Painting a TYW cuirassier

Cleaning, assembling and basing

The first figure I would like to paint and present is a TYW cuirassier from my TYW range. Actually I will use 2 similar figures "Heavy cavalry 5" and "Heavy cavalry 6". It will save time when taking photos of the progress. My desk is quite small and I have no extra room for a photo corner.

TYW cuirassier

On the left you can see a picture of the cuirassier cleaned, assembled and mounted on the Front Rank 18th century heavy horse. The cleaning was a real piece of cake because the caster did an excellnet job. You can also notice the sword fixed in the correct position, the way it was worn during the Thirty Years War.

Usually, I paint riders separate, but in this case I chose to glue the rider to the horse and paint the mounted figure as one piece. The reason is simple. It has much armour and there will be no need of very detailed work on the face and other parts requiring access from various inconceivable angles.

I cannot omit to mention that I always base the figures first. The figure is glued to the base with Locktite Super Attak. The terrain on the top of the base is formed by a bit of epoxy scattered with sand.



After cleaning, assembling and basing the rider, I prepared an old paintbrush and some other necessary tools and aids I use for basecoating figures.

I basecoated the figure withBasecoat matt black Revell enamel paint. It is available in a small tin and the hue has number 6 on the lid. I think it is called Tar Black. The basecoating produces a lot of unpleasant odour (but some might find it pleasant). The odour made me think of a substitute and I purchased Vallejo black primer, so my next figures will be basecoated with it. 

The enamel paints take quite a long time to dry, usually 24 hours. When the paint is dry, I check the figure for any basecoat imperfections. If there are any, I correct them with black acrylic paint. It is not a good idea to use enamel on enamel because it may dilute the previous layer.

Now, the rider is ready for painting.


Painting the base

I always start with the base to avoid smudging the finished figures when drybrushing the base in the end.

The first layer needs any dark brown. In this case I gave the base a solid coat of Vallejo German C. Black Brown. Next I drybrushed the base with Vallejo Flat Earth. To finish the base off, I gently drybrushed just the tops of the pebbles with Vallejo Medium Grey. The result is in the picture below. The combination should represent the soil you can find on the Bohemian battlefields.

 Soil drybrush


 Painting the armour

Now, it is the time for the next step - drybrushing the armour.  I always paint armour in several phases. The picture shows the first phase, which is just rough application of metallic paint on the armour and weapon. I use an old brush (it is better to use a large one) and apply Vallejo Natural Steel paint on thePainting cuirasier rider’s metal parts. There are small metal partson the horse harness as well, but these are so tiny and there is no point in messing around with drybrushing. It is more convenient to simply paint them later. After I had finished drybrushing, I covered the “dirty” parts, the non-metal parts, with black paint. The first metal phase is finished and the next phases will come later.




 Painting the horse

I paid my attention to the horse in this step. The horse should be dark brown. I searched in my library – yes, it is better to have a sort of model to avoid an unrealistic result. Looking at the photograph I painted the first coat of Vallejo German C. Black Brown. You might have noticed that I used the same paint as the basecoat for the base and you will certainly find it as a basecoat for some other parts. It seems to be quite a universal dark brown basecoat hue – or at least my favourite one. The mount will also have two white socks and a stripe or star on the head, which can’t be seen on the photo yet. The socks and stripe start with a grey basecoat.

Painting cuirasier

I can’t specify the grey brand as I mixed it myself many years ago, but I’d say Foundry Arctic Grey A is the closest alternative. The mane and tail will remain black.