Friday, June 24, 2011

Andrea 54mm Sir John de Creke - Update #1

Progress continues on this little gem that has been in my collection for many years. A little side note here: I had to buy a second figure on Ebay to do the kit as I had used the hand and sword for another project 10 years ago. Rule #13.5 is always replace components lost/used elsewhere, immediately to avoid surprises later on.

This figure is admittedly stiff and boring in it's pose but I have always liked the figure and felt it had a certain presence. It also helps that the armor is very distinctive in style and accurately represents the burial brass of this individual. Comparing these two pictures with those found two posts back will show my progress. I darkened the armor with further washes of black, added further highlights and shadows to the blue surcoat, started the belting and leather work. More to come....

Soldier's Gunther von Schwarzburg 54mm - Update 1

Painting has begun on this great little figure. As I said in my last post this figure will be an "all paint" project for me. That is to say that no metallic oils or polished white metal will appear on this figure. I am attempting to rise to a challenge by Greg DeFranco to paint a knight in armor entirely in colors. I decided for my first attempt, (That is right, I am a glutton for punishment and I will do another attempt after this one - such commitment!) to work a piece that had limited areas of actual steel armor with areas of brass, leather, cloth, light, dark, rich and bold colors. This figure has a little something for everyone. The helm and bascinet are steel, along with the mail. The majority of the remaining armor is brass, red leather, cloth, etc. The surcoat is blue with gold/yellow lions rampant.

I began with the face, being the only bit of flesh on the figure and my usual starting point. I have explained my flesh mixture in depth before but quickly repeating; Burnt Sienna with a bit of medium cad red and medium cad yellow as well as a tiny touch of yellow ochre for the base color (seen above). wet on wet highlighting begins with med. cad. yellow and Titanium white, applied to create all of the basic mid tones.

This was then followed by final highlights and shadows created with glazes once the initial flesh had fully dried. For highlights a lighter mix of the yellow/white formula mentioned earlier was used after first creating shadows with Brown Madder. Further hot spots of highlight were added after the eyes were painted. As I look at the photo above it is easy to see the fact that one eye is slightly larger than the other. This is only a visual issue when the figure is blown up in photos (or when I am staring at it thru my Optivisor). In real size the difference is negligible.

I have also started the armor at this point. A black oil base color was applied to the mail coif and a lighter shade of Mars Black and Titanium White was painted on the bascinet. This was then highlighted wet on wet with more white. The rest of the tones will be created with successive layers of lighter and lighter tones to build up the highlights. These steps will be the subject of my next few posts.

I have also started the groundwork. The rod sticking up in the back is for a section of jousting fence that will be placed behind the figure with his shield hanging draped from the post. More to come.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Two new projects

I've got two newer projects on the bench at the moment along with the Saxons and two commissions as well as some box art. I thought I would share these figures as they are newer subjects and I am playing with two new techniques (at least for me). The first is Sir John de Creke a 54mm figure from Andrea that I have had for nearly 15 years in the drawer. The figure is based on an effigy that is fairly well known. As you can see in the photos below I am painting this figure over a hand painted colored basecoat which is something I never do. I was driven to try this on this particular figure as a more expedient method of basecoating than my method of masking the armor and spraying the figure white. Sometimes my masking agent can give me fits so I thought this might be quicker. So far, so good.

The second technique should be obvious to those looking at the figure below, especially for those who read my post immediately after MFCA. AS I said at that time, Greg DiFranco had challenged me to work on painting a knight in armor without the use of either metallic paints or polished kit metal so......that explains the total white primer coat. This project will be the source of many SBS posts so lets hope that all goes well (or at the very least is somewhat educational/entertaining). The figure I'm using is Gunther Von Schwarzburg a 54mm figure from Soldiers, sculpted by Stefano Borin. Should be fun.

Still Alive Out Here and A Blast From The Past!!

I know I have been quiet since coming back from MFCA. I'm still alive and I have been busy. I've primed a few figures, some are new and some are older commissions owed to two old friends. I will post the new projects in my next blog update. The pieces for others will show up a bit later on in their progress.

And now for a bit of news. As many of you may remember I was the guy behind Fort Duquesne Military Miniatures many years ago. Due to a drastic life change back then I sold the business off and took a leave of absence from life ( and some would say my senses ;-)). Much of the line was sold to someone here in the states and from what I see these days hasn't really seen much life. However part of the line was sold to a company in Japan with the hopes that it would see a new life in a burgeoning figure market that was just starting over there. In the end that part of the sale went horribly wrong and has colored part of my life ever since. 

I have spent the last year trying to get something of my old line back from the people that I sold the masters to years ago. Well after a lot of aggravation I have the samurai busts and figures back in my possession and I have found a new home for them that will remain a mystery until that individual decides to make his own announcement. Unfortunately all but two of the masters arrived back to me in some state of damage with the worst being the old mounted samurai kit. I have taken the responsibility of repair seriously which is slowing these beauties from getting to there final destination. However after ten years off the market I think a little more patience will be rewarded soon. I hope that this is as good a piece of news for some out there as it is for me. These kits were an important part of Augie and my life and getting them back has meant more to me than anybody out there will ever know.