Little Wars: My ‘Danish’ Royal Life Guards

A LITTLE WARS session had been planned for COW2014, but unfortunately it was cancelled. This was a pity as I had decided just beforehand to ‘recruit’ a new unit for my 54mm-scale collection. The figures were old plastic British Guardsmen that I had been given, and I decided that with new mid blue trousers and white belts they would look rather like the Danish Royal Life Guard Regiment (Den Kongelige Livgarde) in their full-dress ceremonial uniform.

The real Danish Royal Life Guards look like this:

My toy soldier versions look like this:

Not 100% accurate … but good enough for my wargaming needs!

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Painting Figures: Another experiment

I decided to have another go at painting a wargames figure … and this time I chose a 20mm-scale World War 2 one for my experiment.

I used almost exactly the same method as I used for my recently-painted Jacklex figures … and the result looked like this:

The Nut Brown Indian Ink does add shadowing … but I think that the darkening effect is too great. As a result I think that I may well miss that stage of the process out when I paint my next figures.


(Note: Most of the paints I used on this figure were craft acrylic paints bought in a local craft shop. I found them to be just as easy to use as specialist modelling acrylic paints … but they were a LOT cheaper!)

Painting Jacklex figures: Day 7

The figures were then given a coat of Humbrol Gloss polyurethane varnish. I prefer this finish as it both protects the figures and makes them look like toy soldiers … which is – after all – what they are!

I had not used this painting process for a very long time, and I have re-learnt some useful lessons. Using Nut Brown India Ink is a quick and simple way to shade a figure … but the colours used to paint the figures have to be lighter and the detail more pronounced in order for the full effect not to be lost.


Painting Jacklex figures: Day 6

At this point the figures looked a bit of a mess … and I nearly stopped the process then and there. (My choice of colours had tended to be similar is shade if not in colour, and the ‘inking’ had made the figures look almost monochromatic.) In the end I decided to finish them to see what they would look like.

The base of each figure was then painted. I used Yellow Ochre as I think that it looks better on the tabletop.


Painting Jacklex figures: Day 5

At this point the figures were painted … but lacked any shading or detail. In order to achieve this quickly and easily I painted the whole figure with Windsor & Newton Nut Brown Indian Ink.

The ink was allowed to run into the undercuts etc. on the figures, and any surplus ink was removed using a brush that was regularly wiped clean.

I then let the ink dry overnight. (N.B. This is very important as the ink has to be absolutely dry before the next stage of the painting process can take place.)


Painting Jacklex figures: Day 4

I continued painting on the details. The order I did this in was as follows:

  • Brown boots
  • Red point on top of the turban
  • Red or Green shoulder straps (four figures had red and four had green)

I then let the paint dry overnight.


Painting Jacklex figures: Day 3

Once the undercoat was fully dry, I gave the figures a thin coat of Citadel Zandri Dust matt acrylic paint.

I then put each figure onto a display magnet. (These are sold in packs in large office supply stores and stationers.) I use display magnets because they are easy to get hold of when I am painting … and the figures don’t move around on them thanks to the steel pennies I have based each figure on.

I then began the process of painting on the details. The order I did this in was as follows:

  • Brown belts, water bottle, and bayonet scabbard
  • White haversack
  • Dark brown rifle and sling
  • Brown face and hands (in retrospect I realise that I should have used lighter shade of brown for the skin areas)

I then let the paint dry overnight.