Sunday, October 28, 2012

Painting My Way To 1815

The Anglo-Allied infantry, in full, sitting in its storage box.  The only way to paint  20-odd brigades in one go!

The deliveries for the French 1815 army are complete, so it seems only sensible to turn attention back to the progress to date on the initial force: the Anglo-Allied army!  Last time it was shown, I had just gone through all the infantry and painted all the coats the correct colour.  Since then, I have done the trousers.  (Bizarre fact: virtually all of the units have grey trousers, which was something I hadn't picked up on before.  Well, I certainly have noticed it now!)  

To keep myself engaged in a dull moment, I even worked it all out for the number of trousers needed - 300 pairs!  Six-bloody-hundred-legs!  Of that, 200 are now done - all the infantry, leaving only  cavalry and gun crews.  

Next, I have gone onto black paint - which is actually an annoying one.  Coats can be knocked in easily (effectively a base-coat, as you don't need to stay outside straps & cross-belts, as these are best painted over the coat later.)  Trousers, similarly, aren't too bad as long as you don't get a figure with an awkward stance, because they are all one area on the figure - one brush will do for all!  Black is more awkward, mainly because it is for different areas.  Specifically, shoes; packs; cartridge-boxes; bayonets; heads & shakos.  

Instead of doing each set of figures through all these steps to completion in one go (which proved to be very fiddly and slow-moving, thus discouraging) I decided to do all of the various bits one by one.  So, I did all the heads, then all the feet, then all the cartridge-boxes etc.  This might sound like a pretty minor distinction, but I've actually found it very helpful.  I seem to do better at painting when it's just mindless, repetitive stuff you can 'switch off' while you're doing it, or let your thoughts wander to other things.  Having to check over strips of figures to make sure you've not missed a bit, like the end of a cartridge-box visible only from the side, is a bit too demanding of attention. The detailing to pick this up can be done at the very end, when the figures are 'reviewed' just prior to varnishing.

As such I've repeatedly gone through the infantry stack but without it really feeling like a drag.  This is a curious quirk, and also probably explains a lot of why I always struggle most with non-uniform painting jobs where that repetitive style doesn't really fit (this from a man with Confederate infantry and Medieval troops among his collection...)  

After this 'black' process is done, I've moved on through the flesh-coloured paint to do the faces and hands of them all.  At present I'm roughly halfway through painting all the muskets brown.  This actually takes me most of the way through the painting process, as the remaining steps are generally less elaborate and more about local areas - the figures have definitely made their big graduation from 'undercoated figures with a few patches of colour' through to 'painted figures that merely lack a few bits of detailing.'

And for the future, this is the current state of the French army - Still on its sprues, heaped up  on the sink following a dip in some soapy water, to remove any releasing oil from the casting-moulds.

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