Saturday, January 30, 2010
First Dutch at Waterloo
I tested two techniques when painting the trousers. The first was a very thinned application of darkened grey to the creases, a ligher shades immediately applied to the rest of the trouser and a lighter dry brush over the top when truly dry. A tip for those not familiar with enamels: do not thin the dry coat if you are not prepared to wait at least 24 hours between coats or you can lift the paint from the highlights. The problem with this technique is that it takes time and is a little painstaking. The benefits are that is is a good result. The dry brushing gives a seamless transition from deeper, darker areas to the lighter highlights - unlike the 'blocky' effect that more commercial painting services can achieve, seen when photographed too closely.
A quick word on undercoating. I have now returned to brush and thinners when it comes to undercoating my figures. I used spray packs for many years of every brand imaginable. In the end the subtleties required for applying thinned enamels requires a non-porous coat. Unfortunately, spray coats leave a result rather like blotting paper which takes my paint in all directions leaving me with much reduced control over the initial applications. My friend Matt and fellow Goulbourn Gamer has perhaps found the real answer which is a spray gun but I am content to soldier on with White Knight Rust Guard epoxy enamel for some time to come. Besides, my turn-over of figures is not that high anyway. A last word on undercoating in white with thin painting techniques is that depths can be achieved with less applications - just two or even one.
I don't know who started this trend but I remember first seeing the gents from the League of Augsburg using a three day growth effect on their figure's faces and I have been a fan ever since. In this, I depart from my normal enamel loyalties and use acrylics for the faces with a diluted applicaiton of black ink. Having said this, I vary the clouring of my troops with a mixture of blondes through to brunettes and only use the unshaved look for the dark haired soldiers. I always finish off the faces and heads first (minus the head gear) unless I need to get a collar colour in underneath long hair. By painting faces first my white models begin to come to life at an early stage and I am motivated to continue. AND motivation can be a tricky business when painting troops at a 1:20 representative scale. With a family and career to squeeze in around my hobby, discipline is required to progress even one battalion toward completion. My rule is one application per day and in a month at worse, the regiment is raised.
Once dry, I fixed rubble which was mouse litter mixed with medium sand using PVA glue which is coated in diluted PVA glue when dried to set it properly. Once dried, I paint in is a series of ever lightening earth tones with an eye to representing furtile, western European farmland benefitting from good rainfall. I finished off with two tones of static grass (which I mixed myself) at the outer edges and at strategic points to cover obvious sections of the figure bases which might be seen. Overall, I am reasonably pleased with the effect which was, after all, an experiment. The last touch to the base is a new habit I have of identifying the unit on the back right hand corner - black gloss paint over white. Given that my Brigade will have a number of similarly uniformed Dutch Militia battalions, this will prove invaluable.