28 April 2013

The Latest Batch of Figures. . .

A lone Eureka Saxon grenadier (Vielen Dank Stefan!) at attention, painted here as a generic Prussian sort of fellow, guarding (wait for it) . . .  a wooden crate.


Here's our lone grenadier once more, this time shown with a bunch of Minden figures finished several weeks ago.  He is guarding a Zichenauer dragoon officer, who is being interrogated by several Stollenians and an English officer seconded to the Stollenian Army.  "The box!  The box!  Tell us, my dear von Boffke, what is in the box?"


More figures by Minden Miniatures!  Here, Hives (in gray greatcoat) and the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II eavesdrop on an argument between two Stollenian engineer officers, who cannot determine which way is up on their map.  

Besides the Eureka and Minden figures show above, the extra bits in these photographs include a crate and barrel from Foundary, rocks and twigs from my driveway outside Stollen Central, and sand from my maternal grandmother's creekbed, which I stained with thinned dark brown acrylic paint (using Liquitex Flow-Aid) once it was fastened down to the bases with some Liquitex acrylic matt medium.  The light covering of grass and tufts of shrub are, naturally, from Woodland Scenics.  I applied dabs of the matt medium to the base --  the are various and sundry art supplies available that have all kinds of applications in the painting and modelling of wargame armies -- to cement the grass followed by small dollops of super glue gel to attach the shrubs once everything else was done.  

The benefits of Liquitex acrylic matt medium to hold down grass scatter material are many.  It doesn't smell bad, washes out of brushes easily, can be put exactly where you want it since it is somewhat viscous, and dries without any tell-tale shine peeking trough the groundwork.  Perhaps most important, it does not shrink as it dries, unlike glue for example.  So, your bases are less prone to warping than is the case when you use white glues, like Elmer's, to takc down your scenic materials.  I picked up that particular tip in a book I bought almost 20 years ago (!!!) on model railway and diorama scenery. . .   After quite a few years of irritatingly warped bases whenever I attempted to add scenic effects back during my 15mm Napoleonic days.

Another tip from the same book involves the ground foam rubber "grass" scatter material.  The book suggests not going overboard with it but, instead, letting a fair amount your "dirt" show through.  Thin spots in the grass cover if you will.  That way, you avoid a manicured, suburban golf course appearance and, instead, end up with scenic basing that looks much more like untended coutnryside.  I don't always get it right myself, but I'm especially pleased with the way the Grand Duke's and Hives' scenic base turned out.  The ground below them actually looks like a country meadow with a thin covering of grasses, some bare patches, some tufts of weed or small shrubs, a dead log, and (just behind the Grand Duke) a dead or dying sapling of some kind. 

By the way, the figures were painted, as has become usual in recent months, primarily with thinned oils over a base coat of white acrylic gesso.  The Winsor & Newton alkyd oil paints were thinned considerably with Liquin Original and take about 12-24 hours to dry to the touch.  Detailing (facing colors, buttons, lace, etc.) was carried out with a mix of Citadel and Ral Partha acrylics.  Once everything was done, a coat or two of Liquitex acrylic gloss medium and varnish was applied, to approximate that lovely shine that has adorned so many of Doug Mason's and Bill Gaskin's  Napoleonic figures over the years.

8 comments:

Phil said...

Fantastic looking vignette, great work...the second one is my favourite!!
Phil.

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Thank you, Phil! I too enjoy the look of your Peninsular games on your Association Les Riflemen blog. Good stuff!

Best Regards,

Stokes

tidders said...

Another cracking set of vignettes - lovely work

-- Allan

Springinsfeld said...

Excellent work, I love the finish on the figures, that deep enamel like gloss coating gives them real depth. Also (to my eye) gives them a slightly Meissen like look which is entirely appropriate.

Corporal_Trim said...

I second the other comments, fine vignettes, sir !

Standing guard over a box, now that does remind me of the army.

Regards,
Steve

Bloggerator said...

Lovely scenicking Stokes. I'm very fond of your ground-work.

Greg

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Thanks gents! I haven't had this much fun painting since those Holger Eriksson dragoons two or three years ago.

Best Regards,

Stokes

REDTROOP said...

I must say I am really enjoying your recent set of vignettes. As others have said your painting style is a beautiful mix of old school and new. I am slowly coming round to the charms of a gloss finish and believe I may try the technique on some Minden Prussians I have.
Cheers.
Neil.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...