Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Polished Bronze

I've received a few emails over the past year taking me to task for using gold paint on bronze metalwork, especially on the bronze helmets of my Roman legionaries and the bronze gun barrels on my Napoleonic artillery.

I'm no expert on ancient metallurgy, but I can do a google search as well as the next man.  A quick search for "polished bronze helmet" brought up this reproduction Roman helmet:

The image is from a German site that sells reproduction metal bits from Caesar's time.  That color looks pretty golden to me.  Just as a modern soldier spends time each day cleaning and oiling his weapon, I figure that any legionary worth his salt would keep his metal gear polished and oiled.

And here is a replica British cannon from the Napoleonic Wars.  This is a half sized replica sold by a company in Argentina.  Again, this polished bronze looks pretty gold in hue to me.


  1. Scott,
    Do you really want to base your bronze argument using a replica British gun when the carriage is the wrong color?

  2. I figure they couldn't have messed up the bronze too badly.

  3. Replicating bronze or polished brass in miniature is very difficult. I have tried different colors and methods, but to me, gold paint with a raw umber wash or just gold paint drybushed over black, looks close enough to me.

  4. Ehhh, looks fine to me man. Don't get too caught up in the sticklers... I've seen a lot of bronze in my day, and it always looks pretty golden to me.

  5. Found your page while trying to figure out a good bronze colour for my Marians.

    Take a look at this statue before the patina was put on: