Saturday, November 7, 2009

You say Kharkee...I say Khaki...

And what a paint to try to get right! As shown in the above color plate and photo of the reenacter. And even his blouse and pants are 2 different colors. And of course the dyes faded under the effects of weather, washing, etc.

This photo is from the 1939 "The Four Feathers" and they are wearing the later Khaki uniform in the 1890's and the color is a little bit different again. After some research I found that the British had problems with dyes not being very color-fast (still using natural dye sources) and batches of dyed item were uneven in color, some darker and some lighter in color.

This photo shows some figures I have been working on with different colors that have been put forth as use able for the khaki color of the period. The figure on the left has Vallejo Iraqui Sand 819 <124> on the pants and lower blouse area. The middle figure is Vallejo Green Ochre 914 <119> and the right figure (the officer) is totally in Khaki Grey 880 <115>.

I started with the VJ Khaki Grey but don't like the color and it doesn't appear to match what was worn. So using the power of the Internet I looked up what other people have used, which appears to vary from a "Buff" color to Games Workshop Commando Khaki. To me, the VJ Green Ochre appears to be the closest to the Khaki Drill used on the Sikh uniforms I am trying to paint. It also appears that the British uniforms wear a lighter color that the uniforms worn by the Indian units (maybe they had better dyes in India..) and I have read some British uniforms were dyed in the field. Plus Officers often paid for their uniforms which were of better cloth and dyes.

So aside from mixing my own color, I'll use VJ Green Ochre. Unlike Napoleonic, there are not real "Uniform Police" on this. And the later Khaki color used in World War 1, is very different. I need to get these figures finished ASAP and the 10th Hussars underway.


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