Empire Scouts

New arrivals on my Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop blog are a mixed patrol of Empire Scouts c. 1910s.

All that remains to do is some gloss varnish to achieve the old toy soldier paint style.

These were painted with mixed skin tones, which had its own painting challenges described here:


Compared to (below) the standard LBB30 Boy Scout figures from STS Shiny Toy Soldiers / Little Britons 42mm range from Spencer Smith Miniatures with some Girl Scout conversions:

All ready over the next few weeks for some more gaming scenarios of Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN 4 April 2020


2 thoughts on “Empire Scouts”

    1. Hello Alan.
      The paints for the Empire Scouts have changed a little since the first Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were painted last May.
      Revell Aqua Color Matt Afrika Brown makes a fairly good base colour for khaki scout uniforms.
      Getting suitable skin tones for the Empire Scouts was mentioned briefly in the post, I wanted to avoid the “wild eyed negro minstrel” look of Britain’s era Zulus. I’m not sure the bronze or copper wash on one trial figure over the “leather brown” face for the Asian / Indian / South American Scouts worked that well. It worked well enough though on (repairing) 1950s metal Indians alongside bright primary gloss colours.
      Against dark or light brown flesh for the Empire Patrol, I restricted myself to a copper cheek dot on the toy Soldier cheeks rather than the traditional / usual reddy pink of Britains and others. The cheek dot is I think an early form of facial highlighting?

      Over the last year or so I have been moving towards Matt Acrylic colours for vintage Airfix and these sort of figures, using Revvel Aqua Color acrylics (obtainable through HobbyCraft) although I have a couple of Humbrol Acrylics too, some bulk craft Acrylic from Hobbycraft or art shops. I still have one or two tins of Humbrol enamels such as glossy flesh pink for face dots.
      The reason for the change has been the wider range of colours available in Matt Revell Aqua Color than Gloss. For the first two to three years of the current blog, I mainly restricted myself to the limited palette of gloss Revell Aqua Color. These Gloss paints seemed mainly suitable for shiny car models etc (Ferrari Red?). I think the bright gloss colours went a little way to matching the spirit of the original ‘shiny toy soldier’ look of hollowcast figures and of early plastics. I want them to look a little like they are “run of the mill” piece work painted figures that have just rolled off the Britains production line. Sadly no one makes gloss flesh.

      Quite a few of the recent Matt figures are awaiting gloss varnish ‘at some stage’, but I find handpainting gloss varnish or even spray painting gloss varnish can be not only tedious and smelly but disappointing if it goes cloudy or makes the metallic paint run. Will have to do some testers on not important figures.

      Previously to the Revell paints, I have always used Humbrol enamel paint but am no longer keen on the heady smell and the slower drying times.

      It took a while to adapt to Acrylics, being a bit more gloopy than enamel and sometimes needing several coats for a good deep colour. I now usually undercoat in bulk craft shop Acrylic in black, white, or sometimes close to the figure base colour.

      I did enjoy a little ‘grunge’ working on the Railway Navvies, Airfix Commandos and Eighth Army figures using some borrowed Citadel Wash but even the Matt Wash seems to dry a bit shinier than I would want.


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