Saturday, August 27, 2016

My Trip to Gettysburg part 1

My family and I took a two week vacation from 8/11-8/24 back to NJ/NY and PA, to visit family and friends. We also took trips out to NYC, the shore, PA and other spots in NJ.  This post and another post I will put up will be about our trip to Gettysburg.  Now I grew up in NJ and moved away when I was 26.  I had never been to Gettysburg before this trip.  It was simply amazing.  I've been to other battlefields but I have never seen such a well preserved battlefield before and the museum was hands down the best I've ever been too.  Our first day consisted of us driving in from NJ and heading out to the museum.  What I thought was going to be a short little jaunt turned into a 4 hour stay at the museum.  As we were heading out to start our battlefield tour the weather turned nasty with lightening, thunder and a heavy down pour.  So we checked in at our hotel and waited out the storm doing laundry. :-) After about 3 hours of buckets of rain, we headed out for dinner and then decided while the sun was still out to start our driving tour of the battlefield.  We did that until sunset.


My wife and daughter at the entrance to the museum. Once inside we paid to see the movie about the 3 day battle, which allowed my daughter and wife to get acquainted with what happened.  From there they take you upstairs to see the 360 degree cyclorama of the battle that was painted in the 1880s.  It is simply stunning. My pictures don't do it justice.  While you are looking at the painting the battle unfolds in front of you with the cyclorama back lit at certain points of the 3 day battle.





To help capture the depth of the battlefield the museum extend the cyclorama out with modeling the battlefield in 3D.  It added depth and touch of realism to the effect.  It was very well done.





Unbeknownst to me each section of the cyclorama had been painted and then sent to different museum around the country at that time.  The above photo was one section that was in NYC.




A diagram on the components of the army.




The museum was so well done.  There is so much to see it just inside it can take a full day to see it all.


My daughter in the gift shop. She cracks me up.

Monday, August 8, 2016

First 28mm ECW Unit Completed

Our group has decided to work on some 28mm ECW troops. I decided to paint up a unit for the group as well.  The figures are Pike & Shotte Parliament Infantry.  
First I will tell you that I haven't had much experience with the plastic figures and I found them to be a pain to put together.  My biggest issue was trying to match up arms to hold the various weapons.  Apparently I messed up somewhere along the line as I ended with one guy with one arm that didn't quite match up to his body the gun he was supposed to be holding. I also ended up with two figures who didn't have any arms at all.  So I used them as my test pieces.
The other thing I decided to do was to try Army Painters painting method.  I've used the Army Quick Shade product for a long time and I generally like it but I've never done the full method.  
So this time I went with the Crystal Blue Primer and sprayed the figures.  I really started to have my doubts once I saw how "Blue" it really was but I pushed on and starting painting the figures with just basic colors.  
I've gotten so use to painting smaller figures (10mm), I forgot how much more stuff had to be painted. :-)
Once the figures were painted I decided to use the Quick Shade Soft Tone.  I've used it before on smaller figures and it doesn't obscure the painting detail, so I went with it.  Usually I brush the stuff on with the smaller figures. It's just easier, I feel.  This time I tried the dip method on the figures.  I ended up having to use a brush on the pikemen as the pikes were too large to dip the figure.  I have to say that once the figures had been shaken after being dipped I was very worried. The stuff was just globbed all over the figures, except for the brushed ones.
I let the figures sit and dry for 24 hours.  After drying I was even more worried about the process. The figures looked like shit and my doubts had really risen. I grabbed my spray can of Krylon Matt Spray and hit the figures up with a light coat.  I let them sit over night.
When I got home from work tonight I brought the figures in and I have to say that they looked much better. I'm still a little disappointed with the dipped figures because some of the details and the colors I chose became obscured a little too much for my taste.  The brushed on figures retained their colors better and the details weren't as obscured.
If I decide to use this method again I will go with the brush method instead of dipping.
So see below for the figures.  Also the flag is a hand drawn flag by me using the method I had done a month or so ago.


Primed Blue. It looked really strange.

The figures are done. They were dipped/brushed with the Quick Shade and then given a matt spray.



A little close up view.  I do like how the shade filled in the feathers.

The drum's colors ended up too muted for my taste.


The pikemen were all brushed with the Quick Shade.  I think it worked a lot better.




My hand made flag. The 25mm flag was so much easier to make than the 10mm ones. :-)


More Pikemen.  Again all brushed.


The Quick Shade did give a nice effect to the armor











Now these two figures I painted along with the other troops but these two I decided to dip and then instead of the matt spray, I bushed on Army Painters Ink Strong Tone.  The ink took away the sheen of the Quick Shade and gave it a very different look that I like.  I think the Ink made the details pop a little bit more.  What do you think?

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Spanish Renaissance Army is DONE!

The Spanish army is done! Well done enough to actually put on the table and use them in a game. Undoubtably, I will add to the army over time but this gives me a basic army to start with.
The figures are a mix of Pendraken, Warmonger and Old Glory all 10mm in size.  It took me from January of this year to July, of start and stop painting to finish these up.  I'm hoping the French wont take as long.  
While I was painting these my technique changed with each new unit and I was able to paint a little bit faster with getting good results.  Black primer, except for the one white horse, which was primed grey. Then I blocked in color using this site: Painting Landsknechts as my guide along with George Gush's book "Renaissance Armies", Osprey and Pinterest. Once that was done I bushed on Army Painters Quick Shade Soft Tone-which did not "mute" the bright colors. Once that was dry I then went back over the figures with Army Painter Ink Soft Tone which took the shine off the figures.  Worked out pretty well.  The leaders did not get the Quick Shade wash or the Ink wash.  I did practice a few techniques on blueing armor and using a very thin black wash on those.  I think they turned out pretty well.
The army is laid out below. Enjoy the pictures.  A unit is 4 bases, guns are single bases.  I particularly like the two ranks for the Pike units on each base. 
I do however have to get a better lighting source to take my photos, possibly with a white back drop so the light reflects back so more detail can be picked up.