Tuesday, 11 February 2014

joys of the white undercoat - part 2

... to continue.  The last post ended with the figures basically finished. These are Essex 25/28mm peltast types intended to be used as part of a late Seleucid elephant escort.
Now comes the final wash and basing. 

I probably don't need to do the final shading wash, but I like it and it's served me fairly well for the past 25 years or so. I use a mix of a little burnt umber oil paint, white spirit and liquin to help the oil paint dry. The advantage with oil paint is I can work it as it stays fluid, so if I apply a mix that's too dark then I just add white spirit and liquin and brush off any excess.  (For younger viewers, just think of it as DIY army-painter.)      
This is after the final shading wash. I forgot to say that the figure on the left has a dark red tunic, the next from left has a scarlet tunic, then the two with the bright red tunics - all just for a bit of variation.  For this exercise I was too lazy to add border or edge stripes to the tunics.      

Added scattered sand to polyfilla on the base. I don't use PVA.   

And one thing with using liquin and oil paint is it can be a bit shiny, even with white spirit added. So I put a matt varnish over the tunics and helmet crest. The rest I left.  
I also did the eyes because I forgot to do them earlier. I used burnt umber for eyes and eyebrows. I don't use white at all, so no goggle-eyed stares from these chaps.   
Painted over the sand with a cream colour from a sampler pot from local DIY store. It helps to seal the sand or grit. The figures on the right have the basic colour. The two figures on the left have the bases with a khaki wash. 

All bases with a khaki wash and the two on the left given a dry-brush with sand, then a top dry-brush with cream.  Probably doesn't really need the cream.  

Then add a little static grass. I didn't want to do too much, but a little just adds another bit of contrasting colour. 

And so 'tis done. But always a good idea for me to check round the figures, just in case I missed something.  

That seems OK. They'll pass the 3 foot test anyway and that's good enough. 

A final picture from lower down trying to capture some of the faces. Hopefully they look like they mean business. Sometimes I think I should have added a five-o'clock shadow to the jawline, but enough is enough. Overall, not too bad for a couple of hours or so over 3 nights.

Now I just have to finish off the rest of the Seleucids.   

Monday, 10 February 2014

joys of the white undercoat

A friend wrote he had gone off trying a white undercoat and was returning to using black. This prompted me to try a little step by step exercise using my usual white undercoat with a series of paint washes. This is just 'what I do' and is not intended as a masterclass or a how-to-do.

I chose 4 Essex 25/28mm Auxilia for this as they were already undercoated and close to hand. I'm intending to use these chaps as escorts for late Seleucid elephants. 

Left to right, 1) basic white undercoat. Looking at the figure I almost wish I'd given it another light spray of white.
2) Added flesh. Just using a wash of Tanned Flesh from Miniature Paints and letting the water and the flow of the paint control any shading.
3) Red tunic. I used Bright Red by Miniature Paints.  Again I just vary the water and paint mix and control the flow with a brush. The paint over the white undercoat creates its own shadows and highlights.    
4) The same red was used for this figures, but a little thinner and more water. Gives it a slightly different look. Added yellow wash as an undercoat for the broze helmet. I undercoat with yellow or gray for anything to be finished as metallic.  

Left to right, 5) Added grey undercoat for spear point.
6) Painted spear in sand.
7) Shoes and scabbard in a dark-brown wash. I'll do a different brown on half the figures.
8) A wash of gold over the yellow for the bronze helmet. It may be a bit too bright but I like it that way.  A wash of steel over the spearpoint.
As I was painting the figures I was thinking about the crest and the shields. Originally I was going to do everything in shades of red, but as I painted I decided I wanted a contrast.  Here are the figures so far with white crests and white shields.  

l rebased the figures from the temporary bases to 20mm square bases.   

Added the shields. This is the point where I have a good look to see if I've missed anything. It wouldn't be the first time I've done several figures only to find I've missed painting some hands or the odd scabbard.    

And the view from  the back.  Not too bad overall.  A couple of small bits of white I need to cover.  

The next post will show the final wash and the basing.