Sunday, 3 July 2011

Painting for colour-blind dummies with the shakes who really don't like painting. In a bag.

I think I might have cracked the secret of how to maintain maximum painting output. Painting the figures individually was OK, but still no quicker than the production line method. I did about half a unit of Germans as individuals in two sessions, but after painting three figures completely I found myself losing motivation. So for the rest of the unit I switched back to the production line, and the five of them came together very quickly in two sessions, while also doing some work on other figures to keep things different. So that's the secret I think. Use the production line, but limit it to small half-unit batches, and keep mixing things up doing the odd individual figure at the same time.

Incidentally that's my third unit of German infantry completed. Three more regulars (one of which Jonesy started last weekend) and two of Jagers and that'll be the lot. They were also the first unit based primarily on WWI figures, which meant they were carrying a lot more baggage than the West Wind Zendarian Troopers who made up the bulk of the first two units. It's also the first unit I've painted using the Army Painter Colour Primer method, spraying the figure with an Ultramarine Blue basecoat and only painting pants and detail over that. It seems to work fine, and I much prefer the AP Ultramarine to the craft acrylic colour I had been using. I'm considering getting a green for the Jagers and possibly a red for any future British infantry I might want to do.

I have two units of British also on the painting table, one of which is 25% in progress. That will just leave the cavalry & artillery, and of course the vehicles (which I'm hoping won't be too difficult). And four weeks to do them in. Oh and the terrain, of course. Geez. What have I let myself in for!

For the purposes of the "birthday wargame" if all that white metal gets painted, we'll have a large German force being opposed by an uneasy alliance between the British and an "Evil Genius" force made up of Parroom Staion Masked Minions and Design 28 Iron Men, plus assorted random steambots. In the long term I'd like to build up all three forces to the same overall level so any one would be a good match for the others. Since my imagined "Invasion England 188x" setting involves a dual front German/Russian invasion, further down the line I want to work up the forces of the Tsar. I've decided the Wild Wild West toy-based vehicles I have would be suited to the Russian forces, having a distinctive, more primitive look about them.

Ignoring the various colonial & native figures I have in my lead mountain, I've always wanted to do a 19th century Fenian army for G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. inspired by the real life Fenian force in the Battle of Ridgeway, or the more fanciful example in Harry Harrison's "I Hate The British" trilogy (better known as "Stars And Stripes"). Equipped with Civil War surplus uniforms died green, and armed with "Trapdoor Springfield" breechloaders, they could easily be represented quite inexpensively with a box of Perry Miniatures ACW plastics. I'm not sure what vehicles and contraptions the Fenians would have. Lighter armoured cars perhaps, the sort that could have been put together in secret in sheds and barns across Ireland.

I also spent an hour or so assembling a couple more buildings for the village, using Dave Graffam Models buildings pasted over foamcore frames. Now I've got the technique for them down pat I plan to rattle off a half dozen small cottages quite quickly, plus three or four larger buildings. Although I did buy one, I'm not sure I'm going to do a church, since the construction is a lot more complex. I've ordered a batch of resin-cast walls from Total System Scenic, plus I managed to find my old Britains dry stone walls, which while designed for 54mm farm sets, work quite well in 28mm for taller walls. They're amongst my oldest wargaming accessories, and for this project I'm finally going to get around to basing and painting them properly. With the river and the hills all about half done, the trees based and just needing flocking, I think the terrain is the closest part of this whole project to being completed.

Tomorrow's resolution - complete a half unit of infantry, by hook or by crook. Wanna see if I manage it? Tune in tomorrow to find out!

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