Putting a model together is one thing, but bringing it to life through painting techniques is where the skill really lies. In this section, we will look at the different types of paint that a modeller can use for a cavalry model.

Just like when painting on canvas, you are going to have to go through a process with a cavalry model. The first part involves a basecoat or primer. I like to use a basic primer that you can buy from model shops. You must wash the model in soapy water – dish detergent will do fine – before allowing it to dry. This is to remove any wax which might prevent the paint from sticking.

The primer should be applied by airbrushing, or by spraying directly from the can, if you can buy one that has a nozzle on it.

That should be left to dry for at least 24 hours. You can then apply the first real layer. I prefer to use acrylic paint. This should be close to the final colour you are aiming for. Acrylics work very well with ink washes. Once you have applied the uniform, flesh and horse colour, you should let the model dry. The next day, you can apply an ink wash. It is important to test the intensity of the wash on an old test model as you may want to water it down a little.

Once the wash dries, it is time to add the highlights. This is done with the dry-brushing technique which involves a fluffy dry paintbrush and applying a small amount of light coloured paint. The bulk is wiped off and the brush is then applied to the model in soft quick strokes to highlight and accentuate the creases in uniforms, or the horse’s colouring, for example. Once that dries, you can then add the finishing touches such as whites of eyes, braiding, medals and weapon details.