Saturday, November 28, 2009

Horse Archers

As these Horse Archers were quite detailed and larger than Infantry figures, I painted on the stain with a large brush and just made sure the stain didn't collect any where on the figure. By brushing the stain on you have more control and I think the results are better, although It does take a little longer.

Dipping Horse Archers

At last with my new found 'dipping' technique I am tackling my Horse Archer problem. These guys have been sitting around on my table for what seems like years. Generally getting in the way and gathering dust, I thought I would at last take care of them once and for all.
I thought It would also be a good opportunity to try out various colours, both on man and horse to see which ones looked the best once dipped in stain. I was pleased with most of the horse colours as the stain works well on shading flesh. I found It wise to always paint the figure slightly lighter than you wanted it and so used the mid-tone and the highlight ranges in the 'Foundry' paint range.

I was pleased with the results and six detailed Horse Archers were finished in an afternoon. I still have six to do but I'm finding this new way of working really enjoyable and can't wait to get stuck in.

I have also been thinking this technique may work well for creating units for the English Civil War, with lots of light buff and brown colours. It could mean the difference of actually playing a game with two sides instead of just finishing one.

I think I will still take time on command personalities but as for the masses, they can be dipped without worry. At least once dipped they can be used in a game, I think it is this last thought that really wins the argument for me that dipping is the way forward, especially with time being an issue these days.

The great 'dip' debate

After reading an article in War games Illustrated about the 'Army Painter' staining process, I thought it was time I gave 'dipping' another try. So I gathered up some figures and set about them with a large brush covered in Flesh coloured paint. The results were good and the secret was in the matte varnishing afterwards. Before I had used Games Workshop matte varnish which has a kind of satin finish, but the varnish from 'Army painter' really is very matte indeed and makes all the difference.
After they had been varnished I was very happy with them and thought they wouldn't look out of place within my existing units. There is a slight drop in quality maybe but I can live with this due to the quick time It took to complete them. The time was very impressive and rather than five figures being finished in a weekend, the number could rise to twenty four at least. So with the idea of having hundreds of fighting figures finished in a month I have decided to use 'Quick dip' for my remaining unfinished Barbarian units.

I used the weakest tone which is called soft tone, It's strentghs are light colours like browns, yellows and flesh. It works well on horse flesh too which I put to good use on some Horse Archers. Now I am thinking that with my Ancient Germans wearing mostly browns and bare flesh colours, the 'Army painter' pot will answer all my worries and I could be churning out fighting units every week.

One of the toughest ideas to live with is the drop in quality but I am training my mind to think of multiple units, rather than single figures. In Barbarian armies there are hundreds of figures needed and with my usual technique It made them kind of unreachable and daunting. I would start well enough but the endless amount of work would get the better of me and I would go onto something else. By painting just one coat for each colour without shading and then dipping the whole figure in a pot of stain the painting process is halved and my huge armies will at least see the light of day on the field, rather than be locked away in the cupboard for evermore. I am very pleased with the results so far and the thought of finishing my Barbarian hordes.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tommy in Normandy

Eleven o'clock time for snuff!

A British Guards officer enjoys a rare blend of snuff before battle, he got the recipe from a Jewish friend of his fathers in Alexandria. It should help to steady his nerves against the coming waves of heavy horse thundering his way.

Stay on target!

This week I received a bunch of WWII Americans I had ordered from Black tree Designs so long ago I totally forgot they were coming. It's always nice to get figures in the post especially ones you had forgotten about.

I have done a look of looking around on the net and decided that Black tree make the best WWII Americans around. You may have to wait a while before you see any finished on this site though. Which reminds me, I haven't painted in a good few months now and I've gone a bit cold turkey. I have ordered some walls from Warlord Games though and a copy of 'Black powder' so I still have plenty of irons in the fire.