Sunday, 13 September 2009

We do WHAT we want, WHEN we want, WHERE we want!

Home sweet home...   Back from a business trip to Osaka where it rained bucketfuls (bad) and where I found a very cozy English-style pub (good).

No pictures of anything today, but I did find this amusing clip on YouTube. It's from the BBC TV series on Beau Brummell, where a pair of  Regency Dandies run into some (by then old-fashioned) Fops. 

For obvious reasons it struck me as being a funny metaphor for some of the strife that surfaces from time to time on the Napoleonic boards at TMP.  The next time someone tells me that I may as well be fantasy gaming for using 1812 uniforms in 1809 scenarios, or  hints that I'm in some way mentally deficient or lazy for painting the wrong shade of green on the shako pom-poms, I'll just post this in reply.

Love that line;  "...and they wash!..."


Sunday, 6 September 2009

Woo-hoo! Finished figures!

The elite companies of the 28eme legere, under the command of their brigadier,  Général Victor-Eugène BOUILLON-CANTINAT,  as they prepare to assault a manor house.   (Said to contain a large cache of the most excellent pinot-noir- the good general has a keen interest in all matters of logistical importance.)

Merde!  Not a single cask to be found.  The Prussians must have gotten there before us!  We'll go and hunt down some pesky Freikorps instead.

Half of a battalion is finished (indeed a full battalion should I wish to play a game of Shako)- the centre companies are soon to follow, along with a section of artillery- and hopefully a bit of a surprise! 

The third week of September is a long vacation here, and not only can I paint 'til I drop, but I'm also scheduled for an actual wargame!  We'll be playing DBR, but it will be a good chance to promote/ hype/ cajole interest in a game of DBN.

Coming up Blanc?

Just finished "moving house" at work yesterday, from our old office in Roppongi to our new digs in Harumi's Triton Square near Tokyo Bay.   

I won't miss Roppongi much; it is way overpriced if you just want to go for a quick brew after work, and while it is one of the world's most famous places to party, it can be pretty unsavoury at times.  

I remember often getting to my office early on a morning, and being greeted with the sight of casualties from the previous night's festivities-  Japanese and foreigners alike- draped pathetically in various stages of unconsciousness in doorways, on the subway stairs, and along the curbside.  Add to that the great number of crows who congregate there on garbage collection days, and the whole sorry spectacle was somewhat reminiscent of what the morning after Waterloo must have looked like.

Next weekend it is off to a conference in Osaka for a few days, and then things settle down again so that I can get back to work on M. Jean Crapaud et ses frères.

But to business; I've been working on bases these last few days.  After texturing and adding patches of fine sand, this morning I applied the burnt umber base coat which I'm just now waiting to dry.  Once that happens, things should move quickly and I'll be able to add a few photos of finished stands tonight.

John (owner of the inspiring Wargaming in 28mm site) was asking me about how I paint my whites. How best to paint whites is something looming large on my horizon now, as I have some Austrian grenadiers that need painting, as do some 18th C. French infantry. 

These days I use Delta Ceramcoat craft paints for about 80% of all my painting. The rest are old Ral Partha paints, which I found to my joy are now being marketed by Reaper.

Ceramcoat paints are economical as they come in 2 oz. bottles.  As I typically use no more than couple of drops on my painting palette per session, this means that the paint goes a very long way.

For a "pure white" look, I usually start with Ceramcoat's Soft Grey over a black undercoat. I use very thin coats, often two or three until I get a nice, smooth rich finish. Then I paint the rest of the figure (which usually means more touching up with the soft grey.

As the figure nears completion, I take the Ceramcoat Magnolia White, and sparingly add highlights.  Again, I use a number of very thin coats.  The last applications are just very watery light washes, to add depth and a smooth finish.  I then line the creases quite boldly using Cadet Grey and a good-quality, well-pointed thin lining brush. 

For an "unbleached linen" look, I use a base of Sandstone and highlight with Antique White and/or Light Ivory, which is a very light off-white colour. The lining and shading are done using Mudstone or again Cadet Grey for the deeper folds.

It sounds laborious, and I guess it is.  But I tend to go through a number of figures in rotation, so that when I tire of painting fiddly things like backpack straps and musket bands on one group of miniatures, I can take a break and go back and work on the coats and breeches of another. I soon get a "rhythm" and when in good form, I find I can work quite quickly at it.