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Monday, August 30, 2010

54mm American War of Independence figures

Above are some British 54 mm figures by "All the Kings Men". These are painted as the light company from the tenth line regiment. The red vests are a distinguishing characteristic of the light infantry, as well as the shoulder "wings".

And here they are in close order. I must admit, that as my eyes get worse I have truly enjoyed switching to these nice large figures. I normally paint while wearing reading glasses, but I may have to invest in a better magnification system, as it is getting progressively more difficult for me to see detail on the smaller scales. Some aspects of getting old suck, but so far the good outweighs the bad by a longshot.

The ensign or trumpeter of the set. Epaulets were just coming into fashion, so at this point my understanding is that they did not denote rank. Here I have stuck with a latter tradition of only one epaulet for the junior officers, while the company commander (below) has two.

You have to love all the frilly shirts and tights. It reminds me of a Seinfeld episode...

None of the figure sported any shoulder boards or epaulets, so I sculpted my own. I have seen pictures of line infantry without, though most at least have shoulder boards. I decided the light infantry really should have wings, so I took the time to pull out the green stuff and make some. Time consuming, but in the end well worth it, and it gives me a unique product.

I recently found a copy of Mollos book on uniforms for the AWI, and hence finally got a good look at what Tarletons dragoons most likely looked like. All the versians of the portrait of Banastre Tarleton that I had access too were very dark, and I could not tell if the buttons were silver or gold and what color the turban around the Tarleton was. Thanks to Mollo as a reference I have spruced up my figures with gold buttons, green turbans and in the case of the officers, gold lace. Mollo had them with a green plume, but I just thought that was a little too much, especially for the troopers, so I left all of the plumes black. The little splash of gold does help the figures make a dashing appearance though.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Italian Condottieri - First Look

Here is a preview of the Venetian condottieri army I am preparing from Ral Partha 25mm figures. The basing style is new for me and based on a friends system. The base itself is a Litko wooden base, over which Elmers wood putty is applied to mask the bases of the figures. That is then painted and Railroad ballast added for the grass, which is then painted as well.

Here are some sword and buckler men converted from crossbow figures.

The shields were typically metal with relief decoration. I tried using various shades of metallics to try and approximate that design with limited success.

Two different styles of dress. Those on the left would be more typical of the Venetians around the turn of the 16th century, with the fancier slashed sleeves being somewhat later style of dress.

The same figures from the front.

The Ral Partha figures are from the early 1980's and sculpted by Tom Meier, and have excellent proportions and detail, so aside from their size, compare most favorably with more recent figure releases. The true 25mm size makes them one of the few ranges that will actually fit well on DBA base sizes recommended for 25mm figures.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Work in Progress

I don't usually post with work in progress, but I'm trying a few new things this month so thought I would show some pictures of my experiments

I have been working on finding a good way to paint the slashed sleeves common in Italian Condottieri. I have been using very thin washes of white paint which pool in the recesses of the figure and color the undershirt. I paint the overshirt first, so some touch up is usually needed after the white wash to brighten the colors. I have also used the white wash as a base for another darker wash, to brighten it. An example is on the right hand figure with red hose and blue slashed pants. I was afraid a red wash over blue would be too dark, so I painted the blue leggings, then washed first with thin white paint, and later put a thin red wash over that. I was quite pleased with how this technique worked.

Some times the figures require two washes to get enough of a build up of pigment. The left leg of the figure in light blue looks like it could use another pass of a thin white wash.

Nothing all that extraordinary about these crossbows other than showing off a marvelous sculpt for a Venetian army. They have turbans wrapped around their helmets which is fairly common for Venetian soldiers and showed the influence of their trade partnerships with arabic and oriental nations.

Lastly I have a selection of 54mm British American War of Independence figures made by All the Kings Men miniatures. The light infantry are sculpted withoput wings and the officers without epaulets, and I just didn't like that choice, so have taken the time to try and sculpt my own. I won't win any sculpting awards, but all in all I am quite pleased how these turned out and am excited about getting started painting these.