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Simon Cornes

WWI aviators

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I haven't done any figure painting for a good long time but I have recently got hold of a Copper State RFC pilot figure - its actually 32-041 - 'standing RFC airman'. All very nicely cast but my query is about suitable paint and colours. I am fine when it comes to aeroplane colours but not uniforms. Can you suggest what colours I should be using - even what paint to try? I just need a baseline to start from but right now I'm not at all sure!!

Many thanks



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Afternoon Simon,

only thing I will suggest is pick a few different 'Kaki' shades, Kaki, British Uniform, even a 'washed out' Olive Green.

I can't be specific as I don't know what you have available or which paints you use. Use matt whatever, as there's little shine on wool based fabric.

If your using acrylics you have many to pick from, but I would recommend oils for the final finish on the leatherwork.

Worth remembering, the dyes used during the First World War were natural, so subject to fading / washing out at different rates, far more than the current chemical dyes.

Quick guide, Hat, Jacket, trousers, shirt and tie, various shades of Kaki. Putees normally a lighter shade than uniform Kaki due to them being a type of 'canvas'.

Gauntlets, hat chin strap and boots, Tan or Brown leather, and the 'Sam Browne' rig mid Brown leather. Another thing to remember is that as an

Officer he would have a 'batman' so the boots wouldn't show too much scuffing, don't cha know!

Cap badge, rank 'pips' and the various buckles, brass. The scarf.....well.........you can go wild, maybe, just maybe.......Kaki?!!






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Thanks Paul and Kev,

I like enamels as a primer and with oils on top but I might use just enamels for the uniforms but of course there are so many shades of 'Khaki' so it's still not easy to decide which onto use as a baseline - a greenish khaki or a brownish one? For officers I'd expect something more refined and greenish and with everything a shade above or below that maybe for different parts of the clothing? Looking at finished figures is useful but then the problem again is which colour have they started with? !!

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