Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Let's Paint Zulus

 Getting there now and they are starting to look finished. I painted all of the weapons a darker shade of Burnt Umber. This looked good and I didn't need to paint any more than this on them, apart of course from the metal of the blades.
 One trick that really helped with these figures is to keep them stuck on their cereal packet strips. By bending the card I could reach all of the details without cutting the figures into separate pieces. This saved a lot of time picking up figures and speeded the whole process up loads. Also each strip got its own colour loin cloth which also speeded things up when painting colours.

 Always make notes of your colours and techniques as you go in a note book, can't stress this enough. It is a life saver if you ever need to return to a project a year later.

 Young unmarried Zulus of the horns of the Buffalo.
 These Perry plastic Zulus are great and I think they are some of the best on the market, I'm glad I waited. Lovely and simple to paint!

I did struggle to work out how to base these guys, but in the end went for separate bases. This is good for men who would be kings and could lead to some great looking formations. Multiple figure bases would be easier but I don't mind the idea of moving hundreds of figures around by hand...quite looking forward to it.

Painting 28mm Zulus

 I was lucky enough to find some Burnt Umber spray paint in WH smiths the other day and I grabbed it thinking it would save a lot of painting time. Turns out it was the best buy I ever made!
 I was a little worried at first because it looked very wet and flooded the details of the Perry plastic Zulus, however as it dried the detail came through and the colour was perfect. I had started to hand paint the plastics with Burnt Umber from P3 paints, but this spray can cut all of that lengthy process out.

 Above you can see the two different paints next to each other, hardy any difference between the paint pot and the spray can.
 To keep things really quick I used a big brush and brushed on FOUNDRY's African flesh 'B' and then 'C'. After this I washed the figure with black ink and finally highlighted again with Vajello Mahogany. As these figures are all flesh and very easy to dry brush I thought I would treat them to quite a few paint tones in their skin.

 A wash of black ink ties all the skin tones together. Again a big brush saves a lot of time.

These two paints were perfect for the Zulu clothing. The red leather colour is great for the leather around the bum area and the earth brown is excellent for the monkey tails around the loins. Once dry 'splodge' the brown with a lighter colour to add a little detail.

The Last Round

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Zulu Tray

 Last night I started on a new project...the Anglo-Zulu war. To make things easy for myself and to keep things from getting too crazy in my work space I have put together a Zulu tray. This is a place where my Zulus can safely sit out of harms way, with everything I need to construct and paint them. A kind of Zulu factory if you will.
 I have also been collecting paints for a while with African skin tones in mind, some are shop bought in their ready made triads from FOUNDRY, but others are tones I've put together from various makes.
'Zulus....thirty six of 'em!". The first box of plastic Perry Zulus run for cover. I'm glad I held out for as long as I did with this project, the Perrys release of plastics was well timed and I prefer them to others on the market. These figures will make One regiment, the in Gogbamkhosi.
All put away again after about an hours cutting and sticking, next up the paint. I've just found a can of Burnt Umber spray paint from WHSmiths which may speed things up a bit.

 I am looking forward to this one. Also have some Brits on the way too from Empress.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Private Whitworth, Berdan Sharpshooters and wheat fields

 Finished rebel marksman. The great thing about painting Confederates is once you have the grey, just add a little light brown to it and you have the colour for the trousers and kepi...loads of fun. It was nice to finally try out the Foundry Confederate paints.
 At the first rays of sunlight the sharpshooters were up and out in the garden for manoeuvres. My colour choice seems to have worked and I think this is good enough to put the rest of the unit into mass production.
 I actually used all three paint colours in the end, the miniature paints dark green was used to do the pipping on the collar and cuffs. So in the end It did come in handy.
 A harsh lamp shows the true colour, still quite shiny these guys are still in need of a matt varnish. This model still needs a little touching up...almost there.

 Some teddy bear fur 'wheat fields' finally get a spray of green and are stored ready for use. I have had this fur for around 17 years with this in mind. Job done.

 Little house on the prairy.
Olive green is sprayed around the edges and patches are blobbed around the 'field'.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Johnny Whitworth, best shot in the brigade!

 I have been looking for a good figure to represent a Confederate sniper with a Whitworth rifle. The scope was somethimes at a slight angle for long shots."Don't worry, at this range they couldn't hit an elephan......"

The bullets were longer than the minie ball and made a characteristic whistling noise when passing. Confederates armed with these rare  British rifles could silence a battery from 1000 yards, however because the artillery men were not armed, the sniper would give them a chance to retire before he started hitting them. He did this by a term calling 'ringing the battery', this is when the marksmen would hit the steel wheel rims on both of the cannons wheels. If they didn't move then he would start to pick them off unarmed or not.

All searches for a 28mm figure were turning up blank so I thought I would make one. A very easy thing to do, I cut a piece of lead standard pole off of a standard bearer and stuck it onto a Dixon Confederate figure. The sight on a Whitworth is strangely to the side of the gun but this does give it a unique character of its own.
 A nice rule in Bonnie Blue Flag allows for a marksman to be in your force, when he fires the other player has to roll over 40% on a D100. If he fails the commander is killed and all troops within 6'' suffer . The leader is replaced with a must lesser commander the next round. So you only need one marksman per side...meet Johnny Whitworth. Good old Dixon to the rescue again.

This image is very useful as it shows the red badge worn on the arm. This meant the 'snipers' could room at ease on the battlefield without getting mistaken for deserters. this version has a longer sight.

1st Corps Berdan Sharpshooters and painting guide.

 After being impressed by 1st Corps ACW range I thought I would order some more. I ordered a packet of right shoulder shift to mix with my previous purchase but also ordered two Berdan's Sharpshooters. Again I was impressed with their scale, not small like their ancient ranges but a good 28mm size, very compatible .
 The different poses within the two packs, one troopers and the other with command.
 The figures themselves are quite nice, again the rifles are a little bit over sized and a few of the uniform details are a little on the large side (buttons). Nice kepis though and loads of variety in the sculpts.
 Above is a figure left over from the Redoubt Berdan's Sharpshooters I bought over twenty years ago ( I painted this left over as a Infantry officer). The Redoubt figures are great figures but I fancy trying something new for this new game (Bonnie Blue flag). In BBF, sharpshooter units are made up of four bases, so I thought I would buy some more and mount them on bases rather than single skirmish bases like I did twenty years ago.

 Examples of Berdan uniforms. The colour is a forest green and has black rubber buttons, a feature that even the most famous ACW artist often gets wrong. I haven't checked my old sharpshooters but I doubt I got it right back then either.

 This picture above is my favourite as it is no nonsense and a good colour guide apart from the buttons again. I have been researching green colours and come up with some close matches.
 Dark Elf green as a base shade, next a layer of Black green. The miniature paints Dark Green might not be quite right. I will try a tiny amount added to the black green for a highlight...more to follow when I know more.
 I am playing around with different paints at the moment, so far a good find was dark Elf green by coat 'd' arms. I was sold on the name let alone the colour. Anyway this is my progress so far. I plan to do quite a variety of shades within the unit including blue sack coats and union blue trousers.
A sharpshooter with his base colours added. This is dark Elf green over layered with Black green. I will be washing this with black ink to give it more depth...WIP.