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Showing posts from July, 2018

In the Midst of Applying Metallics. . .

Not the greatest photograph, but look closely, and you'll spot silver stirrups and bits along with brass rings and buckles on the halters of the horses.

A few different painting sessions today to finish highlighting the black leather and next begin applying the metallics (silver and brass oils).  To approximate spurs on the rear of the boot heels (not visible here), I satisfied that particular need with a nice small dot of silver using my old 000 sable round.  Happily, not too many flubbs with the brush today.

Just the scabbard tips and sword hilts to do, and then I'm taking a break from these for a few days to allow the oil bits to dry.  While the painting iron is hot, I'll jump to that second squadron waiting in the wings and apply yellow, tan, and maybe some orange undercoats to the 14 horses before adding the oil washes to get that multidimensional glaze effect that so nicely approximate horseflesh.

-- Stokes

Highlighting the Horse Tack. . .

A close-up of the dark gray being applied with a feather touch and an old 000 sable that has served me well for 20+ years believe it, or not.

So, how are we faring with those horse grenadiers?  

Well, getting very near the end, or rather nearer.  This weekend, I have spent various painting sessions, usually no more than 60-90 minutes at a time given the tedious nature of the work, applying dark gray highlights here and there to the various areas of horse tack.  Yes.  I know, I know.  It's official.  I need my head examined.  

Once dry and at arm's length, however, it adds some nice dimension to the figures and the overall impression they make.  Blame the work of Doug Mason and others as featured so long ago in Miniature Wargames and early issues of Wargames Illustrated, which has always been my pot of gold at the end of the proverbial painting rainbow where my own efforts with the brush are concerned. 

Just a few more brush strokes -- dabs really -- to get the bridles highlighted…

Now, where were we?

Here's where things stand for that first squadron of horse grenadiers this early Saturday afternoon.  All harnesses, reins, straps, etc. are finished.  Metalics are next! 

A few enforced days away from the painting table here.  The Grand Duchess and Young Master returned from their visit to the maternal grandparents very late Monday evening this last week, which, as is so often the case, threw a monkey wrench into my painting plans.  And we just have the one child.  I don't know how  men in larger families find any time at all for themselves.  It is certainly a challenge for yours truly.

It's odd how society has shifted since I was a child in the 1970s and a teenager in the 8os.  Our mother and father played with us, took us places, and did things with us when we were small.  Maternal grandparents too for that matter.  Reading to us, running around outside with a ball, bicycling, tobogganing in the snow, museums of one kind or another, zoos, amusement parks, bota…

A Tack Test Figure. . .

The test figure in question, and yes, I see the white areas in need of touching up.  That's the final step before glossing.

Another cool, gray, and damp morning here in the Grand Duchy of Stollen, fitting for a Monday. So, following coffee and a small breakfast, I sat down to the painting table for a test drive of the paint brush, that is try my plan for the reins, bridles, martingales, and cruppers: black with a hint of dark gray as a highlight.  

I used the orange-handled #2 round brush still with a reasonably good point, glimpsed above propping up the test figure, took a deep breath, and turned the key.  The application of the black went fairly well, with just a small mistake, easily wicked up with a damp brush, before it was onto the dark gray as a highlight.  The end result, sans the later metallic bits, small dabs of brass and silver to suggest the buckles and bits, is shown above.  

A fairly decaffeinated hand and a very light touch with the brush is suggested.  One thing abou…

A Late-Night Horse Update. . .

Just the bridles, reins, martingales, and 'cruppers' (that funny strap between the back of the saddle and bases of the horses' tails) to do next.  Thank you for the information on the correct terminology, Steve!

Today was unseasonably cool for late July -- mid-60s Fahrenheit, overcast, and damp. . .  My kind of day actually -- so why not spend the afternoon and evening here in Zum Stollenkeller Mk II teasing small dabs of paint onto even smaller areas?  

During two, or perhaps three (I really cannot recall at this point), sessions at the painting table, I took care of the white markings on muzzles and fetlocks, painted in the hooves, and finally applied more thinned Ivory Black, this time to the lower muzzles of all but two horses in this first batch of 16.  Not too many mistakes to fix, which is always nice, although these days I have become a pretty dab hand at wicking away misapplied bits of still damp paint with a wet brush before anything dries and requires painting ove…

Blackened Manes, Tails, and Lower Legs. . .

The first squadron of 14 plus the two-figure regimental staff of a colonel and another trumpeter (riding a grey).  Funny how, as Wellington Man mentions in his most recent blog post this morning, cavalry units look pretty awful until you begin addressing the horses in earnest.  It is at that point that everything begins coming together.  Getting there is always a struggle however where cavalry is concerned.

Spent a couple of pleasant hours early yesterday afternoon applying thinned (with Liquin Original) Winsor & Newton alkyd oil 'Ivory Black' carefully to the manes, tails, and lower legs of 13 bays and one grey horse.  It was during this activity that I began to think, "These might not look so bad after all."

Still lots to do before this first squadron and small regimental staff of two are finished, and I am a bit behind schedule here (the end of July is looming), but the brushwork on the figures seems to be falling into place.  Today, I'll start with the mane…

A Painting 'To Do' List. . .

A list of items remaining on the current squadron of cavalry figures.
In 35+ years of painting miniatures -- first D&D and since the mid-1980s almost exclusively wargaming -- a few things occur during the many hours at the painting table in the glare of bright lights.  

One is the humble list.  While not as complicated as, say, Napoleonics in full dress uniforms, there are lots of little bits to remember when it comes to painting mid-18th century figures.  While musing yesterday about my current painting, trying to work myself up to actually sit down at the table you understand, I jotted down a list of things outstanding before we can call the current crop of 16 figures done.  Oh, and let's add "flag" to the list!  Can't forget the colonel's standard.

Ok, I'm off!  Or as I reply to The Grand Duchess when she uses this very phrase, "Oh, you're 'off' all right!"

-- Stokes

Another Horse Grenadier Painting Update. . .

Two shots this morning to illustrate where we are with the squadron of Horse Grenadiers based on those of Wurttemberg.

Slooooowly making my way through the first 16 figures of an eventual 30-figure composite regiment.  I've now gotten to the point where it's time to paint in the reins, bridles, and martingales (GROAN!) on the horses, then the metallics, and finally a white colonel's standard, which will be a smaller version of the infantry colonel's standard with maybe the addition of some gold fringe since I've not been able to find any information on how the standard carried by the actual unit looked in reality.  

That's ok, however, since no information has been forthcoming on trumpeters' uniforms either, so it is here in the painting game that I will have to veer into the realm of the presumed, or the fictitious if you prefer, and just get them done.  So, a nice, somewhere in the ballpark, inspired by, based upon unit of bright, shiny toy soldiers when al…

Carry on and Keep Painting!

The squadron of Wurttemberg horse grenadiers as of late last (Tuesday) night.

Things are progressing slowly but surely with the current batch of cavalry figures here in Zum Stollenkeller Mk II, bet we're getting there.  Though I finally had to quit last night about 10:15pm after making a second or third mistake.  These flubbs with the brush were fairly easily corrected, but it was time to stop and head off to bed for some reading.  

I'll leave highlighting until just about everything else is finished.  I've also decided on black reins, bridles, and straps this time around with some sparing dark grey highlights ala Doug Mason's work.  And I'll attempt to add some cavalry carbines last of all when everything else, including a white colonel's standard (presumed), has been added.  Horses will be mostly bays with a chestnut or three for variety plus, of course, the grey ridden by the regimental trumpeter near the lower right-hand corner of the photograph.  

The second …

A Horse Grenadier Painting Update. . .

Next up: a few touch-ups, the smaller details, and the dark gray and scarlet highlights before the horse markings, bridles, reins, and related straps.

I've managed to snatch several hours the last four or five days as and when life has allowed to continue work on the squadron of Wurttemberg horse grenadiers.  Yes, I realize I have neglected the shouldered muskets, blast them!  I might add them later if I have enough in the lead pile.

-- Stokes