07 December 2011

A Few Questions. . .


A few painting questions have recently been asked by Gerardus-Magnus of the Duchy of Hangover.  He asks:

1. Will there be white or yellow tape on the tricornes?
The Knoetel illustration above is the one I am using as a guide, although I am painting musketeers in three-cornered hats rather than the grenadiers pictured above.  In the interest of speed, and because I don't have any more information than this picture, I have chosen to eschew hat lace, either white or yellow.  I suppose, though, that I could just say their hat tape is black! 

2. What color do you use for the gun stocks?
Usually, whatever dark brown happens to be handy.  Right now, that is a bottle of Citadel (ex-Games Workshop) Scorpion Brown.  For the wigs/hair of this particular unit, I am using the lighter Citadel Vermin Brown, but Colonel von Weinschenke will have the more usual white wig that we might expect for an officer of his standing. 

3. Do you use a wash on the faces and hands of your loyal troops?
In the past, I have used a black undercoat on all my troops for the Grand Duchy of Stollen project, and simply then applied small dabs of oil-based fleshtone to the chins, cheeks, and noses of the figures, taking care to leave tiny lines of the black showing between these different parts of the faces.  It's a bit stylized and exaggerated, I suppose, but at arm's length the men look to my eyes like they really have faces, especially when group into large units of 30-80 figures.

This time around, I have decided to do things a bit more along classic, old school lines with the Luebecker Musketeers.  You know, just to shake things up a bit.  So, we're talking about a white basecoat over which glazes of the various colors are applied, at least where the red coats and flesh are concerned.  As far as the fleshtone is concerned, I'm just applying thin glaze of Winsor-Newton Griffin Alkyd flesh and leaving it at that.  By the way, I am using a #2 Cotman round brush to apply fleshtone to the faces and hands, but my point is finally starting to go, darn it, so hopefully Santa Claus/Father Christmas might leave me a few new brushes with good points.  But back to the matter at hand.

Once the color and thinner dry, more pigment has settled in the eye sockets, along either side of the figures noses, and beneath their lower lips.  You need to be careful during this step, because it's very easy for the color to run into areas where you DON'T want it.  I've had that sort of mishap too, which has had to be fixed later on in the painting process.  Amazingly, the figures' hands are turning out pretty well in most cases with the fleshtone pigment settling into the fine lines between fingers.  These RSM-95 have more detail on them than many might think!  

Anyway, that's how I am doing the flesh areas of the figures this time around.  It does not produce highly detailed faces, and I suppose volumes could be written on how to paint faces in a more complicated way, but this particular method yields a look that's convincing en masse, to me at least, and it's a fairly quick step when working with batches of 4-5 figures, which is how I am tackling this 60-strong regiment of infantry at 25-30mm.  That's approximately 1/60 for you scale freaks out there!  ;-) 

Hope these replies to your questions might help with your own brushwork, Gerardus.  A large part of the fun in painting figures, whether in smaller, more manageable units or insanely large ones, comes through this kind of painterly experimentation and finding what works best for you to produce the kind of appearance you want your model armies to have.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

CelticCurmudgeon said...

My Dear Ulrich,

How kind of you to take the time to make such a detailed reply to my inquiry. After the first hundred thousand or so figures, my painting style has settled on achieving the look which I find most pleasing to my eye. Currently I'm working on some nicely black primed 30 YW 18 mm figures. However, my next lot will use a white prime technique. Washes vary as do the specific flesh tone I have at hand. As our friend Otto would say - "Damn it, Jerry. Paint them anyway that you want. They are yours!" In your case the lovely color schemes and experiments with technique have worked rather nicely and all your finished work is more than a little praise worthy.
Hope you get to the game to which you are looking forward with some hope of attending.
Your servant,
Gerardus magnus
Archbishop of the Duchy of Han-gover

(AKA Jerry Lannigan)

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