Painting the Armies In Plastic French Foreign Legion (W.I.P.)

I’m not sure what possessed me to start painting these figures.  Maybe it was the flash free smoothness of the capote that tempted me or the way the light warmly reflected off the blue color of the kepi that screamed “Paint me white, damn it!”  So the other week I mounted the figures on their nails and gave them all a base coat of Krylon sticks-to-plastic primer.  Friday I started painting and laid down some basic colors with my trusty Testor’s and Model Master oils (all flats):

  • Union Blue with a drop of flat black and grey for the capote
  • flat white for the kepi and pants
  • flat black for the boots, bayonet scabbard, ammo pouches, pack straps and visor

On Saturday I laid down supporting colors:

  • a yellowish tan for the musette (rations bag)
  • grey blue for the bidon (canteen),
  • dark brown mix for le sac (the backpack excluding the bed roll) and rifle sling
  • flesh tone (darkened with a bit of brown) for faces and hands
  • light grey mixed with white with a dash of tan for the bed roll

In the next couple of days I hope to finish the rifle stock, cups and cooking utensils, buttons, gun metal, bayonets, belts & straps.  I then move into my “detailing” this is where I will take each figure and correct any stray over/under paintings, dry brush highlights and then use a fine marker for some dark outlining.  I’ll also try to make the eyes, lips, mustaches reasonably presentable.  Once I detail each figure I will use a water based wash (a dip) that will settle in the low parts and folds of the figure.  This will provide a shadow effect that really makes the figure “pop”.  When the dip dries I’ll hit it with a dull coat that will help reduce glare and hopefully keep the paint from chipping.  More on this project by the end of the week when I show the finished figures.


About Jack Wagner

Retired Army.
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4 Responses to Painting the Armies In Plastic French Foreign Legion (W.I.P.)

  1. Lu Zishen says:

    painting the eyes will be hard, at this scale (1:72) !
    courage !


  2. Al says:

    Nice, ink and washes?


    • Jack Wagner says:

      Mostly my oil based hobby paint applied straight on–not ink. When I get all the primary painting done I’ll use a wash that consists of liquid floor wax and water (a 1-3 mix) with some acrylic black paint. Since the wash is water based and the paint is oil based the wash will run into the nooks and crannies of the figures. This will land some of the black in the right spots to produce a shadow. I might also use a black superfine tip marker to also add some shadows in some areas.


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