Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Chasseur à Pied

This is the first effort at painting a bust. So it is a learning exercise. Over recent years I have grown keen on French Army Uniforms of the early part of the First World War.  I’ve had my eye on this Jon Smithmodellbau bust of a Chasseurs à pied for some time so decided to take the plunge.

Having never painted a bust before I referenced a couple of articles from Military Modelling August and September 2016 issues where Fernando Ruiz wrote up Jaume Ortiz’s technique for dealing with busts . What appealed to me as a beginner was the simplicity of the technique.  He uses only three colours to get the flesh tones. A sand brown (70.876) as the base coat and light flesh (70.928) for the highlights and finally a black red (70.859) to create the shadow.

After the undercoat was put down in around six thin layers I added in some of the light flesh in to the mix and started with the first highlight. Then once  that was dried I added a second  highlight before  moving on to block out the shadow  on a  mix of the  sand brown  base layer  and  a the red brown.

 From here I built up the different levels of shadow and light on the face with the appropriate mixes until I was happy with the balance. Following that I watered-down the paints further now between the consistency of milk and water in an attempt to blend together the different areas.  Currently this process   needs a bit more refining it looks a bit like badly applied foundation at the moment!

Most of a afternoon was spent on trying to get the eyes right. After having various misadventures with bleeds of different coloured pain and a disaster with gloss varnish I have reached the uneasy compromise of eyes which are all most there.

  I would love to hear any thoughts, tips or critics of this project so far.       


  1. My goodness me, that is impressive work.

  2. Thank you Michael, I appreciate your comment.

  3. Looking great so far. Don't forget freckles, skin blotches, wrinkles, scars. No face is perfect. A little imperfection goes a long way in making things look real.

  4. Cheers Allan, thanks for your positive remarks. Yes of course that will be the next job,-to give the face a fair bit of weathering and impart some characther.

  5. An impressive head.

    If you had asked me last year I would have said I had not eve heard of the unit. but now (having tried to paint some) I am much better aquainted with them.

    Now following and will watch with much interest.

  6. Many thanks for your kind words Clint, I am delighted this project has sparked your interest. Enjoy !