Defying the odds, and past trends, I grabbed my Perry Bros AWI models, gaming bags, and hit the road with the goal of painting in my mind. Painting at home is a possibility but there’s something fun about going to a game store to paint. The atmosphere is different, fellow gamers walk by praising and critiquing progress (or lack thereof), and there’s plenty of product to replace dead brushes, dried paints, and glue you purchased three years ago.
Battleground Games & Hobbies in Plainville is the most obvious choice for this endeavor due to its proximity. On the night in question it played host to 25+ roleplayers participating in D&D Encounters. Instead, I trekked to Battleground Games & Hobbies in Abington. It had been awhile since I last crossed the threshold, so I spent quite a bit of time catching up with friends scattered throughout the store. Derek Lloyd, owner of both locations, hovered over an Arctic table he was preparing for this year’s annual 40k Megabattle. Despite his important project, with a deadline looming, he chatted with me and also spent time helping me to choose paints for purchase and techniques for my AWI Militia. Derek is a skilled painter who offers valued insight and guidance.
Looking at the clock while I sat down made me realize that this evening would be light on painting. Almost 10pm and no new paint on the figures. Last time I “finished” trousers on six of my AWI American Militia, Southern Militia actually, and this session focused on shirts.
Remembering my goals for this project, I got to work on some brown shirts.
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.
All six shirts were base coated with Calthan Brown, one of the Citadel Foundation paints. As always, the paint was watered down to help it flow while also avoiding brush strokes. At this point the butts of each musket received Calthan Brown for down the road. Some touchups followed before the models were ready for the next step. Derek suggested mixing Calthan Brown and Graveyard Earth for a drybrush highlight. It sounded like a good idea so I tried it out on a couple figs to see what that produced.
The drybrushed models got pushed aside so I could try something different. A wash of Devlan Mud found its way onto the remaining four Militia. It did a great job of getting into every nook and cranny, as washes/inks are designed to do. The wash also darkened the shirts. This produced an interesting effect.
At this point it was time to pack up since the clock struck midnight and the store would be closing shortly. The ride home gave me time to think how to proceed and what to eschew. Derek suggested using Dark Flesh as a way to mimic the look of leather. Snakebite Leather could work for this but I find that it may produce a yellowy sheen that I prefer to avoid. Dark Flesh might find its way onto a model or two. Also, Kommando Khaki might be interesting to use as a drybrushed highlight or as a mix on top of the ink wash.
Before I go further I really must back up to address an issue with the trousers I painted. Several gaming friends, Derek included, are fantastic painters. I had a very difficult time discerning where the trousers ended and the shirts began on a couple of the Perry models. I used the fantastic resource, my friends, for help. One of them pulled up the Perry Bros website on the store’s public computer and showed me how their Militia are painted. OH NO! I did mess up. The two figures in question have pants riding higher on their abdomens. I painted them with longer shirts.
Part of the evening was used to start to fix my error. The mis-painted area was repainted Chaos Black followed by Mordian Blue and then Regal Blue. It will be fixed in adherence with the steps outlined in Painting Perry Miniatures American Revolution Militia.
Many thanks are heaped onto Derek Lloyd, John C., and John G. for their painting help and support. Thanks are also given to Adrian B. for challenging me to actually paint these things and Drew M. for describing parts of a musket.