Tuesday, 12 February 2019

The Paint Job.

Yes, the paint job. Now, having perused the 
war gaming journals, it should be a doddle, Right! Well it can be. These days there are a fair number of online blogs and material in print that show you in great detail how to paint your figures. The people who write them know their stuff garnered through experience. The bottom line is to get the toys on the table!

This is my own method of getting them done. I have,nt got any facilities for spraying so I have to use brushes. Years ago there were only enamel paints, and many are the nights I stayed up to the early hours of the morning getting bombed out on the smell!!, then going to work with a headache!! Thank You to the Inventor of acrylics!! With acrylics you wash your brushes in water. The turpentine rinse has been consigned to history!

For the wee men from 2mm to 12mm I use a mid brown undercoat. For 15mm I use brown or white. For 20mm plastic I use brown. The reason for not using black is that I cannot see the detail even under a good light. The black seems to " absorb the light ". Using some sort of medium colour as an undercoat also means you don't have to be to accurate when applying the paint.

For the 20mm plastics, I get em' out the box and wash them in warm soapy water with a scrubbing brush. When they are dry, I cut them off the spruce and take off the flash, then I stick any bits together with Evostick or whichever universal glue you are familiar with. I then stick the figures to strips of cardboard. (Que dodgy photo at the top of this blog!). These are Taiashi Camels by Hat Industries. The spears are cut down javelin from North Star Miniatures.

Once they have dried I brush each figure with runny PVA GLUE. This dries pretty quickly and gives the paint something to stick to. I then undercoat with brown paint.

When I've  painted the figures, I  coat each figure with acrylic Gloss varnish. I do this to protect the figure because being a bit bendy it keeps the paint in place.

Now, I know that if you are just starting out your first paint job. Don't worry. Remember the idea is you are painting to play, not to display! You want numbers. For example, I don't bother with things like eyes and buttons. My own figures are painted for wargaming ( i.e. not brilliant!).

I dont want to bore you to death, so I'll try to be as succinct as I can. Firstly the 2/ 12mm figures. After cleaning any flash, I tack the metal figures to strips of cardboard using glue. Some people use blu-tack on milk bottle tops. Next I undercoat them brown and let them dry. I will say here that I prep ALL the figures before I start painting. Again it's a psychological thing with me. If you have to stop for any reason, it's hard to get going again. The boring bit is the prep work so I try to get through a.s.a.p.

Ok, now, having undercoated I start with the bits I can ACTUALLY SEE. I dab colour on ALL trousers, then ALL jackets. You get the picture.

Next, dab on the flesh for the face. This is the point where you can say" My army lives"!!!!! It's Alive!!.  Que: thunder and lightning  and maniacal crackling. Not to much. You might frighten the family and they will lock you in a cupboard!!.

I don't worry about crossbelts, but  it's up to you. I paint the muskets black or you can leave em' brown. Paint any swords or bayonets silver. Last of all paint the hat.

The above is of course for horse and musket. The approach to Ancients is roughly the same.

After undercoating brown, it's tunics ( or the bits of tunic I can see!). Next, it's faces, then weapons , shields and helmets. With ancient, it's shields and weapons that people notice. If you think this is a bit lazy (weeeellll!!), put the strip on the table about a foot (300mm) in front of you. This is how you will be using em'. Now, how much can you see??. You can see (geddit!) where I'm coming from.

All the above is pretty basic, I  know , but hopefully it will help get things cooking. I haven't mentioned about 28mm because the larger the figure the more detail to be applied so it takes more time to do fewer figures. These days, there are also 15 and 28mm figures in hard plastic that involves sticking body parts together. They are extremely well detailed. Personally, I steer clear of these because I become fumble fingered when I'm  against the clock! I like to crack on with the painting. I will assemble stuff but I don't like spending lots of time on it.

Thus we have come full circle. So, have a think, look at the space, look at the time involved, and the finance and all being well  all your efforts will end up as part of your game and not part of a jumble sale.

Next time we will look at the scenery and its effect on gaming.The picture below is of some Peter Pig AWI FIGURES being painted as Prussians and Austrians. The white flag bearer on the left a Miniature Figurines converted Russian infantryman.