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Neckstocks & Shoulder Belts Blocked In. . .

Two shots taken this afternoon after the latest couple of Saturday morning and afternoon painting sessions.  They're actually beginning to look pretty good if I do say so myself.  Blast!  Looking at Kronoskaf again, I see that the Hessen-Darmstadt Leib Grenadiers at right had WHITE gaiters, and the officers wore RED breeches and waistcoats.  Sigh.  Back to the ol' drawing board.

Since last we met, I have finished up the various white areas using mostly a #1 round, especially on the waistcoats peeking our from beneath the coats, painted in the black and red stocks, mustaches, and blocked in grey and dark brown for the shoulder straps.  

While I was somewhat anxious about painting these given the level of detail on Minden figures, painting so far has, on the contrary, been a real joy.  There is just no getting away from it.  The absolute winning combination of:  1) well-sculpted, crisp castings; 2) brushes with good points, and; 3) paint that flows from the tip of the bristles to just the spot you intend without running everywhere (in other words the right consistency) has made things a pleasure.  What else is there to say? 

Of course, I have painted plenty of Minden, Fife&Drum, and Crann Tara castings before, but these have usually been in much smaller numbers at any one time, in the shape of command or civilian vignettes and/or support elements.  It's a different kettle of fish when you paint essentially identical figures in multiples of 12 or more in one go I think.

In any case, we're getting close to the home stretch with these.  Here's how I plan to move forward with Kurkoeln's Wildenstein Infantry grenadiers (blue) and Hessen-Darmstadt's Leib Grenadiers (white):

Facings -- Dark Red with Bright Red Highlights
Shoulder Belts -- White and Light Brown Highlights
Musket Stocks -- Mid-Brown Highlights  and White Straps
Musket Barrels/Bayonets -- Oil-based Silver
Scabbards -- Black Tipped with Brass
Wigs -- Tan Undercoat with White Highlight
Super-detailing -- Not sure yet if I'll attempt the many buttons, or leave 'em as is. 
Any Necessary Touch-ups
Acrylic Gloss -- Two Coats

So, still lots to do, but most of these things are pretty small, so we'll see how it goes.  I hope to squeeze in another session at the painting table this evening after the Young Master's bedtime.

One final thing that crossed my mind this afternoon as I painted away that might be old news to many of you, but I'm not sure it has ever actually occurred to me.  Basically, when you paint, a degree of subtlety is called for, especially once the larger areas of figures have been blocked in, and you move onto smaller details.  You don't want to wield your brush like a bull in a china shop, but rather gently tease your paint onto items like tiny straps, belts, buckles, and buttons with a lighter, even feather-like touch.  It requires that your body is relaxed (your mind too) and free of stress.  

Combine that painting approach with bright light over your painting area, decent brushes, paints that are thinned enough to flow well without running, along with some patience, and you'll find yourself making gradually fewer mistakes as you paint that need fixing later.  It's just one more way to save some time and get your troops to the table a wee bit faster than might otherwise be the case.

-- Stokes


Stryker said…
Great to see you back in full production mode!
johnpreece said…
I look forward to your book 'Zen and the art of figure painting'.

Seriously you are absolutely right. I took a collection of figures from a friend of mine following his death, knowing the chronology I could identify his state of mind by the quality of painting on the figures. But I suspect that is something we have all experienced in our own painting.

Water based paints have many advantages but they do not flow as relaxingly from the brush onto straps and lace as do good old spirit based enamels.
Der Alte Fritz said…
I feel I have achieved a great deal of calm after reading your post.
marinergrim said…
Quite agree about paint and brushes. Good figures always help too. But I try never to paint more than twelve at a time.

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