17 December 2013

A Fife&Drum Command Vignette. . .

Not Doug Mason-Peter Gilder quality yet, but getting there.  Even on these 28-30mm figures, I prefer to leave the eyes blank and simply let the pigment settle into and around the eye sockets of the men and horses.  Attempts to paint in eyeballs and irises, I feel, usually end up looking overwrought.  In any case, the faces on these miniatures are just wonderful.

Freshly varnished, and the base terrained with a bit of stained sand and Woodland Scenics materials over top, here they are. . .  a Fife&Drum Continental general,  his aide de camp, and an errant infantryman looking for his unit.  Rats!  I see now that I have yet to paint in a gold sword knot and the spurs on the two mounted figures (shakes head in abject shame as face reddens).



A head-on shot of the same three figures.  With castings this nice, it's hard to mess them up or group them in a silly, unconvincing way.


I based these figures on the uniforms illustrated in plates 164 and 165 within John Mollo's Uniforms of the American Revolution along with a bit of creative license.  See what you think.  Jim Purky's Fife&Drum figures were (and are) fun and rapid to paint, this particular batch taking me maybe four sessions of around two hours each, give or take.  Lots of guys could probably paint 'em up even faster, but I'm discovering that half the fun of painting figures to completion, collecting, and gaming with them is actually the journey.  Geeze, this is starting to sound like a Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young tune or something.  Stop me now, please, before I hurt myself or someone else! 


Another Orson Wells-inspired high angle shot.  I used a very thin mixture of Winsor&Newton Griffin Alkyd Prussian Blue oil and Liquin Original for the coats and saddlecloths here.  This time, it seems to have worked well, settling into the various creases and folds and leaving nice highlights on the raised areas of the figures pictured.  Where it didn't quite work, I added a dash of fine lining with my trusty ol' bottle of Ral Partha Dark Blue acrylic that is now 17 years old and a sable 000 brush that I've had almost as long.  Both continue to serve me well.


This particular group of figures, while they might bear a striking resemblance to officers and enlisted men in the Continental army of the late 1770s-early 1780s, will assume their place in the Stollenian army where the as-yet-unnamed general and his ADC will command a brigade of infantry or some guns perhaps, depending on where and when they are needed.  Next up, three Fife&Drum marching Continental infantrymen and a drummer.  Skulking scoundrels, the lot of them, who have obviously crept away from the front line under the cover of musketry smoke and are making their way to some county tavern or other rural den of iniquity of which there are many dotting the Stollenian countryside.


A final photograph of the new vignette.  The yellow-tan breeches and waistcoats on the two mounted figures were achieved with a very runny wash of Windsor&Newton Griffin Alkyd Yellow Ochre and Liquin Original while the tan facings on the coats were done with an old, seldomly used bottle of Games Workshop tan.  I have found that, in many cases, a very thin dark brown paint actually provides a more effective "black lining" than does black, which looks too stark with brighter colors like yellow, tan, and red.

3 comments:

Andy McMaster said...

Those have come out really well. I really must add my F&D to the paining schedule. They are lovely figures!
And nice basing as well.

Fitz-Badger said...

I'm loving your painting style these days! The latest batches, including these, are outstanding! Vibrant colors, the gloss shine, all add up to a porcelain-like quality that seems quite fitting for your collection.

tidders said...

Super little command vignette

-- ALlan

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