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1,512 hits since 31 Mar 2017
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Warspite131 Mar 2017 6:37 p.m. PST

1) time spent on cleaning flash and excess metal/plastic from figures before basing is seldom wasted. It is no good getting a paint brush nice and ready and then finding a huge lump of flash in the way of the paint. Carefully examine each figure before starting the work.

2) mounting figures to paint is important. I mainly do 15mm so I use wooden strips each about six or seven inches long on which I can mount five to seven figures in an evenly spaced row. These are lightly glued with clear glue, all facing the same way. It is then easy to work down the strip doing the same feature. For larger figures I use plastic milk bottle lids of the screw-off variety. The UK ones are chunky and have a nice grip edge.

3) time spent looking after your paints is seldom wasted. Add a little water or acrylic thinner to a pot before you re-seal it and then give it a good shake after sealing. Look at the screw threads or edges of paint pots from time-to-time and remove excess dried paint which may prevent lids from closing properly. This will prevent paint drying out. As a result of this I am still using some acrylic paints which are 25 years old.

4) If mounting figures especially 15mm figures on DBA/DBM bases always dry fit the figures and make sure they fit and that weapons do not foul figures on the next base. When I do billmen and spearmen with horizontal or sloped arms I normally have a few bases of all-ready prepared figures standing by. Using clear glue like UHU I glue the figures roughly in place. Then, while the glue is still workable, I slide the new base towards the older one and make sure that projecting weapons miss the other rank. To get the best result I normally angle pole weapons so that they pass between two figures on the base in front. Fiddle the figures around while the glue is still workable.

5) time spent on basing your figures is seldom wasted. Use good quality PVA type adhesives and decent flock/powder. If in doubt simple sand can be used as a flock. PVA the bases and sprinkle the dry sand and allow to dry. The sand can then be dry brushed out to create a short grass effect. Some of the sand's natural colour can be allowed to show through and you can paint the grass on the highlights. For desert armies, of course, just don't bother painting the sand!
That's how I did my old 15mm Parthians of blessed memory half a pound of canary sand from a pet shop. Remember that natural sand can look even better if slightly dry-brushed with a lighter 'stone' colour or a sand coloured paint mixed with a little white.

6) contrast. I watched a YouTube blog recently where the guy said that colour contrasts should be greater on table top figures then on non-wargaming models. Most war-game figures are viewed from more than one or two feet away and subtle blends and shades are mostly lost at that range in 28mm, let alone in 15mm. What may appear 'caricature' colouring close up in your hand is fine and dandy two or three feet away.

7) time spent in experiments is seldom wasted. If you want to try something new, try it on a scrap figure or on scrap material first. Be inventive and prepared to modify or try a different approach. Don't try something new on a high value or one-off figure. You may live to regret it! I know I have :(

Happy painting!


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