Monday, 2 November 2009

Painting Toy Soldiers (2)

Despite Sean Clarke trying to steal my thunder in a shameless fashion, here's part two of the Trebian Method.

Basically Sean has the same aim as me, - getting from raw metal to varnished army in as short a time as possible. Personally I think he is wrong on undercoating, - the black emulsion paint gives me a good surface to paint on and is quick and cheap.

Any how, next stage is the simple blocking in. Selecting what to paint is key. You do not have to paint everything, just so long as all of the figure is covered in paint, and that the various bits that should be different colour are.

What differentiates various armies are surprisingly few if 15mm. For Colonial forces painting in cross belts in white is essential, for WW1, less so. For these ECW cavalry I did basic horse colour & saddle cloths (no edging) and horse furniture. The men have buff coats, jackets, back/breast plates, boots, cross belts, gauntlets, weapons and faces painted in. For sheer bravado I painted in shiny stirrups. The signature colour on these tho' is the red on the sashes.

It is important to note at this point that I do not mix colours if I can at all avoid it. I end up wasting loads of paint and if I ever want to paint any more figures I can never get the exact same colour.

If you are painting in a warm room using acrylics and don't paint colours next to each other until they are dry you can do all of this in an evening.

Anyhow, this is what they look like at this stage, - nothing spectacular, and well within the capabilities of even the busiest grown-up. Note the use of the upturned box lid for display purposes.

The secret ingredient for the next stage is Ronseal Quick Drying Wood Varnish, - Antique Pine.

It took me a while to be converted to the benefits of shiny figures, but this stuff does it for me. It protects and shades the figures all in one go and it is dry enough in 20 minutes to pull the figures off the stick and base them up.

What's more, it is quite reasonably priced compared to that Army Painter stuff, which only proves that you can sell pretty much anything to some wargamers, regardless of how good it is.

As I said the Ronseal dries in 20 minutes, and it is virtually odourless. And as an added advantage for grown-ups you can actually use it to varnish wood panels round the house should you need to, so the expense comes off the household not the wargaming budget.

With the drying speed you can move to the next phase, - basing - in the same evening. I used to make my own bases out of 2mm ply or mounting board but frankly I can't cut straight and it takes too long. Accordingly I have bags of pre-cut bases on one of my zamba shelves to save wasting time faffing about. I use Peter Pig plastic bases mostly, but for DBx style bases I use 2mm mdf from QRF. For individual figures I tend to use 2ps.

To stick them down I use Evo-stick PVA wood adhesive (again costed against the DIY budget). To finish the bases off (once dry - and here I suggest you do not hurry the PVA, but let it dry overnight) I cover them with polyfilla, or something similar. The picture shows a pot of Mangers Ready Mix All Purpose Filler that sells at £2.25 for 600g in my local village hardware shop. I then put them in the sand tray (visible on the right) for final texturing. Plus it speeds the drying process.

Okay, enough for now. To much text, not enough jokes.

Catch up with the third and final phase tomorrow night. Or most likely not, as tomorrow at work has a whole enormous pile of real life stacked up in it.

1 comment:

  1. Can't agree more. I'm a miniaturist first, wargamer second, but would never use three shades of any colour and go ape when I read turorials where everything and not just one colour, but every colour is a mix of 50 percent this, 50 percent that - get over yourselves.

    I take my hat off to the Army Painter guys. That dip and flick technique is perfect for wasting varnish and ensuring you'll be buying another tin sooner than you need to.

    Imagine if Dulux suggested, dip your brush, flick it to get rid of any excess, then paint the wall!

    Asound, grounded post and great read.