On the workbench – painting in progress

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A bird’s eye view of the painting table – with the completed vessels as seen through the magnifying lamp

I’ve been working on the French World War One fleet pack from Hallmark ((available from Magister Militum in the UK)) for John in the US. These have been on the painting table for over two years now, business trips, the 15mm ACW and life generally having cut back the painting time I had available.

As with the other Hallmark vessels I’ve painted, these models are quite nice with a surprising amount of detail for a vessel that is only 2cms long.

They are quite easy to paint oddly enough and the process I have been using is to undercoat the vessels and bases in white, then wash in black ink (or nurgle gurlge slimy oil – whatever the Citadel black wash from Games Workshop is called these days).

I then paint the sea bases (some on smaller vessels like torpedo boats are already with the vessel, others like the battleships have a separate base. Painting the base first is useful as I am slapping the colour around and it doesn’t matter if it spills onto the vessel at this point.

The colour used for the sea bases are then a heavy coat of Prussian Blue, a heavy dry brush of mid blue and lastly a dry brush of white – heave around the wake against what will be the side of the vessel and where the wake from the propellers will be seen, light elsewhere.

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A different view of the vessels and a rules to give a true idea of the scale of these wee beasties

For the battleships and cruisers I do a heavy wet brush in a mid grey (uniform grey in this case) followed by a second black wash. A light dry brush of the uniform grey is then done  and yes, I know it is the third time I have added uniform grey to the vessel.

The decks are then picked out and on the French vessels I am using a desert sand colour for the decks. The vessel is then given a brown wash (earthy dirty brown or whatever from Citadel again). The last step is then to pick out the funnel tops and the ships boats. I am using white for the canvas covers of the ships boats as although it was likely a darker colour, on vessels this size it looks right and enables the detail to be seen from a distance.

I decided on uniform grey for the ship colour as the best information I could find on French vessels in World War 1 suggested an all over mid grey. French ships discipline also revolved around painting one turret in used cooking oil from the galley but I haven’t decided whether to go that far yet as to “bronze” one of the turret sides.

Other colours I read about were a dark hull grey hull and a light grey superstructure but I opted for the all-over grey as it seemed to agree with the pictures I saw online.

About 2/3rds of the vessels are now painted. I have about 30 left to paint. After that it is a case of making and printing the ship labels, adhering the ship number to the back of the base and then varnishing the vessels using a satin varnish. The last step is gluing the ship’s name under the base and then they will be finished yay!

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