Picking up those brushes again.

Hi and welcome to the occasional mutterings of Dave Doc, a military modeller and some time gamer. Gaming and model making has given me a real education, History & Geography(obvious really), Artistry, Politics, Economics, Logistics, Project Management -you try building miniature armies without the last 3.

I will use the blog to record my creations & the odd occasion I actually do some gaming.

I have always been inspired by the aesthetic side of gaming. Playing on well constructed terrain using excellently painted units is always a joy.

Monday, 2 May 2011


I have a few projects coming up , so I have decided to to complete a job lot of 28mm horses to hold ready to use when required. I have a stock from various manufactures (These are Conoissuer, Elite, Bicorne , Front Rank, and a few of unknown provenance) which I have accumulated over the years so it gives a reasonable amount of variety.

These horses are to be completed in oils. I use two brown colours , Burnt Umber (a dark brown - gives a dark chestnut finish) - and Burnt Siennia (a lighter redder brown- gives a red chesnut /bay finish).Oil is a very forgiving medium which takes a long time to dry fully so can be worked easily to achieve results.A well sculpted horse will really reward this method of painting.

Check out "Horse Color" website for more detail of horse colourings and markings in real pictures..

It is not worth doing just a few horses so altogether I have done 64. So here is a walk through how it's done.

Preparation -
1-  Clean up castings and attach to something to hold them while painting.
2-  Undercoat in Yellow (rather than white as gives a subtle tone to the end result)- this is Humbrol 74 and allow a full 24 hours to dry.Also use 83 Ochre
3-  Paint in horse furniture, this was with Vallejo black. Sometimes I do miss this step if not sure what colour I will be using as it can be completed once the oil has dried too.

4 -Apply neat oil with a large stiff brush - do this to all the batch. This is messy so don't do it on the dining table! I usually also use some protective gloves as well. I don't thin the oil with a spirit or medium, just use it neat and work in it all over.

5- Wipe of excess oil , this can be completed with sponge, large soft brush (wipe off any excess that accumlates on the brush as required), absorbent paper towel. Each of these gives a slightly different effect. Work from the horses head down and backwards. Leave a thin covering of paint on the muscle tops , flanks etc. Let the oil do the shading work in the creases , the mane, tail and underbelliy etc. If you don't like how one comes up, just apply oil again.

6- Leave to dry! I find these usually take a few days to dry somewhere warm and ventilated, it may take longer somewhere colder.

There are ways of speeding the drying time if you need to such as using quicker drying oil paint, or mixing with a medium such as Liquin. 

7- Add any horse furniture metals , colour hoofs, mane and tail , socks or blazes -(white or black usually).

8) Once finished they can be varnished matt, satin, or gloss, either an acrylic or enamel works fine. I would  test a small area if you have been impatient - as it can run in area where the oil had been left thicker.

This method can also be used for horses with cast saddles or one piece horse/rider casting etc, just clean off excess oil after wiping, and obviously do this before painting the rider!

It has taken 3 hours- an hour a day over 3 days to get these 64 to stage 6. Once dried I can just complete the last stages in a few minutes as I need each horse.

Apologies as a couple of shots here are not in sharp focus - a new camera is on the "wants" list.


  1. Nice post Dave, will you be covering whites and blacks in the future? I find whites to be particularly difficult.


Work in hand


No more than 3 things on the PAINTING table at once. Nothing new added until something is finished.

PREPARATION work is done when I don't fancy detail painting. Cleaning up, converting, undercoating etc.

PLANNING is expressions of interest or things that have inspired me to be created with no definite timescale as yet.

28mm Sudan
28mm Necromunda

On the PREPATION table.
28mm Sudan
15mm WW2 Landing craft
1/200 ME262

WW2 D Day game