Sunday, 26 July 2020

Painting Justinian Byzantine Heavy Infantryman Step By Step Part Three

Painting Justinian Byzantine Heavy Infantry Part Three 

The long delayed final part of the painting of these beautifully sculpted, excellently cast and highly detailed miniatures is finally here. If fact, it is partly the level of detail on these fine miniatures that have slowed me down a little.

Before I start, there are another five spearmen, a back rank officer in charge of five archers to be completed before the unit can be revealed in all the spectacle and glory that an elite Justinian or Herclian Byzantine unit could expect. I'm half way through the next rank and the officer as I type. Another reason for the relative slowdown has been another nose dive into depression due to a very close friend going missing coming up to six weeks ago. His disappearance has come as a deep shock to us all and especially his family. My heart is still with you brother.

OK, I've taken pictures of both the command group, sans banner at present and one of each of the spearmen models in order to hopefully pass on an image of how they may look when based up.

Friday, 24 July 2020

First Four Speed Painted Bases of Beja Competed

Today I put the finishing touched to the first four competed 'speed painted' bases of Beja Tribesmen for use with various rule sets but with Up the Nile particular in mind.

And here they are:

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Fred Burnaby at El Teb Test Pics

EDIT: Title changed from Aby Klea to El Teb- yesterday was a long day!

I had had the camera out today as I try to work my way around learning how to use it properly and get the best images possible. I had a practise session booked with myself at lunch time so went ahead despite the weather being atrocious, which sadly it has been all week. Not at all ideal conditions for taking photo's as natural light always wins over artificial despite using two daylight lamps.

The mini came free with on of the Perry Miniatures Plastic Mahdist Ansar boxed sets if you buy three  in one go, which did of course did. It's a fantastic model which captures the spirit of Burnaby with his old Victorian prejudices, military zeal and righteousness which accompanied any British military expedition in the latter half of the nineteenth century. I popped a couple of dead Beja Ansar on the base to make it look the part.

Fred Burnaby gained notoriety for a number of reasons, many stunts and the fact that he was finally finished off at Abu Klea in the Sudan as he hastily broke ranks in the square only to be run through in the neck by a Mahdist spear.

He was no hero in the modern sense of the word. But a Victorian hero he was (at least to the literate among the British public).

So, it is now back to speed painting Beja for me.

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Vallejo Game Colour Washes Review

This is more of a partial review rather then an in depth look at everything that is possible. I bought this boxed set of washes from Vallejo after reading a review the Lascannons and Lances Blog which whetted my appetite as I was thinking of moving away, or at least experimenting with something other then Citadel Washes. Do not get me wrong, I like the Citadel Washes; in some circumstances I would be lost without Baddab Black, Sepia and Devlan Mud but although the Citadel washes naturally seem to find the crevices on a miniature they can leave a bit of a grainy inconsistent look when dry.

With this set you get a Black, a Burnt Umber, a Sepia, a Light Grey, a Flesh, a Deep Green, A Violate and a rich Dark Blue. The only colour missing that I would need would be a red but I can turn to other ranges to solve that problem.

I'm currently 'speed painting' some of the Perry Beja from their Sudan/Mahdist range (ironically this article will make the 'speed painting' a little less speedier). and was looking for earthy tones of which VMC Wash Burned Umber and Sepia were going to be prime candidates. However, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the set includes a grey and a black. Bingo! I used to try to mix Windsor and Newton Artists White Ink with W&N Black Ink but could never find acquire the tone I was looking for to use over a grey-white. With this set it is not only possible to mix the Light Grey ink with a tiny amount of black to deepen the tone to go over a grey/white but it is easy.

The results are below the the mix of Black and Light Grey over Andrea White 5  (from the white boxed set), the Burnt Umber over Foundry Spearshaft A and Sepia over Foundry Boneyard A to form the base coat and a wash prior to highlighting. It's probably worth mentioning that I rarely use washed except for glazes when practising my normal technique. I tend to use at least five layers on larger surfaces of a miniature when in 'normal' mode so there's really no need for me to use a wash unless I want to tie the colours together with a very watered down glaze when all the highlights are complete. This is simply not the case nor is it desirable with the Beja as purely from a practical point of view; I have literally hundreds to paint and they are simply never going to see a table top unless I can find a way in which to speed up the painting process with prejudice.

As it stands with these miniatures, they will be getting two highlights over the base coat and ink wash. Please note: No highlights have been added- these is simply the base coat and the wash:

Vallejo Model Colour Light Grey (mixed with a pinch of black) Wash over Andrea White 5:

 Vallejo Model Colour Wash Burnt Umber over Foundry Spearshaft A:

Vallejo Model Colour Sepia Ink over Foundry Boneyard A:

I will be getting around to a full review of all the inks and mixes thereof in a future article as they are more then a little handy and the info may be of some use to others.

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

More Beja

This morning I manged to get these Beja matted down nicely, or so I thought..... There' some speckling which has me a little baffled as I have never experienced this with Windsor and Newton Professional Matt Varnish. There was very low humidity and I followed  my usual routine of putting a warm desk lamp on ten minutes prior to varnishing and leaving them to dry a little under the lamp for an hour or so.  I'm going to have to go over the speckles with a bit of gloss varnish. It's all a bit of a mystery but ,like I said,  I think I know how to resolve the situation.

If the results improve I will replace the offending photo with a hopefully resolved image of the models. 

EDIT: I managed to fix the speckling issue with the varnishing by simply giving them another coat of Windsor and Newton Professional Matt Varnish. I will be basing the miniatures up today so after applying filler (spackling to my friends in the USA), allowing for it to go off and then applying some sand etc I think the finished miniatures should be photo ready by tomorrow if not then the day after.

Command Stand: