Tag Archives: miniature painting

Messieurs avec Le Science

Apologies for the bad French.

Some small progress on miniatures this week. I’ve painted these two fellows up as scenario bait for my Napoleonic skirmish gaming project. They are sculpted by Paul Hicks, and are from the Brigade Games “Napoleon in Egypt” series. In that series, they are supposed to be a sampling of the savants that Napoleon took with him to that ancient country, but I think they’ll serve as spies, or other political operatives, in my games.

Of course, buying and painting these figures has put the notion in my mind that it would be REALLY awesome to do skirmish gaming around Napoleon in Egypt. The scenery would be fantastic, and the scenarios would write themselves!

lal

Accompanied by Voltigeurs, our friends deliver a satchel of important papers to the Governor!

lolo

Full Frontal Frenchness

ololo

Baby got back.

In other news, I’m working on a very special project related to miniatures wargaming, but, at this stage, it’s nearly as big a secret as the papers these two gentlemen are carrying!

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Hey, It’s the 19th Century!

A Smattering of Paint

I haven’t been totally lazy of late, but I still haven’t gotten back to my WWII stuff. This post will show that my gamer ADD is in full effect. At this point, I’m embracing it, rather than fighting it!

Knuckleduster Miniatures

First up are three 28mm cowboy miniatures from Knuckleduster’s (USA) line. These minis have oodles of flavor/attitude, and were pretty easy to paint. They do have oddly small feet paired with oddly large hands, but the proportions don’t look crazy at table distances. My girlfriend painted the guy on the far right, and I have to say that she did a much better job on her first miniature than I did.

Some of these are intended to be characters from movies and TV shows. I think the guy on the left might be Eastwood from Pale Rider, but I’m not sure about the other two.

Italeri 95th Rifles Officer

Next we have a test painting of an officer from Italeri’s British 95th rifles in 1/72nd. Painting figures in ‘true’ 1/72nd, compared to the overly large Valiant minis that I’ve been doing is quite an adjustment. They’re tiny! I’m guessing that the 95th rifles are one of the easier Napoleonic units to paint, and even they are fairly finicky and highly detailed (even if you can’t tell on this overly-dark mini). I can’t wait/dread getting to some of the more exuberant units.

Both of these groups of miniatures were done using the ‘dip’ method. I’m really not satisfied with this batch. They’re murky, murky, murky – even in these photos, which have had some pretty significant levels adjustment in Photoshop. The minis look OK at a few inches from your face, but at table-top lengths they turn to dark blobs. I’ll go back and highlight these guys and see if it helps, but I need to work on brightening up my painting!

Real Miniature Painting

Preamble

As you may know from earlier posts, I have been using the quick-dip method of painting my miniature figures. I’ve been working on my 28mm vikings, and I thought I’d give legitimate three-tone mini painting a try. It’s been a mixed bag, so far, and I’m not sure the effort (and time) is worth it, but I thought I’d put up a quick post with the method I’m using for the faces and other skin areas. This method has totally been cribbed from the Victrix Miniatures website.

Step-one: the base coat

Of course, you’ve primed your figure beforehand, and most guides seem to suggest black primer for 28mm figures. I find it difficult to pick out detail with black primer, which causes no end of the repainting, touching up, and “Oh, so that’s what that is!” moments. I may go back to tried and true white primer on the next batch.

In any case, I’ve selected Burnt Sienna as a nice ruddy dark color for shadows on skin, and applied it in two or three coats of thinned acrylic paint.

Step two – Mid Tones

With the dark base coat applied, the Victrix guide suggests using Dwarf Flesh (Citadel) as the next layer. I suppose this serves as a mid-tone for those surfaces receiving diffuse or reflected light. I think it’s a good idea to consider the direction of the light at this stage. For my minis I tend to select up and to the left for the location of the sun, which means highlights are going to be in that location. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I think you could probably stop at this point for quick and dirty projects. You get some nice definition with only two tones, particularly at these small scales. 28mm is still a small scale, right?

Step three – Highlites

Good ‘ol Victrix guide suggests using Elf Flesh to do your final highlights, though adding a bit of white to your Dwarf Flesh (or mid-skin-tone of choice) would do the trick. I had a pot of Elf Flesh, so on it went.

I may have over-highlighted on this figure, but with that caveat out of the way, it’s helpful to consider the shape of the face. Brows and temples are generally going to be highlighted (though not the center of the brow!). The ridge of the nose will also be lighter in color-not the entire honking blob like I’ve done here. I lack the motor skills and rods and cones necessary to do eyes correctly, but doing eyes properly certainly brings a lot of personality to the figure. I may invest in a jeweler’s loupe visor to see (ha!) if I can do something about the situation.

Anyway, there are several hundred rambling words describing how to do three color layered Caucasian flesh. The whole article could easily have consisted of three pictures and words, (burnt sienna, dwarf flesh, elf flesh) but that’s just not the way I roll. I do roll with half-a-decade-old slang, though.