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Some Father's Day Painting. . .

The guilty parties concerned.  Don't be fooled by the upside down bottles of craft acrylic metallics in the background.  In the end, I opted for the usual way of doing things here in The Grand Duchy and went with tubes of oil-based gold and silver from Winsor & Newton, or Grumbacher; tiny dabs on pallete paper thinned with a drop of Liquin Original, it doesn't take much, which has the added benefit of reducing drying time to about 12 hours or less.  That's fast enough for my recently glacial painting rate and output.

Well, it's funny how time flies, isn't it?  Apparently, it has been three weeks since my last update here (the usual daily dose of life and lawn), so let's jump back in up to our eyebrows on this rainy, cool afternoon in mid-June, a Sunday highly conducive to some uninterrupted time in the painting chair.   If you'll permit me to channel the wonderful Sir Michael Caine, "Know what I mean?"

Anyway, you'll note from the photograph above that my composite grenadier battalion, based on Kurkoeln (in blue) and Hessen-Darmstadt (in white), has finally had all of it's metallic bits painted right down to the maaaaany brass buttons on the cuffs, fronts, and backs of coats and the brass bands around the musket stocks. Whew!  Talk about holding your breath, but the end results look pretty good all things considered if I do say so myself.

I cheated a bit and used oil-based gold instead of brass and discovered one musket barrel that somehow escaped silver oils back in the winter.  So, I also saw quickly to that before cleaning my brush, a #1 Cottman whose point still has a bit of life left before wearing out entirely.  The one thing I'll do differently the next time I tackle numerous brass buttons on white coats is to apply a careful, sparing wash of sepia or brown to the area beforehand to help the metal buttons stand out a bit better, but ah well.  We'll leave it this time.  

It's done as my thesis advisor, with whom I have sadly lost touch, once advised.  She remarked in her office during a meeting one afternoon, "There are two kinds of dissertations.  Those that are perfect, and those that are finished."  

The same applies when it comes to painting units of wargaming figures.  We can drive ourselves crazy trying to get everything exactly so, resulting in a bizarre kind of hobby anxiety, or we can relax our standards a tiny bit and get things done in a reasonable amount of time, real life permitting of course.  That's not to say we want to make a sloppy job of our figure painting, but there is a balance to strike between the quest to paint award winning museum pieces and the ability to churn out reasonably well-painted units of figures before decrepitude, tartan lap blankets, and buxom nurses become the order of the day.  Cue the Benny Hill music, and carry on!

Anyway, just a few small glitches to repaint here and there, and then I can get on to the white tassels on the red silk bags atop the bearskins.  If my painting 'to do' list is correct, the only remaining items to paint are the heads, hoops, and cords on the drums as well as the swallows nests on the two drummers' shoulders plus a few inevitable touch-ups.  Then it's on to the acrylic gloss varnishing stage and applying two coats of green to the Litko bases earmarked months ago for this particular unit.  

On a related note, I find to do lists invaluable for keeping track of and getting painted the myriad of tiny parts that comprise typical wargaming figures.  Especially when considerable time elapses between painting sessions.  While I normally have a pretty good memory, stuff like the precise details of what remains to be painted versus what has been painted already would be extremely challenging without some written notes to consult after several weeks have gone by.

All of which is to say -- Get to the blasted point, Stokes! -- that once all of the actual brushwork has been completed on the figures shown above, I'll carefully detach them from their temporary cardboard painting bases and glue 'em down to those same permanent Litko bases before either moving on to a composite unit of grenadiers in mitre caps, or three-four model houses that have been on the mental to do list since the Baltic town center back in May-June 2017.  Funny how we're never quite done, isn't it?  There is always something -- painting, (re-) basing,  scenery and terrain, rules tinkering, messing with table configurations, etc. -- that requires our attention.  One of the great strengths of the toy soldiering hobby.

-- Stokes

As a reminder, the two Knoetel illustrations that I have used as a guide during the painting of this particular batch of figures.  Hessen-Darmstadt above, and Kurkoeln below.


Fitz-Badger said…
Nice work!
"Those that are perfect, and those that are finished." I like that. Very true.
The oxen are slow but the Earth is patient.

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