Saturday, December 17, 2011

Soldiers SR-59 Vexillarius -Update #5

After a short stay in the hospital I am finally feeling the strength to paint return just a little. I wanted to post an update to this figure showing how it stands as of now, before I do anything else to it. Really observant followers who know their Late Romans will note that the "Chi-Ro" device on the standard has now been reversed to face the proper direction. How many times did I look at it without ever recognizing that I had glued it on backwards?

The sections of cape were painted on the sides facing the figure prior to being attached to the section cast integrally on the torso. This obviously allows me to avoid having to risk getting paint on areas of the figure previously completed. The mixes of various shades of Cadmium Red are fairly straight forward so matching colors on the areas still to be done will be simple.

Additionally the field of the standard has been painted as well as a variegated base color for the gold fringe and vine details. This is a mixture of Yellow Ochre and Cad Yellow Medium with a tiny touch of Mars Black added to darken and shift the tone. Leather work has begun as well with Mars Brown and a touch of deep Cad Red applied, followed by a wash of Mars Black once dry. Much more work on these areas is to come.

I am committed to completing the previously posted busts and will be working heavily on them this coming week prior to my being allowed to return to work. In between though you can expect more work on this little beauty.

Monday, December 5, 2011

And Then There Were Three!

So having shown two of the three busts I am painting yesterday, I now present the first of the three that I will be painting. This bust is in the same series and represents General Ritter Karl von Fasbender in the uniform of the 1st Bavarian Jager Battalion, 1916, Amiens. Again this is a very nice portrait piece in this series from Ulrich Puchala and the highlight for me is the detail sculpted on the Shako logo. I will be starting on this straight away and am really looking forward to seeing how I do with his likeness.

I think the likeness is quite good and I am told that Fasbender had a sparkle to his personality. The photo below is a later portrait of the man but still very helpful. Ulrich has given me some insight into all three characters so that I can work on capturing that in their portraits.

Again, my thanks to Ulrich for asking me to tackle these pieces.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Two New Busts

Two new busts primed and ready to paint. Both are sculpted by Ulrich Puchala for his Centaur Line of miniatures. The busts are portrait pieces, cast in resin by YS Masterpieces. As I said in my posts while painting the last bust, I have a strong interest in WW1 subjects and Ulrich was very happy with the job I was doing on the SK Miniatures piece so he was willing to let me paint these for him as box art pieces. I want to thank him for his trust and hope he will be happy with the end results.

Ulrich's kits come with a comprehensive color instruction sheet containing a ton of references for the subject of the kit. I won't need to do nearly as much research before painting these as he has done his homework.

Assembly was straightforward as with most resin kits although I found myself doing more prep work than I am used to due to many small air bubbles and the fact that one of the kits had suffered from a mold that should have been replaced prior to making this casting. These things happen and having been in the business myself, I am both overly critical of castings as well as understanding of how things can slip through.

I would recommend these kits to anyone with a passion for this subject matter as Ulrich's research and sculpting are impeccable.


The First kit is of Ferdinand Graf v. Zeppelin in 1891 wearing the uniform of Generalcommander of Cavalry, Uhlan-Regiment "King Karl" (1. Wurttembergisches) No. 19 - Ulm.

The second kit is a portrait piece of Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar, 1914, in the uniform of General of Cavallerie, Carabinier Regt. 2nd Cuirassier Regt.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Soldiers SR-59 Vexillarius -Update #4

A bit more progress, starting the Labarum (standard) and the armor.

The armor starts with a basecoat of Gold Printers Inks and a bit of Burnt Umber oils added. Once dry I will start adding washes of browns and blacks before highlighting with pure printers ink. The Labarum started with Cadmium Red Deep and Extra Deep from Liquitex to set the mid tones. The shaft of the standard has gotten an initial coat of Burnt Sienna.

The helmet was aged with a patina created by applying pure Mars Black and letting it sit for an hour before wiping the oils off with a lint free cloth. Once I start painting the cloak I will attach the neck guard and paint the leather trim.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Soldiers SR-59 Vexillarius - Update #3

I have been busy prepping two busts that I will soon be painting for a friend in Germany but I need to keep the hand in the brushes as well, in order to keep working my techniques. With that in mind I have been working on the tunic and trousers of this little 54mm figure from Soldiers. As the figure will be wearing a cloak that will be reddish in tone I wanted to go for a red tunic that would be totally different in tonal value while still holding the coloration that I would expect in a fabric from the time period. I decided to go dark, with my plans being that the cloak will be lighter (faded). I also wanted off-white, greenish umber tones in the trousers. I'm pretty happy with my progress to this point.

For the tunic I started with a mix of Cadmium Red Deep and Mars Black. This was applied overall and allowed to dry overnight. The next step was to apply Cadmium Red Deep to the mid tone areas and blend outward with a soft brush. This thins out the paint to act as a "filter" for the undercoat and gives the deep red tone that I desired. This dried overnight and a second highlight tone was applied to the brightest points, using Cadmium Red Deep and a touch of Titanium White. An even lighter mixture was used to touch the lighter worn edges of the sleeves and lower hem line.

The back side of the tunic is the darkest and has stronger contrasts because it will be mostly hidden by the hanging cloak. What will be seen should stand out a bit due to the greater contrast.

The trousers were first painted with a mixture of Raw Umber and Titanium White. This was highlighted initially with straight Titanium White blended wet on wet to give mid tone highlights and shadows. Once dry, a thinned coat of Greenish Umber was applied overall and brushed out to tint the cloth a greenish hue. Once dry I began to bring out the highlights with repeated applications of White mixed with a tiny bit of Greenish Umber. Each application had more and more white added to further pop the highlights, never using pure white.

I know how dark everything looks in the photos. This is enhanced by the areas still primed white and will die down as more of the figure is covered in paint. Dark is the goal, but being this dark is simply a trick of the eye/camera from the contrast with the white. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Konrad of Thuringia - Romeo 54mm Teutonic Grand Master - Completed

Finishing touches have been applied to my last little piece before going to the Long Island Show this weekend. It's nice to clear a small bit of space with this and von Mackensen done. The figure is a Romeo 54mm kit and the arms on the shield represent Konrad von Thuringen in 1239. The tree trunk is one Armand Bayardi's little gems. This was a fun and simple piece to paint until getting to the shield. Very satisfying and now I can get back to my work on the other items in various stages of completion that seem to mock me every time I sit at the bench. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

August von Mackensen - Completed

August von Mackensen is complete. I may well see some little things that need a touch up here or there but for the moment I can take my mind off of it and get some space for my mind to clear. I find this always helps to see areas that need fixing. After awhile you get to close to the piece and you miss details that need further attention. I loved painting this piece, I have a connection with the subject matter, the sculptor (Matt Springer) and the manufacturer (SK Miniatures - Steve Kirtley). Thanks to both for their help and interest in my work. Now on to Graf von Zeppelin, Wilhelm Ernst v. Sachsen-Weimar and Karl v. Fasbender for more WWI fun. Enjoy!

Label created using Microsoft Publisher, sticker paper and a little creative fun.

Uniform details.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Von Mackensen - Progress Report #3

Von Mackensen is getting closer to completion, but as always with these things the details take the longest. I have begun to work on the metallic and lace bits with these photos having been taken on Friday and more completed since then. I have an evening of tiny black chevrons on the knotted cording ahead of me this evening as well as the basic brass color on the scales and the fur highlighting. I probably won't post another update until he is completed. My hopes are to have this little gem completed for the Long Island Show this weekend, as well as the Teutonic Knight I have been working on. After that I have a couple more busts in this time frame that I will begin to paint for box-art. Stay Tuned!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Romeo 54-035 Teutonic Knight mid XIII Cent. - Update #3

Although I still have quite a ways to go to complete this miniature it is always a milestone when you can join the figure to it's base. That is the situation here, with most all of the details that would have been obstructed from easy access by a brush being completed. Once the figure was attached to the base I could glue the left hand with weapon and begin applying the first of many layers of browns to the shaft. I have also begun painting the back of the shield which will be glued under his arm once the rest of the figure details are completed. Should be complete by this time next week (fingers crossed).

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Romeo 54-035 Teutonic Knight mid XIII Cent. - Update #2

In an effort to have at least one new figure completed for the Long Island Show besides von Mackensen, I have been working on this little figure from Romeo. The tunic was completed today, minus pure white edging and a bit of dirt that will be added once the figure is based. I did a bit more shadow work on the mail arms and head using the same mixture that I used to do the deep shadow outline washes on the tunic (Mars Black and Raw Umber). I need to do the same with his legs before starting on the leather belt and scabbard. Shield has been primed and the tedious Teutonic heraldry will begin this week as well. I also want to add further highlights to the face tonight as it is showing way to dark in all that white.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Von Mackensen - Progress Report #2

I started painting the tunic last night as well as a bit more work on the colpack (Prussian busby).

What you see here is my initial mid tone highlighted and shadowed tones on the tunic. Photos of actual coats show a variety of grayish green tones. To get the initial colors I used Rembrandt Greenish Umber, W&N Titanium White and a bit of W&N Mars Black to grey out the greenish tones a tad. Once applied I went in and roughly outlined details and filled in shadows with more Mars Black. This sketchy mix was then stippled with a soft round brush to blend the colors slightly. This gives me subtle mid to mid shadow tones. Again this technique was used for the mid highlights by applying patches of Titanium White and again stippling the colors to roughly blend. This will be allowed to dry and I will begin to work on final highlights and shadows before starting on details such as medals, shoulder boards and lacing, cording.

An additional wash of Mars Black was applied to the colpack as well. I will now start building highlight tones there as well, also paint the red bag.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Von Mackensen - Progress Report #1

Progress report on this nice bust from SK Miniatures. I am about 95% done with the face, with only a few tweeks and possibly some paler, greyer toning to show the age a bit better. The fur on the hat is about a quarter way to the final coloring as this seal skin has so many tonal values in it. I started with Yellow Ochre washes, with Burnt Sienna and Van Dyke Brown overcoats. I will apply Mars Black and some grey to off-white highlighting to continue the effect.

I hope to begin the first work on the jacket tonight so stay tuned.