Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Bolt Action British Commandos Part 2

The results of my first paint test for this project allowed me to work out which colours I am going to use for my 28mm British figures...

I have some tweaking to do, but I want to try any further tests on an actual 28mm figure instead of another 1/32 plastic soldier. The scale of the brushwork for this sort of painting means it doesn't exactly work on a larger model, I'll only really know if it works when I apply it to a smaller figure.

My next practice figures - a sprue of Warlord's plastic Commandos.
So, I ordered a sprue of the Warlord 28mm plastic Commandos (yes, you can order them by the sprue) to try out this paint method on 'the real thing'. Though, I've actually chosen miniatures made by a company called Artizan Designs for my final 'army'. They are wonderful little figures, superior to Warlords - in my opinion- so I don't want to make a mess of them.

Artizan Designs wonderful and characterful 28mm Lord Lovat's Commandos.
I want to be absolutely sure I know what I'm doing before I put brush to these.
One of the things you might notice when you compare the above two pictures of Warlord's and Artizan's 28mm figures is both the difference in painting style and colour selection.

Actually, neither set of painted figures is all-together wrong (though I would probably take issue with Warlord's very light coloured webbing) as the real Commandos and British Infantry, in general, changed the colour of their webbing - from Khaki to a pastel Olive Green - in about 1944. But, I have read that both types and colours of webbing co-existed in use until the end of the war.

The painting style is a different matter. Artizan's painted example figures are far more blended in a naturalistic style, as opposed to the higher contrast style of Warlord's example (and, indeed, the guide I worked from). And, while I do not have a tutorial for how they achieved this look I do have Artizan's Painting Guide, which tells me the colours they used, and I have found a rather informative painting tutorial which gives an alternative method of painting these miniatures...

I'll be studying this tutorial before I try out my next painting test and I will try out both methods on the smaller scale in order to compare them. Hopefully, my Warlord 28mm sprue will arrive today.


  1. I think your testpainted figure looks great!

    I too much prefer the Artizan style to the Warlord style. I suppose the Warlord painter is much more used to fantasy figures. A sidenote regarding the webbing; yes, it changed from Khaki to green towards the end of the war, but you would very rarely encounter both colours within a unit, since the quartermaster would only order a single colour of blanco.

    1. Thank you, Leif. That is useful, I was toying with mix and matching the webbing colours to make my units look a lot more varied. But considering your comments, I think I will stick to one colour. Let's see what my second test looks like (where I will be trying out the pastel Green webbing).

    2. You can still of course have different variations of fading on blancoed equipment, and the odd one out in another colour.

    3. When I joined up in 1965, we were issued '37 Pattern webbing which was Khaki.Tight fit to get the SLR's mags in the pouches.Later on (around 1967) we painted it all black. It was still in use up to around 1970.