Saturday, 30 October 2010

It's That Between Armies Feeling

I finished my Covenanters in the week. They just needed the flags doing, which took me a couple of evenings or so, but they're now done. Except for the box dividers which I'll do Sunday morning.

I don't paint flags anymore, - my hand isn't steady enough and in truth I've never been able to paint a straight line free hand. Add to that I'm too cheap to buy them from flag companies and you can see that the only option is to draw them on the PC.

Draw is overstating it really. I use Serif's "Drawplus" which enables you to assemble geometric odds and ends together. I think the results are okay. This one is my version of quite a well known standard. I couldn't quite get the text right on the middle right of it but as it's 15mm square when printed you can't read it anyway.

When doing flags I tend to base them on real flags but don't stick slavishly to the historical prototypes. Partly that's because our records aren't that complete anyway and partly because I know I'm going to end up using my regiments in a variety of historical re-fights and whatever flags I've painted the battles will have featured regiments I haven't done.

I print my flags out on paper and I don't bother "texturing" the backgrounds. I know it is quite the thing these days to paint "ripples" on flags and so one, but I've seen reproduction flags in real life and they don't look like that. They look quite a lot like what you get if you fold paper into "fluttering" shapes. It works for me, - although the best flags I've seen on an army are done by Phil Steele who paints on fine tissue then glues onto thin toothpaste tube style foil.

Having finished the Covenanters I become subject to that odd feeling I always get when I finish an army. I almost resent that everything is done. The creative link to the figures is done. It's rare that I go back and add to armies these days once they're done as I plan what I want to paint and buy them all up front. That's different to two of my oldest armies, -my 25mm Huguenots and my similar scale Henry VIII English. They started off with a few infantry figures and grew as I saw other figures I liked. That process is pretty much over now as no one makes figures that size anymore. But I love those armies.

So now I'm at a bit of a loose end. That's not to say I haven't got figures to paint, -I've got 500+ SCW figures to do. However I can't start them yet as the research hasn't been done, - not just the uniforms, but the organisation for the type of game I want to do as well. So I can't start to paint as I'll end up painting figures that I can't use as there'll be unsuitable. For example I reckon I want to do the game at a more operational level so I think I'm going to have battalions made up of four 30mm x 30mm bases with 3 figures on each. But exactly what mix I'm not sure. As the same figures can be painted as regular troops, falangists, or anarchist militias pretty much then I need to work out what mix of each I need.

So I'm researching at the moment prior to painting*. But I've got a big box of figures and I want to paint. My fingers itch because I'm not painting. It's like some type of windrawal. My evening routine is disrupted. It's worse than being stopped by real life.

Actually I've just remembered...there's some 28mm 16th Century Irish in my box that need doing...maybe that's the answer.

*Actually I've taken some time out to read Robert Rankin's "Retromancer", so this isn't strictly true.

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