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"Shades of Blue Ink" Topic


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414 hits since 7 Dec 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Avon Ulysses07 Dec 2017 2:42 a.m. PST

I am painting Napoleonic troops using inks.
First I base coat the troops black, then heavily dry-brush them with white.
This produces a 'black & white' figure.
I then paint them with inks.
As these are semi-transparent the black shading shows through to produce a pleasant looking (to me) figure.

To get the right shades I must mix the inks from a few basic colours.

Presently I am painting up some dutch & Belgium's in 1815 uniforms.
I am wondering what shade of blue they should be.
I have already painting some French & Prussian troops & are quite happy with the blues that I created.

But what shade would these Dutch/Belgium troops be in comparison?

Darker than the French , but Lighter than the Prussians?

Could any of the folks here give me some advice on the appropriate shade of blue, in comparison with the French & Prussian?

gianpippo07 Dec 2017 3:18 a.m. PST

Could you please post some pictures?
Which kind of inks are you using?

Esquire Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 4:42 a.m. PST

Search TMP and you will find the topic of French and Prussian blue has been discussed numerous times. But I guess it can come up again. Prussian blue was certainly nearly black but I agree with many that French uniforms of the period were also very dark if not as dark as the Prussians. Many make the mistake of painting an intermediate blue on French. I do recognize that a "ligher" blue looks better on the wargaming table since it provides a better look. So when I paint French I apply a darker intermediate blue and then shade with a very dark blue. From three feet you get the impression of an awfully dark blue but not so dark that it just looks like a dark blob. Lighter than the real cloth but a good look on the table.

Mick the Metalsmith07 Dec 2017 4:43 a.m. PST

What colour are blue jeans? New vs faded? Pick one and vary it and you will be correct.

Esquire Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 4:46 a.m. PST

Mick -- I agree with many who have posted on TMP that dark blue uniforms of the period wore out but did not fade like jeans. The blue, unlike some colors and dyes of the time, was relatively colorfast. My lighter colors are an argument of what sunlight on folds would look like from a distance.

von Winterfeldt07 Dec 2017 5:31 a.m. PST

they did hardly fade at all – jeans – is cotton based – uniform coat at this time were woolen cloth, dark blue got in fact darker due to getting dirty, woolen uniforms were forbidden to be washed all what you could do was to brush them or to paint them white (on white uniform coats)
in model miniatures painting one has to adjust the colour due to scale and paint lighter than as it would be in 1 : 1 scale.
I would just paint Dutch, French and Prussians dark blue and hardly pay any attention between those nations.

Kelly Armstrong07 Dec 2017 7:14 a.m. PST

With inks, another technique to alter shades is to increase/decrease applications with the same ink. So one application of French Blue for frenchies and two applications for Dutch, for instance.

Mick the Metalsmith07 Dec 2017 7:52 a.m. PST

Cotton or wool, it doesn't matter. Sun bleached vegetable dyes (Anyline dyes are not common yet) and dye lots were inconsistently dyed. Add abrasion from dust, rock and wood and after a month, you have a mess and quite a range of colors. Again pick any shade you like and you will be correct.

Timmo uk09 Dec 2017 2:38 a.m. PST

Eye witness account from the period state that distant French looked like dark masses. I paint for this effect.

Dark blue is an interesting colour as it absorbs light and when new, wool based cloth can look darker than black. I have never seen dark blue look brighter the further away it gets. Distance desaturates colour.

Due to the manufacturing of the period there would be multiple versions of dark blue cloth used. Some French may have been in darker blue than some Prussians…

On campaign rain, sun bleaching, mud and dust will all alter the intensity of the underlying uniform colour.

All of this means that at the end of the day do what you like the look of the most.

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