Now I am no great shakes as a figure painter (my figures often look like they have been painted by a gorilla with a 6-inch brush!), and have not painted any figures from scratch for a very long time. I decided, therefore, to see if I could make a reasonable job of these simple figures using a technique that I used many years ago … and the following blog entries will describe my progress.
The first step was to clean the casting up using emery paper and modelling files. As the bayonets were either badly bent or broken, I removed them. I then washed the figures to clean off any dirt, and once they were dry I superglued them to steel pennies.
I then primed them using a brush and Humbrol matt black enamel paint.
Until now the only method that I have been happy to use has involved mounting each figure on a large, temporary base that I could hold whilst I painted the figure. When the figure had been painted and varnished, I then removed it from its temporary base and fixed it to its permanent base.
One of the benefits of using steel washers (or coins) for basing figures is that you can use NOBO 30mm diameter display board magnets to hold them whilst you paint the figures. These magnets are easy to grasp, and the figure (and base) can be removed after painting by just sliding them off. I have about twenty of these magnets – which is the average size of a batch of figures that I would normally paint – and I am looking forward to using them in the very near future.
I think that they are of a reasonable wargames standard, and I will persist with this ‘new’ method for the time being. The next figures will be 20mm and the undercoat will be light grey and not white as I think that this will work better with the slightly larger figures.
Basically the technique involves undercoating the figure with white paint, then washing the figure with the basic topcoat colour, picking out the detail, and then giving the figure a coat of ink (in this case GW’s Sepia Ink).
I tried the technique on some 15mm World War II American figures and I must admit that they don’t look too bad. The wash means that the figures are not too dark – a common problem with smaller figures – and the ink picks out the detail that the wash has missed. It also covers over some of the painting inaccuracies that are due to my lack of skill and basic clumsiness.
I am now basing the figures, and when they are finished I hope to add some pictures of them to this blog.