Thursday, January 28, 2010

15mm ACW Infantry Regiments

I started basing the troops from the 250 man project today. Although they need another coat of flat lacquer, here's what I have done so far.

The five Rebel regiments contain 44 bases (132 figures). I have another two regiments' worth of bases already done, so I can field a couple of brigades.

I ran out of bases before I could finish the rest of the Union troops, but I have enough painted troops for over 60 bases.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

250 man ACW project, day 6 DONE!

Day six is over, and . . . I'm done! I finished a day ahead of schedule: 241 figures painted in six days. Tomorrow I think I'll rest.

I was careful to pick out the flesh highlights today, but there isn't a lot of deep relief on these figures to make it easy. I like the overall look of Battle Honors' ACW figures, but Anthony Barton got better over time. The AB Napoleonics I've painted have excellent relief, which makes them much easier to paint.

I don't know if it's the sculpts of 19th Century Miniatures's casting process, but I got a lot of misshapen figures and bent rifles.

Here's our example figure, showing each day's progress.

And here are some samples of the finished figures. I included a lot more Confederate than Union images here because there's a lot more variety in the Confederate uniforms. Finished numbers are roughly equal.

And just in case any of you aren't sure how big a 15mm figure is, here's one next to my thumbnail.

Monday, January 25, 2010

250 man ACW project, day 5

Day five is over, and I'm nearing completion. Today I painted all the blankets, canteen straps, canteens, and brass work. I also took Austin's advice from the comments on the last post and painted the Confederate haversacks a linen color.

The only thing left to paint now is the flesh highlights. It might take me two days, but I think I can get it all done tomorrow.

I used Testor's enamel "gold" for the brass buttons, buckles, and cartridge box badge. I like enamels for my metalwork, even though they are a pain to work with, because no acrylic I've found looks as good.

Again, please remember that I'm going for speed here. These figures won't win any painting competitions. But they're cleanly painted, and they should look great on the table.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

250 man ACW project, day 4

With day four closing, I have finished painting the coats and pants on all the figures.

Civil War soldiers' leatherwork was often black, and to save time, I've chosen to leave all the leather as black primer. This makes it tougher to pick out all the cloth on the jackets, but it saves a lot of time by not requiring me to paint all the straps, haversacks, cartridge boxes, bayonet scabbards, and percussion cap pouches.

The Confederates got a good mix of grey, brown, and butternut shades. For the Union soldiers' hats and coats, I used Delta Ceramcoat's "Blueberry." For their pants, I used Apple Barrel's "Denim Blue."

I often see ACW Union figures' pants painted in light sky blue, but the actual color was much darker. Compare this reproduction uniform with the colors I chose for my miniatures, and you'll see I'm pretty close. I made the jacket and pants a little brighter than they were in real life, but not much.

Now the miniatures are starting to look like soldiers! For day five I'll first touch up the black leather where needed, then paint the canteen straps a nice, bright white. I'll paint canteens and blanket rolls too, if I have enough time.

I'm in the home stretch now. All is on schedule, and I should have these figures finished by the one week mark.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

250 man ACW project, day 3

Day three is complete. I finished painting all the hair, backpacks, and headgear on all the figures. Now I know which of the figures will be yanks and which will be rebs.

I wish I had some better light for photographing the whole job, but all the figures won't fit on my table at once.

The floppy hats got a drybrush right over the black primer. It looks pretty crude in a photo, but remember that this figure is very, very magnified. At gaming distance, the hats look pretty sharp. I used three different colors for the hats.

To finish 250 figures in a week of painting, I have to take some shortcuts. That's especially important because I only have 2-3 hours of painting time each day. At the very most, I'll have 21 hours of work time. It'll probably shake out to something like 15 hours, requiring a pace of 16 figures per hour.

I'm not going to attempt two-tone shading. I usually do use shading on my 15mm figures, but these are getting a simple block paint job. That's the way most of my 15mm ACW collection is painted anyway, so I'm not sacrificing the overall look of my armies just to make this project easier.

I will shade the flesh. Figures painted in a solid fleshtone never look quite right to me.

Here's our marching Union soldier again, showing the progression from day 1 to day 3. You can't see his hair in this shot, but it's painted a nice dark brown.

Tonight I'll start on the next phase, painting the coats, trousers, and blanket rolls on all the figures. This stage may take two days, but I'll make a post tomorrow showing my progress.

Friday, January 22, 2010

250 man ACW project, day 2

As planned, I painted the musket stocks and flesh basetone today. All of the figures are ready for the next phase, and the project is on schedule.

Here's the same figure yesterday and today. It may still look a little rough, but the paint bleed over will get covered by some of the next stages.

Tomorrow I'll be painting hair and hats. The hats will serve as a visual reminder of which figures get painted as federals and which get painted as Confederates. I'll be mixing some kepis and hats into units from both sides. Only the federals will get black hats, and the Confederates will get everything but black hats.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

250 man ACW project, day 1

A few posts ago I wrote about the big 19th Century Miniatures order that Austin, Don, and I were making. The figures came in last week, and Jon gave us our huge bags of Civil War soldiers on Saturday.

I spent the past few days finishing a small commission, and yesterday I turned my attention to the Battle Honors ACW figures. I had written that I would try to finish all 250 figures in a week, and I think it will be fun to see if I can meet that goal. Because of the way the figures divided, this will actually be a 241 man ACW project, but that doesn't have quite the same ring to it. Besides, I'm going to try to paint an additional nine figures to bring the total to 250.

Last night I primed all the figures, then gave them a black paint wash to cover any remaining metal bits.

This morning I drybrushed all the muskets with Testor's enamel silver paint.

Since I have a three hour long class tonight, that's all the work I'm likely to get done today. Tomorrow I hope to paint the musket stocks and apply my flesh basetone.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

1:35 Panther D Oil Wash

I spent Tuesday night and yesterday afternoon applying a sequence of oil washes to my panther. I started with a very thin wash of black, applied to the entire vehicle. Once the wash was almost dry, I started laying down some pin washes of burnt umber (for grime) and Indian red (for rust).

You can see that I got some pooling of the pin washes. I'll attack those tonight with a little thinner. That engine deck really pops now.

Here's a good shot showing how the black wash actually stained the acrylic paint. compare the paint tones here with those in the previous post.

The black wash really accentuates the texture of the zimmerit. Once the drybrushing is done, it'll pop even more!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

1:35 Panther D

January has been a very productive month so far. Not only am I breezing through a lot of gaming miniatures, but I've been able to practice my armor modeling skills as well.

I built this DML Panther D with zimmerit toward the end of 2009. I used two airbrushes to put down the camouflage scheme: a Badger 250 for the big coat of dark yellow, and an Aztek A470 for the olive green and red brown.

I actually used Tamiya's "field grey" for the olive green, as it seems much closer to the actual color than Tamiya's "olive green."

After the three tone scheme was done, I gave the whole model a light misting of dark yellow again, this time holding my airbrush at a distance from the model. I think I had my dark yellow a little thick, as some areas got more of a spatter than a mist, but the washes, drybrushing, and weathering should calm that effect down a bit.

Now I'm moving on to the road wheels and skirts. Once they're done, I'll need to touch up the hull a bit. I can see from these photos that I left some ejector pin marks on the spare tracks, and I'll need to paint all the stowage as well.

Still, considering this is only my second time painting a model with an airbrush, I'd say it's looking pretty good.

Monday, January 11, 2010

15mm AB Napoleonic Hungarian Infantry

Tired of painting various shades of Confederate gray, I turned to some AB Napoleonics that I already had primed, these 36 Hungarian line infantry. The AB figures paint up very well, of course. This is IR31, with dark yellow facings and silver buttons. The flag is GMB.

Below you'll see how these AB figures compare to another line sculpted by Anthony Barton, Battle Honors. In the US, you can get AB figures for $.70 each, or you can buy a bag of 50 Battle Honors figures for $17. If you buy enough Battle Honors, though, you can get a 40% discount, meaning that these figures will ring in at only $.20 each.

While the ABs are clearly better sculpts, the difference is not that great. I do like that with AB figures I can specify the exact number of each pose I want, so I don't end up with a bunch of extra figures I'll never use.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

28mm Confederate Generals

Ready to command my 28mm rebels, these Generals are a mix of Old Glory and Sash and Saber figures.

This is the division command stand. In retrospect, I probably should not have three generals on there, but maybe one major general and two aides. All the figures are Old Glory from pack WBS-68 "Confederate Mounted Colonels."

My three Old Glory brigade commanders are also from WBS-68. They're decent enough figures that painted up very well.

These are my two Sash and Saber generals. When I ordered these figures, Chris hadn't yet released generic generals, so these are actually two personality figures: John B. Gordon and Henry Heth.

Next up for the Confederates: dismounted cavalry!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

15mm ACW Old Glory Generals

I painted and based these today: a Union brigade commander, a Union divisional command stand, and a Confederate brigade commander. All the figures are Old Glory.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

More Regimental Fire and Fury Command Stands

Don, Austin, and I went ahead and ordered 15 bags of Battle Honors ACW marching infantry, which will give us each 250 troops to paint. I had enough extra command figures already on hand to get a good start on my regiments.

The figures are a mix of Old Glory and Stone Mountain. Most of the flags are from, but the three rebel battle flags on the right are from GMB.

I spent a bit of time touching up the edges of the flags, and that led to touchups on the body of them as well.

I really enjoy painting 15mm ACW. You can see that I did give some of the figures the basetone and highlight treatment, but most of them are just straight block painted. I painted these 27 figures in about four hours, but I can beat that pace by working in larger groups.

I'm thinking of painting all 250 infantry in two large batches, one Union and one Confederate. With my figures primed six to a stick, that'll be 42 sticks of infantry. At 99 Federal and 150 Confederates, those should each be manageable as single pass projects. I'll see if I can't crank out 250 figures in one week!