Thursday, 21 February 2008

Putting on some paint

So 12 man units it is. That affects the unit composition I don't want 1 in 12 of my army to be drummers I especially don't want to have to paint 60 or so drummers in the complicated French livery coat. But you can't have too many flags can you? Actually you can, flags have never been a priority for me, some of my regiments have been rallying round a flagless stick for many years now. But not this army, each unit will get a Flag, so I think a standard bearer, either an officer or drummer and 10 men will be the norm.

The figures are trimmed and spray undercoated white with a cheap car primer. I am aware that some use black but I am sure you will agree that is really a cheap trick for cads and other lounge lizards. I then stick the figures onto strips of wood with a hot glue gun. I like the hot glue, providing it is used sparingly it will grip the figure until a quick twist with a penknife blade releases it fully painted and varnished. The wood strips can be reused with the glue on them by giviing them 30 seconds in the microwave to remelt the glue then popping the new figure into place. I would recommend doing this when the significant other is out of the house but obviously that's up to you.

Now the big decisions start should they be painted in a vintage fashion with big blocks of plain colour or shaded and highlighted? I think these figures will respond to a bit of highlighting if it is not overdone. They are quality figures and we want to avoid making them look like toys.

So a basecoat for the coats. My friend, Bill Protz has been telling us for years now what the proper colour for French white is, so I mix up a thin wash of humbrol enamels equal parts of pale grey and flesh, this is liberally applied.

After a break to allow it to dry well I drybrush white all over. I find it easier to do this in two light coats rather than one heavy coat, which often comes out unevenly. Yes, I think I like that effect, though I am not going to be sure until the the rest of the figure is completed.

Finally a little bit of colour, we will give them red stockings, I will worry about what regiment this is tomorrow, for now a splash of colour will just set off the work we have done.

Thats it, a final sniff of the turpentine, lids tight on the paints and switch off the desk lamp. Goodnight and sleep well to you all.


WSTKS-FM Worldwide said...

Hello there John,

A good night's work it looks like.

Best Regards,

Stokes (A black basecoating lounge lizard)

marinergrim said...

The nice thing about the French in this period is the variety of colour combinations between stockings, breeches & waistcoats.

And the figures you've got look to repsond well to the treatment for that.

Marinergrim (a Cad & another black basecoating lounge lizard)

Bluebear Jeff said...

I like the look of that "off-white" myself . . . it sort of reminds me of 'Toile de Jouy' . . . and you can't get much more French than that!

-- Jeff

Unknown said...

That white undercoating looks nice John. Although not done any painting for a while, I think I prefer undercoating black.

Who is the manufacturer of those figures? They look quite good.

Looking forward to seeing them all painted up.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

John - looking very nice... the project actually *starts* with the first paint going on.... :o)

...from another cad and black basecoating loungelizard....

Bluebear Jeff said...

I must confess that I too start with a black undercoat for most figures . . . but then I do a white "damp brush" over it.

This means that the recessed areas are black and most of the raised or flat areas are white.

I should add that I use acrylic paints . . . which are somewhat translucent. In any event, when I paint over this white/black combination, I already get some subtle shading.

But I know very well that what I do isn't for everyone. As long as you are pleased with your method, that's all that matters.

-- Jeff

Anonymous said...

Quite frankly, the best tip you've given is the microwave trick.

I'm waiting for the day you accidentally leave one of the figures attached during one of your sessions in Tywyn. The bang should be loud enough to hear here in Brighton.



Jubilo said...

Dear Sarge ,
One has to ask if the figures are to be used for gaming or dioramas ? The overly painted and shaded figures featured in the hobby magazines tend to look rather bizarre and "super-hero "-like . The simpler paint jobs look better from several feet away ( war gamer distance ).
Is a ten musket unit going to look like a period battalion or is the ten musket unit that size for gaming ? No criticism here only curiosity. Carry on .
all for the old flag,

Bloggerator said...

How are the jolly Frenchies going there John?

Enquiring minds &c...

Greg Horne