Thursday, July 27, 2017

Took a crack at painting a 28mm figure for the WSS

So on a whim while I was gearing up to paint my next unit of 10mm WSS figures, I decided to paint one 28mm figure that would match the unit I was painting.  I'm not much of a 28mm painter as I have a hard time with blending, shading etc but I thought I would give it a try.  I'm almost done with the 10mm unit and will post that tomorrow or Saturday.  Still have to paint the flag.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

2nd unit of WSS French completed.

Finished my next French unit for my War of Spanish Succession project.  This unit is called "Bigorre".  These figures were undercoated in black and after painting this group I decided, based on a couple of suggestions from friends, to do a wash of Agrax Earthshade.  I think it worked well. I may continue with it.  I also hand painted the flag.  I used Robert Hall's book/cd "Flags and Uniforms of the French Infantry".  It's a great resource.

I think the flag looks okay.

I will be taking about a week or so off from painting as I'm heading to Historicon on Tuesday.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

1st unit of WSS French completed

I have finished my first unit of French for my Battle of Almanza project. It took me about 3 weeks of painting to get these done and that is due to the crazy schedule we've had here for the last few weeks.  Now that things have settled down a little bit I should be able to complete more units a little bit faster.  Although my trip to Historicon in a few weeks will put me a bit behind.

Overall the figures which are Old Glory 10mm, painted up quickly.  This first unit had a white primer applied and then I did a wash of Agrax Earthshade to  bring out the detail.  It did help in making things pop so I could see them.  The next unit, in the back ground, will have been primed black. Depending on which I like better I will paint the rest of them the same way.

This unit is the Blesois battalion.  The uniform colors and flag colors came from Robert Hall's CD on the French Army 1688-1714.  I hand painted the flag.  It looks better from a distance. :)  The bases are 30mm x 30mm and 3 ranks deep.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A new painting strategy.

I'm color blind. Not 100% color blind but enough to where it makes painting figures, the house, choosing clothing that matches etc.. a challenge.  I have also consistently failed the color eye chart they give you when you go to get your eye exam.  I tend to have problems with Blues/Purples, Reds/Browns and usually it happens when the colors start getting really close together in hue.   So I have adapted my ability to paint figures with being very precise about what colors I'm going to use for a uniform. I need to know exactly what bottle of Vallejo I should use in order to paint my AWI figures and so on.  This has led me to purchasing a huge amount of paint.  Also it has led me to having less than dramatic looking figures as I have a really hard time finding colors to highlight what I've already painted.  My daughter has been a big help in picking colors and suggesting how to mix somethings together to get to the color I needed. 

A few weeks ago I was perusing the Historicon PEL and noticed a class called "Color Mixing: Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green".  I was intrigued by the title and the description and promptly went out and bought the book.  The opening chapter turned the light switch on for me on why in the past when I've mixed, lets say, red and blue together to try and get purple, it ended up looking like mud or very dull. The understanding that, for example, the color red could be on either side of the red spectrum. Red with more orange or Red with more violet in it.  If you didn't pick the right spectrum of red or blue for the purple you were going for, it would turn out dull or muddy.  Also the understanding that there is no "real" Primary color as your surroundings and lighting affect what you see the ideal of a pure Red, Blue and Yellow don't really exist.

After reading the book and then rereading certain sections I went to the local Blick Art Supply store and bought the paints I needed to try mixing colors using Mr. Wilcox's technique.   Below you will find my experiment.  

The book in question!

My pallet for this experiment.
The colors I have purchased following the books guidelines and pigment numbers.

Cadmium Red-leans towards the orange spectrum

Alizarin Crimson-faces the violet spectrum

Ultramarine Blue- also faces the violet spectrum. 

Cerulean Blue- faces the green spectrum

Hansa Yellow Pale-Also faces the green spectrum

Cadmium Yellow-leans towards the orange spectrum.

So my first test was to take the Cad. Red and Cad. Yellow and make orange. That's what I got!

Next was Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine Blue to make Violet.

Then Hansa Yellow Pale and Cerulean Blue to make green.

All of them turned out pretty well.  Then I decided to mix different amounts of one color with another to change up the end product.  Below are my results. I also then took the starting colors and mixed Cad. Red with Alizarin Crimson together for a solid red and then did same with the yellows and blues.

I like the results and more importantly I can see the difference in them.  I thought about having another pallet where I show what happens when you mix Cerulean Blue and Cad. Yellow together but I decided to stop where I was at for the moment.  I can do another blog post on that if anyone is interested.

Now comes the leap of faith.  Below are two units of my new War of Spanish Succession project I'm getting ready to start.  Since the uniforms are typically bright colors this system should work for what I need. Also I'm going to try and decide if I like the white primed figures over the black primed ones. It is sometimes hard for me to pick out some of the details on black primed figures.
I primed the above unit with white and then I took agrax earthshade and washed it over the figures.  The detail really pops out now and it adds in a nice shadow to the recesses. 

I'm sure most of this is old hat to most of you but I thought I would share it anyway.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

ECW Cavalry are done!

So yesterday I put the finishing touches on a unit of ECW cavalry for our war game groups effort in raising enough figures to run a few games.  The below figures are Warlord Games and there were 12 horses and riders to make up a unit.  I had fun painting these and I took the step by step instructions from Wargame Illustrated painting handbook for the horses.  I took a few liberties as I chose a few color patterns for real photos of horses but over all I like how they turned out.  The flag used is from Cotton Jims Flags.  

One thing that I have figured out that I don't like painting is hair.

So I hope you like them.  I have now turned the figures over to Alyssa who is basing them up so they fit in with scheme she is using for the figures.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Vows of Iron: Game #2

Hello everyone!
The group got together this past Saturday and we had another run at the rules "Vows of Iron" by Allen Campbell, Vows of Iron. I introduced the rules to three new players and had four returning players from the last game.  That made it easier as the referee for this game.  Also one of the guys, Jeff, had purchased the rules and had read them before the game!!  Over all I spent a whole lot less time looking things up and spent more time taking photos and adjudicating situations than last time.  

This battle was, again, the scenario in the back of the book. French vs. the Holy Roman Empire and for the most part a pretty evenly matched game.  I did use the extra Unit Captain for both sides. 

The initial layout for the table. French forces are on the left. The Holy Roman Emperor's forces on the right.

The top three photos are the French forces. The commanders setup their own units.

The next 3 photos show the Holy Roman Empire's forces. The players were allowed to setup their forces as they saw fit.

The opening couple of turns saw the forces marching towards each other.  Once they were within 20" the Impetuous Knights had to start making rally tests to hold if they passed or to charge if they failed.  Most of the knights passed their checks throughout the game.

Getting closer in the middle too.  The Holy Roman Emperor allowed the French King to do a lot of the closing in.  

The Roman Empire's Lone Unit Captain said "the hell with it all" and charged full force into the Van of the French army.

The Rear battles fought each other to a bloody pulp all night. Once they started their melees they were locked causing fatigue hits but not enough to cause serious damage until the end.

The Main Battle between the Emperor and the King was also bloody with each side trading blows but not enough to knock each other out.

The Emperor's Unit Captain has been captured!!!  He would later be escorted back to France for ransom. 

The Rear battle seesaws back and forth. Swords swinging, men falling and the Emperor's Crossbowmen on the hill fought valiantly against the knights. Holding their own for several turns. 

The Main battle lines continue to slug it out. Fatigue points are climbing! Who will break first!

The Van side of the battle goes all in. Both sides trading blows with units routing.

The Rear side of the battle still struggling against each other. A slug fest at its finest.

The Emperor's center starts to crack. A few units have routed and some have only 1 or 2 fatigue points left.

The Van side of the battle continues to trade stand for stand.

The Rear side of the battle for the Emperor starts to falter with a unit of knights being wiped out but the Kings knights are also flanked! Things don't look good.  

The Emperor's center is crumbling. 

The final straw to break the Emperor's army when the Van loses another unit the break point drops to zero.  A glorious victory for the French King and he gets to partake in collecting the Ransom of one of the Emperor's Commanders.

The French commanders from left to right: Kevin, Andy, Andrew, as the French King, and Tom.

The disheartened Emperor's commanders from left to right: Gabe, Dave, as the Holy Roman Emperor, and Jeff.

We had an enjoyable three hour battle.  Within two or three turns everyone was pretty much running the game without me.  The 3 new guys, Gabe, Dave and Tom enjoyed the rules and want to go again. Now that I've gotten a couple of games under my belt I'm going to start planning battle with more variety of troops on the board and see how things go.

We really enjoy the rules and they play smoothly.  I recommend them.