Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fife & Drum Comparisons

In the last post's comments, Jon asks for a comparison between Fife & Drum and Perry.  Here are some Fife & Drum figures next to all the AWI manufacturers I have.  All these figures are based on identical Litko bases.  From left to right we have Old Glory first edition, Fife & Drum, Old Glory second edition, Fife & Drum, and Perry.

I hope that picture convinces you, as it does me, that the ranges are all broadly compatible.  I would not mix Fife & Drum with other ranges within units, but they should not look out of place on the same table.

Old Glory first edition, Fife & Drum 

Old Glory second edition, Fife & Drum

Fife & Drum, Perry

Saturday, July 27, 2013

28mm AWI British Line Infantry Regiments

Since finishing Glenn's AWI commission at the beginning of the month, I have been busy painting enough British line to host some games myself.  I started by painting 48 Fife & Drum British line infantry with oil washes for skin, trousers, and musket stocks.  Then I painted 60 Old Glory second edition British line, completing my Bunker Hill army.  I finished those 108 figures in 22 days.

33rd Line (Fife & Drum), 24 figures

35th Line (Fife & Drum), 24 figures

38th Line (Old Glory), 18 figures

43rd Line (Old Glory), 18 figures

52nd Line (Old Glory), 20 figures
Giles' excellent post helped with painting these.

63rd Foot (Old Glory), 20 figures
I already had 16 figures painted, and added one base to finish the unit.

The figures are based for British Grenadier!, with 15mm frontage and 20mm depth per figure.  The bases are all Litko.  Flags are GMB.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

28mm Austrian Generals

I am working on a brigade of AWI British, but while taking a little break between colors, I painted up some generals for my Napoleonic Austrians.  I intent to use these both for my 1809 and 1798 Austrian armies.  I am sure that senior officers' uniforms changed a bit during those 11 years, but my sources don't show any major differences.

Figures are Perry, from Austrian Generals and Austrian (German) Colonels.

Monday, July 15, 2013

28mm Fife and Drum British Rankers

While I wait for the GMB flags for these two units, I based up the completed rank and file soldiers.  I wanted a fairly uniform look for these soldiers, so I went with all white trousers and bright red coats.

The first unit is the 33rd foot, with red facings.

The second unit is the 35th foot, the Orange Lilies.

Friday, July 5, 2013

28mm Fife & Drum AWI with Oil Washes

My commission work is over for a while, and I am able to paint for myself again!  Unfortunately, I will not longer be able to paint 10 hours a day, so I am going to try a few smaller projects.

Wednesday I started on two 24 figure regiments of Fife & Drum British line infantry.  I decided to paint the 33rd Foot because they seemed to be everywhere during the war.  Then I chose the 35th Foot for their cool orange facings.  Flags are on their way from GMB.

I enjoyed my last foray into Fife & Drum's range, but I felt like my usual techniques were not drawing out the fine detail that the figures offered.  Richard Ansell has sculpted what are, in essence, military miniatures, rather than traditional wargames figures.

I wondered if I could apply some techniques that I use in painting 1:35 scale figures to these smaller figures.  Usually I paint my 1:35 faces all in oils.  In fact, I lean heavily on oil paints to bring out the details in those figures.  I had tried my wood grain technique on 28mm musket stocks with good success.  I resolved to try oil washes on flesh and trousers on these figures.

I began by painting the flesh AND WOOD bits with Delta's "Medium Flesh."  

The figures look rough here, but the oil paint will bring that detail back.

Burnt Umber, Lamp Black, and Titanium White are three oil colors that I use more than the rest combined.  I bought this tube of Burnt Umber for about $10 back in 1997.  I have used about 1/4 of it over the past 16 years. I like Mona Lisa thinner because it is very mild, never stripping or crazing the primer or the acrylic undercoat.

I started by painting the woods with only moderately diluted Burnt Umber.  Then with a wet brush, I made long strokes through the wet oil paint, creating streaks that look like wood grain.

After this first application had dried (about two hours), I applied a thin wash of Burnt Umber on all the flesh.

The wood is done, and I would not touch it again.  After letting the flesh wash dry overnight, I applied a highlight of Delta's Medium Flesh.  The technique I use for 1:35 figures relies on oils from start to finish, but it also requires much more drying time.  For these smaller figures, a mix of oils and acrylics worked well.

After blocking in the trousers (and the 33rd's drummer's coat) with flat white, I applied a dark gray wash, then highlighted in white acrylic paint.

I also gave the tops of the drums a burnt umber wash.

After that, I just painted the figures as I normally do.  Once the figures were dry, I prepared to seal them.

Oils are not as durable as acrylics.  They will rub off in handing, which is why, I imagine, most wargamers are so wary of oil paints.  To keep this from happening, I sealed the figures in two steps.  I started by airbrushing some clear acrylic varnish.  Once it was dry, I sprayed the figures with Testor's Dullcote, an enamel lacquer.

The results of my foray into oils were everything I hoped.  The fine detail on faces is much crisper, and the various folds in the trousers really jump out.  The musket barrels, flag poles, and drumsticks all look like real wood.  The figures are not perfect, but they will look great on the wargame table.  They may even compete in a figure modeling competition.

As you look through the pictures, please remember that the actual height of the figures is under 30mm.  The flaws that you see in magnification are not as visible in real life.

Drummers and Colonels

Standard Bearers 

 35th Foot Drummer

33rd Foot Drummer 

Drummers from the Back 

35th Foot Colonel

33rd Foot Colonel 

Officers from the Back

33rd Foot Standard Bearer  

 35th Foot Standard Bearer

I doubt I could ever paint figures like this for commission.  The technique takes a lot of time, and it may not add enough to make more money.  I would have to charge $30 or $40 a figure to make it cost effective.  But for my own satisfaction, this technique works.  We'll see how I feel after painting all 48 figures in these two regiments, but I may try this on some other ranges.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Finished AWI Commission

Here are all the figures, based and ready to play.