Saturday, January 28, 2017

Paint Table Saturday: Back to the American Civil War

After some time painting Zulus it is back to my American Civil War project today and given a brighter than average day I had a good few hours on my Union Cavalry. I did have a brief moment where I thought I might do some more Zulus instead, when I realised that I am now only 24 figures short of a 24 point force for The Men Who Would Be Kings rules.  During the evenings this week, when it is dark, I will assemble these figure with the aim of getting them done shortly.

But I stuck to my plan and today I have finished the saddles and tack on the Union Cavalry so it is on to the figures themselves now and I managed to get the base coat down on their boots and trousers before the light went. Next week I hope to get their jackets and the shading on the flesh done which will move them along nicely.

One of the things that nearly made me do Zulus instead was the fact that the next thing I had to do was the stripes on their horse blankets but, given a new Winsor & Newton Series 7 brush, they came out OK. I am trying to paint these to wargames standard so I can get a move on but some things can't be cut.  I have decided not to shade the stripes though!

Most of the books I have got describe Union army trousers as sky blue but I have painted mine darker than that (Humbrol 109) as examples I have seen in museums do seem to be darker than what I would call sky blue.  I took this shot in the Military Museum in Copenhagen a couple of years ago, as they have the only complete set of ACW period Federal uniform anywhere.

Today's music is James Horner';s enjoyable score for The Mask of Zorro and his follow up, composed seven years later, for The Legend of Zorro.  It is probably more appropriate for painting Mexicans to but it has some very strong themes and is a a bit different from most of his scores.

Flaming June (1895)

Today's wallpaper is Flaming June by Lord Leighton (1830-1896), one of my favourite paintings.  Lost after 1900, it only reappeared in the early sixties and when it was put up for auction it failed to make its reserve price of £140; so unfashionable were the paintings of the Victorian classicists at the time.  It was bought in the mid sixties for £2000 by a Puerto Rican industrialist and now is usually on display in Puerto Rico.  Currently, it is on a rare visit to Britain and has been installed in Lord Leighton's studio where it was painted and I will be going to see it next week!


  1. Good progress on the cavalry - I can't say I blame you for deciding not to highlight the stripes of the saddle blanket :)

  2. Great job on the saddle blanket ! They are going to look great!

  3. Very nice work on those horses - they look very realistic.

    By the way, you seem to often comment on how your painting is restricted by a lack of light. Wouldn't a desk lamp with a good quality daylight bulb fix that? Many wargamers paint at night anyway, when there is definitely a lack of natural light! I'm not being sarcastic - just trying to help ...

    1. I have two desk lamps with daylight bulbs but I can't do shading under them, sadly.

  4. Coming on nicely. I always try to put off painting horses, but at least when they are done there much left to do.

  5. I am sure you are right to make your blue trousers darker. My re-enactment mates and I certainly had our "pants" this colour on my few opportunities to join the Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry when in the USA. Nice story on the Leighton painting, thank you.