Tommy's War painting instructions for British World War One uniform

Tommy's War is the leading producer of World War One model figurines. The range covers Britain and her Empire, the USA, Germany and her allies. In this painting guide Alex Long gives detailed instructions on using Vallejo paints to get outstanding results.

Tommy's War is the leading producer of World War One model figurines. The range covers Britain and her Empire, the USA, Germany and her allies. In this painting guide Alex Long gives detailed instructions on using Vallejo paints to get outstanding results.


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T MMY’S WAR<br />

1914-1918 in miniature<br />

Painters<br />

Guide<br />

www.tommyswar.com<br />

Trade Order Catalogue<br />

April 2014<br />

tommyswar.co.uk<br />

TW32001 – Private, Middlesex Regiment,<br />

Mons 1914 by Alex Long

T MMY’S WAR<br />

1914-1918 in miniature<br />

TW32001<br />

Painters Guide<br />

Foreword by Darren Parker-Mead<br />

I first met Alex Long in 2011 at Euro Militaire and it<br />

was obvious from the start that he was an extremely<br />

talented guy who was going on to achieve great<br />

things in our hobby.<br />

It’s been a pleasure to see his progress, I remember<br />

his first gold at Euro Militaire and his wide-eyed stare<br />

the first time he visited Scale Model Challenge<br />

(although that might have been his two nights in<br />

Amsterdam!).<br />

So, it’s great that Alex has been able to share some<br />

of his <strong>painting</strong> tips in this guide, and I’m hugely<br />

grateful that he’s been able to contribute.<br />

I hope you find this in<strong>for</strong>mative and interesting and<br />

it gives you the inspiration to start those Tommy’s<br />

<strong>War</strong> projects.<br />

Darren<br />

Getting Started<br />

Be<strong>for</strong>e we get into Alex’s step-by-step commentary<br />

I just wanted to offer some thoughts on the build<br />

and preparation of the <strong>painting</strong> step. This is a vital<br />

step that can cause inexperienced modellers some<br />

concern, and I know from the emails I receive that<br />

it’s an area where there is some confusion. However,<br />

with a bit of practice its quite simple and I’ve listed<br />

some hints that I’ve found useful over the years.<br />

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will<br />

spend the first four sharpening the axe.”<br />

― Abraham Lincoln<br />

Preparing the Kit<br />

Tommy’s <strong>War</strong> models are manufactured in resin,<br />

you’ll see that your kit will have some of the casting<br />

blocks in place, these need to be carefully removed<br />

with a sharp knife or modelling saw. Once the<br />

majority of the block is removed the area should be<br />

sanded. Remember that resin can be toxic, so always<br />

work in a well ventilated space, I always advise<br />

wearing a mask and gloves.<br />

2<br />

Assembling the Kit<br />

Once you’re happy with the clean-up it’s time to<br />

glue. Resin can be fixed with any cyranacrylate<br />

adhesive (otherwise known as Superglue).<br />

There are many glues on the market. I use a brand<br />

called Deluxe which is widely available. This comes<br />

in different consistencies, with thicker faster drying<br />

glues to more liquid versions. I tend to use the<br />

thicker consistency.<br />

<strong>One</strong> tip I always pass is that the glue adheres<br />

better to a rougher surface, so I always slightly sand<br />

the surfaces that will be glued. Only slightly, don’t<br />

overdo it.<br />

Less is more with superglue, the more glue you<br />

use the longer the drying time, apply in a thin layer<br />

and let it do it’s magic.<br />

The Rifle Sling<br />

The rifle sling is the part that seems to present the<br />

most problems, and I confess I find them quite<br />

tricky myself. My advice would be not to use the<br />

photo-etch one supplied in the kit, but to create<br />

your own with either masking tape (I use Tamiya<br />

tape) or Alex’s method (electrical tape).<br />


Drilling the Figure<br />

I always drill a small hole into the foot of the figure<br />

and superglue a small piece of wire. This gives me<br />

something to anchor the figure while <strong>painting</strong> but<br />

also fits it into the base securely when it’s<br />

completed.<br />

Ready to Go<br />

Once all the parts are fitted check your model, if<br />

there are any small gaps fill with a putty and make<br />

sure you’re happy with the finish. Be<strong>for</strong>e applying<br />

a basecoat wash the model thoroughly in warm<br />

soapy water.<br />

It sounds like a lot, but getting a great finish really<br />

does start at the preparation.<br />

Paint and Colour<br />

If elements of the clean-up cause some anxiety, then<br />

that’s nothing compared to paint and colour choice<br />

and is easily the subject I get the most emails about.<br />

There is a huge amount of paint choice. In this guide<br />

Alex references Vallejo, which is great as it’s one of<br />

the easiest paint brands to get. Vallejo is an acrylic<br />

paint which is the most popular paint type used<br />

at the moment and there are a plethora of other<br />

brands such as AK Interactive, Andrea, Ammo, Scale<br />

75, Nocturna, Army Painter and Citadel (Games<br />

Workshop).<br />

This isn’t even the full list, and doesn’t even cover all<br />

the paint sets that include everything from <strong>painting</strong><br />

flesh to a certain type of RAF aircraft.<br />

It’s no wonder modellers are confused, it’s baffling.<br />

The trick is to not get sucked into the marketing,<br />

certainly at a basic level you won’t find too much<br />

difference between the manufacturers, don’t fall <strong>for</strong><br />

thinking you have to buy a complete set, try<br />

different paints and see which you prefer. I like Andrea<br />

<strong>for</strong> it’s matt finish. Some people like Scale 75<br />

but I find it hard to get out of the dropper bottles.<br />

In-short they are all good paints and you can’t really<br />

go too wrong.<br />

The second part of this is uni<strong>for</strong>m colour, on this my<br />

advice is simple, don’t worry too mucn about it. Yes,<br />

that’s counter to everything a modeller stands <strong>for</strong><br />

but it’s true.<br />

There are two books on <strong>World</strong> <strong>War</strong> <strong>One</strong> uni<strong>for</strong>m<br />

references by Chris Pollendine, Campaign 1914 and<br />

Campaign 1915. These books show original <strong>World</strong><br />

<strong>War</strong> <strong>One</strong> <strong>British</strong> uni<strong>for</strong>m and equipment and I spoke<br />

to Chris some time ago on colour.<br />

Chris explained to me that in all the years of<br />

collecting original uni<strong>for</strong>m he’d seen a huge variety<br />

of shades and colours, from mustard brown to dark<br />

green there wasn’t one single shade that<br />

represented what he had seen.<br />

When you think that between 1914 and 1918 the<br />

<strong>British</strong> were producing millions of pieces of clothing<br />

each year in mills in Britain and Ireland and as far<br />

away as Canada and the US. There were no colour<br />

swatches to reference, no easy communication to<br />

ensure a shade was right and very little quality<br />

control.<br />

However, as modellers, it’s important that th<br />

colour looks correct, so my advice would be to check<br />

online <strong>for</strong> original pieces of uni<strong>for</strong>m and match to<br />

that, alternatively Chris’s books are a great source of<br />

in<strong>for</strong>mation.<br />

I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but Facebook<br />

has some fantastic groups dedicated to uni<strong>for</strong>ms<br />

and I find those incredibly helpful.<br />

Failing all of that, I have worked with the paint<br />

manufacturer Lifecolor and we developed a set of<br />

<strong>World</strong> <strong>War</strong> <strong>One</strong> uni<strong>for</strong>m colour which you can use<br />

‘from the pot’ if you wish.<br />

And finally<br />

My major piece of advice is to enjoy what you’re<br />

doing. The best painters didn’t become great<br />

overnight and while they have considerable<br />

talent they also work hard at their craft.<br />

Painting takes patience and it takes practice.<br />

We’re <strong>for</strong>tunate in these times that there is a<br />

wealth of knowledge online and take your time<br />

to absorb that teaching but also make time to<br />

paint.<br />

I spend a lot of time watching tutorials on<br />

outube, it really is a fantastic resource and there<br />

aren’t many modelling topics you can’t find on<br />

there.<br />

But don’t be discouraged if your work doesn’t<br />

look like those winning artists, enjoy the hobby<br />

<strong>for</strong> what it is <strong>for</strong> you.<br />

Have fun and keep smiling!<br />

www.tommyswar.com<br />


TW32001 Painters Guide<br />

by Alex Long<br />

Preparation<br />

All Tommy’s <strong>War</strong> 1/32nd scale miniatures are finely<br />

cast in high quality resin and there<strong>for</strong>e require<br />

minimal clean-up, meaning they can be ready <strong>for</strong><br />

paint in under an hour. The main tools required <strong>for</strong><br />

the assembly of resin figures is a scalpel or sharp<br />

knife, sprue cutters, epoxy putty and super glue.<br />

Simply, but carefully, cut away the moulding lugs<br />

using the sprue cutters, be careful not to cut too<br />

close to the figure itself to avoid accidents, we don’t<br />

want any wounded Tommys at this stage! Using the<br />

scalpel of knife, gently scrape away any visible mould<br />

lines from the miniature, the scraping action leaves<br />

the resin nice and smooth, unlike a file which tends<br />

to make the resin “fur up” and look rough.<br />

Assemble the model as much as is practicable <strong>for</strong><br />

ease of <strong>painting</strong>, as TW32001 is in a fairly simple<br />

pose I have fully assembled the figure be<strong>for</strong>e<br />

<strong>painting</strong>.<br />

Super glue is the number one choice <strong>for</strong> gluing<br />

resin, it’s quick and creates a very strong bond. If,<br />

after assembly, there are any gaps that require<br />

filling, then a two-part epoxy putty or model filler<br />

can be used. I prefer epoxy putty <strong>for</strong> filling joints as<br />

it can be smoothed very effectively be<strong>for</strong>e it dries,<br />

meaning it does not require sanding.<br />

As you can see in the first photograph (fig 1) we<br />

have the fully assembled miniature in the bare resin.<br />

Note that I have made my own rifle sling using<br />

electrical tape, I find this the best choice as it’s<br />

strong, flexible and will stretch if needed, enabling<br />

a more natural look. Using electrical tape is a very<br />

simple way to make slings and straps, simply stick<br />

some to a cutting mat and trim to the desired width<br />

with a scalpel. It is easily glued to the resin with<br />

super glue and test fitting is made easy by utilising<br />

the sticky side to help get the correct position.<br />

Fig 2<br />

The second photo (fig2) shows the miniature<br />

primed and ready to paint. For the primer coat I<br />

Fig 2<br />

have used a grey lacquer-based primer-filler<br />

administered via the airbrush. This gives a nice<br />

absorbent, matt ground ready to accept the acrylic,<br />

paint which is important <strong>for</strong> avoiding any shine that<br />

may build up during <strong>painting</strong>. Now it’s on to the<br />

<strong>painting</strong>.<br />

Fig 1<br />

4<br />


Painting - Palette<br />

I always use a wet palette <strong>for</strong> <strong>painting</strong>, simply because<br />

it keeps the paint workable <strong>for</strong> longer, enabling<br />

the painter to come back to his work without<br />

having to re-mix paint. In the third photo (fig 3 ) we<br />

see the palette with all the colours used <strong>for</strong> TW32001,<br />

I lay the paints out be<strong>for</strong>ehand and pre-mix all the<br />

colour transitions ready on the palette. Here I have<br />

listed all the colours used, all coming from the<br />

Vallejo range of acrylics:<br />

Fig 3<br />

Flesh<br />

70.951<br />

70.928<br />

70.860<br />

70.804<br />

70.814<br />

70.859<br />

70.959<br />

70.950<br />

White<br />

Light Flesh<br />

Medium<br />

Flesh<br />

Beige red<br />

Burnt Red<br />

Black Red<br />

Purple<br />

Black<br />

Uni<strong>for</strong>m<br />

70.921<br />

70.950<br />

70.924<br />

70.311<br />

70.988<br />

70.976<br />

English<br />

Uni<strong>for</strong>m<br />

Black<br />

Russian<br />

Uni<strong>for</strong>m<br />

New Wood<br />

Khaki<br />

Buff<br />

Webbing<br />

70.976<br />

70.643<br />

70.950<br />

70.871<br />

The colour transitions <strong>for</strong> each<br />

area of the figure are mixed on<br />

the wet palette from dark to light,<br />

additional tones are created by<br />

adding more volume of either<br />

warm or cold colours.<br />

Buff<br />

Lee Enfield<br />

Ivory<br />

Black<br />

Leather<br />

Brown<br />

70.984<br />

70.928<br />

70.871<br />

70.804<br />

70.826<br />

70.859<br />

Flat Brown<br />

Black<br />

Leather<br />

Brown<br />

Medium<br />

Flesh<br />

German Medium<br />

/ Camo<br />

Brown<br />

White<br />

Colours are referenced from the Vallejo acrylics range. The guide indicates the major parts of the figure only:<br />

The <strong>painting</strong> reference should be used as a guide only. It is recommended that you test the colours be<strong>for</strong>e applying<br />

to the figure.<br />

www.tommyswar.com<br />


Fig 5 Fig 6<br />

Fig 4<br />

Fig 7 Fig 8<br />

Fig 5 Fig 6<br />

Fig 7 Fig 8<br />

Fig 13<br />

6<br />


Fig 11 Fig 12<br />

Painting - The Face<br />

(Fig 4) shows the figure with a dark basecoat to the<br />

uni<strong>for</strong>m and webbing as well as some rudimentary<br />

work on the face. The closer shot in (Fig 5) shows<br />

the face with very basic highlights over a mediumdark<br />

flesh mix. This gives some shape to the face and<br />

helps define the areas of light and shade or in other<br />

words, contrast. Contrast is an important factor<br />

when <strong>painting</strong> scale miniatures, as a rule of thumb,<br />

the smaller the miniature the higher the contrast<br />

should be.<br />

Using the flesh colours laid down on the wet palette<br />

I create the various shades of flesh as follows:<br />

Mid-tone – Beige Red<br />

First highlight - Beige Red plus Medium Flesh<br />

Second highlight – Beige Red, Medium Flesh,<br />

Light Flesh<br />

Third highlight – Medium Flesh plus Light Flesh<br />

Final highlight – Light Flesh plus White<br />

First shade – Beige Red plus Burnt Red<br />

Second shade – Beige Red, Burnt Red, Black Red<br />

Third shade – Beige Red, Black Red, Black.<br />

Tones are achieved by adding more Burnt Red and a<br />

touch of Purple to the mid-tone.<br />

With the basic highlights applied some colour tone<br />

is added to the cheek area, as can be seen in (Fig 6).<br />

At this point we can start smoothing the transitions<br />

of colour between dark and light. Using filters is the<br />

easiest way to achieve this, bearing in mind that a<br />

filter is a little different to a wash. When using a filter<br />

technique, we are trying to evenly cover the whole<br />

area with a thin layer of paint with low opacity.<br />

With a wash on the other hand, WE would be trying<br />

to get the paint pigment to pool up at the edges<br />

or in folds and creases, not homogenously over the<br />

whole area. To smooth a transition between dark<br />

and light simply use a mid-tone thinned to the<br />

consistency of skimmed milk, load the brush with<br />

the paint and gently apply the filter from one side<br />

to the other. Remember, keeping the paint thin but<br />

not too watery is key. It will require a number of<br />

filters to gradually smooth out the transition, don’t<br />

be tempted to increase the opacity if you cannot see<br />

immediate results (which you shouldn’t) as this will<br />

eliminate any subtlety.<br />

We can see through (Fig 7 – 9) that the gradual<br />

smoothing of the out of the various tones is<br />

taking away any harsh lines. (Fig 10 & 11) show the<br />

further progression of the face following further filter<br />

layers as well as additional tones around the nose,<br />

lips and cheeks. The hair has also been blocked in<br />

ready <strong>for</strong> the finishing touches to the face. Moving<br />

on, (Fig 12 & 13) show the completed face,<br />

showing additional highlights, eyes, hair and five<br />

o’clock shadow.<br />

www.tommyswar.com<br />


Fig 15 Fig 16<br />

Fig 14<br />

Fig 17 Fig 18<br />

Fig 19 Fig 20<br />

Fig 21 Fig 22<br />

Fig 23<br />

8<br />


Fig 11 Fig 12<br />

Painting - The Uni<strong>for</strong>m and Equipment<br />

While <strong>British</strong> Army uni<strong>for</strong>m colours of WWI can<br />

appear all the same, a variety of tones can be<br />

ntroduced to represent fading, dirt and<br />

weathering. Adding more Russian Uni<strong>for</strong>m will<br />

increase the green tone, something I usually do <strong>for</strong><br />

gaiters and water bottles. Adding more Khaki will<br />

achieve a more faded look, while the addition of<br />

New Wood will bring more warmth to the colour.<br />

For our Tommy I have chosen to represent him in<br />

a clean uni<strong>for</strong>m, perhaps he is marching through<br />

the home counties freshly called up <strong>for</strong> duty on the<br />

front.<br />

The dark basecoat of the uni<strong>for</strong>m has been painted<br />

over with a mix of English Uni<strong>for</strong>m and black, as can<br />

be seen in (Fig 14). Highlighting by increasing the<br />

amount of English Uni<strong>for</strong>m is the next stage, see<br />

(Fig 15 & 16), highlights are increased by adding<br />

a small amount of Russian Uni<strong>for</strong>m and Khaki.<br />

Again, filters of mid-tone (slightly darkened English<br />

Uni<strong>for</strong>m) are applied over the whole area to smooth<br />

demarcation lines.<br />

The webbing is painted in using a mix of Buff, Black<br />

& Leather Brown with highlights created by<br />

increasing the quantity of Buff, see (Fig 17) & 18.<br />

Using a dark, not quite black mix, the webbing has<br />

been lined-in to help create some definition, seen in<br />

(Fig 19). (Fig 20) shows the pack and webbing<br />

finished, following some further highlighting by<br />

adding Ivory to the mix.<br />

(Fig 21 & 22) show the gaiters and water bottle, as<br />

mentioned previously, I have added more Russian<br />

Uni<strong>for</strong>m to the mix to change the tone from the<br />

Uni<strong>for</strong>m to become slightly greener and help break<br />

up the different areas of the figure.<br />

The final part of the figure is our Tommy’s trusty Lee<br />

Enfield Rifle. A very simple way to simulate a wood<br />

grain is to paint the rifle with a dark brown/black,<br />

and paint quite harsh uneven lines (Fig 23) over the<br />

mid-tone using the German Camo Medium Brown<br />

and Medium Flesh. This is then covered with a few<br />

filters (Fig 24) of Flat Brown to tone down the effect,<br />

some extra highlights can then be added carefully<br />

to certain areas of wood grain if needed.<br />

Fig 24<br />

For the finishing touches some metallic brass and<br />

gunmetal have been used to paint the equipment<br />

buckles and gun barrel respectively. I generally tone<br />

down the metallics with regular paint, in this case<br />

using Yellow Ochre and Leather brown mixed with<br />

the brass and black and blue added to the gunmetal<br />

<strong>for</strong> the metalwork on the rifle.<br />


The final presentation of the figure is to<br />

provide him with a base, in this case I have<br />

chosen a simple wooden block, adding<br />

epoxy putty to create a dirt road with a low<br />

bank of grass to the side, fitting in with my<br />

idea that our Tommy is marching off to war<br />

on the Western Front.<br />

Brave lad!<br />

www.tommyswar.com<br />


This series is commissioned by<br />

Tommy’s <strong>War</strong> Limited<br />

Figure sculpted by Nino Pizzichemi, box art by Alex Long<br />

T MMY’S WAR<br />

1914-1918 in miniature<br />


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