So I'm back at the Toronto Historical Miniatures Gamers club lately, and one of the guys wanted to play Songs of Drums and Shakos this week. "Sure," I said, though I'd never played and have no painted figures. Then I went rooting around my drawers to see what I could find.
I turned up a few suitably skirmish-y Foundry figs that I picked up from who knows where, and a couple of dismounted Perry dragoons that came in the Historicon 2010 loot bag. "Can I use these here dragoons as Light Voltigeurs with Carbines instead of muskets for 39 points each?" I asked (I had 78 points to spend). "Go for it." So I went for it. and decided that this would be as good a time as any to try the Army Painter Quickshade technique. Here's what 6 hours' work gets you:
I am super happy with the results, considering the time put in. As my buddy Anthony said, they did indeed look like a complete mess until 2 minutes before finishing. But the matte spray worked its miracle.
1. clean the models and spray with your base color. I used Army Painter Crystal Blue, which looked -terrifyingly bright at first. Don't worry, the Quickshade fixes that.
2. Block paint the figures in the most mundane way possible. Complete coverage is the goal, even over precision. Bright, saturated paints are preferable. I used different whites for the uniform and the webbing, but I'm not sure anyone can tell the difference.
3. Brush on the quickshade, dealing with any obvious pooling right away. I think it's possible to be too sparing with the shade, but you don't want to drown the figure either. (I used the Strong tone).
4. Let it dry 18-24 hours, then spray with matte sealer. Army Painter makes one, but I think Testors Dullcote will work too. I sprayed each figure individually with a glove protecting my off hand because I wanted to make sure got full coverage.
5. Apply final highlights and details as necessary.
-I added a few details (like the red piping) afterwards, but I think for the next batch I will completely finish the models before shading them. I expect they will still need subsequent highlighting anyway, but a finished figure will look better imo.
-I'm considering priming the French white instead of blue, since a) there's more white than blue on the uniform and b) it's easier to paint blue over white than vice versa.
So like I said, I'm thrilled with this technique, and have already started on the Victrix line infantry that have been sitting in my drawer for 3 years. At this rate, I may in fact have a 25mm Napoleonics army before I'm dead! :D