20 July 2014

Better Cart and Wagon Photographs. . .

 A large two-wheeled cart -- its load of freight is yet to be painted -- by Blue Moon, I think.  The driver is of course from the wonderful Minden line.  No attempt was made to model the reins between the driver and his horse since I wanted something that would stand up a bit better to handling, especially when the Young Master is a wee bit older and I indoctrinate. . . er. . . um. . . introduce him to tabletop wargaming.  You know, one of those many compromises all of us make in one way or other with our painting and modelling. 

You know, some mornings, just nothing goes right.  For instance, after a difficult and challenging breakfast with the Young Master, who clearly got up on the wrong side of the bed today, I retreated to the relative safety of Zum Stollenkeller with another mug of black coffee for some much needed time away from wife and child.  And to take some nicer photographs of that recently completed first batch of five wagons and carts.  

Here's a photo, especially for Ross, of 'Margarethe die Marketenderin' auf Deutsch, or Margaret the Sutleress in English.  She, her mule, cart, and supplies therein are a small set available from Eureka Miniatures.  The figure comes with a French Napoleonic forage cap.  I changed that to a three-cornered officer's cap with ostrich feather trim, by means of a fairly simple conversion (Off with his head!!!), which seemed only right and proper for the mid-18th century.

No sooner had I taken three reasonably nice pictures before my little Sony Cybershot TX20 informed me that its battery was out of juice, and then it promptly died without further ceremony.  Arrrrggggh!!!  I will not tell you what choice words I muttered below my breath in reply (you can probably guess), but after the breakfast episode, there were several as I plugged the camera and its charger into a handy power outlet.  So, three more hours or so before I can continue with the pictures.  Hell and damnation!

Finally, here is a close-up of Fräulein Margarethe, presumably on her way to hawk water, wine, perhaps a sack of coffee or flour, and a bunch of green onions to a platoon or two of hungry Stollenian infantry.  Unlike a full unit of 25-30 hussars, her dolman was actually fun to paint since there was only one. 

As usual, the painting on these was completed with a mix of very thin alkyd oils (Liquin Original is a huge help here) and washes of acrylic hobby paints over a white basecoat.  The horses and mule received an intermediary undercoat of orange, yellow, and brown Humbrol enamels before glazes of brown oils (mainly Burnt Umber and Burnt Sienna) were applied during a subsequent painting session.  

The bases are carefully cut and trimmed 1/8" card, terrained with sand collected from my maternal grandmother's creek bed in the summer of 1984.  This was tacked onto the bases with Liquitex acrylic flat varnish.  When that was dry, it was given a wash of very thin dark brown acrylic paint.  The Woodland Scenics grass scatter material was tacked down with a bit more of the flat varnish the next evening, and the weed clumps were stuck on with dots of superglue gel the evening after that.  I might add just a smidgeon more of the grass material down the center of the wagon track, but I haven't made up my mind quite yet.  

Friday evening and Saturday morning, I got busy basecoating the next group of five wagons, teams, and drivers/drovers, but they aren't anything special to look at just yet.  In the meantime, tune in again later for a few more photographs of the finished models.  Once that blasted camera has recharged itself of course.

-- Stokes

Later. . . 

Ok.  Camera charged up and a few more new photos to add.  Here they are:

 The first of two Fife& Drum powder wagons.  This one has a large barrel glued into its wicker basket extension at the back.  The rider is part of the RSM9 range.  These models are almost nine inches in length, so I need to nail down better depth of field, so everything is in focus, and then I think my model photography skills will be reasonably good.

The second of my two Fife & Drum powder wagons.  This one has a large bundle, from Foundry I believe, glued into its boot, to customize things a bit.  I used a 2B (soft lead) artist's pencil for labeling the canvas cover before the two coats of gloss were applied.  Reasonably straight, reasonably centered, and reasonably weathered.  I was, you might recall, after a weathered and ramshackle look for my wagons and carts, and it looks like I did pretty well.  More dry-brushing might have been in order though.  I used a light gray and tan for most of that, but white for the canvas covers and the Foundry bundle here.

 Last of all, here is an ox-drawn hay wagon by Old Glory (or perhaps Blue Moon?), along with a Minden drover.  Once more, I left the harness and tether to the imagination (There's that word again!), opting instead for a model that might stand up a bit better to handling, especially once the Young Master is invited to command the other side in ol' Dad's occasional wargames.

So, there you are.  Not exactly hyper-detailed models like Gilder's and Mason's, with all sorts of soldered extra bits, for example, but they'll look nice enough on my tabletop.  They are painted to a neat, rather subdued  wargaming standard that doesn't look half bad to me.  Most important, they are done.  That's my new painting mantra: large, neat, and finished.  LARGE units, painted to a NEAT standard that looks good deployed en masse on the table, with everything FINISHED in this lifetime.  Or at least before failing eyesight becomes a real issue.  There now.  What an extremely liberating "aha moment" to have.  Perfectionist tendencies be damned!


Fitz-Badger said...

Very nice photos! I especially like the sutleress and her little mule cart.

CelticCurmudgeon said...

My Dear Heinz-Ulrich,

Could the young master have possibly misunderstood? Could he possible have thought that he was going to be the victim of a nefarious child labor mis-deed and have to paint wagons and horses? Alas, having been around children of all ages, it is more than likely that he was expending one of his "canky chips," those invisible to adult markers all youngsters carry about to remind us that they are not here for our parental satisfaction alone. You may expect more of these from time to time....

As for the miniatures, they are, as usual wonderful! You definitely got the look of the weathered, gray-brown wood perfectly done. They must be employed in a resupply venture to the front very soon although the forces of vilainous deeds lurk ever near.

Enjoy the rest of July. The time of academia soon approaches in the weeks ahead.

Your servant,
Gerardus Magnus
Archbishop Emeritus

CelticCurmudgeon said...

Oops, I meant to write "cranky chips". Many apologies.

MSFoy said...

Logistics - sad that this stuff usually falls so far down the queue, and so satisfying when it gets done. Really nice models and photos. Love them!


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