Udderly ridiculous!

Spare a thought for the humble Normandy cow.  This blogger did.  Some modellers do. The soldiers of both sides fighting in Normandy certainly did:

The Normande cow has its origin in cattle that were brought to the region by the Vikings in the 9th and 10th centuries. For over a thousand years these cattle were nurtured to produce milk and meat for the residents of northwestern France. This makes it all the more tragic that the breed was virtually decimated during the Allied invasion in June 1944.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, I figured that when I have a minute or two – or to take my mind off other projects – I’m going to start painting up some ‘flavour objects’.  You know the sort of thing I mean; something that is evocative of a time or place. A talking piece on the tabletop if you will.

As you might expect, models of deceased 15mm cows are a little bit thin on the ground but, fortunately, Peter Pig can help us out here. Look under scenery and scroll down to Animals and Odds.  There you’ll find some cows, dead. The photo of the 6 pieces you’ll receive isn’t that clear, so have a look at some I prepared earlier 🙂

I’ve base-coated mine white and then washed over a very diluted mix of white and Devlin Mud to tease out the definition.  The three characteristic colours of the Normande’s coat are Blanc (white), Blond (fawn/red), and Brindled (brown to very, very dark brown, almost black). The way these colours are arranged gives rise to a great variety of coats:


  • “Quail” coat: white with scattered patches of colour,
  • “Blond” coat: one big patch, fawn in colour, covers almost the whole of the cow’s body. The belly remains white.
  • “Brindled” coat: one big patch, brindled in colour, covers almost the whole of the cow’s body. The belly remains white.  Most bulls tend to be quite brown (brindled) to the point of appearing black.

Daunted by the prosepct of painting a ‘quail’ coat, I’ve opted for 3 ‘blonds’ and 3 ‘brindled’ bovines using black and VMC Chocolate Brown (149)  highlighted with black-grey and a 50:50 mix of Chocolate Brown (149) : Mahogany Brown (139).  I’ve kept the pattern simple, but tried to capture the essence of the beast at this scale.  Hooves are the endlessly versatile German Grey (167) washed in Devlin Mud.

I cocked 1 of them up by painting the belly brown, but I don’t think anyone is going to loose sleep over this one 🙂

I’ve mounted these beauties on tupenny pieces coated in Tamiya Soil Effect textured paint and flocked for good measure (I love this stuff, just needs highlighting – something that I didn’t do here!):

Should I have painted the eyes?

Mooooost probably 😀

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