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2 - Painting the Sumerian Spearmen


6mm Sumerian Army Pack
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£9.00 GBP


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5 September 2006page first published

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©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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I decided to start with the spearmen, since I'm rather fond of them. These consist of front-rank (with shields) and rear-rank strips. Clean-up doesn't take much time, though I lose a few spears despite my careful straightening efforts...

Cleaned spearmen - front (left) and rear ranks (right)

I can't imagine trying to paint these while holding them in my fingers, so I glue them down temporarily to some Popsicle-type wooden sticks (which the local $1 USD store sells in bags).

Spearmen on tongue depressor-type sticks

I then brush-primed the figures black...

Spearmen primed black

...and then drybrushed them white, so I could see the details.

Spearmen drybrushed white

Next, I painted them in their basic colors - flesh, gray for the skirts, tan for the cloaks, brown for the spear shafts (for contrast against the tan and flesh colors), bronze for the spear tips and helmets. Then I applied a black ink wash:

Rear-rank spearmen after ink wash

OK, I should have dusted the figures before I took the pictures! (I didn't even notice the dust until I took the pics - remember, these figures are only 6mm tall.)

Rear-rank spearmen after ink wash (back)

I like the way the ink is popping out the detail on the rear-rank spearmen - though, since they are in the rear ranks, they won't be as visible as the front-rank spearmen. However, the same process just doesn't seem to be working well for the front-rankers and their shields...

Front-rank spearmen after ink wash

My next experiment was to try painting the shields black (again), then drybrushing with several shades of light tan (trying to get more of a "natural hide" look to the shields):

Shields after drybrushing

This looks very rough in the picture above, but maybe I'm forgetting this is 6mm scale - they look much better at "tabletop range":

Front-rank figures at a distance

Or maybe I need a new technique?