Thursday, 6 May 2010

What would you do?

I have been researching the French army a little more and discover that the Zouave regiment I had painted actually had a green turban at this time , not white as I had painted them. No problem, a stroke of paint and they were altered. But then an amazing thing happened. When viewed from four or five feet away the turban which had been clearly visible simply disappeared. Not only that but the fez and face also blurred together into an indistinguishable blob.

It is quite amazing the way that effectively it creates a kind of camouflage effect. But worse than that figures which were obviously zouaves are now pretty indistinct.

Here then, is vital question. Is historical accuracy the overriding factor? The turbans were definitely green. But they look better in white. Not just more attractive but they convey the style of the figure much better.

I know most of you being civilised and worldly wise will say, "My dear chap,they are your figures do them as you wish." Quite so, but what would you do if they were yours. I am genuinely interested in what is a fairly fundamental question but one which is taken for granted and seldom discussed. I have placed a poll on the left column where I should be obliged if you voted, but please feel free to add additional detail in the comments.


Vintage Wargaming said...

I'd maybe try a few different shades of green to see if any were better...

Hugh Walter said...

I agree, a pale green? With a dark wash?

Tyler Provick said...

Give it a very light green highlight on the top of the green turban. Almost white, even.

Bluebear Jeff said...

I would go back to white . . . for me the "idea" of the figure is more important than whatever the "uniform nazis" would insist upon.

That being said, they ARE your figures and I will be not in the least upset if you choose to go a different route.

-- Jeff

Doc Smith said...

A bit of light toned highlighting over the dark green will do the trick. If you leave the dark green on the edges top and bottom and in the folds of the turban, it will 'frame' the light tones in the highlighting and make them stand out more from a distance. Just as it did fusing together all the dark tones,the naked eye will pick that up, making it stand out again.

Love the figures BTW - the Zouave helping his officer who was hopefully hit by enemy fire not stumbling out of the Mess!


Archduke Piccolo said...

I tend to go with the 'idea of the figure' school of coloration, and would most likely leave them white. But I do like the highlighting scheme suggested by a couple of respondents, so I'd probably try that first to see how it looked. A pale enough green, even a greenish yellow highlighting might make all the difference.

Jay Stribling said...

Consider using a brighter shade of green.

DC said...


I'd go with what feels right to you. I have no problem with sacrificing the odd detail - it's the overall look that's important. We make so many compromises in other areas (groundscales, timescales, casualty rates....and don't get me started on figure sculpting) so i wouldn't get hung up on the colour of a turban.

Either that, or paint them as Turcos instead.


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

It's quite pleasing to see that I'm in good company as I agree with most here... :o))

I'd go back to white, but then wash over with a green ink for a lighter green - the one you have is very similar, if not the same, to the green you are using on the bases - they may be disappearing into the background because of that... a variation would make them stand out..

Anonymous said...

I think Steve the Wargamer has it, there's little to choose between the turban and chosen ground colour (if they were based like your SCW stuff, this probably wouldn't have happened)

My first inclination would be to try and cahnge the turban's tone - I like the green ink wash over white (or perhaps yellow)idea - probably more in keeping with what yo are trying to achieve than flocking the bases (which would be the other solution)I guess


Ross Mac said...

John Ford had it right, "Print the legend".

I have often been satisfied with troops painted to look like I think/feel they should but rarely with troops that I have done "right" if it contradicted my expectations.
Its even worse when only a handful of people know what the "right" is and you have to keep defending them!

Paint the turbans white! Let them be REAL zoauves.

Mosstrooper said...

I'd go with white , more distinctive !

Anonymous said...

I have to admit to being a little retentive (!) and would go with the green-simply because it was green and not the later white.

I have even been known to repaint the odd unit when I have discovered a "mistake".

marinergrim said...

I'd go for style over content here and use the white turban. Figures need to stand out on the tabletop for any period where colour is a dominant factor.

Don said...

I agree with the idea of a very light shade of green, that is, white with a green tinge.

Andy Mitchell said...

I make mistakes all the time and have come to the conclusion that historicity is nice to have but with my slow rate of painting, I'm never going to have time to get everything corrected.

I'd start by drybrushing very lightly with yellow because that would be pretty quick to do. If that fails then grasp the opportunity to paint it any colour you want.