Saturday, August 28, 2010

Last Cavalryman painted!

I finished painting the last Union Cavalryman today, so that means it's on to finishing my Flames of War army right!?

Plans kind of got changed a little bit, I had talked to my wife about doing a diorama for her brother and with a surprise 30th birthday party in one week I thought I'd better go ahead and start on this now! Being a Kentucky boy he's proud of the Orphan Brigade, and since I'm in the middle of reading William C. Davis' book "The Orphan Brigade: The Kentucky Confederates Who Couldn't Go Home" it seemed like the perfect time!
I was hoping to use a lot more miniatures for this for a grander effect but I thought 10 figures was a more reasonable project given that I have a pregnant wife that is on bedrest and only a week to complete this! Anyways, enough rambling and on the the pictures!

I've got the figures cleaned, basecoated, glued to the base, gravel glued, and I am almost finished with the base coat.

As you can see I've got a lot of space to fill on this, in hindsight I wish I had a smaller base for this, but I'll just have to make do!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dismounted Union Cavalry Tutorial

Alright, I started out with the always lovely Sash and Saber miniatures, cleaned the flash, glued to a piece of cardboard, and undercoated black.

Next I painted the flesh with Games Workshop's Kommando Khaki. I always paint the exposed flesh first because it give the firgure some "life" if you will. As a side note, all paints used will be Games Workshop unless otherwise noted.

Then it's on to the base coats for the main parts of the figure. Regal Blue for the jacket, and Ultramarine Blue for the pants. I'm not really concerned about neatness at this point, just getting a good base down.

Next up I start adding color for all of the details- the yellow piping is kind of a hassle, for some reason every yellow paint I've ever gotten has been thin and runny! The one used here is Reaper's Sunlight Yellow (you'll probably need a couple of coats to get good solid coverage). The rest of the details are filled in but I intentionally leave some black in between colors, this will save some time when I blackline a little later on. The stock of the carbine is Scorched Brown, the metal is Boltgun Metal, and the sword hilt is Burnished Gold.

Now that I've gotten a basecoat on everything, I go back and touch up all of the black leather, and then "blackline" the entire figure. This can be very time consuming if you are trying for perfection, but as you can see for average painting I don't concern myself with perfect lines. After I start highlighting I'll touch this up.

Next I highlight all of the exposed flesh with Elf Flesh, being careful to leave plenty of the base coat in the recesses. I basically hit all of the high points.

I rushed through this picture so it is blurry, but you can still see how I've highlighted the face. I'm basically painting basic shapes for the nose, chin, cheeks, lips, ears, and forehead.

Now that the skin is completed I start highlighting the pants and jacket. I don't really have an exact method for this, I start hitting all of the raised folds and wrinkles, and then just fill in shapes to give the impression of more contours. The pants are highlighted with Ice Blue and the Jacket with Ultramarine Blue. I also touch up the yellow piping during this stage as well.

Almost done! I highlight the carbine stock with Graveyard Earth, any metal with Chainmail, and the buttons and beltplates with Burnished Gold. Final step before basing is a coat of 'ardcoat to protect all the hard work put into these figures once they hit the battlefield!

I don't have any illusions of being a great painter or anything, but I like to think my figures have somewhat of an impressionist style and they definitely do stand out with the bold highlighting and blacklining. Hopefully this gave you guys some inspiration to get those brushes out and start painting!

Proposed Casino at Gettysburg

If you haven't heard, a group of investors is yet again trying to get approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming and Control Board to build a casino less then a mile from Gettysburg (with it's main route of entry being the Emmitsburg road right through the heart of the battlefield). This is such a disgrace and should be stopped. This isn't a local tourist attraction- it is a national treasure and a sacred ground. I don't normally wax political on this blog but this really ticked me off. You can read some more about it here and speak out here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dismounted Union Cavalry WIP

Well I'd hoped to be done on these by now but getting the babys room ready has turned into a fulltime job and instead of assembling miniatures I've been assembling cribs and dressers!

I've got to paint the 3 horse holders and these are ready to be based! Here they are with the undercoated horse holders with them- these bases are going to be HEAVY!

And then here's a picture of just the horses.

I don't know that I want to do any more cavalry for a while, because these took forever and realistically I can only use the Regiment as mounted or dismounted, so I basically painted the equivalent of 3 Infantry Regiments just to have one mounted/dismounted Cavalry Regiment!

The plan is to get the horse holders painted this week and these based, then I am going to tighten down and finish up my Flames Of War army. I've got a British 8th Army Infantry Company from North Africa that I've kind of stalled on, and I want to get it finished so that I can actually get some more games in!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

More Union Reinforcements

I based the dismounted Union Cavalry, and now I'm working on the horses and horse holders. You'll notice that I've been focusing a lot on my Union forces. I always try to have the Yankees outnumbering the Confederates whenever I play games. It's only fitting seeing that most of the time they had huge numerical advantages.

I painted up this Union Brigade Commander too, I didn't put the 2nd highlight on his horse and you can definitely tell the difference, I may go back and fix that when I base him.

I'm painting the horses in assembly line fashion, here is the first group of four. I'm pretty happy with how these turned out, and they painted up really quickly.

Here's the next batch that's getting painted. These will be the more unique horses, the last batch will be similar shades of brown with varying white socks and facial markings.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Old Family (Military) Photos And Letters

When I was little my Grandma gave me a bunch of old pictures and letters of family members who were in the military and a few days ago we were cleaning out my closet and found them so I thought I would post them. I don't remember who most of them are but I'm going to take them with me the next time we go visit so I can get more information. Even if I can't identify all of them they are still a small piece of history and cool to have.

I believe this is my Grandpa's cousin.

This is a postcard of the USNS General Simon B. Buckner sent from my Great-Uncle to my Great-Grandparents. If I remember correctly he served on this ship.

And the back (Dated August 10th 1952)


Aparently my Aunt Doris was quite the popular girl getting featured here with letters from two different men!


This is really interesting, on the front it's just another letter...

...but on the back is an old grocery list! (Wouldn't want to forget the lard, cig, and veal!)


After finding these I'm really anxious to find out more about who these people were, and see if I can figure out where/when they served. I've also got some ancestors in a family geneology book that served in the Civil War that I will post pictures and info on one day, I'm waiting to recreate their Regiments and I'll share the history and photos then.

As far as actual miniatures go, I'm working on some Sash and Saber Union dismounted Cavalry horse holders and horses. Nothing too exciting, just an assembly line of browns and beiges- but I'll try to at the very least get some WIP pictures up.
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