Caribbean modelling project

I thought that I would have a bit of a change from painting the troops at Waterloo, but I still fancied something from around the same period. So just to be different, I’m going to be painting a small group of Chausseurs de Irois. These are black troops that fought for the British out in the Caribbean – Haiti specifically.  The models are from the Trent Miniatures range – They’re  fairly straight forward to paint and I’m using a uniform reference from Osprey books.

I’m hoping to make a small skirmishing force from the West Indies as it will allow me to play some interesting battles as well as putting together a small ‘What if?’ campaign. If all goes well, I can add a bit of variety to my collection, both in terms of scenery and troops!

 The actual men that formed these units were originally slaves and as I understand it the British government paid the plantation owners £3k per slave, who were then conscripted into the army for five years and at the end of their service, given their freedom. They were  treated as per ‘normal’ troops during their time in the ranks, although this may not have been much of an improvement on their previous circumstances in some cases! These Black Battalions were vital in providing manpower for the British Empire to defend it’s Colonies. Not only was there a shortage of troops to garrison the islands but the casualty rates amoungst Europeans through sickness was appalling.  The white troops that were sent out would have to endure  a very long sea voyage  and then within six weeks many would be  dead of yellow fever. So £3k might seem  expensive for a ‘recruit’, but it was  cheaper than the alternative.

And so to the painting!

1. The first colour that I used was a mahogany brown, Vallejo 70846, to do the faces, hands and feet. You will have noticed I am painting over a grey undercoat, I quite prefer a coloured undercoat to black or white and as usual with my figures, I am going to use army painter quick shade to speed things up. However, I think I will go back over the figures and add some highlights to give them more definition.

2. Next coat of paint is Vallejo german extra dark green 70896. It’s a really dark green and seems to match the Osprey picture. This has been used to paint the coat and hat plume. Next will be the black 70951, to paint the hat, belt and scabbard.

3. The picture above shows the figures a bit further into the painting process. I have used flat brown, 70984 for the musket stocks and the handle of the machete natural steel,70864,  for the buttons and musket  and brass 70801 is used to paint the belt buckle and details on the musket.  I’ve painted the trousers in off white 70820, I think it gives a nice white without being overpowering, and unusually for me I have painted the eyes of the figures using off white, and also,  the cartridge that the figure is biting. Finally, I used Vallejo light brown 70929 to add detail to the stocks and machete handles.

4. the picture above shows the figures after the quickshade & matting have been done. I always paint on Army Painter Quickshade rather than dipping it, so that I have some control over how it looks. Make sure that the quickshade is left overnight so that it really sets nicely, and then it can be matted down with army painter anti shine matt spray. I have used Vallejo 70994 dark grey to give definition to the belt and machete cover, and I did go back and highlight the plume, and also the cuffs and arms with a bit of the original green, lightened with off white. I also redid the trousers as the dip had ‘dirtied’ them down a bit too much.  On the face around the eyes and nose and on the hands and fingers, I have used mahogany mixed with  white to highlight these features.

For basing I am planning a totally different basing scheme, As they’re fighting in the Caribbean, I’d like something a bit more jungle like. So at the moment I’ve just covered the bases in sand ready for a bit of scenic work. In the next post, I’ll show you the finished figures along with details of the basing.


The items used so far:

Trent Miniatures Chasseurs de Irios

Renedra 20mm x20mm bases

Vallejo Paints- 801, 820, 846,  864, 896, 951, 984, 929, 994

Army Painter: Matt, Quick Shade

Basing Sand



Monday Round up

We”ll do this in a reverse order of excitement (although depending on your perspective…).

We are extending our range of Tamiya spray paints which are ideal for painting your tanks pretty speedily. We have added 14 new colours to the range, so you’re sure to find something to suit…

We have also added to our ever growing base range, again there are bases for pretty much every need…

If you need to do some filing, and who doesn’t?, we have the Flexifiles in all their glory back in stock. If you haven’t tried these you might wonder what the devil these weird things are. They are perfect for sanding in curves, and you need to do that don’t you? Is your model 2D and with no curves? Really?…Really?…Have a look at the Flexifiles

From Plastic Soldier we now have in the German Half Track kit which offers you 3 tanks for 12.95. Meaning you can swiftly develop your army in well made qaulity tanks, for relatively low cost. Also from Plastic Soldier we have the fourth varient of the Sherman tank, and in the pack, which makes five tanks, you can make two versions of this version… Never need you have that emabrrassing moment of turning up to the skirmish in the same tank

The ever popular SAGA range warband packs and blisters are in and available to buy. This game has really taken off. To the extent that we can barely keep the  dice still long enough to put them on the shelf. Buy these chaps while you can we never can predict how long we will have them!

Equally fast running off the shelf are the Trent Miniatures Battalion packs. New in are the British Black Rangers. Often these are of the when it’s gone it’s gone land so if you want them, buy them before someone else does!

And finally, from Victrix, the Athenian Armoured Hoplites. These are the best quality plastic models that the boss man has seen in quite some time. So much does he love them that he’s considered reneging on his promises to Mrs boss man and making an Athenian army…if he can think of a way to fit them in his house that is.

Personal Projects: Rob’s rats…

Though Arcane’s main theme (such as it is) is Napoleonic, as that is what the bossman loves, not everyone about these parts is a fan of the little French dude, or indeed historical gaming…

Office Ninja Rob is a fantasy gamer and is currently in the process of building his latest army for Warhammer Fantasy, a Skaven army. Rob tells us more about the army, which is currenly in progress…

Why skaven?

The models are really distinctive, everyone has elves, dwarves and orcs but skaven are unique.You also get a big army, and its not one that many people do because its allot of figures to paint. Most Skaven armies are around 200 infantry plus toys.

What is the design theme?
Basically based on medieval Japan. Its a quite interesting period of warfare. It is very different and distinctive. I guess I liked it because the people did things because it was their duty and not because some bloke in a castle said do it or I’ll chop your head off! I’m doing it because I like doing it!

 What does your army consist of?
At the moment I have got the Doomwheel, a warp lightening canon, 25 storm vermin, and 75 clan rats. So far. Plan to have eventually everything…Vermin Lord, Screaming Bell, Gutter runners, Abomination.

What is your approach to painting?
Spay them brown! As with most figures that are not of a sci-fi origin they lend themselves well to a brown base coat. This covers one of the main fur colour as well which cuts down the amount of block colours you need to apply. I’ve got a strange basing style as well, I’m using bamboo skewers to create the effect of the army moving through a forest. I will eventually add clump follage to these to finish the tree effect.

What did you play with before the skaven?
My previous army was Warriors of Chaos. It was the first amy I collected for the WFB game system so I have got a little bit of everything. There’s no particular style with them I was just getting into the game.

What else do you play?
Hordes and War Machine.  I have two armies. Cygnar classic blue good guys with lots of guns and lighting bolts, and Circle of  Orboros , which are forest druids with pet werewolves. I haven’t painted any of these yet, they are still in bare metal. As Privateer Press are an American company there are no painting requirements to play. It’s not that I won’t paint them I am just concentrating on the Skaven at the moment so I can get them tournament legal.

Any painting hints?
Colour primers. 90% of everything that you paint you can paint off a grey or brown primer. Most colours will apply well straight from the pot. I thin everything down with water to get smooth coverage, its better to put two coats on and keep the paint smooth. For paints I tend to shop around for paints I primarily use Vallejo’s model colour, a few gems from the foundry range and what’s left over from my Workshop paints. Although I haven’t used it on the skaven, quickshade, or Army Painter dip is really good, you can paint things really fast with it.

If you’d like to show off your work email us at

Monday round up

This week we have a mixture of new and new to us. As you probably know by now, Steve is on a mission to ensure that Arcane has the most complete ranges possible (its that collector thing “must have ALL!”). So some of our items this week are filling in our ranges, or in the case of some are items that have been out of the country for some time, those Chinese model makers didn’t want to share toys I guess…

The first item is new, its some bullets. Perfect for the AFV Long Tom gun the Howitzer 155mm and 203mm bullets and stowage case in 1:35 are ideal for adding some ballistic realism to your model. AFV are a very popular brand with some great reviews across the board.

From Trumpeter we have now in the  WW2 LCM 3 USN Vehicle Landing Craft, and T-34/85 1944 Tank. These are both in the 1:72 scale and are filling in our ranges, to make them all the more complete. Trumpeter kits are highly detailed and very accurate kits; ideal for the historic enthusiast modeller, but also great on the games table.

We have quite a few HobbyBoss items that have appeared this week. First of all the rather dashing Drainsine “Krasnaja Zvezda” which is a Russian diesel train with KV tank turrets. Then from the 1:35 scale we have some contributions from the other Red Army, the Chinese. There is the ZTZ 96A MBT tank, which is also known as type 88C main battle tank. Next we have the BJ2022JC YONGSHI SUV, which is a light military vehicle often used on the parade ground, and another tank the ZTZ 99 MBT. To even things up a bit we also have the American M3A1 Scout car  in its early production model, which was a scout car not really suitable for scouting, and so was often used for other duties.

Do check out our new items here and here as items are being added all the time…literally.

Monday round up

This week we have had a really big restock on Perry Miniatures and in particular some of the Napoleonic ranges.

We have from their plastic range the French Napoleonic Heavy Cavalry, and British Napoleonic Line Infantry. Whilst from their beautifully moulded metal range we have the French Heavy Cavalry Generals, Napoleon and his staff, and French Mounted Generals. If you’re not a Napoleonic fan we also have back in stock the European 1450 Mercenaries and American Civil War Cavalry.

We are really big fans, as are many people, of the Perry ranges. The brothers are master sculptors who prior to setting up their own range worked at Foundry. Their kits are not only beautifully modelled, but they also come with really helpful painting guides. You aren’t obliged to follow the guides, but if you are just starting out with Napoleonics for example, they are very useful to give you an idea of what you might want to paint them as, before you launch into buying big books of uniform guides.  Many of their plastic box sets come with a multitude of heads to allow you to have variety in your troop.

Also new in stock, and something that has confused a few people, so we thought we should mention it is the Saga Skraelings. If you haven’t read much Viking history in your life you might not be familiar with these chaps. They are essentially the Native Americans that the Vikings reputedly met when visiting Greenland. They come with their own battleboard and rules, and though history suggests only the Vikings really met them, you can play them against any of the other Saga Armies.

Check out our newest items in our store!