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Back With a Brand New Plan

So I post a long-winded 2013 update and, of course, less than an hour later I get an email from another local gaming acquaintance that throws my plans into upheaval.

It looks like 28mm Napoleonics is back on the front burner again so it’s time to order some more Russian figures.  I’m still not happy with the quality of painting I’m doing with 28mm Horse & Musket figures so I’m going to try some new techniques (again).  The upshot of all this is that my second battalion of Sash & Saber Russian Musketeers is going back in the pickle jar for paint removal yet again.  These poor bastards should be used to it by now.  First I was multiple attempts with a black undercoat, then one with a white undercoat.  Now it’s something completely different.

I’ve been watching videos on YouTube regardind different airbrush techniques, and one I plan to try out now is zenithal shading.  In a nutshell, basically you prime the entire figure in a dark primer (black in my case), then shoot the figure with a lighter-colored primer (Grey) from above at a 45 degree angle, putting a lighter base on the areas that you would expect to be hit with sunlight.  Finally you pick out the areas of interest or topmost parts of the figure with white primer.  This allows some natural shading & highlighting that you then overspray with thin coats of color, so hopefully allowing some built-in shading.  

 

I’ve been frustrated with trying to get clean paintjobs over dark foundations, so instead of slopping on the black & dark green paint & then trying to do a decent job with belting & shako cords I’ll get the white details sorted first & then carefully fill in with the darker colors.  We’ll see how this goes.

My goal is to use the S&S miniatures as guinea pigs so I can have a technique figured out before I start working on Perry, Foundry and/or Warlord Games’ ranges of figures.

 

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A Fresh Start

After another long break I’m trying to climb back into the saddle again.  I started a new career last fall, and while that has been a very good thing it has meant a huge learning curve both for me and for my family as we all adjust to a new lifestyle.  Painting and gaming took a back seat throughout the winter because of that.   Now that we are all starting to adjust to the new normal I’ve started getting the urge to get back into the hobby.

One of the local groups is scheduling a 28mm Napoleonic battle this summer, and especially since it’s been moved back to the end of summer I’m taking a stab at contributing troops for it.  Russians, of course.  I have my old Sash & Saber musketeers that I’ve stripped down and started again.  Those poor SOB’s are probably terrified of the pickle jar filled with Simple Green by now.

After thinking about things for a while I’m abandoning my usual black-prime-and-layer-up approach and going back to white priming this batch.  I love the look of the dark figures but I’ve never had good luck building up bright colors like reds and yellows over a dark undercoat.  I know it can be done but I lack the patience to do all of the successive layers needed to build up the base and, frankly, I don’t have the time needed to build up several hundred figures in such a style anymore.  Life is way too busy.  So, I’m going back to priming white, blocking in the basic colors and I’ll be trying the ‘dip’ method, using Minwax polyshades Tudor to give instant shading and definition to the paint jobs.  Since I’ll be using the dip to get the shadow/undertones, I’m blocking in fairly bright colors for my main layer of paint.  For instance I’m using GW Elf Flesh as the base tone for the skin and hopefully I won’t have to do any highlighting after the dip is applied.  I’ll probably do some post-dip highlighting for the metallics and possible jackets to bring out some definition but I’m trying to keep that to a minimum.  The object is to get serviceable figures cranked out in a reasonable amount of time, not create works of art.

Another change is that I’m backing off of using my optivisor for most of the painting.  The figures being made today have amazing amounts of details, and while using the optivisor I saw all of them and felt the need to paint all of them even if I’d have a hard time seeing them without the magnification.  This way lies madness, so I’m currently just using my normal glasses and painting what I can.  A three feet away I doubt I’ll notice much of a difference.  The net effect of this is that my painting time is increasing… or at least it feels that way.

I’ll post some pics when I have something completed.  I’m working on the first batch of 24 now, experimenting with colors and techniques as I go.  I have two units of 24 Sash & Saber musketeers at home and by the time I’m done with them the new Perry plastic Russians should be available.  They are slated to go on sale in late April.  I like that they give you the option of the pre-kiwer shakos since that’s what many of the troops that fought in 1812 & 1813 wore.

 

Happy New Year

2009 was a good year for me hobby-wise.  I got back on the painting horse again and played more games this year than I have in a long time.  I’m hoping 2010 will be more of the same.  I need to get painting again and start working on the few projects I’ve laid out for myself.

Happy new year to you and yours…

Update (Sorta)

Nothing new to report, work is very, very busy right now and the kids are always busier during the school year.  Haven’t touched a paintbrush in a few months now and my plans to host another game at my place this fall were foiled by a mandatory weekend at work.

I’m still working through Boycott-Brown’s Road to Rivoli slowly, and I have some forced vacation time coming up in December… I hope to spend at least a little of that time painting.  We’ll see how that goes.

The blog isn’t dead… it’s just a little dormant while real life intrudes more than usual.

Gone Fishin’

I’m taking my books and my booze up north for a week of fishing, reading and relaxing.

Back on the 17th.

AAR: SYW Koenig Krieg Battle – 06/06/2009

The following bit of blatant propaganda factual reporting is offered to provide a clear picture of the action that took place at the Levee Cafe on Saturday, June 6th, 2009.  For the record, I think everyone had a good time, and it was nice to explore another period in the ‘big battle’ format that a room like the Levee offers.

Rules used were the first/second editions of Koenig Krieg and the figures were 15mm scale.  It was the baptism of fire for my brigade of Prussian line, and overall I think they did fairly well.   I’ll definitely need to add to these forces over time.  KK provides a fast and furious game with a few idiosyncrasies that will be noted in the report.   The number of brigades on the table did slow the overall game down due to the activation sequencing we were using (each side nominates a brigade to move and then rolls to see which has the initiative), but I though that it added a little tension to the game, since fire effects are adjudicated immediately after each unit fires.   A trade-off for sure.

If nothing else, the game advanced at a leisurely pace.  We started late, ate lunch and then adjourned for a long dinner.  The game was called when our Austrian commander had to leave.  The game’s outcome was pretty clear at that point, as the Austrians were in terrible shape, and we would not be able to achieve our goals of holding both crossroads.   That said, the Allies were not having things go entirely their way either.  I’d call it an allied minor victory if not a draw.  Anyway, read the following report for a ‘fair & balanced’ view of what happened….

NOTE:  The ranting nature of the report will be even better if the reader imagines it being read by Dr. Doofenschmirtz.

Continue reading ‘AAR: SYW Koenig Krieg Battle – 06/06/2009’

Memorial Day

headstone

Today is the day Americans honor their war dead and all who served.   Thanks to those who have answered the call to duty.

 


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