Thursday, June 29, 2006

Many thanks to all of you who have visited my blog today via The Miniatures Page.

All comments are, as always, much appreciated and spur me onto more painting. Here are my answers to a couple of queries raised on TMP.

Horse noses - dark horse noses are just Foundry Granite shade then mid tone on top of the black undercoat. The pinkish colour is Foundry Spearshaft mid tone, then Flesh shade and midtone.

Blonde hair - Foundry dusky flesh mid tone all over (right into the crevices – it can be too much of a contrast otherwise), Foundry Ochre shade, Ochre mid-tone, then a final highlight of Lemon highlight. I can look a little bright, so take care with it, but I believe that figures should leap out at you, and the odd shock of bright blonde hair helps that a lot.

I am becoming increasingly convinced that it would be a good idea to put together some illustrated colour tutorials. So let me know what you want to see first!

Monday, June 26, 2006

A couple more snaps. First up, some of the best painting I have ever done, Calpe Prussian Landwehr Cavalry brigade. The pic shows them in action - alas not at my table! Calpe figures are a delight to paint.

Secondly, some lovely Foundry Spanish light troops.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Legendary Earps, castings from Artizan, painting by me!

I have had several queries about the type of varnish I use, so hope this answers all of them!
Figures are first given a coat of Humbrol Gloss, slightly thinned with white spirit to make the paint flow a little easier.
I then use Daler Rowney Cryla Soluble Matt Varnish. This stuff is great and dries as flat as a pancake. I have used the infamous Blackfriar method and can honestly say that the Daler Rowney is as good, with a lot less hassle. Also, using the Blackfriar gave me terrible headaches, which was not good.

Using the Daler Rowney

Use two coats, each slightly thinned with white spirit. Remember to give the bottle a really good stir to make sure the matting agent is effective, then give it a really good shake. Every time I finish a painting session, I pick up the bottle and give it a shake. You must keep the matting agent flowing, or it will settle, which causes streaks and is very bad.
A good tip for all varnishing is to use a square tipped brush. Now, a lot of people skimp on brushes for varnishing, but it is worth while spending some cash. I use a Winsor&Newton Cirrus square tipped, it cost about £6, and I only use it for matt varnishing, but it is worth the expense.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Something a bit different, Gripping Beast Moors - Black Guard and Berbers, flags by the excellent LMB.
These are a real joy to paint, their smooth lines fit in well with the style of clothing. To add to this are some archers, a unit of Sudanese and Berber cavalry. Pics will be forthcoming!

Spencer Keen asked me how I paint chainmail, so here goes:

Black undercoat

I then mix a very dark combination of GW Bolt gun metal and Chaos Black which goes liberally over the required area, don't worry too much about getting it in between the raised chain links.

I use a relatively flat brush for this next stage which is a little
like dry brushing, but what I do is use Bolt gun metal straight from the pot, nice and thick. Load up the brush and wipe off as per usual for dry brushing but then drag one way, usually against a grain if you can find one. For chainmail this is usually top - bottom (ie where the light is coming from) but never across the figure as this tends to give too much coverage of the highlights.
Repeat on the extreme highlights with Foundy Spearpoint.

For chainmail I find intermediate shades tend to blend too much
without effect.

For plate armour I would recommend intermediate shades.

I like Bolt gun metal as it is usually quite thick and gives good
coverage. I use the same method for Musket barrels, as I like the
contrast between the dark basecoat and the extreme highlights.

I had a recent query from Jeff Lower about how I paint faces. So here it is. Hope you all find it useful.

Firstly Black prime, I use either GW Chaos Black spray or Humbrol Matt Black Enamel (leave this upside down for a few weeks to produce some thick paste on the lid, scoop out that and mix with white spirit to make it run better, use about 60-70% paint).

Two thin coats of Foundry Spearshaft brown mid tone all over the face - note unlike other painters I do not leave black holes for eyes, I find that makes them too stark. Having a mid brown gives a more realistic effect.

Then the basic 3 stages of Foundry Flesh, the key is the mid-tone, it should pick out all the major features. I do not like to leave too much dark lining, I prefer a nice smooth finish, hence the importance of the mid-tone.

Eyes are added at the end using Foundry base sand light – white is too bright, a single brush stroke should get a nice almond shape, then a dot of dark brown or blue to the top of the almond shape. Any mistakes can be tidied up with the flesh mid tone.

Lips are Foundry Wine stain red shade, highlighted with Foundry flesh shade.

And as a final tip, see Spencer Keen's website for a really good face painting guide (though I would take umbrage with the black holes for eyes!).

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

This Charles I command base was constructed using some of the excellent range of ECW figures available from Bicorne. I was really pleased with the way they came out, I particularly liked the contrast in horse colours.
Alas, this is not part of my collection and is already in a new home. However, I intend to eventually get round to painting one for myself.

The first wargaming project I started work on this year was 6mm WSS from Baccus. I asked Santa for one of their Polemos Starter Sets, and it duly arrived down the chimney. It contained French and British armies, here is the first unit of French foot. So far I have managed to squeeze in another regiment of foot and three of horse. I have the next two foot units ready to start on (when I get the time). This will be followed by a couple of bases of artillery, then onto the Brits so I can start playing around with them.
I am going to use this blog to keep track of all my various writing and wargaming projects.
Writing Projects:
The Great Book of Naval, Military and Political Caricature
Wargaming Projects:
25mm ECW
25mm Napoleonic
6mm WSS

Enjoy reading about my progress!