Paint it Red or Paint it Black?

Anyone else play period themed music whilst they paint? I often play themed music whilst I’m painting Toy Soldiers, usually music from the period

Today’s first painting day of the year saw me listening to a mixture of 90s Skate Punk and Spanish Armada music.

A curious mix, I hear you say?

but then I was was basing Vat 19 Skateboarders for my Skrafiti project – so Avril Lavigne’s Sk8tr Boi is good for 90s uniform colours, sorry skater baggy clothes from the late 90s …

First job, start basing the old AJ ‘s Toyboarder’s skateboarder figures (still available from Vat 19) on mdf tuppeny bases as they are forever falling over. Background peeg decal is a freebie with my last Bronte order from Annie Norman at Bad Squiddo, which reminded me of large urban graffiti murals … now to watch those skate punk videos for uniform colour scheme details, unless there’s a handy Osprey on SkatePunk?

For painting Spanish Armada era 54mm figures from Chintoys? Spanish Armada period music for my Arma-Dad’s Army Project, listening to the Saydisc recordings 1588: Music from the Spanish Armada on original instruments by the York Waits.

Arma-Dad’s Army project summary page:

The red Tudor beret of the kneeling figure has a elite fierce special forces / Guevara revolutionary look. Good Queen Bess and Ralegh undercoated and glimpsed at the back by essential reading matter. A few Hingfat pirate figures have joined in as Spanish sailors.

Paint it Black or paint it Red?

Two black and red colour related songs kept popping into my head about the a-historical cartoon choice of colours for my Spanish Fury reinforcements:

“… I raise my flags, don my clothes / It’s a revolution, I suppose/
We’ll paint it red to fit right in” from Radioactive by Imagine Dragons, 2010s

Or Paint it Black – Rolling Stones from 1966

Why red and black? The Spanish Armada Osprey book title shows a good range of uniform colours, with no one dominant or exclusive national colour for Spanish or British Elizabethan era troops. Both sides had a white flag with a red cross. The St George + Cross for Britain, the saltire type X Cross for Spain. How confusing!

My growing muster of Elizabethan conversions and (right) ECW trained band figures in blue!

By the 1580s/90s various shades of Blue was quite common for English troops (green and white in earlier Tudor times), so my muster and trained band are in work clothes and military green and blue shades.

Black and Red: My previous or first set of Spanish Conquistadors from Chintoys

Inspiration for the black and red came from some vintage figures:

These two Elizabethan Monarch Cherilea 1960s figures have blazing torches. Watch out Cornish towns! Sold – These three lovely vintage figures joined my forces last Christmas 2020.

I really liked these fragile Cherilea figures with their black, red and silver colour scheme with leather brown.

This was it, dark colours, the black and red diabolical colours of flames! I have painted them as fearsome as Tudor Propaganda and the Cornish might have seen or talked about these Spanish ‘devils‘ who fired Cornish seaside towns and churches in 1595.

Before I run into BLM (Black Lives Matter) and Woke history issues / problems, the Spanish raids of 1595 really did happen …

Caption/ image source:

But I have also realised that this whole Arma-Dad’s Army scenario is another long period-costume cheese dream of one Captain George “Napoleon” Mainwaring or a fever dream for Private Frank “Nudgeof” Pike (Stupid Boy!) in the Warmington Home Guard. Thus, this Arma-Dad’s Army Project also links with my Look Duck and Varnish Home Guard Gaming.

That’s two or three ticks on my New Gaming Year Irresolutions 2022 already ..

Phew, useful a-historical “but it was all a strange dream” ethical get-out clause!

So that’s what’s in my ears and on the painting table to start the New Year …

How are all your New Gaming Year’s Resolutions going?

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 2 / 3 January 2022.


B.P.S. Blog Post Script

The much covered sons “Radioactive” by US band Imagine Dragons has a suitably bizarre pop music video with illegal betting on a muppet style gladiatorial contest where kapok and fur literally flies – but don’t worry, justice is served in the end

The “Radioactive” video all reminded me somewhere between Pokemon and the plush fur and toy soldier Fuzzy Heroes rules reviewed on Board Games Geek. As a fan of simple games rules I have not tried these yet but there is an interesting write-up on Fuzzy Heroes and role playing games with kids at Wired / Geekdad:

As I mentioned “Radioactive” is a much covered song, ranging from the genre morphing musical Time Machine of Postmodern Jukebox , the more acoustic covers of Radioactive by the Gardiner Sisters and First to Eleven.

13 thoughts on “Paint it Red or Paint it Black?”

  1. I can’t help but think “Viet Nam” when I hear Paint it Black. I blame the tv show Tour of Duty.

    However, the armada lads are coming along very well indeed!


    1. The shiny ARMADA LADS send you their thanks, Ross.
      Agreed that Vietnam movies it certainly is. There are YouTube overedits of the famous Apocalypse Now helicopter sequence with Paint it Black instead of Valkyries.

      I know from his comment on my blog that the Andy Callan Rules for the Maori Wars from Mil Mod that I reproduced
      were Vietnam inspired as COIN Insurgent or “Asymmetric warfare”, technologically advanced versus wily natives. The same could be said of his War of the Worlds Rules (Peter Dennis Little Wars Paperboys Rules) which Wells based on the one sided Colonial campaigns against natives in Tasmania; The Martians were the invading hi-tech Colonials
      This inspired my slow / back burner project Full Metal Hic Jacet – 15mm Peter Laing Picts vs Roman Invasion / Teutoberg Forest


    1. ManoWar?
      A quick YouTube check brought up Battle Hymn 1982 – reminds me of my sixth form college days in the 80s with the Metal Heads contingent and their great album cover artwork copies.

      Thirty years on I like how ageing 80s 90s skate / punk / metal bands like Bowling for Soup are stripping back their songs to acoustic versions or at the other end of the age spectrum young cover bands through Youtube like Halocene and First to Eleven are ramping up metal and punk classics or slowing stripping them back to basics in acoustic live-streams.

      Reminds me of Propaganda’s underrated screaming Wishful Thinking (Disturbdances) album of German 80s electronica great album liner quote by Goethe; “Refashioning the fashioned lest it stiffen into iron is work of endless vital activity” – much the same as our reinventing and rules tinkering and back to basics, borrowing rules mechanisms. Keeps it fresh!

      I wonder in historical Wargames terms if this is like the younger video game / games systems / Warhammer 40k generation one day stumbling across Donald Featherstone War Games 1962 or H.G. Wells Little Wars of 1913 and enjoying the fresh acoustic simple version?
      Mark ManoTIN

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The collection is looking good, and perfect in scale for occasional raids. For my part, I listen to audio horror or science fiction books, a real distraction while going through the chore of painting and basing.


    1. Thanks Michael – it is good to get the paintbrushes out so early in the year.
      Some of the bag of spare scrap figures that you sent may well end up converted for this campaign!

      I like similar ghost and mystery story and SciFi audio book readings but can’t always concentrate on them properly whilst painting, undercoating, basing and flocking. I find I miss all the vital detective story clues and red herrings if not paying attention whilst painting.
      We are lucky to have free digital downloads of books from our local library (via on Bolinda Digital) which is a handy substitute for books from real libraries, closed in the age of COVID. I’m often put off by the many many hours length of most audiobooks through; I’ve now exhausted most of the two to three hour category “short attention span” ones!
      Best wishes Mark ManofTIN

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Paint It Black… of my favorite songs especially as the title music of Tour Of Duty. I like virtually everything from the late 60’s and early 70’s. The Claudillia Holloway version from The Voice is the best I have ever heard. I don’t listen to music while I work…I am content to talk to myself !!!!!!! Regards.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Figures are looking great.
    I listen to “ In our time” and bbc sounds when painting.
    Sometimes if in on my own I’ll listen to early Genesis, Rush as well as anything that takes my fancy. I like quite a broad range of. Music and look for something to reflect my mood or transport me back to time and place.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Early Genesis is good for wyrd Olde England! I bookmark programmes on BBC Sounds for future listening – Uncanny, Meridian, etc.
    “In our Time” takes some concentration but what a resource!
    Like you say, it’s trying to match your mood and music to the task in hand.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s