Sunday, 27 February 2011

White and Bright: look back to the first attempt

I have been having trouble moving on with my union miniatures and come to the conclusion that it wasn't just a problem with the evil dark blue, which no matter how hard I diluted it insisted on staining everything it touched equally. With this style of painting I am relying on the white undercoat to really provide the natural highlighting and it's not happening at the moment, can it be something obvious I'm missing? So far I haven't produced a figure that fully encompasses what I am after although many have shown promise here and there, but that has been with lighter shades and working with dark colours has reigned in my momentum.

Most of this fig (not a good photo) was painted exclusively with washes the trousers, blanket, hat and shoes for example, the rest required some base coating with a highlighting colour e.g. coat and leather pack. Although the figure looked somewhat incomplete before varnishing the effect overall was pleasing after getting his glossy coat.

Where has it fallen down with the union troops with their dark blue jackets, for help I went back the the very first figure I painted with white undercoat to try and achieve a "classic" shiny look. The first and most obvious thing I found is that I wasn't using the paynes grey wash over the primer before painting and secondly the primer was now spraying on slightly dry and giving a porous or rough finish. The first is easily fixed the second slightly harder as we are in the middle of a fairly hot summer and I live in a sub tropical climate with a healthy dose of humidity.

So here we have a starter where the paynes grey wash has been added back to the roster, also evident is the grainy looking effect of the primer/undercoat, it still persists even though I picked a cooler time to spray however the humidity is something I cannot avoid. I think this is working better with the dark colours.

Once again undercoat washed with paynes grey it works well with these lighters shades however so do washes of dark grey and browns (see the figure at the top of post, no underwashing with paynes grey).

I'll wrap these figures up soon with another montage of the progress as the washes go on and hopefully when they are all nice and shiny they will stand up to scrutiny.


Thursday, 24 February 2011

Busy Piggy -Gripping Beast


Just pulled these out of the found lead box, had a bit of a play with the top figure revamping his hood and coat, seemed to come up ok. I'll get in and bash them into some sort of shape for before and after posts.



Three lil pigs painting update-Alternative Armies

I thought you might like to see what is happening with the alternative armies piece on three lil pigs painting. The figure is just about finished, No hyper highlighting from the paintpig and no armour gleaming like he's just driven out of new car lot.

I feel a montage coming on....... gonna have a montage.......

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Painting Dixon ACW Union .....classic look

I've tried my hand with some Rebels, the last of which I was very happy (shiny post) and now

I'm having a look at some Union troops. I have found the dark blue a tricky colour to control when applying sparingly, it certainly wants to bight me and take over the figure, not allowing the white undercoat to provide high lighting.

The lighter colour of the trousers was much easier to apply and the natural highlighting is clear and well defined, it wont need any prompting from me as far as going back in with a lighter colour.

I still cant get my flesh tones sorted out properly, I think one of the colours I use was in the stack that was thrown out recently, dried out pots..... Look at the size of that hand holding the pistol! I hadn't notice that until I saw the photos.

Face has a snake bite leather (citadel) wash before painting to help pick out the details. Jeez Louise, I don't paint eyes as a rule, how am going to sort out/ hide those saucers?


Friday, 18 February 2011

Old Minifigs 25mm AWI

These old fellers needed a bit of an airing. They will eventually end up in Mak'n Bacon but for now I'll line 'em up and have a parade and makes battles noises, hoorah!

"Sir their shooting at us"
"Well, shoot back"

"Steady lads this ones a giant"

Modding Dixon ACW aka whats going on here?

Whats happening to me? I don't modify figures, must be all the medication I'm taking. Somewhere between priming and issue of uniform this chap lost the top half of his musket, I have looked and looked, shear incompetence that man! To make up for the destruction of government issue he has just been appointed standard bearer with the appropriate modifications underway, what a pity he has the falling in battle pose (hehehe).

I have started to trim down the rest of his musket, I think I should have cleaned off the undercoat first, will do that before the final file down. It's a timely little mod as it will fit in neatly with my flag making wip (and pigs might fly). Lordy, I hope he's not expecting milliput or green stuff, I don't do putty!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

New Blog, shameless self promotion

I have decided to try my hand at 'display quality' painting and basing and with this endeavour I have made the decision to create a new blog "three lil pigs painting" Hopefully it wont be a flash in the pan and all fall apart the first time I trip over a mini and find it too difficult.

It is also giving me the opportunity to crawl down the lead mine, pull out some of those wargaming figures that were purchased on some sort of perverse whim and actually do something with them. As for 'display quality' well lets say we know what it means in a practical sense but I don't think it's a term that should prejudice table top painting, and I will still be here working on my wargames painting.

This is my first piece an Alternative Armies Iron Age knight, it is an old figure and definitely does not feature in their range any longer. For details on the what's and wherefore's head on over to three lil pigs painting

thanks for your time 

ACW Flag-wip update

I have updated the Paintpig WIP page and pigs might fly ....lets just say the sausage is 1 step closer.

Friday, 11 February 2011


Not there yet I'm afraid but I have manage to get a less formal (for want of a better word) approach.

Unfortunately I don't seem to have picked up on my paints well, cant remember what colours I would typically use and where, particularly with the flesh tones. Had my system all worked out but I cant seem to get a handle on it

I'll give one of the Union chaps a go next, lots of pretty blue.

for those interested see the white and bright page for a more detailed explanation of what I'm hoping to achieve and how I'm setting about it

More on Oils and Poste Militire

Firstly thanks for the comments guys, I've never considered the piece to be anything more than a whim and I do not consider myself to be particularly artistic, no false modesty just a fact, for example the thought of sculpting the hand scares me rigid. Speaking of which I cant for the life of me work out why the hand was separate, I can only imagine that it was holding something but no bells are ringing, the voices are still there but no bells! I tried to find a source for poste militaire but it seems the company is out of business which is sad particularly after flicking back through my ancient Military Modelling magazines, they made some nice figurines.

A bit more about the paint job or more importantly the bits that aren't! The Breast Plate isn't painted I had read something about burnishing around that time which I had tried on my wargames figures with some success on the very few 25's I was able to afford back in the day.

On this piece I put the technique to the test using a piece of hard plastic rod, she who must be restrained insists I raided her knitting needles at the time, I cant actually picture her knitting myself! The burnishing technique used was simply a process of rubbing the plastic firmly over the breast plate etc. until it started to develop a sheen, not rocket science but very effective. This was followed by a wash of black oil paint (I only owned enamels back then as did most of us) and a coat or two of satin varnish. Looking back at it now, armed with hindsight and ability I would have tried a weathering of rust around the edges.

Same applies to the armour on the arm (yes I know there is a specific name for the armoured arm but I cant for the life of me remember it! pole arm?) and the head of the Bill. As for the rest of the painting I can only repeat what I said in the original post and that is "using oils particularly on larger figures to create well blended shading is not difficult" and for me was considerably easier to achieve than the techniques I have still yet to master for blending and transitioning with acrylics some 20 or so years later. The paints were a cheap boxed set so there was plenty of room for improvement.


Painting with oils

I found this old 120mm fig while cleaning out a box yesterday, I think it is a Poste Militaire brand figurine not sure on that one. A billman prolly around Henry/Tudor-ish times. I remember thinking to myself I would give the big stuff a try as the local hobby store was selling off excess stock cheap, it was around early 90's maybe, if  it was earlier than that I'm not owning up

Taking into account my shit memory this one sticks because I went out and bought some cheap oil paints to smear over it. How it has survived all the house moves beats me.............

What is more it wasn't all that difficult, in fact it made blending and so on with acrylics tedious by comparison. The learning curve wasnt that steep and if you made a bit of a mistake it was easy to clean up and try again.

My eye for the skin tones wasnt that great and it hasnt improved much since!  95% of my painting in those days was 15mm armies, oils dont work down to that size and my budget back then was pretty restrictive so a life of figurine painting was not on the radar for long.

One very interesting thing of note is that this figure has literally travelled 2500km in a cardboard box and besides losing a hand from the figurine itself the paint is undamaged! There is not a chip or rub through, the painting was never finished so it didnt get lacquered, I guess oil paint has the advantage of being pretty tough when cured.

Anyone got a spare hand?

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Ahh the great outdoors

I was busy rattling away on the computer this afternoon when some of the local wildlife happened by.

Something peeping out from behind the curtain

I was down loading some pics to computer so I had the camera close at hand. I was assuming it to be a baby tree snake or python which for the most part arent poisonous, not that the offer to test this theory was forthcoming.

The chase begins

He kept ducking in and out from behind the linen cupboards which was doing my mood no good at all. You can check the size of the lil fella against the power cord hence my thinking it was a young un however it was well over a metre long, so I was starting to reassess?

Back outside where you belong

I managed to stay sufficiently well hidden at one point as he slid passed and grabbed him by the tail and stuck him out on the window sill, quickly ducked outside and got a nice clear shot for identification.

After consulting the Australian parks and wildlife, state of Queensland, web site I can tell you that this is the common or green tree snake and was full grown at around 1.5 meters, thankfully non venomous, which I had suspected due some simple rules of thumb about snakes that most Aussies kids learn growing up, particularly those living on the land. Of course if your not sure leave them alone, this one didnt posses any of those warning signs in colour and shape that quickly tell you that "Im a nasty bugger so back off"

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Stop That Horse

Well, the worm has turned and, it is time to get back on the horse..... lil lead ones of course. Over the last few weeks I have been scanning the blogs and mini's sites making fantasy list about figures and paints and such and the painting bug is biting, not a deep full 'fanged up' chomp but a...... consistent nibble.  I have been going through my lead mine and checking the paint pots for lumps so there is an air of expectancy (she who must be restrained thinks its an air of eating too much curry) and the chinky tap of ferrule on glass is being heard once more.

I have been looking over the half started figures and selected one or two that shouldn't present too much difficulty although I will be pretty rusty to start of with. I expect the touch to come back within a reasonable time (as it has in the past when taking a break) but this time not the eye (i.e. feel for colour and shade of the various paints). It takes a while to remember the vagaries of the different brands, just how much highlight or wash to use and mixing consistencies.

A visit to optometrist is booked for next Monday which was made doubly important as the visit to the Herr Dokotor last Friday gave the schweinhunt the opportunity to pronounce me as suffering from type 2 diabetes (honestly what next!), for which was described two tablets slightly smaller than an economy sized motor vehicle each night. Anywho the eyesight should sharpen up, at least when I'm making a horrendous paint/colour choice it will be in the right spot, hee hee.

Bye the way thanks for the comments and look forward to boring the pants off'n you with my inane ramblings.