Friday, 14 January 2011

Test/practice models

"This blog is an attempt to motivate myself to paint Seven Years War wargames armies with the aim of posting something new every month."

Well, seeing as that was the stated aim of this blog when I started it months ago, I'd say with certainty that I haven't really done what I set out to do. In fact every time I look at my own blog that sentence grates on me, reminding me of my own slothful ways. Thankfully, I've begun to make some progress, even to the point where painting is starting to become enjoyable rather than a chore. I think purchasing a daylight bulb and Argos' cheapest floorlamp has helped with this. It's enabled me to paint for a lot longer in the evening and, more importantly, enabled me to combine this hobby with my main couch potato activities. No longer will Coronation Street, TNA Wrestling, X factor (though I'll have to wait another year) and the like have to be in a seperate sphere to wargaming. With these sorts of thing I tend to only be interested in some of it so I can concentrate on painting whilst just listening and only look up if something interesting's happening. Like John Stape comedically tampering with a crime scene, Mrs Karen Jarrett schreeching at ex-husband Kurt Angle, or saucy scouse songstress Rebecca Ferguson making 'Candle in the wind' her own. I suspect that some of you will now be of the opinion that, apart from 18th Century military history, my interests are decidedly low brow, but I'm unashamed and if it helps me paint more it can only be a good thing.

Anyway, I started my painting off with some French and Indian War Rangers. These aren't finished yet, as they were mainly a means to try out a number of different colours for my SYW skirmish 'project'. Especially to find red, blue and dark green triads I'm happy with.

Trying out a red

Trying out a blue

After these experiments with colour combinations I painted a test model from the unit i hope to complete next (first, in fact), the Arquebusiers de Grassin. I think I will be doing this on all units from now on as this one proved to be very helpful in deciding the order I paint the various part of the miniature in. On this one I left the fur trim until near the end, which proved to be a bad move as, even when using a relatively small brush, white paint started going on other bits of the miniature whilst drybrushing, which I then had to touch up. All that remains now is the musket woodwork and the cartridge box and strap. I did actually find a couple of browns I liked that would have suited this purpose a couple of years ago, but I neglected to write them down at the time and now the miniatures they were used on taunt me from the shelf.

Arquebusier de Grassin

One thing I have definitely learnt from making this post is that the expression 'the camera never lies' is an out and out lie itself. I assure you that up close it is clear that I have slapped the paint on thick and chalky, and that the eyes on the Rangers look so goggly that I didn't bother trying to paint them on the Frenchman as  I don't want them to look high as kites as well. Apologies for the dark and blurred nature of the photos, even if it does work to my advantage.

Hopefully, I will be posting a photo of these Frenchmen at the end of next weekend if not before. After that, a change of tack as some local gamers have very kindly allowed me to join in with their 28mm AWI and 15mm SYW projects. So you should soon be seeing some Americans and Hanoverians on this blog.


  1. That half-shirtless guy on the reds came out really good. If those were glops of paint on his head it looks like hair from here. I can't sit and stare at the TV without falling asleep and only try it 16 or so times a year for the Bears game,and that only in its season, unless there is a lady present, so this year I have a 25 percent fall-asleep rate. Typically I use the radio in the background, and go in and out of focus. If you used Bach or Mozart or the opera in the background you might be able to get focussed more in the zone, but have to balance that against time available and other requirements of life. As to the blog there are items of permanent value here even if you are sleeping on the couch while we read your books! In fact I just was doing that until half an hour after you were reading mine, the same way. Happy New Year.

  2. Thanks, Mekelnborg. The reds were vallejo Black Red, Red, and Vermillion (not sure of the codes).

    I find that if I paint while listening to music, or in silence, I start painting worse as I end up going faster and making loads of little mistakes. Painting while watching telly makes me go slower but a lot more neat.

    I think I'm the opposite of you with regard to the TV. I'm always watching it except when the football is on. I just can't sit there and watch a ball go back and forth for 90 minutes. It's wierd because I used to watch it religiously, whoever was playing (even African Club Cups and the like), and understood exactly what was happening. Now its all meaningless and I only get pulled out of my daydrams if the other people in the room cheer for a goal. I can watch my team and not get bored, but Luton Town are on the telly once in a blue moon and I rarely get to go to the matches. I think it might have been our troubles over the past few years that killed my love for football (especially the 30 points penalty before a season began).

    Sorry for the late reply, haven't really been on here. I've been making progress with my painting over the last month though.