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Showing posts from January, 2015

Facing Tedium. . .

Here is where things stand after a Friday evening painting session (Session #5), another on Saturday afternoon (Session #6), and third on Saturday evening (Session #7).  Still a way to go, especially with the drummer, who lags a bit behind the other 19 figures in the batch.
The title says it all, but I managed to get through the red parts and most of the white parts on these Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach musketeers during the last couple of days.  Whew!  I might be able to finish them tomorrow, but if we get the snowfall predicted, I am afraid cross-country skiing with the Young Master and Grand Duchess will trump figure painting.  We don't get enough snow as far as I am concerned in our neck of the woods, so I've got to enjoy it when it comes.  We'll see what, if anything, actually falls in the night.  

Still, I must admit that I think these are some of the most attractive uniforms I've ever painted.  All primary red, blue, and yellow save for the white, black, green, and flesh …

The Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach Musketeers after Painting Sessions #3 and #4. . .

Here's where things stand after a couple of nice painting sessions this weekend.  Time now for red facings, turnbacks, and various smaller details.
Moving along reasonably well with the current crop of 20 or so figures, which are being painted in uniforms worn by the Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach contingent of the Ernestinisch Infantry.  Drummers, according to a couple of sources I am referring to, wore brown laced coats faced red hence the rather odd color of the drummer at left. 


An old illustration from a packet of German cigarettes, I think, that matches pretty closely the written Kronoskaf 'Project Seven Years War' description of one possible drummer uniform worn by Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach drummers.

So far, I am not displeased with the way things are going, but my new bottle of Liquin Original is not imparting the flow qualities to my alkyd oil colors that I've become used to in the two years since I began using it.  Grrrrr. . .   So, it took rather a long time to work the thinn…

Evening #2: The Second 20 of 80 FIgures. . .

Still lots to do, but at least they are starting to look like small men.  Sort of.
Two good painting sessions today, the second to last day of a rather long Christmas and Winter break from school.  The first was actually this afternoon, as the Young Master played in the outer room of Zum Stollenkeller and periodically asked to come into my inner sanctum to see what ol' Dad was up to.  The second, concluded a short while ago, about 9:15pm here.    

Anyway, the brushwork completed today really just paves the way for the more interesting colors over the next couple of evenings, which will really help this batch of figures come alive.  For now, painting was limited to fleshtone, gray undercoating of eventually black areas (ala Peter Gilder and Doug Mason), and the green figure bases.  Next up, and in this order, I'll apply the following thinned Winsor&Newton Griffin alkyd oil colors:

1) Ivory Black to hats, shoes/gaiters, scabbards, and cartridge pouches
2) Yellow Ochre to breeche…

Second Batch of 80-Figure Infantry Regiment Started. . .

Here they are, the second batch of infantry with the new, improved General Phillipe de Latte and his sidekick Major Paolo di Biscotti in the background.
Despite a few difficult days, for various reasons, I've managed to get my syllabi updates finished, have set up my course Moodle pages online, and basecoat the 21 figures and two horses above since roughly 11:30am this morning.  Amazing what you can do if you set your mind to it, and the start of the next semester looms.  

Monday is Martin Luther King Day here in the United States, so no school for either the Young Master or his parents tomorrow.  I might, then, be able to squeeze in a couple of good painting sessions depending on how the day goes.  This particular batch of figures will be based on the uniforms worn by the Sachs-Weimar-Eisenach contingent of the Ernestinisch Sachsen infantry during the SYW period, more or less.   Below, you can review the various period illustrations -- from the New York Public Library's online …

Kurmainz Grenadier Company Officer and Drummer Done. . .

All ready for shiny acrylic gloss and basing in the next couple of days.
Not my best painting by any stretch, but they're done and just waiting for the final couple of steps.  Sadly, I've got a four-hour professional development seminar of teaching research and writing to undergrads on campus tomorrow morning, so that will delay everything else by a few hours.  And we just learned today that the wife of a neighbor couple we a close to has had her Cancer return, and it has spread throughout her system -- not the kind of news anyone wants -- so we might spend some time with them tomorrow afternoon, and see if there is anything we can do to assist.  Suddenly, toy soldiers seem rather less important.

-- Stokes

Kurmainz Grenadiers Update. . .

Almost there with the Kurmainz contingent.  Nothing fancy, but decent looking, unfussy painting.  It's difficult to observe here, but the green bags hanging from the bearskins have gold tassels and careful gold lining along the outer edges.  I wasn't going to add the latter, but green and gold look so pretty together.  And they are grenadiers after all, you know!  The cartridge pouches were also given small brass badges in the center.  The painting hand was especially steady that evening.
Well, the long Christmas break is coming to a close.  Between enjoying our snow by teaching the Young Master the rudiments of cross-country/Nordic skiing in a couple of local parks, syllabus updates for the new college semester starting next week, and some related professional development activities on campus, there hasn't been much free time the last week or so.  But I did manage to sit down and work on the mounted officer at left last night for a couple of hours.  This evening, if all go…

Kurmainz Grenadiers Update #6. . .

Here's where we stand at 10:25pm this evening after another 90 minute painting session.
Some evenings, nothing goes right, and it's best to clean the brushes and quit for the night before one might otherwise like to.  This evening was just such an occasion.  I was all set to paint in the black neckstocks carefully beneath the jaw lines and chins of the figures pictured above.  After about seven or so, it became clear that the ol' painting hand was a bit shaky tonight, and I've now got some touching up to take care of on the faces as the final steps approach before two coats of acrylic gloss.  Grrrr. . .   So, I stopped, snapped a photograph, and here we are.

That said, I think I finally have the white shoulder belts defined enough to look passable at arm's length after fooling with them for three or four evenings.  It is, I think, a combination of the sap green glaze and that the bottom edge of the shoulder belts on this particular RSM95 figure is not defined as clea…

Session Five: The Sap Green

The green facings, turnbacks, lapels, and waistcoats have been completed in one afternoond.  Whew!
A marathon painting session this cold, snowy Sunday afternoon (sadly, not yet enough on the ground for cross-country skiing), so four hours plus spent in the painting saddle carefully applying thinned Winsor & Newton Griffin Alkyd Sap Green.  As usual, a healthy dollop of Liquin Original mixed with a fairly small amount of the Sap Green.  As I gain experience using oils for the bulk of my painting, I find that less color and more Liquin -- No precise measurements, you know.  It's all done by sight and the seat of my pants. --  seem to yield better results, making the color easier and faster to apply and helping the pigment to settle in recessed areas while running somewhat thinner of raised parts of the figures at the same time.

Today, I used a #2 round synthetic Grumbacher 'Goldenedge' brush and went rather slowly to minimize errors that might need later touching up.  Ever…

Third and Fourth Night's Painting: The Whites

Starting to come together a bit more with the current batch of figures.
Things have gone so quickly and smoothly so far that we were bound to slow down considerably when it came to applying white to the coats and shoulder belts as well as touching up areas that are destined for eventual Sap Green with additional dabs of (total absence of) color.  So, two consecutive and tedious evenings applying white, somewhere between a wash and damp-brushing in consistency, have produced coats that are a very, very light gray, almost white on the raised areas really.  

The mounted officer and standard bearer in the back row were given an extra application of white on the shoulders, upper arms, and chests to make their coats a wee bit brighter as one would expect for officers, who usually wore better quality garments.  And then it was time to touch up the cuffs, lapels, waistcoats, and turnbacks in preparation for the Sap Green facing color, the same shade of green used for General von Bauchschmerzen&…

The Second Night's Painting. . .

Here's where we are with the current 23 figures as of midday Friday.
Managed to squeeze in a couple of painting sessions last night, a longer one followed by a shorter one later.  As indicated in my last post, I have managed to complete the application of fleshtone, Yellow Ochre, and Ivory Black to the requisite areas of the regimental command (lurking in the background) and the Kurmainz grenadiers in the foreground.  Very pleased with the Yellow Ochre on the breeches now that it has dried.  It looks less tan than I feared while applying it and more mustardy yellow, which is what I hoped.  Just fine.  

Next up, judicious damp-brushing of white onto the coats -- taking care to leave plenty of the tan undercoat showing around the edges -- and then Sap Green on the facings, turnbacks, waistcoats, and bags hanging from the bearskins.  Then, it will be time to begin picking out smaller details with the usual Citadel and Ral Partha acrylics.  If I'm not careful, these might be almost …

2015 Starts with a Bang. . .

The current batch of figures underway.
Managed to snatch about two hours yesterday evening -- New Year's Eve here -- for some early painting of the first 23 figures of the monster composite regiment. When you have a small child, and your usual babysitters (female students) are away for Christmas Break, it's difficult to make plans.  However, the Grand Duchess and I opened a bottle of sparkling wine just before Midnight and drank most of it before hitting the hay an hour later.  Funny.  I can vividly recall staying out all night a few times during the first half of my 20s when it came to New Year's Eve celebrations.


The wonderful old Knoetel illustration (the Kurmainz grenadierat far left) on which I'm basing the RSM95 Austrian grenadiers above at far left.

Anyway, the figures currently under the brush above will be painted, more or less, as grenadiers from Kurmainz by the way, so white coats, straw breeches, green facings, turnbacks, and waistcoats with black bearskins th…