Saturday, February 7, 2009

Painting Horses-The First 30+

I'm ready to oil rub the first batch of horses over the weekend. I like building armies "cavalry first" since they are the most complex in this period due to the non-uniformity of each unit. I'm sure someone out there in the blogosphere would like to know what the hell "oil rubbed horses" means? It's not pornographic nor does the process violate any laws of the great State of Tejas. Here's a quickie overview of the process. I don't use ANY other method. I've got a copy of Dallimore's book on how to "blob paint" dang near anything. My horse painting process is similar but different. I like the results and have for over 20+ years. They're consistent and look good on the game table. No junk is allowed on my game table in Dallas.
Step 1: Prime 'em right-Use Rustoleum Flat White (not White primer). I don't care that GW does this and others do that. All I know is that I can produce a stunning horse miniature using this process.
Step 2: Glue the riders on the horse. Don't waste time nor "richard" around with silly rider holders, gluing onto nails or other time wasters. I like to get busy and get done so I can see my cavalry rout off the table with regularity. That's why my gaming buds do not allow me to USE what I have painted if we are gaming on the same side.
Step 3: Hot Glue the complete cavalry miniature on strips of cardboard and prime 'em. I do this because I don't like handling figures whist painting them. It's also a good use for all those cardboard boxes that seem to pop up around the house. Cut 'em up and use them! Once glued, I prime the complete figure.
Step 4: Glop Aklyd Oil paint onto the horse and let dry for about 5 minutes. Aklyds are water soluable oil paint. They clean up with water and your hands won't look like you washed in grease for a week. These paints don't have the Turpentine Stank either. That means you can do your horse painting "thang" and the spouse won't have her knickers in a knot about the stanky work area. Doesn't mean you'll get lucky never knows right?
Step 5: Pull the oil paint off the horse with a small piece of foam rubber. I bought an "egg crate mattress topper" from the local WalMart. I've had it for over 5 years. I cut off what I need for a project, cut it into 2-3 finger sized cubes and get to pullin'. This phase goes best with an old B-Sci Fi movie like "Them" or "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers". Don't ask me why. I have no idea!
Step 6: Put 'em outside to dry for 24 hours. It works best in the hot Tejas summer but I'm ok with leaving them out in winter too as long as it's dry. If it is raining like living in Seattle or in London, put them inside. They won't stink up the place and your spouse, significant other or whatever really can't gripe...well..maybe a little. Don't worry about the time factor, Aklyd paints dry where old skool oil paints do not. I just like to do other stuff (drink, watch grass grow, teach school) while these figures are drying
Step 7: Get to paintin'...time's a wastin'! I paint the horses with variations of browns with an occasional Grey and or Black for "texture". I don't paint white horses. That's just for amateurs that are too lazy to paint horses correctly. Paint horse manes, tails and hooves with a dark brown. I still use a Polly-S shade called Ogre Dark Brown. It's not made anymore that I know of and I had a couple of pints made at Home D'Pot about 5 years ago. It's still good after all those years. I drybrush the mane and tail with Howard Hues Concrete. That brings out the striations in the casting. If you don't want to do that don't...I'm just more than a little weird about horse painting.
paint the horse's eyes Black rather than the goofy white then black. Look at a horse and you can't see the whites of their eyes. Dot the eye with a small dot of white. You pick the place on the eye to draw attention to the horse's face. Some really good painters paint the mouth of the horse with a flesh color. I don't do that because every time I do, it looks like the horse is giving everyone a crap-eating grin. If you're good enough to do that, please feel free. I'm just into getting my project done and on the table. My cavalry still looks better than 99% of the crap I've seen over the years. This system works. Try won't go back to slop painting, applying stupid washes that muck up the original color, glob on highlights so the horse looks like a Picasso painting or other techniques that ensure your figures look "wargame table top quality" (like crap).
Step 8: Final finish your figures with Floquil Flat or Testors Dull Coat. I've tried using Minwax over oil painted horses. Take a look at the dragoons. My jury's still out. I like a brighter looking figure but that's just because my eyes are getting dull.

How many figures do I paint at one time? I usually paint 20-30 cavalry at one time. I used to do more than that but that's about all I want to deal with at my advanced paternal age.

I'm posting up some pics of the project to date. Keep checking and let me know what you think. I've only got 120 cavalry to paint so it shouldn't take too long.

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