Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Messing About On The River

I'm currently working on bits and bobs at the moment: with the weather having suddenly switched from winter straight into mid-summer there's too many jobs in the garden to occupy my time. Its a fact of life that unpainted metal figures have infinite patience, while vegetables require attention when weather permits. And anyone observing Mitchell Towers at just the right time of night will see me out there, torch in hand, engaged in a savage battle of man versus slug.

One task have have finally gotten round to is to add a little polish to the river sections I created for BlastHof (hence the Cheesy title). The most accurate representation of a stream would use subtle colouring to indicate the reflection of sky and banks in the water. I decided that wouldn't do at all though. I think that with 'water' thats really no more than a few coats of varnish, this would not give the effect of depth that I want.

So my stream sections use a black undercoat with nothing more than a fairly light drybrushing of medium blue on top. The drybrushing is concentrated towards the centre of the stream so that its 'banks' are casting their shadows. Its not realistic: I don't think I've ever seen a stretch of water at all like this, but it does give the impression of something with a depth of more than a fraction of a millimetre.

Stream Sections

I've glued sand onto the banks themselves using PVA. I also experimented with using static grass to represent aquatic plants at the stream borders, but this didn't work too well so I abandoned it after a bit. I think you'd need larger bristles to represent this type of vegetation. There are other embellishments that could be added - such as grit to represent rock - but as stuff like this would make it harder to place figures I think we are moving away from practical wargames terrain into the province of diorama makers. After all, I've already deviated far from the chalked-on water features in Charge!.

On the figures front, I'm slowly painting an officer to lead the Cuirassiers. The Suren figure has its hand sticking out to the front in an attitude that doesn't seem to serve any particular purpose. So I decided to bend this down to a position close to the reins; a pose that looks far more natural. The problem here, of course, is that metal figures don't have elbows so the entire upper arm bends in a gradual curve rather than getting a sharp bend at just the elbow (which would probably snap the arm if you managed it anyway). To fix this I filled in the inside of the arm with milliput and then filed the outside of the arm to remove the curve.

As the only officer painted so far, this gentleman will get to lead the entire regiment (albeit of only two squadrons at the moment). Later on he'll be demoted to squadron commander: the final complement of officers will have two more like him, plus a converted 'special' in overall command.

Suren Cuirassier Officer (Stadden Horse)

I am starting to think I ought to photo my figures before I start painting them: I can see a bit of mold line in the photo that had quite escaped my notice. Oh well, time to get the file out.


Der Alte Fritz said...

The officer looks very nice. The Suren figure was designed to be holding a sword in his hand, but the Suren swords are too flimsy. I use the pack of heavy cavalry swords from RSM, they also have a pack of pistols.

Try bits of sisal scrub brush that you cut off from the brush and jam into the ground for your riverside greenery.

Nice work on the terrain and the officer.

Stokes Schwartz said...

Good Morning Andy,

I'll echo Fritz -- a smart looking figure and attractive stream sections.

Best Regards,


Fitz-Badger said...

Officer looks very good! Nice colors.
Terrain looks good, too. :-)

Bluebear Jeff said...

What can I say? I echo the comments of the three gentlemen before me . . . stream and officer look very good.

-- Jeff

tidders said...

Love those stream/river sections

The officer is nice too

-- Allan