12 February 2009


Unfortunately, all of our wonderful snow here in Central Illinois has gone thanks to a February thaw and unusually warm temperatures last week and through this past weekend. No, I am referring to the recent use of Games Workshop "Skull White" on that second, company-sized batch of RSM Prussian fusiliers for the last couple of days.

Photos will follow tomorrow or Saturday, but I can report that most of this tedious work is just about done without too many mistakes that require touching up. So far, I've managed to complete the shoulder belts, gaiters, and breeches on all nineteen figures along with the waistbelt and vests. Just eighteen coats to do now, but I find that these always go much more quickly than the breeches and gaiters for some reason.

Working with white has always been a something of a chore, especailly when virtually all of the uniform IS white. The trick, I think, with acrylic whites is to:

1) Add a tiny amount of water to the container of paint right off the bat to thin it out a bit. Not too much, but a bit, to prevent rapid drying and clumping; and

2) Keep (re-) wetting your brush as you work, so the paint flows smoothly onto the surface of the figures. Oh, and periodically rinse your brush, so that the thinned white doesn't work its way up to the metal ferule and gunk up your bristles. I generally use brushes with synthetic bristles these days and throw them away once they lose their points, but you might as well do what you can to prevent premature wear and make your equipment last just a bit longer.

But getting back to the application of the white itself. . . Really what you are shooting for is several successive washes rather than a single think coat of the stuff. I've tried to apply more washes, resulting in brighter white, on those surfaces that would naturally get more natural light, for example shoulders, upper chests and backs, the front of thighs and tops of feet. For the underside of other figure parts, I've gone with with one or two quick swipes with a brushful of watery white over the tan undercoat, which, to my eye at least, provides the right tone of tannish grey (or greyish tan) for white 18th century uniforms, a topic that has been done to death repeatedly over on The Miniatures Page discussion board. Anyway, you can be the judge when I get those photos posted here.

By the way, thanks for those of you who have visited The Indras' MySpace page and commented on the songs there. One of our two guitarists, "Paul", handles the vocal chores on Honey Don't, but that's me belting out Little Richard's chestnut Lucille. Incidentally, I had my first singing lesson with a professional vocal instructor on Tuesday evening (a Christmas gift from the Grand Duchess, who wants me to have a voice left when I'm 60!), and learned that I have almost a three octave range. Two in my normal voice, and a third when I slip into falsetto, ranging from the F below a middle C on the piano to an E three octaves up the keyboard. Imagine that. What a shame Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody falls beyond the time frame of our particular focus! Maybe we could do a rockabilly version of the song or something??!!

Have a good day everyone!


MiniWargamer said...

her technique is to apply it over a light tan color. When I use black undercoat I do tan and then white on top of that. (Works with house and interior roompainting, too... we had a raspberry wall in Atlanta that we painted over that way in one coat of tan then white!)

Fitz-Badger said...

I basecoat my minis with black these days, then use a light gray main coat for white areas, followed with an even lighter gray, and save the pure white for areas I really want white.

So, Rockabilly Rhapsody? lol

Bloggerator said...

I'm a man for the Fitz-Badger method, me.

Works for my French and Austrians.

I've not yet tried it for the Spanish, but I feel it may suffice!


Greg Horne

tidders said...

I use a mid-brown undercoat, followed by two coats of white.

You definitely need to occasionally thin the paint a tad and clean the brush.

-- Allan

johnpreece said...

I am a simple soul, I just undercoat the whole figure in white.

You'd be surprised how few coats are needed to keep it white!

Still, nobody loves a smartarse do they? so I'll just sit quietly over here in the corner.


Steve Turner said...

I've had trouble with acrylic paints myself (particularly black). They dry quicker than I'm used to because I generally use the tougher enamels for my 6mm scale figures. I think the secret is to add water 'little & often'.



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