About Me

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I'm a bit of a born-again wargamer! I played many of the Games Workshop games when I was in my teens and early twenties, but left the hobby behind when I went to University. Over the last few years I have gradually got back into it and am literally having a ball! I'll play pretty much anything now, ranging from ancient historical to the far future! I think that I get more out of the painting side of things than actually playing, but that might just be because I get more opportunity. Hence the title...this blog is all about the colour of war!!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Black, grey or white?

I've started yet another project. Terrible, isn't it? But there's something about the nights drawing in that always makes me feel like painting the smaller scale figures. So, after purchasing Maurice and being mightily impressed by it, I got some Pendraken 10mm Austrians for the SYW. Now, normally I'd prime them black, but I'd read a few forum posts, and what have you, espousing the virtues of a grey primer with a black wash. Now, when I first started painting 6mm Napoleonics I'd actually used white and a black wash, but switched over to black later on. But I thought I'd give grey a try. However, I thought that the effect was acceptable, but not as crisp as a black undercoat. Also, I think the black is a bit faster, too, as you're not waiting for the wash to dry and you don't have to block the gaiters, cartridge box and tricorne in as they are already black.

So here's some pictures of a unit primed with grey + wash versus a unit primed with black and you can make your own minds up.

Black primed front

Black primed back

Grey primed + wash front

Grey primed + wash back
Here are some side by side shots from different angles:

I realise the comparison should probably have used the same pose, but I think you can still clearly see the difference.


  1. I use grey primer because its neutral. It doesn't effect the paint going on so what I see is what I get. That's the benefit for me.

  2. I think maybe the black undercoat. I've experimented with a grey undercoat on certain projects but for figures I'm still in favour of black undercoat. Though at the moment I'm undercoating black (on 28mm figure) and drybrushing brown (GW's Calthan brown) which I'm finding really helps in picking out detail. It's my variant of a technique I read on the web of black undercoat and drybrush white. I chose brown since I would generally block in a lot of a figure with a dark/mid brown colour to mute successive colours. Not sure if it would be of use on such small figures. Anyway nice work, and look forward to seeing more of this 10mm stuff.

  3. To be honest I don't see a difference. I use both grey and black primers. I find with grey I have to paint more because the automatic shading isn't there as if I had used a black primer. But then again I hadn't done a black wash over the grey. I'm not seeing or understanding the reason for a grey primer with a black wash when I can get the same effect with a black primer.


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