Saturday, August 10, 2013

Painting 54mm Horses-A Pain Free-FAST method!

I spent about 10 minutes painting this horse for the 54mm Cuirassiers.  I paint all my horses like this; regardless of scale.  I usually go to Wal-Mart and pick up an "eggcrate" mattrerss pad.  I still have pieces of the last one in my horse painting box I bought several years ago.  Here's the process. It has worked consistently since 1980.  Thanks to Ed Johnson (gamer from the Royal Guardsman in Dallas), Ken Ray (still gaming in the DFW area) and Ruben Aguilar (he is no longer with us...) for taking the time to teach me the technique.  You may not like this and may like to use multiple "washes". To each his/her own. This is what works for me and I'ma stickin' to it.  

I use Windsor and Newton Water Soluble Oils for all my horses.  In this case, I used Ivory Black as "Cuirassiers were big men on big black horses".  I use Payne's Grey for my trumpeters and then add horse details straight from my old copy of the Imrie-Rimsey "Model Soldier Book".  

I glop the paint on the miniature with a large flat or round brush and let it set on the miniature about 5 minutes.  If I'm in a hurry or just want to get stuff done; I'll set the miniatures out in the spa room to enjoy the Tejas summer heat. Tends to cut the set time in half.

After letting the paint set for a few, I "pull the paint" off the figure with the foam.  One doesn't have to crunch down on the figure when pulling the paint; just pull it gently.  You'll use several pieces of foam. The art form here is to get a finished look that contain glops, streaks and or looks stupid (you'll have to figure out of what I speak).

You can see the finished horse in basic Black. I like to let the paint set overnight just to make sure I can paint over it with acrylics.  I'll detail the horse by painting its face, eyes, horse furniture, mane and tail and hooves.  After finishing the horses, I'll paint the riders.
Here's a little more of a close up.  Bottom line, I usually paint 20-30 horses in a setting or a unit in 54mm.  In All the King's Men, that is 8 figures per unit.  They look good en masse and are quite easy to paint and time-efficient to boot!  Let me know what you think. I never use washes, or paint the horse colors "up" like a polka-dotted dark to light effect (Dallimore's method). That looks like crap in a larger figure and is not time-efficient. It took longer to develop this post than it did to paint the figure!

All the King's Men 54mm Napoleonics Project Started

Ken Cliffe has hit another home run with his 54mm Napoleonics line.  He recently sent me a teaser gift, knowing I'm a lead prostitute-lead addict:  and will spend copious amounts of disposable income to build a cool Napoleonics collection.  My plan right now is to build a division per side (French and British) plus add "accoutrements" such as limbers, etc as Ken brings them out. Hopefully I can find some of the old Hinchcliffe Calder Craft sets like the field forge and Larrey's ambulance.  That will set me back but they were cool when I got started in the hobby and will be cool now.   I'm posting the progress of painting this figure and will describe the painting techniques, colors used and time it takes to paint it.  
All the King's Men sends two types of heads to construct either Cuirassiers or Carabiniers.  This is a cool touch.  The horses are soft plastic. I don't remember the manufacturer but I do remember they come from Argentina.  The carbines and sword scabbards are separate castings and must be attached.  I use a weird technique (go figure...right?) of a drop of Elmer's Glue plus a drop of Super Glue-Gap Filling to make a tough bond.  Hopefully this will help the miniatures avoid the grip of the "fat wargamers" like me.  I also like that all the horse furniture is molded onto the horse. The previous horses I've painted for my AWI 54mm collection had an Achilles' hell of the reins getting broken during play.  I could have fixed it by poking a hole in the head of the horse but I'm too lazy to take the extra time.

Ok, back to the figure.  I prime all my figures with Rustoleum Flat White after cleaning the soft plastic horses with Dawn dish soap.  It just works and has worked since 1980. Krylon just doesn't get the job done.   I built the rider and glued it down onto the horse before painting the horse. I don't have a problem doing that. I then glued the figure down onto an All The King's Men cavalry base after attaching adhesive backed thin magnet sheet to the base. My traveling boxes are metal lined. Again, that's just what I do.

I'll paint the horse with Windsor-Newton Water Based Oils. I use Lamp Black. I apply the paint in a thick "gloppy" coat and "pull" the paint off with sponge or foam pieces.  Been doing this for years as well.  Will post in progress pictures below.