28 January 2018

A Replacement Infantry Standards Update. . .

One exposure taken with my trusty little Sony Cybershot DSC TX-20 on, I think, the 'beach' setting oddly enough.

Just a quick update this early Sunday afternoon to  share my plodding work on the replacement infantry standards.  Here is what is (almost) finished at this point, the final weekend in January.  The two Hanseatic flags that I shared last week, a pair of historic standards in the background that are destined for my own Ermland Garde (one of thse very early regiments made up of Revell plastic SYW Austrian grenadiers), and the colonel's standard of W├╝rttemberg's Garde zu Fuss, consisting of 30mm figures by Huzzah!, which was given the red regimental standard at the time painting was completed in 2010 or 2011.  

In any case, both of those particular flagpoles still require the careful addition of Front Rank tassels, cords, and finials before the two figures are ready for glossing and to join their regiment.  I've also decided, on that note, to wait until all of the replacement standards and ensigns carrying them are done before applying a couple of coats of acrylic gloss to everything in one fell swoop.  Still a few touch-ups here and there on these, but the flags themselves are largely done.

Now,  some of you might be thinking to yourselves at this moment, "Stokes, old boy, what's with the use of historic flags for your fictitious formations?"  

A fair question.  Frankly, the historic flags of the mid-18th century are so fantastic, wondrous, and even beautiful in their way, that they are far better than anything I might possibly be able dream up on my own.  I am nothing if not vexillologically challenged, so with these limitations in mind, it made sense to take the following approach (if I might be so bold to call it that).  A year or so ago, I dug around through many books and examined lots of websites, picking and choosing at random the most colorful, eye-catching standards and guidons I could find for the envisioned re-flagging of my existing line infantry (and some cavalry) regiments.

As I explained in a previous post, I copy what I like into MS Word, resize, and print out everything first.  Next, I carefully cut out and attach said flags to poles using nothing more exotic than plain, old white Elmer's glue, taking care to furl the flags a bit and hold them gently in place until the glue sets.  Later on -- Almost a year in my sad case.  Definitely not the way to pursue a hobby! -- I return and carefully paint in my own colors.  Much more time consuming than, perhaps, purchasing some  of the wonderful ready-made flags on paper and even cloth (Maverick Models) that are now available, but I prefer for my flags to fit in with my general minimalist-impressionist painting style.  Blame my Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec fantasies!
As far painting the flags themselves is concerned, I find that washes of the basic colors with very subtle washes of highlight colors seem to blend nicely and help avoid the overwrought, in my view, look of the Foundry and Dallimore three-layered methods of  figure painting.  Not that those are bad, or wrong, mind you, but the results have always appeared kind of "off" to me.  I think the problem is in the lack of color blending to yield a smoother, more finished look.  But that's just me.

But back to my replacement flags.  In the case of really complex central heraldic devices, I try to furl flags in such a way that one or both sides are obscured, reducing the amount of things that need coloring in with paint, to say nothing of the time and frustration factors respectively.

So, the finished flags do not necessarily stand up to the same degree of close scrutiny as professionally made flags might.  And they are certainly not up to the standards (Paul Weller & The Jam pun intended) of, say John Ray's or Mark Allen's work, but they look pretty good at arm's length and give a reasonable impression of mid-18th century military flags.  I can live with that.   By the way, for brushes, I use a synthetic #3 round, synthetic #2 round, and an 000 sable to do this kind of work plus my usual thinned Citadel and Ral Partha hobby acrylics.

Ok, time for me to do something here that might actually help pay the bills!  As Vera Lynn once sang, we'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when. . .

-- Stokes

A second, this time taken on the high definition setting.  These were the best two exposures of six quick shots before putting away the light tent and mini-spots for the week.  I can hardly have distractions nearby here in Zum Stollenkeller when I'm supposed to be doing "real" work, can I?


Steve J. said...

Those look wonderful old chap. I completely agree re: using historical flags for Imagi-Nations armies. Ditto uniforms. If I like it I'll use it! It's only a game after all.

Simon Millar said...

They look pretty good to me. I'd be delighted with them. I agree with Steve and yourself, if you want to use historical flags for imagi-nations, why not? I've designed my own, but that's just me!

Bloggerator said...

C'mon Stokes, they look pretty splendid.

Don't hide your light under a bushel old man!



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