Fez-man here with a quick review of the new ‘Colours of War’ book by those fine chaps over at Battlefront.
I was lucky enough to win the beginner painting competition at the Art of War this year, and as well as an awesome trophy I was given a copy of ‘Colours of War’. I was rather excited about this as I was planning to pick one up anyway!
I’ll not be posting lots of images on this one, as its worth going out and buying your own copy rather than stealing one off the internet..
I feel like taking this book to all the major hobby companies, and just saying: “Here – THIS is how you do a hobby guide.”
It is written with all levels of hobbyist in mind, the book being a collection of ‘the combined knowledge and ideas of the Battlefront studio into a concise and coherent collection of tips and guides.’
In this, it hits the mark square on. Starting with basic tools and preparation, assembly and undercoating. Nothing new and ground breaking here, but worth including for the ab-initio reader.
It then heads into the theory of painting – layering, washes, glazes and the like. Again, nothing ground breaking, but great to have it all located in one place.
The first of the ‘guide’ sections is on basing – something that is often an after thought, but in my mind is the key to bringing a project together, and making it ‘pop’. I found the tips on the use of BF’s plastic rural and urban bases rather interesting – as well as the desert and seasonal suggestions.
Next is a run through of the basics that apply to nearly all models – faces, webbing, weapons etc. Its useful to mention the ‘chevron’ system here, Each step in a guide has a chevron ‘level’, indicating if its a gaming/intermediate/advanced/dedicated level. This is probably a bit redundant for experienced painters, but is a good inclusion to prevent a beginner getting caught up in trying all the advanced techniques and becoming disheartened too early. In my experience, getting a beginner to apply basic techniques to an entire force can lead to some impressive results – its just the mental barrier of trying it for the first time that stops most people.
The guide then walks through each Nation, giving handy historical marking informations and paint schemes. The Germans get a large chunk, which makes sense, as they have lots of variations of camouflage and period changes. They also walk through the breakdown of the decal sheets, showing what markings are for what units.
The depth of the guides are useful without being overwhelming. Each time I pick it up and flick through, I find more useful hints and tips.
A lot of this information is available on the Flames of War website, however having it all in one hardback book is worth the cover price alone.
The one gripe is that all the colours are given in their own yet-to-be-released paint range. This was annoying, and I had planned to provide you with a conversion chart, when Battlefront beat me to it!
With this now available, there is absolutely no reason this book shouldn’t be in your collection. At £15 this is represents great value. Armed with this book, I now have no hesitation at starting an entirely new force, a theory I will be putting to the test by painting my Soviet Tankovy using the guides contained within.
Thanks for reading, if you have any questions, leave a comment below!