Saturday 29 December 2012

Making Sea Bases

Some time ago, I decided I needed an easier method for sea bases than I have used up till now. It is mind-numbingly tedious adding layer after layer of varnish.

For this example I have some 1/300 Sui Junks I am painting up as part of my DBMM army. These are sold in Australia by Eureka Miniatures, and are part of the Grumpy Range, (Hi Vic!) You can find them here.

They come in a very simple kit and build up into a very nice little model. They thoughtfully include a separately cast cannon and gunner, which can be added for later periods. These were of course omitted from my build.

Firstly they are based on DBMM sized naval bases (for 15mm figures this is 80mm x 40mm). Mine are supplied with magnetised bases by Olympian Games, and are a laminate + magnet sandwich. Importantly - they don't warp. I haven't tried this stuff on cardboard as I am not sure how much they would warp it.

With the junks assembled (slightly tricky having to glue the sail on separately as the contact points are quite small) first they are glued down using cheap PVA glue, creating almost a puddle for the ship to sit in. Then undercoated using a cheap black spray primer.

The first stage was a rough mix of Payne's Grey plus French blue artists acrylic, not mixed too well, as when it is applied you get a good dark sea colour with occasional light streaks of the French Blue.  Then the secret weapon!

With an old brush (although it does seem to clean off very well) - apply a thick coat of Artists 3D Gloss super heavy gel. The one I use is from Reeves, and available from any decent artist's store. (I got mine at Eckersleys). Paddle it about with the brush to create ridges and peaks. If you want extreme seas, put it on really thick, and then give it 30 minutes os so and go back with the brush and tease it into more extreme peaks.

It is worth experimenting with how you apply the gel, and it is pretty forgiving. 

Don't panic about all the white at this stage...  that's before it dries clear.

Above, two bases completed this far...  As you can see, the acylic gel has dried gloss and clear...   Next bit...  highlighting.

A quick dry-brush with white... voila! Very quick sea bases.

The Man Cave Part 2

So with the Christmas frenzy now almost over, and in the brief hiatus between Ham and Hogmanay (that's Scottish New Year to you..) - I fled from the evidence of stuffed toy disembowelment into the Man Cave - and finally cleared the workbench so I could actually paint there.

View from the door, it's small..  and I am not going to show the view to the right, as it is monumental chaos.

But the painting desk is under a South facing window, and everything finally organised.. Hurrah!

Friday 14 December 2012

The Man Cave

For quite some time, there have been rumblings from the civil power regarding the degree to which lead, paint and all sundry appurtenances, chattels and otherwise attached 'bits' were taking over the house...

For some inexplicable reason, she seemed to think she should be able to open the door to the study and actually enter the room, without having to pick her way between tottering piles of magazines and 6mm tanks, as well as change the dining room tablecloth without having to move 43 pots of paint, brushes and a large chunk of an ancient Chinese army, or Corgi cars for Geezers, or Sci-Fi Grav vehicles (which of course should have floated off the table very easily...).

Despite having fought back for some time with various distractions, excuses and appeals to togetherness, ("you won't like it when I spend all my time in the shed..") - finally the resistance recognised it was doomed, and consequently I spent several hours carting various boxes, bits, shelves, toolboxes, spray-cans, flock, models, into what has up until now been christened the "Gimp Room".

So now I can barely squeeze myself in there after it all..  at one stage I had even hoped to fit a gaming table in there...  no chance!

And having carted what seemed like hundreds of kilos of lead, I suspect some reorganisation, and even rationalisation might be in order. At the risk of blasphemy....  Some periods and armies I have more figures than I could ever possibly need or even use...

More to come on this topic I suspect....

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Sui Paint Guide

So now I have painted my samples, and inevitably what happens is that I forget which colours were used where. So for my own sake, heres the paint guide for Sui Infantry...

Sui Infantry Paint Guide

As you can see, mainly Citadel, because of the convenience of the GW shop to my workplace, plus a leavening of Coat d'Arms.

Monday 10 December 2012

More Sui WIP

More work underway. I spent a productive afternoon drilling out the hands of some of the Spearmen, so I could add banners to each element. Then when I went to find some brass wire, of course the smallest diameter wouldn't fit the holes I had drilled. Doh! - back to the pin vice.

So now; undercoated, drybrushed light grey, and ready for some serious painting.

The 'heavy cavalry' supplied in the Essex 'Sui & Tang' line are not accurate, but I don't have the time to order alternatives and finish the painting before Cancon..  oh well.

Monday 3 December 2012

More Sui Heavy Cavalry

Another couple finished off. I suspect I will go back and rework these a bit though. Here's how they look for the moment. Also worked on some more cataphracts, just basic washes, plus the generals. I also think I may have miscalculated the original order, and I might need another pack of the heavy cavalry as generals' bodyguards.