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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 about these RSM95 horses.  The various straps and harnesses are sculpted very thinly, in a realistic way.  Whoever the original sculptor of these animals was (maybe the late Steve Hezzelwood?  John Ray?  Someone else?), he or she did a bang-up job when it comes to the tack.  Nice, thin, and crisp in other words.

Too often, on many brands of wargame horses, the sculpted tack is far too thick.  That makes for relatively easy painting, I suppose, but it looks too heavy and clunky to my eye.  That might be alright for draft horses like the kind used to pull wagons, caissons,  and limbers -- assuming you're crazy enough to want to paint a bunch of those (Guilty!) -- but for individual cavalry horses, heavily sculpted tack strikes me as too much for 30mm figures and below.  It doesn't help us painters, of course, but thinner tack looks more realistic I think.

Now, all I have to do is reproduce these same results 15 more times.  Wish me luck, though even I am not foolish enough to attempt all of that in a single sitting.  After all, I have the faint and rapidly fading remnants of my sanity and shreds of my dignity to consider.  It'll be the home for deranged miniaturists next.

-- Stokes

Tuesday Morning P.S.
Managed to get quite a bit of the tack painted during several sessions yesterday (Monday).  Just the bridles around eight of the horses' heads to do today, and then metallics, touch-ups, and the colonel's standard before glossing.  We're getting there!

The two colors used for this latest step in the cavalry painting process.  And it IS a p-r-o-c-e-s-s.  No mistake.


Martin said…
Looking good, Stokes! You'll like those nice young men, in their clean white coats ... the meds will see to that, so no worries!
Robbie Rodiss said…
Doing a great job Stokes. Steve Hezzlewood was a wonderful sculpter and extremely talented for all his many faults.With RSM horses I have always had to repaint the horse when it came to painting the reins.
Wellington Man said…
You really wouldn't like the tack on Hinton Hunts, Stokes - or indeed much else about them compared to your exquisitely sculpted PBs. I think they are some of the finest wargame figures ever produced, and your painting does them proud.

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