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By Rob Dean
Last week I finished up a stand of medieval city militia using a 4-color limited Zorn palette. This turned out to be oddly calming, so I went ahead this week and prepared a second stand of 8 figures (mostly duplicate poses) from the same box of Strelets 1/72 scale plastics. I would ordinarily use 2 stands for something like a Dragon Rampant unit, so it’s nice to have them in matching pairs where possible.
I started in on them Friday morning, and had them varnished by supper time on Saturday (when we headed out to a ballroom dance event). I finished up the basing and put a final spray coat on them this afternoon.
When I clipped these 8 from their sprues, I collected a few of the more interesting poses for use on individual bases for contingency fantasy games. I finished one of the three this afternoon, still using a Zorn palette.
As you can see, these are pretty small compared to the usual Reaper sizes.
I was please with how the face came out, given the size.
I don’t usually zoom in to the level where the individual brush strokes are showing, but there you are. Given the size, that’s more than you’ll actually see during a game, so it’s really just for my own amusement.
By Rob Dean
I finally had the opportunity to get to a pending fun project this weekend. I heard about the Zorn palette, a limited set of four colors, a while back, and wanted to try this.
So, this is the set of hobby paints I chose. The key is that the black has to be a blue-black, that will give a sort of faded denim when mixed with white. Here’s some playing around on the wet palette.
Considering that the only brilliant color you’ll get is red, I thought that the best fit would be something medieval, where the subdued colors would look natural.
I removed a batch of Strelets Medieval City Levy from the sprues a couple of weeks ago, because I needed some spearmen for my fantasy campaign, and they seemed like a good choice.
So, yesterday morning I started.
Knowing that these were going to end in a group, I didn’t worry too much about the occasional stray mold line.
After I finished up the 8th figure, I posed them on the stand.
I gave them my usual base treatment of sand and white glue, followed by a tuft and some flock. When all of that was dry, a coat of spray varnish:
All of these pictures represent a much closer view that would be seen on the table.
Anyway, an interesting exercise, and one that I will repeat. For travel painting, a four palette would be handy…
By Rob Dean
I had the day off yesterday, and had 5 of 8 figures finished for a stand of mixed polearm and crossbow civic militia, drawn from the Ultima Ratio Italian Militiamen 1260-1392 box of figures I had picked up in June, so I decided to finish the last three.
Let’s start with the results.
Here’s the front view, with a Sir Ogre Forescale menacing the unti’s flank.
RIght side three quarter view showing the shields on the front rank in particular.
Now a little about the background of the project. As mentioned, I bought the box of figures during a trip to the brick and mortar Michigan Toy Soldier store while visiting my parents in June. Relatively shortly thereafter (as these projects of mine go), I decided to cut eight figures from the sprues and get started. My usual goal in mounting multiple figures on a base is to avoid overhang if at all possible. So I was unusually organized this time. I not only arranged them on a base of the proposed size, but also took a picture of the arrangement so that I would remember later.
That was 19 August, according to photo data.
I had finished one a couple of weeks ago, as posted in an earlier show-off thread, posted on 26 August.
By Tuesday, I had finished four more, and and posted a request for technical advice.
Yesterday morning, I sat down with a fresh sheet of wet palette paper and finished the last three, mostly one at a time, but carrying colors across figures where appropriate (e.g., all shields got a yellow layer in one pass). I slapped a coat of thinned Liquitex gloss acrylic medium and varnish over them, and waited for them to dry.
The flag is from my Portable Fantasy Campaign map; you can find the city of Candelon in the lower left corner.
When they were dry enough to handle, I pulled out the arrangement picture, glued them in place, and disguided the integral bases with a layer of white glue and sand. I had a little extra room, so I planted a couple of tufts. At that point, it was time to go to the wargames club meeting, so I left everything to dry. When I got home, I carefully brushed on a thinned layer of white glue and added flock.
This morning I did a final spray varnish coat (of Krylon Low Odor Matte Varnish), waited for that to dry, and took some pictures, as seen above.
There’ a “Painting Faster” thread running elsewhere at the moment. I didn’t time the last three figures, but the first five were running about 40 minutes each (averaged, since I was working on more than one at a time). For appearances, I don’t really need to do detailed faces, and details on shoes and belts get lost in the overall effect. When deployed, this stand will probably be one of 20-30 stands on a small game table, so even more details will generally become invisible. So I could theoretically paint them faster by eliding details, knowing the gameplay end state. However, I’m generally painting for my own satisfaction and amusement, and therefore I paint them as much as I think is fun. In a game, I won’t see the work, for the most part, but I am comfortable with letting a civilian walking past a game pick up a stand and squint at it, and that’s the level that works for me.
Other levels, of course, are possible. My son likes to do better; here’s a 1/72 Mycenaen chariot of the late Bronze Age he finished Wednesday or Thursday:
I try not to get in painting competitions with him.
By Rob Dean
I resolved recently to relax for a while and just paint whatever I felt like painting. So it turns out that Augusat has been terrain month mostly, but I started fiddling with some 1/72 plastic figures. These three were Monday and Tuesday’s lunch break project. (Since I tripped over my ice skates last week, this hasn’t been a good week for exercising at lunch…)
There are a few places where I couldn’t see flash until I had primed. I expect these are all ending up as part of 6-8 man stands, so a few little irregularities will be hidden in the mass.
By Rob Dean
This hasn’t been a particularly good month for painting. I had a week off back on the 9th, but, as shown here, my desk had gotten too cluttered to actually get much painting done. I’m also off this week, and decided that I would try just putting one task on the desk at a time, to see if that would help. My son has been diligently working on his Bronze Age DBA armies, so I decided that I would finally get started on the last stand of figures I needed to finish my 2nd DBA army. (DBA : De Bellis Antiquitatis, a popular set of ancient wargames rules for small figure collections to be played on a small table.) Earlier this year, I had managed to get all of my 13th C BCE Libyan infantry done, to match against my New Kingdom Egyptians, but I still needed a “chariot general” base.
Son and I have been working this project intermittantly for about fifteen years, and we have a deep stash of Caesar Miniatures 1/72 scale plastic figures. There is no “official” Libyan chariot, so I cobbled one together using an Egyptian chariot body, horses from a different (Mitanni) chariot set, and a Libyan commander pose. He’s a little too wide to be able to fit a driver in as well, so, artistic rendering...
We used to mount our chariots on a 40mm wide by 60mm deep base, but the DBA rules call for 60mm by 80mm. The single chariot looks a little lonely, and there isn’t room for a pair of them, so he and I agreed that we would generally mount a couple of “chariot runners” with each vehicle.
Most of my Libyans are done with cloaks painted to represent hairy hides from spotted cows, in keeping with the modern painting guide depictions. However, searching around for actual contemporary Egyptian depictions of Libyans came up with this (I’ve cropped a single figure out of a group of four):
I did my best to replicate the alternating rows of “eyes” and “arrows” on the general’s cloak, and echoed the pattern on the chariot body decorations because “why not?”. At least any historical nit-pickers are likely to have seen the same picture...
Here’s the completed “army”. With the Egyptians, I can at least stage a remote game without using proxy figures, although we are starting to look forward to getting together for an actual games day sometime again (probably still six months off...). Maybe my next army, the Nubians, will be ready by then as well.
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