Ray is back, and having now got a whole lot of his French figures, has been hard at work painting some up to show off! And, given the nice chap that he is, he has shared a bit of his process on how he painted them.
I love that feeling you get when a new batch of figures arrives in the post. It’s like being kid at Christmas! Well a few weeks ago it felt like all of my Christmas’s had come at once. Pooch dropped of my French Foreign Legion figures over the weekend and a few days later I received the VAB and VBL which I had ordered from Gasoline. The biggest quandary was deciding what to start first.
In the end it wasn’t that hard a decision. The Eureka figures are so nice you just have to get stuck into them.
As figures go, Eureka's French are amongst the nicest I’ve seen. Like all Eureka stuff I’ve ordered, the castings are crisp, free of flash and mould lines and need an absolute minimum of preparation before painting.
I decided a while ago that I didn’t want to paint these guys in the usual desert camouflage but in something a little more striking. From what I have seen in photos, while the desert camouflage has been worn in Afghanistan, it is much more common to see the Legion wearing the European theatre camouflage so that’s what I plumped for.
Painting camouflage has never really been my strong point. I can never really seem to get it to a stage where I’m completely happy with the finished result. In saying that, I think these guys have turned out as well as I could have hoped. Camouflage is awkward stuff to paint. At 28mm, if you make the colours authentic, they tend to blend into one another and the effect gets lost. So from the outset I wanted to slightly over emphasise the colours to make the contrast more apparent. You can make your own mind up about the finished article. At this stage I should also apologise for the shots. They were all taken on my dining room table, hence the reason for the dodgy tablecloth.(It makes for a lovely base cloth!- Ed)
On to the painting:
After undercoating the figures black. I started with the Flesh:
Caucasian skin: Basecoat of GW Ratskin Flesh with a wash of GW Reikland Flesh Shade then highlighted with the basecoat lightened with a little white. The darker skin is Vallejo Leather Brown , highlighted with Vallejo saddle Brown.
I’m never comfortable painting eyes at this scale. I invariably end up with my grizzled veteran looking like a rabbit caught in the headlights. So I haven’t attempted to paint the eyes on most of these guys, with a couple of exceptions.
Onto the uniform. The basecoat is Vallejo German Camouflage Beige with a wash of GW Aggrax Earthshade and highlighted as above with the basecoat and a little white added. The camouflage green is GW Castellan Green highlighted with Vallejo light olive, Brown is Vallejo leather brown and the black is (funnily enough) Black! I then went back over the basecoat areas and picked them out in basecoat and white to add to the contrast.
The webbing is GW Castellan Green highlighted with a little white mixed in with the green. For the body armour on the beret wearing figures I used Vallejo Khaki Grey. On the heavier equipped guys I used Castellan Green.
The finishing touch is the tricolour emblem on the left shoulder of each figure which I think sets them off perfectly. I then did the bases which are sand painted with Dulux Hokitika (house paint from NZ-Ed) and washed with Aggrax Earthshade. Once this dries I highlight it with off white and add some tufts and static grass.
So that’s it, first batch done and I’m pleased with how they turned out. I’ve already ordered more from Eureka and have enough to do the rest of the Platoon now. You may also notice the VAB in the background of the last shot. I’ll go into that and it’s kid brother the VBL in the next article.
En avant mes amis!
For someone who feels that camo is not their strongpoint, those French are looking really nice! You should be happy with how they look, the balance between the skin tones and the camo has come out really well. As for the VAB and VBL? I am incredibly excited to see them, the Gasoline Kits are just super aren't they?