18 September 2016

The Battle of Doltz, Odds, and Ends. . .

General de Latte (blue coat), Major di Biscotti (white coat to his left), and their aides consider their options.

Just before 2pm that afternoon, General de Latte, his second in command Major di Biscotti, and their aides took stock of the situation that had developed.   The former snapped his spyglass shut, cleared his throat, and said to di Biscotti, 

      "As I see it, we don't have many options at this point.  We may yet win the cavalry engagement and roll up von Bauchschmerzen's cabbage eaters from the far side.  On the other hand, I see little prospect of winning the firefight now!"  Di Biscotti nodded and mumbled a reply through a mouthful of stale pastry,

      "Mmmpf!  Ba baba schtopf aaarrruumpf?"  Puzzled by di Biscotti's enigmatic answer. . . and displeased by his crass manners, de Latte snacked his forehead in frustration and turned his gaze skyward.


In other news, painting has continued apiece, when and where possible, on those six Fife & Drum Prussian limber teams.  While these is still much to finish before glossing and terraining of bases can take place, they are beginning to look like something.  

I was rereading an article on figure painting in an early issue of Battlegames Thursday or Friday evening, which made the point that figures tend to take longer to come together, visually speaking, when a white basecoat method is used as opposed to a more forgiving black basecoat approach that has become more popular since the heady days of the 1960s, 70s, and early 80s when historical miniature wargaming seems to heave been at its peak.  Black, of course, immediately makes things look more crisp and clean, but coverage is sometimes a problem with the brighter colors like reds, yellows, and so forth.  

No matter, I'll stick to my white basecoat at this point since I like the way it makes the finished figures look, and it is much less time consuming to work with washes and stands that, to a certain extent, run over the surfaces of figures, rather than laboriously brushing everything over figures that have been undercoated in black.  If your approach to painting is along the same lines as the Foundry or Dallimore three-shade methods, that's at least three passes with each color before you can call everything done.  

Now, there are hobbyists and professional painters around who CAN do this in fairly short order, churning out impressively sized units in the process, and more power to them.  Yours truly, however, has never been able to replicate that level of painting output and quality.  Sad but true, so my kind of old-fashioned white basecoat method will be around for a while yet.


Speaking of Battlegames, my son, the soon to turn seven years old (Can you believe it??!!) Young Master, has recently taken quite an interest in Dad's old stacks of various wargaming magazines down here on a bookshelf in Zum Stollenkeller Mk II.  He asks at every photograph of vaguely horse and musket looking figures if those are my soldiers, and I have to explain that, no, Dad's time, money, and painting output are far too limitedBut it looks like I might have to assist Santa Claus/Father Christmas with some inexpensive plastic 1/32 or so horse and musket types this year.  Strike while the iron is hot say I!


In another part of my hobby, I am gearing up to reorganize my existing (and future) 30-figure cavalry units into two-squadron regiments in which each 12-figure squadron carries a standard or guidon.  Might one of you visitors to the Grand Duchy of Stollen blog have a single guidon bearer and horse from the plastic Revell SYW 1/72 Austrian Dragoon set that you would be willing to part with?  I can of course pay you something reasonable via PayPal for the figure, horse, and postage.  Just let me know via my private e-mail address: stokes.schwartz@gmail.com.


Finally, there is some potentially exciting news looming on the horizon.  Can't say anymore just yet, you understand, but do stay tuned for more information as it is forthcoming. 

-- Stokes


Ross Mac rmacfa@gmail.com said...

I confess that I still consider black priming to be "new fangled" and despite several attempts have never really liked it or the black lined effect, not even when done by masters.

Destroys the illusion of far away masses for me. Course I also hate exagerated detail and accessories for the same reason. Still to each their own.

...win the cavalry fight? Hrmph, Anything's possible I suppose.

Ross Mac rmacfa@gmail.com said...

Oh and re the young master, if you can find a BMC Yorktown playset, perfect thing, both sides plus terrain pieces, open and play bit like the okd Marx days.

Paul Robinson said...

Nice article and I've thoroughly enjoyed following your game. As for painting - I've always admired your work and love the overall effect you achieve. So whatever it is you're doing - keep doing it.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

To be honest I agree with Paul - you have your painting style so if you change your undercoating method the output will look different - not something you'd want to do.. ?? For what it's worth though I combine the two approaches - undercoat black, and then a damp brush of white to give the user friendly base for brighter colours while retaining black in the recesses/shadow features....

Der Alte Fritz said...

Try grey primer. You still get bright colors without triple coats of paint and you get none of the coverage problems that sometimes occurs when using white primer.



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