Saturday, 15 December 2007

Horses and building courses.

Troopers of the Bishop of Guggenheim's Horse dance their version of the Maori Haka...

Their sturdy chestnut mounts await the fitting of bridle and tack.

The Grenadier company of IR 3 Bräbenachel take shape on the painting block.

The Tower Project.

So, I still haven't got access to a decent camera but the webcam gives an adequate image for now. I've adapted Jeff Bluebear's excellent suggestion of "tongue depressor" type splints, in this case using some strips of scrap 1/4-inch plywood to glue the riders' feet to. This method makes it so much easier to handle the figures in the course of painting.
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I begin with the undercoat, then I paint the faces and hands. From here I'll work "outwards," completing the breeches, the small clothes, the boots and the uniform coat and tricorn. Painting seperate portions of the figure allows the other recently-painted areas to dry off before going anywhere near them with different colored pigments. I work exclusively in acrylics using Vallejo Model Color, and Miniature Paints by Gamecraft. The latter's Type 32 Sand pigment is one of the most useful I've ever come across, especially for shading.
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The horses just need the bridle and tack painted in leather shade to complete them. I think the viewer can just make out the depth of shading given to the figurines by the multi-layer approach of ochre, red, brown and a final black wash. When I have more horses to paint, I'll do a step-by-step photographic guide.
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I had a batch of six grenadier figures left after completing the Leibgarde and the companies attached to the first two line regiments, so I began painting them as the grenadier company for the upcoming IR 3 Bräbenachel. All I need do now is buy some more of the delightful RSM95 range of figures to make up the rest of that regiment, and IR 4 von Kranke.
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The tower is a relic from an early period of my wargaming life, when I was younger, more foolish and nowhere near as competent as I am now with miniature building construction! What you see in the picture is all there is - I never got around to completing the roof. I've added the base of a rectangle of scrap 1/4-inch plywood for sturdiness. The model is based on a tower that featured in the 1813 Battle of Leipzig, but the picture I used is long gone. Having dug around the internet for images I've decided to settle for a Baroque style suitable for the 18th Century. I'll add a domed turret with cupola emerging from a pointed gray-slate roof, and a small ornate gateway to the stub of wall showing on the left of the tower. The windows will have frames around them made from of Miliput scored to look like stonework. The body of the wall will be painted a rich blood red in keeping with the style of the period with the stonework and other features picked out with ochre. Fingers crossed, it'll all come together...


Bluebear Jeff said...

I'm glad that my suggestion was of use to you. Please feel free to pass it on to others.

I have found that making a few terrain pieces not only provides a nice "change of pace" but they get a lot of use on the table top.

Good going, sir.

-- Jeff

Stokes Schwartz said...

Morning A.J.,

Your figures are looking good. How will you attach the troopers to their steeds once painting is complete? Of all the figures out there, I think the RSM Prussian grenadiers are the very best (my own bias is definitely at work here), so I'm eager to see your current six take shape. Your tower looks good too, and the plans for comleting it sound interesting. How about a fictitious narrative to go with it?

Best Regards,


Fitz-Badger said...

Looking good.
I've got a few cavalry figures just about ready to be painted (but will likely not get to them until after New Year's now). Maybe I'll try Jeff's method for holding the riders while painting.
The plans for finishing off the tower sound good. I'll look forward to seeing pics when it's completed :-)