Sunday, January 30, 2011

Soldiers SR-25 Completed

Soldiers SR-25 is completed. This figure is a "portrait" piece of Marcus Favonius Facilis, a Centurion in Legio XX Valeria Victrix, 1st century A.D. Sculpted by Adriano Larrucia in 54mm, the figure depicts a haughty, strong and deservedly arrogant leader of men as he marches down a dirt road somewhere in the Empire. Much of the research that goes into these figures is based on graves and monument sculptures found throughout the Empire. I continue to find this period of history fascinating and to provide endless opportunities for study and figure painting. Thanks to Marco and Adriano as well as others for providing such great miniatures to tackle. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saxon Warlords Vignette - Visualizing A Setting

     I am starting to do the prep work on a vignette that I have wanted to do for a while. I had read the Bernard Cornwell "Saxon Stories" series of novels and had developed a vision of a group of warriors standing in front of a wooden hill fort palisade. These three 54mm figures from Romeo fit the bill nicely with their strong yet simple posing and seemed to belong together on the same base. My initial reaction when I opened the kits was a happy surprise because the details are actually stronger on the sculpting than initially appeared on the box art.

     I always start any project by putting a lot of thought into the staging of figure and this is especially true when more than one figure will be on the same base. Typically for vignettes I will create a few simple line drawings as studies for the project. This helps me visualize and flesh out my ideas. My vision is to have a gentle sloping hillside going up to the outer face of the wooden hill fort walls. I will be positioning the figures as shown in the photos, with the figure on the right being slightly behind the other two. I see them as looking off in the distance at some Northern Raiders (Northumbrians or Norse Raiders).

     After trying out various base choices I settled on this round oak base from Ken Thomas that I have had around for about ten years now. It's simplicity, color and wood species fit the setting well. The paper template that you see on the base will be used to cut out Balsa wood pieces that will be layered to build the core of the hill. This saves on putty and gives a solid structure to build the wall on. For the wall I have pieces of Basswood that will be weathered with a steel wire brush prior to cutting and assembling the structure.

     My goal is to use this project as part of the basis for a seminar I am giving in March at the Three Rivers IPMS Regional Convention in Pittsburgh PA. I will post photo updates as I progress, so stay tuned.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Something A Little Different - Sad Panda

As the title says, this is something a little different for a change. I decided a while back that I wanted to paint this great little mini from Dark Sword Miniatures. They have a wonderful line of masterfully sculpted 28mm minis including a line of figures based on the characters from George R. R. Martin's amazing Fantasy Novels. If you haven't ever seen their line, simply follow the link in my list of manufacturers (right hand sidebar). Fortunately I got one of these JUST before it became sold out.

The reasons for choosing this figure are two-fold. First I am painting it for my daughter who has a thing for Pandas. Secondly, somewhere along the way I acquired a nickname at work that has stuck with me over the years but varies from day to day depending on my ever-shifting moods - Sad Panda, Angry Panda, Happy Panda. So I thought it would be a good idea to paint this figure as a bit of change.

The groundwork is nothing more than sculpted putty, and there will be a little hat and bedroll that will be hung from the trunk. The mini is well sculpted and should be a fairly easy paint job as it progresses. Painting the groundwork took two evenings and once the figure is painted and permanently attached I will do a bit more shadow work around the grass.

Soldier's SR-02 Roman Aquilifer - Update

Now that the Centurian is almost done I can continue working on this interesting figure. I had completed the flesh and leyed in initial mid tone and shadows on the tunic as well as initial washes on the armor. The next step for me will be to begin applying color to the groundwork and paint the helmet and inside of the wolfskin. The pose is very dramatic in this early Laruccia figure and the variety of surface textures and colors will make for a very interesting subject once complete.

Soldier's SR-25 Centurian Update

I'm nearing the finish line on this one finally with just a bit of weathering and a dull coat finish on the cape, and some subtleties to apply to the feathers and mount. I used an interesting mix of Deep Reds and Reddish Browns on the mantle with tans and white used to dust the edges and highlight. I may add some lighter tones to further fade the cloth. This should show up better in pics once the sheen is removed. The next post on this one will be the last.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Soldiers SR01 Republican Legionary Completed

This Republican Legionary, the first Roman subject from Soldier's in their SR series was a fun little figure to paint. If you compare this figure to the current releases in the series you can see the development of Adriano Larrucia's sculpting skills. All in all a very fine, relaxed example of Rome's military backbone.

Soldiers SR-25 Centurian Update

 Just a quick update to show progress to this point on this figure. The leather is done except for the caligae (shoes). After the brass details are painted and the sword and dagger added I will begin painting and attach the cloak.