Wednesday 27 April 2022

More Anglo Danes!

I have completed the second rank in the 24 man unit with the command figures; a which are a mix of Wargames Foundry (Matthew Bickley), Footsore (Matthew Bickley), and Saxon Miniatures (Colin Patten). Also in the first two ranks are OOP Gripping Beast (Colin Patten [Milliput sculpts!]), Gripping Beast (Stephen and Colin Patten). I remember when I first started to put the units of Anglo Danes together feeling a little apprehensive about mixing such a wide range of miniature manufacturers. Not so now, as I love having units with as much variation as possible; also at the end of the day miniatures that ought not to mix at first glance seem to gel very well indeed when amassed in the Shieldwall.

These were completed a little faster than the last lost but I'm still not happy with my brush control. I think I have let myself down a little, especially on the facial details. something to bear in mind next time! To really take my time!

So, that leaves the 12 Fyrd for the back ranks.... more to come!

Sunday 24 April 2022

Anglo Danes/I'm back!

Some how, somewhere I have managed to find the strength to start getting back into my painting. As I have mentioned before I am battling real demons in terms of mental health and it is no exaggeration that it took a heck of a lot of effort and determination to pick up the brushes again!

This post is both a small celebration and a reminder that it can be done. Are the miniatures painted to the exact same standard as the last unit of Anglo Danes I managed to paint up? Probably not. I am still feeling a little tentative with my brush work to add borders to the tunics and shirts but that will come back with a little time. I have left these unvarnished for now as I'm hoping, as I get back my confidence with the brush I will be able to add patters to the borders with my usual skill. 

For now though, I'm back and happy top be so! As per, all the images are "clickable" should you wish to enlarge.

The next batch of six after being primed and undercoated; the chainmail painted in and the flesh more or less done. 

Sunday 10 April 2022

Painting Yellows How To (Updated 16-04-2022)


I have been asked many times lately on social media (Facebook and Twitter) how I go about painting a yellow. Rather then repeat myself ad nauseam on social media posts, usually with all too brief and unsatisfactory answer, I thought I would do a quick post on how I go about painting yellows would be the way forward. 

UPDATE: I 've been asked on Facebook a few times what sort of primer and undercoat I use so here goes:
I use with Halfords Matt Black Car Primer or Colour Forge Matt Black Primer- just a dusting of the primer so's not to obscure any details. Then it's Scale 75 Matt Black brush on mixed with water- sometimes a couple of coats.

I recently explained my method of which manufacturer and the specific colours I was using to get the particular yellow on the Spanish Arquebusiers above and was politely informed I must not be using Vallejo Model Colour, which I was(!), and that I must be using Army Painter paints, which I was not! I thought that this one needed to be tucked into bed so decided to do a quick post.

Note, this is but one hue or yellow and there are obviously many other ways of reaching a similar or indeed, a very different goal. Many ways of adding shade to a "yellow", such as applying a complimentary colour like a "violet" but these methods are largely based on colour theory that was developed for paintings on canvas, board or for use in Graphic Design etc. and not for the 28mm miniatures that we want to get on the wargames table. Not that I would ever discourage anyone from experimenting. Colour theory has it's place, on single pieces or pieces aimed at competition painting but, in my humble opinion, not for the purpose at hand, getting them on the table ship shape and Bristol fashion. 

Of course, it is possible to start a "yellow" from a lighter or darker base of any suitable colour, I have used Ochres, Light browns, Dark Browns to different effect a myriad of different models. I usually avoid the obvious trap of going to an Orange base for the "yellow". This is fine for many layers and blending (mostly on larger models) but not very useful for the four or five layers I usually aim for. Here a degree of compromise and an acceptance that there will be a higher degree of contrast between the original tone and the final highlights are key.

Whilst I type this, I think a disclaimer of sorts is important. I think is necessary to stress that we all have different ways of applying and mixing paint different ways of going about things with the brush. This small article as a means to answering a question I have been asked many times on the internet on many fora, "How do you go about painting yellows?". There is no right or wrong way of going about this but hopefully this little article will go someway to explaining how I go about the business of painting yellows. Many might disagree with my simple method, which is fine. 

The actual method to create this type of "Yellow" is pretty simple. I start with Vallejo Model Colour Orange Brown and simply mix in a gradual succession of Vallejo Model Colour Light Yellow until I have a final highlight of VMC Light Yellow sometimes with added VMC Off White. I tend to avoid using VMC Matt White wherever possible as like most "modern" synthetic acrylic white, the pigment is unnaturally stark and bright. In my Art College days I much preferred to use an understated Lead White to the comparatively stark Titanium White. The difference is very noticeable on a canvas, perhaps less so on a 28mm miniature but, to my eyes at least, still very marked. Vallejo Model Colour Ivory is as close as I'm going to get in equivalence of an oil paint Lead White.

The method of creating a "yellow" has been used used on the crew of the Early Byzantine Torsion Engine and the turban of the chap holding his sword aloft on the Malalai of Maiwand vignette below:

One more thing to add, by varying the amount of Vallejo Model Colour Light Yellow saturation in the mix it is possible to produce oranges too that seem natural, which I believe is largely down to the Vallejo Model Colour Orange Brown.

If anyone wants to find out more I would be happy to do a tutorial- just leave a comment so I have some idea of how many folk would like to see such an article. 

Wednesday 6 April 2022

My Italian Wars Units So Far

This project has been on the go for many years now. First in an attempt, interrupted by illness and a a four to five year hiatus away from the hobby, to put on a Fornovo game which, to be honest, at the time I had little chance of achieving. Then the goal changed from that of Fornovo 1595 to that of Cerignola 1503 or Ravenna 1512. 

I have a real Horde of Shame when it comes to models for The Italian Wars to paint up, Steel Fist, Wargames Foundry, The Assault Group and more but despite suffering from a debilitating mental illness which at time has taken me away from the hobby I love so much I have managed to make what is at least a start on first the Italians (Gonzaga Vignette) and tackled a couple of unit of Spanish and a gun so, as I have done with my Anglo Danes and Early Byzantines I am going to tally up what I have so far in one post.

If it wasn't for the illness and the time taken up in therapy and putting that therapy into practice there would be much more to show. But, it is what it is as they say. I make no apology for talking about Anxiety and Depression as I lost a friend a couple of years ago to the illness and I am determined to keep fighting, even though at times things are overwhelming. 

The Italian Wars have long been a favourite of mine. One just cannot beat the period for colour and spectacle. 

As usual, all the images are "clickable" if you want to see the work warts and all.

Federico II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua's Fighting Crossing of the River Taro at Fornovo:

Small version of a picture of the vignette that featured in Wargames Soldiers and Strategy magazine:

Speed Painted French Mounted French Crossbowmen:

In retrospect I wish that I had really taken my time with these models, not least because some were kit bashed and converted and are some of my favourites. Still, they are definitely table top standard and I would not hesitate to put them on the tabletop.


Spanish Trastámara Arquebusiers:

The Assault Group produce some superb sculpts from the very talented hands of Nick Collier. lovely crisp clean castings and a real joy to paint up.

Spanish Trastámara Ordinance Piece:

Spanish Trastámara Rodeleros/Sword and Buckler:

So, there you have it. A short sojourn into one of my passion projects. I hope to have a 64 man unit of pike painted up next! And, a few more based of Arquebusiers to help make up the first whole Colunela.