Earlier this week I blogged my confusion with Warlord Games’ Black Powder ruleset (see Black Powder Fog of War for my confusion). Paul of Wargamer Blue cleared up some of my misconceptions and with his information in mind I read the beginning of the rulebook while ordering some American Revolution (or AWI to historical gamers) figures. Henry Hyde deserves also deserves another mention for his fantastic e-mail, which resulted in my decision to purchase Perry Miniatures for my army.
The figures arrived quickly. I will review the figures but this article will concentrate on my paint scheme. Anyone who knows me knows I am, to borrow a term from my line of work, a “reluctant” painter and assembler. Fielding American Militia should help me as any historical inaccuracies, stray brush strokes, and dubious color choices can be explained away to the ragtag look of militia.
The question of how should I paint these figures blinked at me like a neon sign. Osprey Publishing has excellent titles, which can assist in this area. Sadly, my eagerness to paint meant I didn’t have a chance to get any of those titles from my local library. Luckily, I had the forethought to get some of Osprey’s campaign series and some of those provided helpful illustrations. Plus, the Black Powder rulebook has gorgeous photographs, which also helped.
I waffled back and forth and decided my first militia regiment would be a test bed. The first group of six men, Perry Miniatures Southern Militia, would be extra quirky. I wanted to give them:
Black or brown boots (I’ll alternate)
Blue Grey trousers
Black or brown hats
Dwarven Flesh skin (with a wash of Ogryn Flesh)
Very few accessories would be picked out in appropriate colors. Guns would be Boltgun Metal (perhaps with some Tin Bitz mixed in).
My goal is very simple and should be easily adhered to. My hope is a concise and basic goal will keep me motivated to consistently paint all of the figures.
1) Paint 3 distinct colors on each figure
2) Strive to be historically accurate but don’t let that stifle my creativity
3) Base each figure using flock and some Woodland Scenics products but don’t go crazy on the basing
4) Quickly and neatly paint each figure to a gaming standard where a regiment will look decent from 2-3 feet away.
5) Limit the number of coats, custom mixes, highlighting, drybrushing, and inking.
With the paint scheme firmly entrenched in mind and the goals floating in the the nether I got comfortable on my couch and prepared to paint. Out came the iPad, on went Episode 14 (followed by Live from Cold Wars ’11) of WWPD: News From the Front, and I set to work.
Each of the six models were primed with a very thinned down coat of Chaos Black. It was so thin that it almost looks like a wash. Thankfully it dried quickly. I decided to start at the bottom of the figure and work my way up. Interestingly enough I ignored their footwear, or feet, as the case may be.
Trousers received my attention for the evening. I base coated them with Mordian Blue. After that dried to the touch I tried something new. Privateer Press makes a wet palette and I picked one up at The Whiz, Rte 9 East in Westborough, awhile back. This was the perfect time to try it out. Codex Grey was deposited in one corner and Regal Blue was placed nearby. I mixed the two for a medium blue grey color. It was perhaps two parts Codex Grey and two parts Regal Blue. That became the next coat on the trousers.
I followed that up with a lighter mix of the same colors, perhaps two parts Codex Grey and one part Regal Blue. The result was appealing but one dimensional. It needed something else. Drybrushing! I know I know. Trousers wouldn’t normally be drybrushed. But, drybrushing is easy, quick, and something I can do relatively well. I mixed two parts Codex Grey, one part Regal Blue, and two parts Skull White together. That became my drybrush, which I concentrated on raised areas.
The pants could probably use more work but for now they are done. At this point you are probably wondering why I painted all six pairs of pants in the same color. After all this is supposed to be militia and shouldn’t they look ragtag? I’m going to have 24 infantry in this regiment. If I paint six, or even 12, of them with these blue pants I can paint the others with different pants. Stagger them on the bases and it won’t look too orderly.
Finally, I need to say a quick word about the sculpts of these models. They’re fantastic but one or two were sculpted in a way that confused me. This is likely due to a lack of knowledge on my end. But, I painted the seat of the pants on one model blue when I may actually have painted the tail of his coat. I also painted some lower legs blue when they’re likely bare legs or tall boots. It is hard for me to discern on these figures and again it is probably my fault. Still, it is something to watch out for.
You can see pictures of my “finished” pants below. Please accept my apologies for the inferior picture quality. I’m not much of a photographer.
ATTENTION ADRIAN: I have paint on my miniatures now. :P