Monday, August 08, 2011

A Narrow Escape

Kind of an interlude this time, to give you a break from centurion silliness. Only a little, anyway. ;-)

Well, cutting a long story short: I recently and finally took the plunge to prime those pesky Perry plastics I had lying around for ages. Maybe I was a bit too lacklustre, for after the dust had settled I discovered the whole unit of 36 Frenchmen, lavishly spray-primed, had turned into a mess! Tiny crumbs all over them, not to be removed, neither by rubbing nor brushing nor bathing in hot water.

Simply put, they'd become unpaintable, and I was at the edge of bining them straightaway to join the primer can already there. However, having calmed down a bit, I reflected my options and noticed the can of Army Painter Dark Tone. I had tried it some time ago, after seeing Dave Imries' great results, but never got the hang of it. Now, with literally nothing to loose I gave it another chance. And here's what I came up with:

Okay, these are only the first 24 men ready for battle. The rest hasn't been based yet, but I think you get the idea. Of course, these aren't nowhere near what I would be happy with under normal circumstances. But, otherwise, for relatively cheap plastics almost completely spoiled - and watched from a distance - they are decent enough, me thinks.

As I said, the technique of Imrie-fame was applied here, with just the base colours blocked in, then brushed on Army Painter and eventually a few highlights added. As a focal point, I spent some extra work on the faces; effort spared by lavishly muddying their trousers.

Initially I bought these, when my interest in the Sharp Practice rules was reignited by an excellent little series of introductory videos to the game. Having bought the "Fondler" supplement, I realised that pretty substantial forces are needed in order to get started. So I decided to make best use of the several plastic boxes available meanwhile. Fortunately, I also discovered the Perry French infantry could be easily turned into pre-1812 troops of the "Royaume de Westphalie" (and that's where I'm living right now!). Therefore I 'painted' them up as the 2nd regiment of the line, admittedly with a bit of artistic license, since I didn't want to make a fuss about these miniatures I had almost written off.

As I said, nothing special. Best thing is that I simply could give up on painting for ages and, after no time, get a decently sized unit out of it. Now to follow are some officers and skirmishers, who are, by advice of the rules, better off single-based. However, before I come to that, I need a rest to overcome the shock.

"Done" August 2011. Miniatures by Perry Miniatures.


Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

I think your AP results turned out just great! I think you should happily place them on any table. Looking forward to seeing more!


Brummie said...

They look excellent i wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

The Angry Lurker said...

I can't see anything wrong, they look great and even better a rescue job.

Sire Godefroy said...

Hi guys, thanks for your comments!

Indeed, nothing utterly wrong with them, and I will happily add more "dipped" units now that I've tried it. Maybe it's made easier due to them being "just" plastics.
However, I seem to really have to think about my normal standard, when there's actually no difference to these recognisable... ;^)


The Doc said...

Very nice, mr. T! :) Do say, how was it working with blues and the AP? For the distant future I was considering some dipped French as Hesse-Darmstadt and they'd be predominantly blue!

Sire Godefroy said...

Doc, it depends on what you're expecting. As always, earth tones are better suited to AP than other colours, as lighter colours work better with it than darker ones. However, if applied by brush there's no colour that simply turns into a brownish shade. That said, the sky blue I used on the uniform was nicely shaded, whereas the effect on the dark blue greatcoats is less noticable.
What I've learned here anyway is to give up on exact and tidy highlighting afterwards. It would nullify the effect of AP - fast creation of three shades with an additional fourth highlight painted in, that is -, and you're better off with using washes for that matter.

Anonymous said...

Great work! You've inspired me to try Army Painter again, though maybe this time with a brush on varnish - I always got a cracked paint job after the varnish.

Giles said...

These are terrific! Nothing wrong with them at all. I really like the mud effects - very realistic. Top work.

Best wishes


BigRedBat said...

Lovely work, I'm very impressed. That is a great technique.

I've also been having trouble with base coats. I can't decide whether it is poor quality sprays (certainly one AP spray I have is dreadful; figures are coming out with a texture like sandpaper), or humidity.


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