In this case the figures are Front Rank Lowland Scots in bonnets, as such this article will discuss some of my thought processes,hints and tips and hopefully provide inspiration to others wanting to dabble in these larger figures but worried that their painting skills are not up to it.
Lets be clear from the start - I do not rate my self as a great painter,however, I can apply paint fairly accurately onto figure and then using the available products, I think these can be converted into passable wargames figures.
The other point to make clear is that I'm also not a photographer, so apologies for the quality of my pictures!
For purposes of my games I like to have big regiments - 28 figures - 2 blocks of eight Musketeers each side of a central block of 12 Command and pikemen. Yes I know this is a little over the top but the usual 18 or 20 figures per regiment just don't seem to look right to my eye.
For painting purposes I usually paint-up each block separately in batches of 8 to 12 figures it meas a manageable number of figures in each batch, you don't get too bored painting each batch and you get to see the end results at regular intervals!
So before you even get your pints out the first thing is to spend time cleaning up your figures. These Front Rank figures are very crisp and have great detail, applying paint to them is really a process of drawing out that detail. It is vital that any flash or other blemishes are removed form the castings before going any further.
A small needle file and patience is all that is needed, removing mould lines and snipping off any unwanted flash, it should only take you 4 or 5 minutes per figure. Once this task is completed I attach each figure to a 2p piece with some Blu-Tac and leave overnight for the Blu-Tac to 'set'.
Sounds like a silly detail but stretch and kneed the Blu-Tac until soft,use a small piece to attach figure to the 2p piece and overnight the Blu-Tac hardens and will hold the figure in place for the whole painting process.
|Two Muskeers and a Pikeman, undercoated in white|
For undercoating I use generic artists acrylic paint, applied with a fairly big, flat ended brush, and worked so that the paint gives a thorough covering to the case metal and gets into every nook & cranny of the figure, without clogging-up any of the figure's details.
|Sergeant Ensign and Officer undercoated in white.|
|Grey beaches and socks added|
That said there is some debate over how many units wore the bonnet by the late 1680s as there is evidence to say that many regular units preferred to wear a hat rather than bonnet to distinguish themselves as 'proper' soldiers.
|I debated having red breaches and socks for officers |
but went for grey i the end
Anyway - I have other Scots regiments in hats so I fancied doing one in bonnets ..
First colour - grey for breeches and socks, simple task, apply the paint with a 'No 2' brush
This is really hard to show on my photos, I use good quality white paint to do cuffs, shirt sleeves, cravat & sashes. This provides a much more opaque and 'clean' white than can be achieved with the generic white paint used to undercoat.
|White cuffs,shirt sleeves, sashes and cravats|
|Feathers in Officer's hats also white|
So next posting we'll start adding real colour to the figures, coats, flesh and equipment...