Thursday, September 14, 2017

Basing in process

 Last night I got to use my new flock box that arrived yesterday, after a tip off from a good friend.
 My quick base flocks were put down but when It came to the static grass I used the static box to make them stand up. I have never really used this static device before and was impress with the result. These bases still need the tufts of long grass and flowers to be added but are almost done.
  While the wood glue was still wet with the flock and grass on top, I pushed a brown paint into it with a brush to make muddy footprints and churn up the ground. The whether here is mostly wet and a field in the country would get pretty boggy pretty quickly with hundreds of horses and men running around it. So I made the decision to muddy up the bases..
Another huge decision I made was to split the musket blocks in half. I did this to give me a little more choice on how to field them, also things like entering building, lining hedgerows and spreading out should look better with this option.

 The pike block I kept as one solid block, I had them based individually before for pike man's lament and didn't like the look. So they stay as a solid mass. The musketeers once pushed together again look the same as they did before, so nothing has changed about the look of the formed up regiment.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

ECW Cavalry

 The 6mm grass was a little bright I thought so a used a yellow ochre paint to dry brush it and knock it back a little.

 I am tempted to add a few more little touches to these bases like the mixed herbs to act as leaf litter and bracken.

Basing English Civil War Cavalry

 I had the idea of using 6mm static grass to base these Essex Miniatures ECW cavalry. I figured that 6mm would be long enough to look like a wild, rough field or an over grown meadow. I have been taking pictures of the meadow behind my house and making a note of what It looks like over the course of the year. My favourite time is summer when It becomes a mass of yellow buttercups. This I thought would look just the ticket for a unit base.

I didn't want to spend too long on these bases so opted for my usual fast flock approach. The first layer of flock is a dark earth, followed by a light earth then by patches of a subtle green flock. you could go on for ever adding flock of different colour but I wanted to get onto the static grass bit. I have never done this before and have had an applicator stuck on my desk for almost a year now, time to use it.

 this subtle green I have labelled American earth after using it for my ACW bases. It's dry look makes for a fantastic base for the Americas.

 After the three colours of flock were done I tried the applicator with 6mm static grass in. I may have to read the leaflet again as I'm not totally sure I was doing it right. I found it hard to put the metal nail into the MDF so just clamped it on to the side instead.
After a bit of working it all out I was quite pleased with the length of the grass and thought the effect was successful. Grass tufts are good but for larger areas this seemed to work. The flowers were tufts and these were placed in random places. I had planned to put loads on just like the buttercup meadow, but I found that less was more. Not too many, just enough making sure i left space for the earth flocks to show through.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Painting British 2nd Afghan War soldier

 Getting close to finishing now. Painting the boots dark grey/black and some final highlights on the tunic with drab 'C' from foundry.
 Bread bag given another brown wash, I may highlight this again with white. I think most of the white equipment was stained with tea to make it less visible in the field, so I made a point of washing it with brown. For the next batch I might paint the bread bag in a creamy colour.
 These are still not quite finished as I ran out of time. I will clean up the faces a little bit and add some more detail to the helmet flash on the side. I have a few books coming in the post so hopefully these will help.
 Very enjoyable to paint as the figure is all the same colours really ( and I thought ACW was easy!). Creating units of 12 men should be quite simple with these colours and things will only speed up now I have worked out my painting order and colours.
 The Scots will be a little more challenging but still very fun and rewarding I imagine in the end.

My rough 'idiot' notes I made as I went along, these notes come in very handy If ever you have to leave an era for a few weeks or even years. Makes getting back on the horse a lot easier.

Painting British 2nd Afghan War

 After the figures were sprayed I gave them a wash with Woodland scentics brown paint. This stuff is great and works much like ink, brown ink would work for this too.
The detail is now much clearer to see and the paint acts as shading saving time.
 I then started to paint, first I painted all the belts etc white and gave them a wash of brown to whether them in.
 I decided to paint the canteen belt brown to add some variety, not sure the one on the model is right for the time but I'm not going to get caught up in all that so just moved on.
 Painted the lower legs in a slightly darker drab colour with a slight dry brush high light.

 Foundry flesh colour, didn't use the base straight from the pot, instead went slightly lighter with a half and half mix. Just gives the skin a more subtle look.
 Next step started on the khaki drill colour, this was tricky as I had so many different paint colours to chose from, In the end the best one was Foundry paint trio 'drab'. The last paint in the trio was a perfect mix for the light sandy colour. Painted mess tin with a grey black cover.

Gave the flesh a wash with black ink under the helmet and around the chin for stubble. Also gave the legging and rifle, canteen and mess can a wash with black ink as well.

Painting British 2nd Afghan War

 I wasn't really looking out for yet another era to paint, but then I stumbled across these amazing looking figures on the Artizan web site. I fell in love and decided I had to paint a few. I have long been a fan of the Victorian era and grew up watching Zulu and Zulu dawn, so these pith helmets really appealed to me.
 I was a little disappointed when I first received the models, they were covered in flash and had lots of vents on them. Some of the mold lines cut down the faces which was bad, but with a trusty knife and file all was soon how It should be.
 Lots of vents.This is a new range from Artizan and I thought maybe there might be a huge demand for them at the moment and they were being churned out quickly...who knows. Still lovely figures though so don't be put off by a little filing. I plan to play a small skirmish game with them and so prefer metal figures over plastic, more expensive but feel better in the hand.
 I then based the figures on 25mm round bases for the skirmish game 'Men who would be kings'. This game only needs around 36 figures a side (regulars that is) and so perfect for a small force. I added small stones from the garden. Pea gravel is great for this and I had gathered a bag of them from my travels.

 I bought a few spray cans a couple of years ago and managed to find one that suited my khaki needs perfectly. It matched the Foundry paint 'Drab B' colour and proved to be a god send and saved a lot of time.
 If you are painting Khaki Drill colour I recommend this can!

Men sprayed and ready for the next step. I am proud to add a new label to my army lists...North west Frontier.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Battle mat

 I am now the proud owner of a battle mat, I've wanted one for ages and have finally put my hand in my pocket and gone for it. One day I plan to have a small selection to cover most arenas, but for now, a European field should just about cover it all.
 This one is from the BigRedBat shop and was very reasonably priced I thought, it's also large enough to cover my down stairs table which I was hoping for. It will certainly make games a lot more accessible.
 Fresh out of the package, It needs a slight iron to get the folds out but on the whole I'm pleased, loads of little details I had to keep checking to see If they were printed or something under the mat. A nice over all colour scheme as well and a feature that could be used as a dirt road. yep great.
I also have my eye on a forested road map from Cigar Box, but that will have to wait a month or too until I save up.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

ECW Command bases WIP

 My ever evolving ECW regiments took a another turn on their development yesterday after I visited Simon Miller's new ECW blog ' For King and parliament'.

 I had created my three bases with battle hardened men with minimal officers, this did leave me with a pile of unused, angry brass.

After seeing what Simon had planned for his regiments I noticed he had a smaller command base, one that could be put in front or behind the battle line. Well, I thought that tidies up all of my problems in one. My unused officers and drummers get a home, the figure count goes up...which I like. The standards can be moved to the middle block and the sleeves of shotte can be just that and look better for it. I also get to use up a load of HOTT bases (60mm x 40mm) I bought years ago and have never used.

 I had to paint up a few extra musketeers but that was no problem as I already had some on the boil for the next Regiment.

 I think It looks better than how I had It before and It doesn't effect the frontage of the unit, something I am very pleased about. Having a limited playing area, I want to be able to have more than a few units on a side.

Receiving cavalry can look a little more authentic as well with an extra base.