Sunday, 6 September 2009

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.


JAM said...

Thanks Robert, I need to remind myself...thin coats...thin coats.


Peter said...

And those 1813 Saxons (Calpe of course!!) can have a fair bit of white on them as well!! 8O)

von Peter himself