Thursday, 14 July 2011

Back again!

Well, it's been a while - a scarily long time to be honest, and the plan to update this blog every two weeks or so has fallen very definitely by the wayside! 'Real life' (TM), redundancy threats, and car accidents have transpired to stop some painting progress, but hopefully we're back on track now, and the job is safe, we have a new car, and the holidays are here! Things haven't been totally quiet though, with scenery being the focus over the last few weeks. I've also started work on the Comte de Tescaux' Regiment - with their off -white, blue and red uniforms. The test figure for this regiment is on the left.
First up though, is a Hudson and Allen barn, which I picked up a few years ago at the Vapnartak show in York. Sharp-eyed viewers might remember it from earlier posts. Eagle-eyed viewers will spot that I didn't show the base off in earlier posts, for the simple reason that it wasn't done! Now it is, and it can be shown in it's full glory. Also on view are some of the dry stone walls from Coritani miniatures, which I've collected at both the Derby and Partizan shows over the last year or so.
My recipe for basing is fairly simple - after the standard diluted PVA glue and sand/small gravel mix, it's all painted using Games Workshop paints. I start off with Scorched Brown as a base coat, then dry brush up in successive layers Dark Flesh, Bestial Brown, Bubonic Brown, then a final drybrush of Bleached Bone. This is a recipe I picked up a few years ago in White Dwarf, and it works well. All my figure bases for 'European' theatres are painted like this, and the edges of figure and building bases are painted with GW Graveyard Earth. Rocks are either left in their 'drybrushed' state or are painted a mix of greys, washed with GW Badab Black wash, then dry brushed up with Foundry's Arctic Grey 33A tone. The walls started off already pre-static grassed when I bought them, so this was stripped off with warm water and a scourer - be gentle! Then they were undercoated in black, then drybrushed up in the follwing order - GW Adeptus Battlegrey, Codex Grey, and finally Fortress Grey. Static grass is added using patches of diluted PVA glue, then some grass tufts from Antenociti's Workshop - summer I think - and bushes using Woodland Scenics clumps. All spot on!

I've also discovered a new technique for painting wood as well - moving away from the traditional brown, to a more faded and sun-bleached grey colour. Shown in my rather out of focus scratch-built barn, this consists of a black undercoat, followed by a drybrush of Foundry's Granite 31A shade, then 31B, and finally a drybrush of Rawhide 11B. For a bleached look, finish off with a final brush of Rawhide 11C. I washed the 'wood' with GW Badab Black again in small quantities, and 'greened up' the structure with Foundry's French Dragoon Green 70. However this process is in reverse, starting with the 'C' shade higher up the building's foundations, then a layer drybrushed on of the 'B' tone, finishing with the 'darker ' (ie. damper) 'A' tone.

The building on the right - with the Regimental Ensign of the Comte de Tescaux's Regiment and his Colonel arguing about dispositions - is the first piece of Mauritzanian 'Real estate', representing the Toll House cum Border checkpoint. It also doubles up nicely as a roadside tavern - hence the table with roast chicken and tankards outside! The building and walls were picked up at Partizan in Newark this May, and are from Hovels.
The walls are actually from the 20mm 'Battleground' range - a suggetion from the very helpful chap on the Hovels' stall - and they work very nicely too, with slightly smaller, more in-scale bricks. My recipe for brickwork was also a bit experimental, but finished off being a GW Scorched Brown basecoat, with drybrushed layers of Foundry Brick Red 59A, then Madder Red 60A (in small patches), then Brick Red 59B, and finally Mediterranean Flesh 125A and GW Dwarf Flesh in small patches. Wash with GW Ogryn Flesh and Badab Black in small patches, and 'green' up using the above technique with the Dragoon Green! Simples! The plaster on the building is the Foundry Butter Fudge 55 pallette, and the roof is the 32 Slate Grey pallette. I've made the building and the surroundings 'modular', so the tavern can be used in isolation or with the barn and walls together.

The Roast chicken and table/chair set also come from Hovels as well - it's these little things that add to the whole feel of the piece. The final picture is of my first wheat field - more on that, and the next instalment of the Comte de Tescaux's next time - which hopefully won't be so long! I may also have progress on the Mauritzanian Guard Regiment too! Until next time!