Using Contrast paints for 18th century British grenadiers

Last night I completed painting this company of 18th century British grenadiers from Crann Tara Miniatures, the first part of my latest big battalion. They’re not based yet, but I just couldn’t resist forming them up on my desktop for a photo opportunity.

Crann Tara Miniatures (now owned by Caliver Books) make a beautiful line of 1/56 scale figures that are much more anatomically correct than most other ranges.

I decided to paint my battalion as the 8th (King’s) Regiment of Foot. My main painting reference was the above illustration by Frédéric Aubert of the Kronoskaf website.

Whilst this famous painting of the Battle of Culloden 1746 by David Morier isn’t actually depicting the 8th (instead, it shows Barrell’s Regiment), the uniform is very similar, with blue facings and breeches.

I used GW Contrast paints almost entirely for this project. The only exception was that I added a top coat of Foundry medium blue to the turnbacks, as I felt the shade of Contrast dark blue I used didn’t stand out enough.

The beauty of Contrast paints, besides providing their own highlighting and shading, is that they flow so easily. The back of those mitre caps were actually quite simple to do, as the paint filled the gaps between the lines of lacing by itself.

The biggest challenge was doing the fronts of the mitre caps. However, once again Contrast paints came to the fore. These caps won’t bear too close scrutiny, but from any distance they look the part, as you can see.

Next task will be another two companies of the same size, but of hatmen in tricornes rather than mitre caps, as well as a variety of various officers and NCOs.

PS: I’ve now posted a detailed painting guide on how I did these figures. Enjoy!

17 thoughts on “Using Contrast paints for 18th century British grenadiers

    1. Thanks. Yes, they certainly do make painting easier. But i am not quite so sure if the result is actually better or not. I plan to compare my earlier British grenadiers (painted in my old black undercoat and layering style) with these latest ones.

  1. Nice work Arteis…crisp shiny bayonets and gold …beautiful work on the uniforms and accoutrements…Nicholas John Papadopoulos , Auckland ,New Zealand.

    1. Thanks for that. You just reminded me I made the Contrast-painted bayonets shinier by dry-brushing them with standard silver paint.

    1. Thanks. I only had the Contrast leviadon blue on hand, but it was much too dark for my taste. Adding the final coat of Foundry blue fixed it perfectly, though.

  2. A really great job Roly and thank you for showing. No the effect is not “better” than your usual wonderful technique but presumably it is quicker for wargaming figures? If so I think they will suit my style.
    Chris G

    1. Yes, it was definitely quicker, Chris. I don’t have the patience anymore to do three layers (especially on so many figures). Anyway, half the colours in my Foundry paint system set have dried up in their bottles after all this time!

  3. Thanks Roly for sharing. Excellent job. Question, if I may: on the cartridge pouch covers in black, there is a lining which looks white, all along the rims. How did you paint that? Chris

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