Sunday, February 18, 2007

Painting Philosophy

When painting c20th figures, I have avoided getting too specific with the historically correct paintjobs. The reason is simple. I like to choose my figures so that I can play the widest variety of scenarios possible. Thus, I paint my units so that they 'appear' okay, have a certain level of uniformity, and contain information which is useable in different ways in the scenario.

Thus, for my spanish civil war militia, I have painted them in 'sets' of company sized units. Each 'set' of a certain type (eg. forage cap uniform) is distinct from similar sets, and as a group they are distinguishable from other collections of sets (ie I can make up a battalion of companies that are each distinct from each other, yet all the battalion's units areidentifiable as such). I do this through judicious use of colour selection and coding. Thus, B Company will share the chocolate brown colour with other units of the same battalion but will have it only on their trousers while A Company might only have it on their blouses, and C Company on their helmets. If no other battalion uses chocolate brown in its paintscheme beyond the incidental, the colour identifies the battalion, where it is painted identifies the company. Yet I can call them nationalist, basque, communist or italian for any particular game.

The game is the thing.

It takes a bit of forethought but if properly done allows you to have games set in a large variety of scenarios with at least vaguely correct looking units, without having to paint up more than is needed.

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