Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2020

Step 3.5: Blocking in the Horse Tack. . .

The first two horses with their black bridles, reins, and so forth all blocked in.  Blast!  I see a few areas in need of a bit more green around the hooves.


Well, I finally decided on tackling a pair of horses at a time, simply painting the bridles, reins, and other tack to completion before moving to the next pair.  Some visible progress is a good thing.  Painting just one item at a time assembly style, by contrast, is murder even when working with, say 10 or a dozen horses. 

Painting tack is sort of like riding a bike up a very long, steep, arduous hill.  I'm thinking, in particular, of the brutal Ramsey Hill in St. Paul, Minnesota and the equally nasty hill out of Stillwater, Minnesota.  Even in cooler weather, you feel like your head and lungs will burst well before the halfway point.  Talking to your fellow riders is out of the question.  Instead, focus, concentration, and steady peddling in a relatively low gear.  But leave one or two in case the situation gets even more dire…

Step 3: Girths. . .

A close-up shot of two trumpeter's greys with completed girths.

After a Saturday working outside all day to finish edging and weeding the third garden bed in as many days, I managed to steal away for about 30 minutes down here to Zum Stollenkeller -- after dinner and The Young Master's bedtime (He read for 30 minutes to me.  A self-authored and illustrated book all about various monsters found around the house, in the attic, under the bed, etc.) -- to finish the final eight girths on those 36 Minden mounts intended for three squadrons of Austrian dragoons. 

Yet again, my 20+ year old bottle of Ral Partha leather did not let me down.  It just keeps on going and going and going.  Easily one of the longest lasting bottles of hobby paint I have ever possessed in almost forty years of painting first fantasy and later historical miniatures.  ABout once a year, I add 4-6 drops of flow enhancer, shake it well, and it's like a new bottle of paint with good flow and coverage. 

Next u…

Step 2.5 Hoof Highlights and Green Bases. . .

A close-up of two of the many Chestnut horses -- about 2/3 of the 36 mounts -- comprising this batch of figures.  A whole herd, really. 


After another few painting sessions of varying lengths the last two or three days, remote work and child permitting, the many hooves have been highlighted (Yes, I know.), and the bases given a coat of Citadel War Boss Green (ex-Goblin Green).  Sessions in the painting chair seem to be between about 30-90 minutes lately, some evenings a bit longer, but when the ol' eyes start to grow tired, it's time to stop for the night.  My old 000 sable was again used for hoof highlights while an old #4 synthetic round that no longer has a good point was fine for greening up the bases.  A few touch-ups here and there, of course, but it's about time to begin painting in the reins, bridles, and other assorted straps and metal bits.
-- Stokes


And once again, the obligatory shot of the whole batch, which is actually starting to come together nicely I think. …

Step 2 White and Pink Markings. . .

A nice close-up of two of the Bay horses.

A few short painting sessions later, and the various and sundry white markings on the ankles, legs, and muzzles have been completed. 

First, all of the black areas on the 36 horses were first painted a mid-gray.  I then applied a wash or two of Citadel 'Abbadon Black' thinned with Liquitex Flow Aid, which provided some very attractive variegation on the castings and subtle highlighting as it settled nicely into lower areas.  I was trying to create that dark gray, velvety look that so many horses exhibit around their noses, mouths, and chins.  I used an old #3 and #4 round brush for these steps.

Next, I used an off white craft paint called 'Buttermilk' rather than Hollywood Smile White. which seems to give a nicer, more realistic looking result.  The muzzles went quckly, by the ankles and lower legs took a bit more time and care.  Still, not too many errant blotches to remove before they set.  My trusty 20+ year old sable 000 c…

Step 1.75 Bays and Greys. . .

A wider shot of all 36 Minden dragoon mounts where you can observe the darker brown manes and tails I've added to a few of the Chestnuts as well as the Bays and Greys in the front row.

Plugging away, as and when I am able, with the current herd of 1/56th horses, which are shaping up reasonably well I think.  Next up, white markings on the muzzles and ankles.  A fairly easy step.  I'm calling the three greys done.  They look pretty good, so why risk messing things up by continuing to to tinker with them?  Sometimes, you've gotta say when and move on.
By the way, anyone out there have any idea how to ensure that one's photos actually show up larger when people click on them?  The recent revamping by Blogger has made that particular feature less readily accessible than used to be the case prior to several days ago.  How in the world are any interested visitors supposed to enlarge the photographs now?  

-- Stokes


And the obligatory closer in shot of the front row.  I'm pl…

Step 1.5 Basic Horse Coats. . .

Time now for the detailing to bring these 1/56th horses to life.

Well, over the last several days and a couple of evenings, I've been able to finish applying the basic horse coat colors (oil glazes) over the acrylic basecoat-undercoat, which was a combination (applied in one step) of white acrylic gesso with mixed a generic tan or, in the case of those intended to become bays, Yellow Ochre.  The three eventual dappled grays were base-undercoated in a gesso-light gray blend and then washed in a darker gray thinned with Liquitex Flow Aid last night after all of the brown horses were completed late yesterday afternoon.
Now, it's time for the detailing: white markings on most muzzles, around quite a few lower legs and/or ankles, and black on the lower legs, manes, and tails for the bays in the front row.  The three greys at lower front right are due for dappling at some point during the next few days too.  I've already picked out a couple of older, stiffer brushes that I'll …

Painting Preparation. . .

A couple of nice shots of horse with 'bay' coloration, basically black manes, tales, and lower legs.



And two of so called 'chestnuts.'

Getting everything ready on the ol' painting desk to begin applying the basic horse flesh colors this evening.  I've dug out my preferred tubes of Grumbacher and Winsor & Newton oils: Sepia, Burnt Sienna (erroneously referred to in a previous post as Burnt Umber), Van Dyke Brown, and Light English Red.  Most of the 36 horses will get a reddish chestnut coloring on bodies, manes, and tails.  Burnt Sienna and Light English Red are idea for that although I'll need to be careful with the Light English Red as it is very orange, so perhaps a bit of toning down with Van Dyke Brown will be in order before actually applying it to the model horses.  But looking at photographs and illustrations of horses will immediately show that variations abound. 

I also recall reading somewhere years ago, and it was about Napoleonic cavalry, that…

And They're Off!!!

The 36 horses in question all base- and undercoated, just waiting for their oil-based glazes.  Just under 2.5 hours of time at the painting table over two days.

Tally ho!  I've actually started the Minden horses, slated to become the mounts for three squadrons of Austria's Batthyany Dragoons.  The human part of the regiment will be clothed primarily in dark blue with red distinctions.  As far as their mounts go, and in an effort to combine the two steps of base- and then undercoating, I have mixed white acrylic gesso with acrylic tan, yellow ochre, and gray paints, which were applied liberally with an old #8 round brush.  While the three grays at lower right will be given a slightly different treatment, the rest will next get the old Peter Gilder treatment, more or less, with oil-based Sepia and Burnt Umber. 

Bridles, reins, martingales, etc. will be applied next before finishing with white markings on muzzles and leg.  Then, it will be time to focus on the 36 riders.  The aim …

A Most Enjoyable Zoom Chat. . .

A David Morier painting of a mounted grenadier from the Batthyani Regiment of Dragoons, circa 1748 or so.  I think I may give my officers red breeches and saddlecloths just to distinguish them a bit more from the enlisted men.

Up and at 'em early for a Saturday this morning (6:30am) to join The Virtual Wargames club organized by Phil Olley in the U.K. and presented via Zoom.  Terrific fun to finally see some faces and hear voices of quite a few wargamers whose names and blogs I've known and enjoyed for, in some cases, going on close to 15 years!   I believe this will become a fairly regular meeting of the minds, so if you would like to join in, visit Phil's blog -- Phil's War Cabinet --  and let him know of your interest, so he can send you an invitation and Zoom link as the next meeting approaches.  I feel safe in saying that we had an enjoyable (and very funny) chat all around.
It's funny how some things will be just the kick in the seat of the pants that you need …

Hurrah for The Young Master!!!

Hurrah!!!  The Young Master just passed the test for his green belt in Tae Kwon Do about 30 minutes ago via Zoom.  Once again, I am just bowled over by his determination. 

Since The Grand Duchess is usually the one who gets our son set up each afternoon and Saturday mornings with the computer, and often supervises from nearby, much of this was new to me.  I have not really witnessed him in action since the last belt test at the end of February.  His increase in skill, coordination, focus, speed, and form in just a little over two months is head spinning.  He has practiced six days a week for 1-2 hours a day since the end of March when everything went into lock-down mode, so I should not be surprised, and he has indicated that he wants to help teach the martial art once he turns 14. 

That's just 3.5 years away, by which time I expect he'll have his black belt, or be just about there.  Anyway, we pick up the belt in a drive-by ceremony early Sunday afternoon.  Wow.…