Painting Crann Tara’s 1/56th Gardes Françaises


Being a public holiday today, I just couldn’t resist starting to paint some of the Crann Tara figures of the Gardes Françaises that I mentioned in my post yesterday about recreating my favourite battle painting.

These truly are exquisite figures. Getting close up with them during the painting process, I marveled at the complex undercuts and the fine detail. There was no guesswork required as to where each strap, belt and buckle was going, or how swords fitted under the clothing, as is so often the case with less finely sculpted figures.

I used GW Contrast paints  for the first time on these figures, instead of my normal black undercoat method. Working with a light undercoat was new to me, and I must say found it quite unforgiving of missed areas of painting.

But the Contrast paints themselves worked really well. I love the way they flow so beautifully, and create their own shading. The faces in particular have worked well, with no other painting required.


The drummers’ lace was every bit as difficult as I had anticipated! Mind you, it was beautifully sculpted, and with a more exacting painting style, would probably respond really well.  However, even with my quick and ready style, I still manged to create a fair impression of the royal lace, especially at wargaming table distance.

I found the cravattes and tassels for the flag-poles in my spares box. They are somewhat out-of-scale, so I will have to replace them in due course.

Now, just a few NCOs and then 54 privates to go!


5 thoughts on “Painting Crann Tara’s 1/56th Gardes Françaises

  1. All I can say is that if this is an example of your less than exacting work, I would dearly love to see what you value as your best work. These are truly very, very nice and highly commendable – particularly at the well known three foot distance we war gamers generally use to view our troops.

  2. Excellent work …individually painstakingly done …will look forward to seeing future posts …Nick Papadopoulos .

  3. Great job Roly and exactly the way one should spend a public holiday! I am interested to read your comments on the contrast paint…a friend who is a phenomenal figure painter gas recently started using it…I would not have thought he could do better than his previous style but honestly, the images of his 28mm Elite and Eureka figures look like German por Elaine statuettes….amazing product obviously.

  4. These figures looked great unpainted and don’t disappoint with a lovely paint job on them. You’ve tackled the drummer’s lace with aplomb!

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