Starting & Finishing!

So, having worked out what I’d been neglecting as far as painting’s concerned, and having sorted out most of my storage boxes, I thought it was maybe time to get painting stuff again! There are still quite a few figures prepared and ready for finishing, so it just comes down to picking which ones to paint.

Since my Poles for the Russo-Polish War of 1920 are nearly finished, I thought I’d paint the last handful of them. These are three figures from the Strelets Blue Army set and a Chauchat light machine gun team from the Strelets WW1 French infantry in gasmasks set (see picture below).

Having agonised years ago about the correct colour to use for French Horizon Blue uniforms I opted to use Vallejo Pastel blue and have stuck with that ever since. It might appear bright, but artwork depicting these uniforms is frequently close to this shade and I think it looks alright. Since I already had a French WW1 LMG team in this colour uniform I opted to use that for my Polish forces, since the men weren’t wearing gasmasks – the team shown above is therefore a replacement team for my French and fits in with the rest of that unit (who are wearing gasmasks). Finishing these figures now means my Polish forces for 1920 are 100% complete!

The next mixed bunch are for the Russian Civil War (see below).

Shown are a Red Army officer (on the left), two Ukrainian Bluecoat Division soldiers and a Ukrainian sailor (he has a blue armband that is not visible in this view). The single Red Army officer completes a unit of ten infantry, leaving me another unit of ten Red Army figures still to complete. Painting the Ukrainians also let me complete two mixed units that I can uses in conjunction with WW1 Russian army figures to represent forces opposing the Red Army. The two Bluecoat soldiers are Strelets WW1 Russians in winter uniforms and are not strictly accurate but close enough for tabletop encounters! The situation in the Ukraine between 1917 and 1922 was complicated to say the least, with various factions and armies competing for control of the region and I need to do a bit of swotting up on the subject! A century later and the Ukraine is still an area of uncertainty and tension unfortunately!

So these are my first figures finished in 2022 and ripe contenders for Dave Stone’s “Paint What You’ve Got” challenge! Better than that, they’ve actually got storage boxes with places reserved for them!


  1. Great work on all John, and having a force 100 % complete must be a great feeling too. Could just see the blue armband poking out below the rifle stock, so can see it matches perfectly, and great submissions, and all the storage needs already met, there is just so many wins in this post.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Dave! 🙂 Very sharp-eyed of you spotting that fragment of armband, I only realised it was there when I looked back at the photo! Not only are the troops finished, but so are the tanks, vehicles and guns (and I even have an armoured train that the Poles can use)!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Dave! 🙂 Pastel Blue is a handy colour, since it’s less “in your face” than Sky Blue but still colourful when it needs to be! If I was starting late-WW1 French and Blue Army Poles now I think I might try Intermediate Blue, which has more of a grey tinge to it, but I like these figures as they are!

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    • Thanks Lord Commander! 🙂 The Poles and French are probably accurate enough with the exception of the exact colour of the blue! For the two Ukrainian Bluecoat soldiers WW1 Russians in coats and fur hats are as close as I could get figure-wise – the coat’s probably slightly too long and they should have a blue-coloured cloth bag hanging over the hat (which I could maybe have added in greenstuff), not to mention that the two different colour plates I’ve got show noticeable differences in the shade of blue! But, I like them, and it’s nice to have some blue uniforms in a WW1 setting!

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    • Thanks Mark! 🙂 The aim is maybe to avoid more boxes, but emphasis on “maybe”! The Chauchat is much maligned, although I’m sure I read somewhere that its poor reputation partly stemmed from the fact that it was re-chambered for different ammunition (for users other than the French).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great work mate, I have always had trouble trying to work out uniform colours as pictures in books can vary a lot and one persons sky blue can be different from the next guys!!! On that not what colour would you paint early WWI Germans?. Oh,and have a bonzer 2022 mate!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Pat and here’s hoping you have a good year! 🙂 I’m not fussy about German uniforms and use Vallejo German WW2 field grey for WW1 and WW2 Germans! Unlike in WW2, early WW1 Germans have field grey tunics and trousers (in early WW2 I think they had stone grey trousers), although jagers wore grey-green uniforms (greener than field grey, maybe replaced by field grey later in the war). Belts and leather equipment were natural leather at least in the first year of the war, changing to black around mid-war I think. Hope that helps!

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  3. Its always nice to get some old stuff that’s been kicking around for a while done. I like the vibrant uniform color as well. I think it should make them stand out (in a good way) on the battlefield.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Polish with their love for France is really evident.
    Nice work on those and the Russians as well!

    John, I know you’re quite versed in uniformology as well. Do you happen to know how to mix the 1914-1915 German infantry tunics as well as the great coats in Citadel or Vallejo? I really have a lot of trouble getting the color I want.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Anthony! 🙂 I’ve just left a comment for Pat about German WW1 uniforms somewhere on this page! As I’ve said there I use Vallejo German WW2 Field Grey – as you’ll know, jager (apologies, but my Chromebook seems to have stopped letting me use umlauts) wore more of a grey-green shade but it’s a long time since I painted any of them (I probably used a Humbrol grey green shade, but not sure which one). As far as greatcoats go, I’d use the same colour for a late war pattern coat, but a light grey shade for the pre-war/early war coats. Afraid I’m not much help since I’m happy enough to go with a colour that looks about right!

      Liked by 1 person

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