Saturday, April 07, 2018

Paint Table Saturday: time to focus

As regular readers know, focus in not one of the Legatus' strong points.  Some time ago, I decided to focus my figure painting by just keeping a small number of figures I was currently working on on my desk. I now have twenty plastic boxes of figures stacked up on my desk. Out on the actual workbench area I currently have: 1864 Danes, Afghans, Zulus, SF troopers and a few random character figures,  However, what I am going to concentrate on, until they are done, are the last four figures for my Carthaginian War Elephant. However, sometimes I put off finishing figures because there is a bit I can't face doing.  On the 1864 figures it is doing a snow base.  I have no idea how to do this and every time I read about a solution other people chime in and say 'you don't want to do it like that' and invariably offer up some solution that involved twelve separate ingredients and some tool I have never heard of.

My Carthaginian elephant crew pose a similar problem in the case of their shields.  Now, on most of the models of the Victrix elephants I have seen the shielsd are attached to the sides of the howdahs.  However, the arms for the crew have hands holding what is obviously the handle of a shield.  It would be odd to have them waving around hands holding a short length of rope, so I was planning to put the shields on the figures.  Then, however, I couldn't work out if there would be room in the howdah.  I have clipped them from the sprue to paint but left part of the sprue on to hold while I paint them.  So I can't see where there arms would be when stood in the howdah until I cut the sprue off.  Until then I can't decide where to put the shields.  

The other stressful thing is that the shields are domed and I have never tried to use Little Big Men transfers on domed shields.  Someone suggested using something called micro-sol but I have no idea where to buy it or how to use it.  Also I wonder whether that is for traditional waterslide transfers which the LBM ones aren't, as they have the backing paper on the front of the transfer, which also makes positioning them precisely, impossible. The LBM transfers are expensive and there are only the four on the sheet.  I also seem to recall, when using them on some Greeks in the past that about half got ruined when trying to put them on or they just fell off. You need a gloss surface for them, it seems.  Anyway more things to worry about before they are done.  At least I got the elephant drivers done this week so I have now painted four figures this year (as the elephants only count as one each).  I want to get some more Victrix Carthaginians but don't feel I can unless the elephants are finished and Salute is only a week away.  Can I paint four figures in two days?  I somehow doubt it.

For reasons I can't justify even to myself I put in an order for some more of the Raging Heroes SF women troopers.  Because of this I got the five I had already bought and painted the base coat on their faces.  Why?  I should be getting on with my Afghans of Zulus.  I did at least get the base coat down on all 12 figures in my next Zulu unit this week.  I have also based four of Iron Duke's Indian Mutiny British.  This is because I have around twenty about half done and I am looking to try to get one unit of figures finished in April.  Of all the ones in my twenty plastic boxes these are the furthest along.  Oh, and the Bunny Girls should be on their way too.

Also imminent, supposedly, is the Miniature War Gaming: The Movie DVD which I backed what seems like years ago.  Honestly, this film has taken longer to make than Cleopatra. No doubt designed as some sort of showreel for a bunch of budding filmmakers they seemed to have completely underestimated the time it would take to do everything. A lot of the delays seem to have been caused by things like getting rights to stock footage, as they insist on adding historical combat elements that really aren't necessary for a hobby film.  This is where I realised that they had ideas above their station (or, at least, their experience).  Now, given the parlous wargaming material on You Tube (I hope no one in MWTM slurps hot drinks like so many do when making YouTube videos) I am hoping for a professional job, although their website contains a worrying amount of SF and fantasy illustrations (says the person who has just ordered a load of SF lady warriors).  

Salute is a week today and I really don't have much of a list of things to get: some more Perry Afghan Cavalry and, perhaps some Savage Core simians but that is it.  Honest.  I might keep my eyes open for some more random scenic items, though.  I don't now if there is a wargames bloggers meet up this year and whether anyone has managed to coordinate it so that it doesn't clash with the Lead Adventures Forum one, as for the last few years they have both been at 1.00pm.  I wasn't feeling very well last year and didn't really enjoy it so hope I feel better this time.

We took Guy back to Oxford today and one of (the only) advantages of where he is living is that it has a parking space.  Oxford must be the most car unfriendly city in Britain.  There is nowhere to park (but an excellent park and ride service) and the wardens are relentless.  As a result, there are very few cars in the centre of the city which does, I admit, improve the place from my time, when crossing the High was a perilous operation. We walked into town and I made Guy and the Old Bat have lunch at The Nosebag, the only place I use to eat at College when I was there which is still operating.  It is just around the corner from the college accommodation annexe I was in in the second year and they used to do soup and a roll for about 60p. Today soup and (a really big bit of) bread is £5.00 but it is still good and the interior does not appear to have changed at all.  It reminded me of C, K, other C, B, J, other J, F, T, M, S, H (and maybe some other girls I have forgotten) as it was my go to place for a quick lunch or tea and scones.   We would talk about art, as I sought to get them to model for a charcoal drawing or two (looking at the list it worked on seven out of eleven of them).  It was up to them, of course, how much they chose to wear for these sessions. The advantage of the place was that it was only about a hundred yards from my room and my drawing materials. There was also a good shop selling old prints next door, where I got a lot of Arthur Rackham prints of his Ring series, and postcards of art nudes which helped, er, 'condition' them to an extent.

Nude (1915)

Today's appropriate wallpaper is a painting I saw in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston a few years ago. The painter, William Paxton (1869-1941), was an American impressionist who studied in Boston and Paris, under Jean-Léon Gérôme (of Police Verso fame).  Gérôme instilled a practice of the faithful modelling of the human form in Paxton; triumphantly achieved here in this beautifully lit study.

Today's music, given I am writing this late Friday night, is this hip and cool album To Sweden with Love (1964) by the Art Farmer quartet.  This is an arrangement of Swedish folk songs recorded in Stockholm when Farmer was touring the country. The cover is very mid sixties!  It was a present from H, a Swedish girl I knew at Oxford, who very much enjoyed soup and a roll.  She did not have that long hair with a fringe prototypical look expected of Swedish women at the time but she was, at least, a natural blonde.


  1. I tried Micro-Sol on a couple of my Successor transfers from LBMS but I don't think I had the patience and just went back to gently pushing them on, not perfect but at wargaming level more than fine. If you want to try Micro-Sol I have some I can send you?

    I have no experience of Oxford but Edinburgh also hates cars in a big way.

    1. Thanks for the offer but dod't worry. Still thinking about it

  2. It was me (I think) suggested micro-sol :)
    Here's an ebay link:
    (Note I can't remember where I bought it from - might have been this chap. I got mine off ebay)
    It does work on the LBMS transfers - it softens the carrier film around the transfer (as I understand it), so type of application isn't relevant.
    The micro-set will help with adhesion to the shield.

  3. I'm having a similar issue with staying focused as I try to finish up my last few figures for the OWAC. I hate decals with a passion, but I have heard that Micro Sol and Micro Set are beneficial to making them look good. Just try to stick with the Carthaginians.

  4. Micro Sol is wonderous stuff, should be able to get it in Dorking Models helps with thick aircraft kit transfers like Academy and Hasegaw. It settles the transfer down nicely so it conforms with panel lines etc and would make the decal look better on a shield. Work desk a similar jumble by the way. Havn't been to Salute for 20 years too big a convention and would not be able to concentrate & would buy even more thinhgs I dont need!!

  5. The elephants are coming along nicely :)

    Re Salute bloggers meet, that Ray Rousell chap left it very late so I pipped him to the post last night. As LAF have had their meet set as 1pm, I've put the bloggers meetup as 12.30pm. Hope to see you there.