I haven’t exactly fallen off the bandwagon, but recently I have been feeling a bit unsatisfied with my painting. When I sat down and went through what I was thinking, I realised there were two factors:
- I have been painting a lot in bulk, and producing models that are not as good as I know I can do
- I have stagnated a bit on the more technical projects. I haven’t really looked into this one as much, but I suspect my recent push to “get stuff done” has resulted in a less perfectionist outlook, and less time to dedicate to individual models.
I therefore decided to have a go at an individual model, and chose one I built using a body and head from the Perry’s Agincourt French Infantry, with the arms and accesories from their English Army box. It’s not a kitbash because the whole range is supposed to work together, even though it comes in different boxes. The English box contains medium/lightly armoured bodies, so by using the “French” body I was able to make a heavily armoured household archer.
I also decided to give him a scenic base, which gives him a sense of place without dominating too much. The elements of the base are simple, but I feel contribute to the sense of movement. I’m especially happy with the axe in the stake, a small detail that I think really makes it look “real”.
The painting itself was both a chance to consolidate on techniques and colours I was very comfortable on but also to experiment without feeling under too much pressure. Essentially of the main main colours the metallic and the gambeson (I think that’s the right word) were experimental, whereas the greys, reds and flesh were very much following old recipes.
Grey: warcolours blue grey, designed to contrast heavily with the warm white & red
Red: I’m not especially happy with my reds at the moment, but this was again Army Painter reds layered up
Flesh: I actually really like my custom flesh wash, which I used on this fella as well as a load of other historicals. With a final highlight of Warcolours Flesh 2 it really pops and helps it look natural. I do have to try reddening it a little bit though as I suspect that would have some interesting results
Leather: Vallejo Model Air tank brown and Army Painter Leather Brown layered up.
Bow: the bow was originally layered Warcolours Brown which are very orange. By mixing in some ochre I ended up with a brown wood colour I haven’t really used before.
White gambeson: this was the first thing I tackled and was really the point at which I went “eh fuck it, let’s go freestyle”. The off-white is a yellow brown, starting with Model Air Sand Yellow and working up with Iraqi Sand and Off White. The highlights were applied to the upper areas of texture, which were overall very soft features. In some areas the detail fell away and I had to use the highlights to create definition, thus a very crude form of freehand. This method really helped accentuate the texture of the cloth when combined with the next step. To add definition and contrast, I worked a very thin glaze of black-purple into the vertical divisions. It’s barely noticeable but it really pushes out the otherwise bland white. Use of contrasting colours is something I will be doing more of.
Metallics: the metallics were another area of experimentation. I highlighted a base of Army Painter Gun Metal with a 50/50 mix of Plate Mail Metal, and then shaded it using black weathering powder. This approach gave the metal a realistic depth compared to simple layer highlighting, which I’ve always struggled with.
Weathering: the final model got a going over with a variety of weathering powders to really make him look muddy. The base could have done with a little bit of water effects, but unfortunately I haven’t used them before and didn’t want to risk it on such a simple piece.
Overall, this little project gave me a chance to try some new stuff out without overwhelming me. Histoicals are nice like this: there’s no need to go crazy with colours or techniques to situate it in a time and place. This fellow is now property of a good friend, as I decided to give myself the deadline of his birthday to finish it, which I did.
So in summary:
+Don’t be afraid to take small steps in progression
+A simple plan helps a lot
+Went in expecting nothing, and ended up pleasantly surprised.
Following up from this guy, I have prepped two more historical dioramas, both duels. I’m nearly done the first one, so expect a post soon!
Thanks for reading!