.

In this example, the models are painted one per company with two Sapphire Blue. The numbers of each company are listed above on the paints. Note that the first and second companies are exempted in my example, as are the grenadier and voltigeur companies as we already handled them in a previous step.

Step Ten: Final Details

  • 9110: Oiled Leather
  • 9059: Aged Bone
  • 899: Dark Prussian Blue
  • 9039: Pure White

Use Oiled Leather to pain the drum apron. 

Paint the drum skins using Aged Bone.

The drum hoops are painted Dark Prussian Blue.

The drum cords are painted using Pure White. There is a hanging strap which should be painted white as well.

Step Eleven: More Final Details

  • 9047: Fair Skin
  • 9037: Pure Black
  • Army Painter Soft Tone
  • 9039: Pure White
  • 9004: Fire Red
  • 899: Dark Prussian Blue

Paint all of the hands with Fair Skin. Any errors with the face can be corrected at this time as well. Use Army Painter Soft as a wash on all of the hands. Carefully apply this wash so that it does not run onto the pants or other areas.

Paint the national pompon (aka cockade) with a coat of Pure White. These are found at the base of the plumes or company pompons.

Paint red into the national pompon. Make a small dot so that the white shows all around the red. 

Finally, paint a blue dot into the center of the red. This is an even smaller dot so that the red shows all around the blue.

Use Pure Black to correct any errors in the shako cords. Painting shako cords without overpainting on things like the bed roll means over painting on the shako. Fix the shako at this time.

Step Twelve: Banner

Rough cut out the banner. Fold it at the staff line, then cut it squarely. Use white glue to moisten the flag and then put it on the staff. Crumble and work the flag so that it does not hang squarely form the staff. Add some folds and let it dry.

Army Painting 10mm French v1 3/1/2020

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