Tuesday, June 9, 2009

British PRU Blue for ACW Union Trousers

Finding a good blue for Union trousers has been challenging. In the past I have tried using Reaper's True Blue as seen in my Iron Brigade photos. I also tried using Vallejo's Sky Blue, probably the most commonly used color for painting Union trousers. I painted a couple packs of 10mm and a dozen 15mm figures this way. I was not satisfied. The color is too light and bright. I was getting depressed.

Some fellows on TMP suggested using Howard Hues, which has a blue designed specifically for Union trousers. I have never used HH paints before. After researching HH, I heard mixed reviews about their paint. Since no one in metro-Orlando carries Howard Hues nor will special order paints, I would have to use mail order. Not really worth it because the stores selling Howard Hues really don't sell anything else I need at their prices. So my search for the ultimate Union blue went on.

A couple weeks ago I stopped by the local general hobby shop looking for some Pollyscale paints. Yes, I use more than craft paints! Being a model railroader since childhood, I remembered Pollyscale's Great Northern Big Sky Blue. Would it work for Union trousers? Nope. Didn't look right, even if less intense than Vallejo's sky blue.

Then I looked through Pollyscale's military colors and found British P.R.U. Blue, which if I recall is an airforce color. Looked good. Last week I bought a bottle and tried it out. Below is the result. I really like it. It looks like as close to Union trousers as I'll probably find. In room lighting, it looks a bit duller than in the photo, taken in direct Florida morning sunlight. The color comes closer to the jpg in the upper left. Also, I should have left a figure painted with Vallejo Sky Blue for comparison but forgot--the difference is dramatic. (Note: The Battle Honors figure below is not finished, which is why it looks so sloppy!)

Now that I finally have found a Union trouser blue I like, I can get cracking on my ACW projects again, but I'm thinking that I might need a darker Navy blue than Ceramcoat's Navy blue. Nah, I'll probably let that go. True Indigo would look too dark on a 15mm game table.

Give Pollyscale's British P.R.U. Blue a try. Let me know what you think.

3 comments:

  1. Bob,

    Try using Delta Ceramcoat Prussian Blue for the Union coats. It is much darker. Se my blog posting on the "semi-Tuaregs" I recently painted. They are in three different blues - Prussian blue, sky blue, and uniform blue, from darker to lighter.

    http://colcampbellbarracks.blogspot.com/

    Jim

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  2. Thanks for the advice. I checked on Ceramcoat Prussian Blue and the Delta website says it's a limited color. I'm pretty sure the craft stores no longer carry it because I don't have it in my collection. I do have Americana Prussian Blue. Not sure how close it is to the Ceramcoat. Prussian blue is darker than the Navy I'm currently using.

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  3. Quickly tried the Americana Prussian Blue on a primed Union figure. The color dries almost black, too dark for 15mm by far. Americana Navy is also very dark, as well as being a Transparent color, which I avoid. I'm sure the Ceramcoat Prussian Blue is lighter than the Americana color, and is probably just the right shade. Maybe I'll mail order it: http://www.hofcraft.com/delta2ozsale.htm

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