Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hungarian project - old dog, meet new tricks

For my Black Army of Hungary project, I'm changing things up.  I've got a system for basing and painting that I use faithfully on every army.  This time, I've decided to look for ways to do things differently. Experiment.  Change it up.  Right out of the gates, I'm having doubts. I've suppressed them by telling myself I can't judge the changes until it all comes together at the finish line.  But I judge. And worry. After all, I'm an old dog.  
Please lord, don't let the red devil kill me in my sleep.  
I've got 100+ foot and 100+ mounted figures to paint.  Almost half of the figures have shields. To scratch-paint heraldry on this many shields, I've got to find ways to save time.

Glue Gun:  First up is a trick I learned from Lurkio, 15mm modeler and painter extraordinaire.  I dug up an old glue gun and I'm hot gluing the cavalry to popsicle sticks. If you've painted Essex horse, you know how much time this'll save. Essex horses are exquisite, my favorite in 15mm, but their bases are easily bent or twisted.  That makes it nearly impossible to put a spot of PVA glue down and call it good.  The trick with the glue gun is to have the figure in hand and press hard  right after the glue goes down. One press and no fiddling to make the bases flat and figures stand up straight.


Army Painter colored primer:  Though quite pricey, I grabbed a bunch of Army Painter colored primers which I'll use to full effect. By priming a strip of mounted figures with a variety of browns,  black or grey, I'll have eliminated the step of blocking in the primary color of the horse.  I'll use a heavy wash over the blocked color and work detail and a highlight in when I paint the tack.  The beauty of this technique is that you get shadowing similar to black lining without the difficulty of painting over blackened tack.

Glue Man to Horse:  I've always painted riders separately from their mount but this time, I'm gluing the figure to the horse prior to priming to save time.  For many poses, Essex has already done this for me!  I don't want to work up from a variety of basecoat colors so I'll go over all riders with black.  The black shadows the hard-to-paint places between the rider and his mount.  And it'll lend itself to a darker effect that I'm looking for in my Black Army.
Since I'm using black on all the riders, I'll  paint faces with black plus flesh combo.  At 3 feet + viewing , it looks quite good in 15mm.

Army Painter colored primer in action.  
Flock it all:  I'm also changing up my flocking.  I once made the mistake of using too dark a color in my basing, which resulted in my cavalry being swallowed up by the color of the bases.  I found a very light colored Woodland Scenic ballast called Buff.  It is so light it's kind of freaking me out.  I'm going to stick with it because it should pay out with all of the cavalry & the variations of brown I'll use in painting them. I've had to remind myself that the point of basing is to showcase the figures. If the point of the basing was to realistically display ground cover, I'd use the "all green"  flocking method.  This one has a serious downside if I hate it at the finish line.

Accept feedback:  For me, painting is a quiet, solitary experience.  Some of you fellows belong to painting clubs and for you, painting is a social event. I've even heard of painters who paint via webcam just to get conversation and feedback as they go.  When I mentioned this idea to my family, they thought webcam painting was a little over the top.  I should point out that my kids are teens and thus, my very exsistence is a bit of an embarrasment to them!

For now, I'll settle for sharing photos.  My friend Gilles already pointed out some of my work was a bit dark.  I knew it to be true but I needed to hear it from someone else before going back and redoing highlights a tone higher. In 15mm, as in life, you just can't be subtle!

18 comments:

  1. To be honest Monty, I would say you should just keep on doing what you normally do. By all means try something fresh, but good Lord man, you have a wonderfully clean and powerful style. It photographs magnificently and I'm sure it looks stunning on table.

    I would say don't go changin'.

    That said, if you want to go for more speed or are getting bored with your usual style then that's different :) I'm sure the army will look grand however you do it!

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    1. Well, you pretty much made my week right there and thanks for that!

      I decided to change it up because its the second time I'm painting the same army. :-)

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  2. I also have a hard time moving away from my routine and things that I think work well. Your idea about the base-coating the horses in their natural colors and then washing and highlighting is great and they do look nice. I'm looking forward to seeing some photos of your new bases.

    And no way I'm going to let people watch me paint on a Web cam! :)

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    1. lol, my kids were mortified by the idea of me painting via WebCam. They already were freaked out when I joined FB because they thought I was going to be posting about my blog. I make sure to post within a closed FB Gamers group so I don't embarrass my kids.

      Priming in a base color for horses is a winner. I'm really pleased with the results and will be doing this from here on forward.

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  3. good luck for your change
    sharing your product is like a gift
    and i like the fact to try to do better : for a better gift
    thanks

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    1. Thanks Marco, I really appreciate your kind words!

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  4. What does it matter? You can't see anything on these tiny little blighters anyway!! (Real response sent via e-mail :-))

    Jason

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    1. Why do you hate the wee folk, Jason?

      Makes you want to sing an old song from my youth, Randy Newman's "Short People."

      And thanks for your e-mail. It saved for future days and reference.

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  5. Hi Monty,

    sorry if my comments gave you any doubt about your style or techniques it was not my intent, I really like your painting style, it gave me the motivation to build my ottoman Army for FOG and it also gave me many more ideas, tricks, tips on basing all my middle age armies;
    my comments on highlights are only a matter of taste on what I like and use on my figures to have some effect at a distance but as I said it's only a matter of choice and it's not always a good one when you see my figures too near;
    I'm a fake painter, I'm copying all the styles I see on the web, experimenting all sorts of things;
    please stay the great painter and Great Guy I like, don't change too much ;-)

    don't take too much care of what the red devil could say to you, keep the cheese in you mouth and stay on the tree ;-) as said Jean de la Fontaine
    the advisor is not the one who pay the debt;-)

    Cheers

    Gilles "the confused frenchjester"

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    1. Gilles!

      Your comments were spot on! Because I was changing so many things, I told myself to just take a breath with the subtle coloring. I knew it was too subtle so your opinion saved me from having to come in at the end and raise the highlights up on EVERYTHING, or in the alternate, be mad at the overall effect at the finish line. So Thank You very much!

      When are you going to post your Ottomans? I would love to see them. On second thought, maybe not because I'll be tempted to paint Ottomans yet again!

      lol on the fox and the cheese. You always crack me up!

      Your friend, Monty

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    2. I posted the pics of my Ottomans on my blog the 14th of August this year just after the Britcon tournament in UK, the pics are not very well taken but it gives an idea of how they are painted;

      now they need an historical opponent for the FOG V2.0, perhaps the medieval poles or the Wallachians????

      Cheers

      Gilles

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    3. Along with learning new tricks, I better learn some for memory! They're beautiful and I especially love how you worked flags in with your janissary.

      As for an opponent, I hear the Hungarians were a tough lot! ;-)

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  6. Nothing wrong with trying new stuff, but I'm with Profrock; what you do works damn well.

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    1. Thanks Fire1! Worst comes to worst, I'll have reaffirmed what I like/don't like.

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  7. I love trying new things, even when it doesn't work out and you end up going back to old methods. Breaking an routine is good sometimes. FMB is right though....what you do works very well indeed.
    I haven't painted 15mm for some time ( 1813 Prussian army was the last ). I shall pass onto you something that greatly improved my 'enjoyment' with painting 15s. You use popsicle sticks......try disposable plastic knives. Glue the figs onto the blade end and keep the handle free to hold on/manoeuvre with. This one little tip (passed on by a good friend) ....I kid you not, revolutionised my 15mm painting experience forever hahahaha ....amazing. I was forever getting hand cramps, bending weapons, missing bits, knocking them over or off ....hated it.

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    1. Thanks Tarty!

      Ok, I'm intrigued. How many figs can you fit on a blade, I wonder? I'll give this a go! ;-)

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  8. Hope it works for you Monty. Seems like a little thing I know but it really helped with my work flow. I bought a large bag of them from a party supplier....cheap as chips !

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  9. So...2013 will be a year of change! For my part, I found your figurines beautiful , so I'll look forward to compare!
    Cheers,
    Phil.

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