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, 20 April 2015

Sudan - Painting your horde

I have had a few people ask about how I painted my large number of Mahdist figures in a relatively short time. So here is a little walk through of how I did the 144 figures I did recently. I will say I am very accurate with a paint brush - I rarely ever need to "touch up" as I put it where its needed - just years of practice and good brushes

Rule number 1 - sort out your head - no seriously - you have to accept you are painting a host of figures and that painting each to the best standard you can  with multiple highlights washes etc is NOT going to achieve the objective - Quantity has a Quality all of its own.

Ok - now we have that bit done

Prepare you figures. In this case they are Perry plastics a mix of the early Beja and then some of the later Jibbah wearing troops which for this is I will call Ansar. As these figures are an irregular type troops i have based them up here after assembly , prior to any undercoat. There is a reasonable room between them - they are on a mix of 60x40 or 120 x 40 bases with differing numbers of figures on each. Mounted on Warbases 2mm MDF curved corner bases.


The first decision is to identify the predominate colour - for the Beja it is the dark skin tone, and for the Ansar it is the white of the Jibbah. This then decides the colours for the main undercoat - let this do a large amount of work for you.

In this case I used an enamel Humbrol 186 brown , and a matt white- both applied with the airbrush
  



All the acrylic paints used after this are thinned with Windsor and Newton acrylic flow enhancer - slows drying and allows them to spread and flow better from your brush. I use a plastic pipette to add it to the paint mix. It can also be used to wash figures as well



A walk through the Beja. - Working on all 62 together.

Undercoated

Add black to the hair and any metal areas of the weapons
  Wash the entire figue with a thin Vallejo Sepia wash - or thinned paint - any darker brown would do. Once dry give the "hair" a drybrush in mid brown colour to break up the all black.

Paint the "cloth" - this is done using 4 different colours from - Off White, Ivory, Iraqi sand, Desert sand etc -  pick a colour paint all the cloth on that figure with it. No two figures next to each other in the same colour if you can. Once dry do another thin wash of Sepia (you could also use Army Painter I guess here too.)
 Refer to rule 1.. no extra highlight
 Add some rock ot bases - paint spear shafts - a brown colour - scabbard - a leather colour. Rifles a suitable brown in this case a Vallejo Hull red
 Refer to rule 1.. no extra highlight
At this point I give everything a Matt Varnish spray - this helps to draw everything together and give you an idea what will require highlighting.  I added a highlight to the skin tone , muscle tops, noses, chins, cheeks , hands etc etc using Vallejo Flat Earth thinned to at least 50% with Windsor and Newton acrylic flow enhancer. Because its so thin it flows really well. Hit them with varnish again

 Add base texture , and paint the metallics - yes after varnish as it keeps them bright. add flags etc.In this case i used rough sand over PVA , once dry i gave it a drybrush in cream / offwhite colour and don't forget the base edges.  Add a few grass tufts.
DONE


At this point if you want to go back and highlight the top of the clothes etc you could do if you really want to , but refer to rule 1 first!

A walk through the Ansar - working on all 82 together

First step after the all white undercoat.  - add the skin tone  this is same enamel colour as the Beja a sort of dark terracotta - it can be mixed with a darker colour if it took your fancy - this is thinned and washed on
 all skin tone done
 Add the random patch designs to the Jibbah  - in Red, Blue, Yellow etc no two the same next to each other. Some Jibbahs have a dark edging pattern - do this in a dark blue or black - again to random number of figures
 Paint weapon metal black - and wooden parts of the weapons in browns
 Give everything a thin wash of Vallejo Sepia - or Raw umber - keep it thin though - better two coats than one thick one remove any pooling of the wash with a brush. Once dry hit them with Matt Varnish
Highlight skin tone with thinned Flat earth. Add base material - add flags - highlight bases material and re-varnish - add metallic colours and tufts
DONE


At this point if you want to go back and highlight the top of the clothes etc you could do if you really want to , but refer to rule 1 first! 

do the "what do they look like on the table from 6 feet away test" fix anything you are not happy with - funny you are unlikely to find anything..

 REPEAT!

These took just over a week to paint - with a few hours each day. They took almost as long to assesmble as they had to be cut of the sprue and assembled,

I have my final 120 of these to do later in the Spring..

26 comments:

  1. Interesting approach not too different from what I do when I paint 15mm though you have a few tricks I may try so thanks very much.

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  2. They won't let you into the magic circle if you reveal all your secrets. Although in a Darren Brown kinda way I'm even more impressed once I've had the trick explained.

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  3. Very handy guide Dave. Airbrushing enamels - rather you than me when it comes to cleaning the airbrush...

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    1. cheers - actually it is pretty easy . I use thinned enamel anyway it sprays better them acrylic overall - you can certainly use it in 0.35mm brush far easier than acrylic. I use odourless thinners to clean it through, and a decent brush cleaner .

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  4. Very good Dave- 144 at a time- you make me feel like a lightweight! ;-)

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    1. Don't let him bring you down Simon. Real men only use a 000 brush. Having said that, they look alright don't they?

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    2. Yes they look very good! I will try the flow improver out over here.

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    3. Simon, I find does really help..!

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    4. ...and I'm really going to need a spray gun. The base coat is clearly a big time saver!

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    5. Indeed it does.... It's another good tool to use..

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  5. Thanks Simon - well they are not Celts thats for sure!

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    1. I'll raise a drink to that! Bloody Celts. I need to paint some more for Partizan.

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  6. I think you have to go over that one more time Dave, here let me send you some figures from my pile of shame to demonstrate on

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    1. Yeah, don't think I quite caught it either. Can you take mine too, but I need them with 27 highlights per colour. I'll stretch to two weeks, yeah?

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    2. I of course refer you to Rule #1

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  7. Well done. 144 very serviceable Mahdists in short time. Just out of curiousity, how long did the whole job take, do you think?

    I use the three foot rule myself when I just want to get some stuff painted - if I can't see anything wrong with it from standing up over it, it's good enough to game with!

    I do have a nasty tendency to be too picky, which really slows down the process.

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    1. Thanks... It was about two weeks of hobby time , probably 25 hours or so

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  8. Very succinct run through Dave, I especially like the reiteration of Rule 1. It's very easy to get caught up, do too much detail and then find yourself stuck in a cycle!
    Now can I apply it to napps! (Fancy bloody uniforms.......h

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    1. Ste, thanks. Probably slightly harder to do with Naps.. But the principle applies!

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  9. Blimey! Your airbrush spray-booth is nice and clean! Mine is a right state. :)

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Work in hand

The RULES!

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.


On the PAINTING TABLE
10mm ACW

On the PREPATION table.
10mm Mamelukes

In the PLANNING
Death in the Dark continent stuff