Saturday 19 September 2009

The washing of the longbows*

Just a short WIP update. With the launch of the Perrys WotR range looming somewhat (circa 12 weeks and counting down), my focus is now to get both armies to a stage of semi-completeness asap. First up are the English longbowmen, which need several more figures adding to get them to a close-to-planned state, ie 20 bases rather than the 24. I'm testing achieving this by a possibly speedier painting process, on a psuedo-production line basis, as the finished figures will get mixed in when based to achieve a non-uniform medieval appearance.
So I've tried is to use washes more than I've ever done previously - not the complete dipping process (which personally creates a finish to my liking) - but Games Workshop washes, as I've read generally positive reviews about.
I stared using them on the padded jacks of these archers. The jacks were painted in Foundry Buff Leather (mid-tone 7B) and then had GW Devlan Mud & Sepia 50:50 mix washed over. This adds deep shadows in the thin creases of the jacks - which is difficult to achieve by hand - as well as dulling the overall colour and creates some contrasts with the raised surface areas. I've then picked out highlights using the Buff 7B straight from the pot.
For hands and faces I've applied the same method. Foundry Flesh mid (5B) with GW Orgyn Flesh wash and then highlights on nose, cheeks, chin and forehead with 5B again. Not much facial details show with these helmeted figures, but I think next time I'll pick out shadows on the eyes, nose and mouth with my usual method (Plaka Red Brown) post wash and before the highights to achieve more depth and contrasts - although this will add to the overall time to finish a figure.
Overall I'm satisfied with the final figures, and which feel like they've been a little quicker to complete (although no stopwatch was set). Am now contemplating using the washes more; on the other clothings at least. They do create neat natural shadows and exploit the fine sculpting of the castings. However the trade-off is that washes do 'dull' the paint they're applied over and I don't want a 'dipped' finish, so adding the highlights as I'd usually do, will still be needed.
I'll post up the next batch and we'll see...

* with apologies to Donald Morris.

Monday 7 September 2009

The Maid of Orleans

Here's Joan of Arc vignette base, to inspire the French to kick the English claimants to the throne out of the Loire valley castles and back into Normandy (ie a plus one on all morale tests!). She leads one of her aides, Sire de Kermoysan (k 1450) and her personal contingent of herald and flag-bearer. The flag carrying Charles VII's royal arms is a temporary one and will be replaced by Joan's personal pennon (when GMB produce it, I could bring myself to try and paint it, whenI know that GMB's will surpass my attempts by miles). Kermoysan has had a head-swap so that he's not rudely looking at Joan through a closed visor and the banner-bearer is an ex-Citadel figure with bill replaced to hold flag.

Joan passes by a group of Cistercian monks who have travelled from the local monastery to witness and venerate the holy miracle that they have heard about. These have time-travelled from the Perry's Crusader range.

Am now thinking that things should be balanced up a bit with a Henry V or duke of Bedford vignette- better see what ideas I can muster for their layout.

French Crossbowmen II

Thanks for the comments on the basing from the last posting. Taking these onboard I've completed the next French crossbow company; adding casulaties and arrows. These are having to advance into range without any pavise protection and taking the resulting casualties. Figures are Perry (with some converted to carry bows) and couple of older Citadel.

I've purchased some transparent perspex movement trays, from James at Oshiro to enable the figures to be used for Impetus ruleset, this being designed for larger base sizes. I like the clear perspex as they are less intrusive than others I've seen and I don't have to paint them to fit with my basing style. James will make these high-quality trays to order; mine being 100x50mm - a great service I'd really recommend (as well as the lovely handmade buildings and terrain he offers).

Am now re-planning to see how far I can get to a near-finished state of affairs before those pesky Perrys release the 'Wars of the Roses' range - due 'before Christmas' I've been told.