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Marine Skellies

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7 June 2015page first published

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OldGrenadier Fezian writes:

To be perfectly honest, I don't remember the manufacturer of these figures.*

When I took them out of the actually rather nice clamshell packaging, I was a bit concerned that they looked a bit cartoonish. Still I persevered, and Iím glad I did. Once finished, they turned out very nicely.

I first cleaned any seams. I noted that there werenít very many at all, indicating careful mold work and fairly new molds. I then cleaned the figures in a solution of mild dishwashing liquid and tepid water, followed by an overnight air dry. I then shot them with a layer of Krylon Ultra-flat Tan Camouflage. I hand-painted the officer with a bone white gesso as an experiment. I allowed them to dry overnight again.

Marine skellies

Marine skellies
I have a standard process when painting skeletons. I paint the entire figure in an off-white – in this case, GW Bleached Bone. After a drying period, I then applied GW Flesh Wash full strength over the off-white. After this dried, I drybrushed Bleached Bone over them. When this dried, I applied a lighter drybrush of a brilliant white, in this case, Apple Barrel White. The base of the figures standing on skulls were treated the same way. All figures were attached to their bases using Goop brand glue.

One of the hardest parts of painting the soldier figures was figuring out what regiment to paint! Originally, I wanted to paint them up as British marines. The issue here is that British marines from the period without turnbacks wore mitre caps, and these guys were in tricorns. British marines in tricorns had turnbacks. Of course, I could have fudged them and no one would have really noticed, since as skeletons, theyíre pretty much fantasy figures anyway, but I wanted them to be at least somewhat feasible. This ruled out British marines, so I decided to go with French. A bit of research indicated that the French didnít really have specific marines, using army troops on detached duty. I simply decided to use the Regiment Royal Vaisseaux. The source I used, which I cannot find now, put the regiment in white coats, red waistcoats, blue breeches, and blue cuffs and collar. Iíve since found other sources that indicate white breeches. You pays your money, you takes your chance…

Marine skellies

Marine skellies

Marine skellies

Marine skellies

Marine skellies

Marine skellies

Marine skellies

Marine skellies

Marine skellies

Marine skellies

Marine skellies

Marine skellies

Marine skellies

Marine skellies

For the enlisted men, I painted the coats in Space Wolf Grey, then drybrushed in Bleached Bone. For the officer, I painted Bleached Bone and drybrushed in Apple Barrel White (I figured the officerís coat would be better quality). The blue was Folk Art Dutch Blue, drybrushed with the Space Wolf Grey, while the red was Ceramcoat Rouge with a light drybrush in craft paint yellow (I forget which brand). The boots were painted Bestial Brown and washed with full strength Flesh Wash. The bases were processed the same way, except for the turtles, which were GW Snot Green and that craft paint yellow.

I painted the soldiers as still being in pretty good shape, but I painted the crew members as being a bit worse for wear. They have torn and grubby clothes, so I used muted, dirty-looking colors, mostly browns and tans. I used craft colors almost exclusively, reserving the GW colors for the bones.

The cannon was painted black and drybrushed in Apple Barrel Tapioca, while the carriage was craft paint brown (Iíve forgotten which brand again). The iron parts were painted using Apple Barrel Black. I approached the gun with the idea that it was painted to look like it was made of bones, but was actually iron.

I shot all the figures with an inexpensive matte spray paint from Wal Mart. Itís supposed to be flat, but it actually comes out as a satin finish. It gives the figures a certain durability.

Marine skelly officer

I actually rather enjoyed painting these guys, and I hope everyone likes looking at them.

* I'm pretty sure they are from Black Cat Bases. - Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian

Article set up by Editor Hebber.