April 28, 2012

Dutch Garde te Voet (Blue Guard)

This battalion has been finished for weeks, but I just got around to taking photos. The big man in the center is a conversion of a Warfare Miniatures officer that I rambled on about here. The reason I've mentioned it again is because Barry has made an offer to cast my conversions and offer them as an new pack in the Warfare Miniature line (assuming I can duplicate my own work)! There is an order in for another pack of officers from the pro, but you can never have too much variety among your leaders since they often form the focal point of the unit.

This is the first of two Dutch Guard units that will be in my army. The second is assembled and under way...

April 11, 2012

Claymore Castings 2

As promised, I wanted to provide a review of Claymore Castings and I'm going to talk more about the new Citadel paints as well. The sculpts are by Paul Hicks and the models are quite simply some of the best I've ever placed on my painting table. There is a careful attention to detail, but the manner in which the sculpts are rendered make painting a joy - even the tiny laces on the leather jacks are easy to pick out with a brush. The soldiers are dynamically posed and carry various odds and ends of equipment that lend a lot of character to these models. 

I'm going to build a small collection for playing border skirmishes in the period so I mounted my models on wooded Litko bases (25mm round). The next step would be to clean up the model with a clipper and file to remove mold lines and flash... hmmm... ok, my Claymore Castings had ZERO clean up work. Wow - nice job (maybe Dave Imrie cleaned mine up before he sent 'em).

On to the painting. I never use a white undercoat. Ever. My style depends on using the black undercoat to provide the deepest layer of contrast and separate different areas of color to provide the ultimate contrast. Having said that, I am following along with Dave Imrie's painting tutorial so I decided to try his method of a white undercoat followed by a dark wash - Citadel Devlan Mud for Dave or Citadel Agrax Earthshade from my shiny new paint collection. This will provide a bright base for colors while hopefully providing the dark contrast the in deepest recesses that I want...

I'm not going into every stoke, but I want to say I am extremely pleased with the results and I am really happy with the new Citadel paints. In another departure from my normal method (and again following Dave's advice) I used a lot of washes. For the majority of colors I followed the following method:

1. Citadel Base Color
2. Citadel Shade (the wash)
3. Two layers of highlights from the Citadel... errr... Layers Colors

There are literally TWICE as many colors in the new range. One of the reasons I switched to Foundry paints years ago was to get a more subtle contrast between layers without the need to mix paints (yes - I am that lazy). Citadel has basically taken all of their old paints and added new shades between to create a range much closer to the Foundry model.

The end results of my initial test of the new line. While I am happy with these models, I still feel like I would rather start with a black undercoat. The new Base colors give even coverage even over black. On these models I actually went in and added a black line in a few areas. I've left the device off of the heraldry for the moment as I haven't decided exactly what to use for my fictional Scottish lord.

One thing about the Citadel paints that I'm not crazy about are the new texture paints. If you typically base your models with sand and then paint it you will probably love them, but for me the texture was too fine. I have my own basing method so I'll stick with that - maybe I'll find another use for the texture paints.

More Claymore models and another Warfare Miniatures unit coming up soon...

April 4, 2012

Claymore Castings

Claymore Castings is a new miniature company formed by David Imrie and Andrew Taylor. Both have been figure painters, collectors, and gamers for a number of years. The first range of models, Medieval Scots, are available now at claymorecastings.co.uk, with Border/English longbowmen in development.

The figures have been sculpted by Paul Hicks and they offer great flags and transfers designed by Flags of War. Head over to the Claymore site see see the full range and look for an ad soon in Wargames Illustrated (designed by yours truly) with more.

I have a full set of the initial release, mostly Scot spearmen plus a command pack, and it was my intention to post a review with my fully painted collection, but I've decided I want to paint them with my new Games Workshop set so I'll be holding off yet for a week or two. I will say the models are fantastic and I'll post pics of mine soon.

April 1, 2012

Citadel Paint Bundle

Yes - I'm nuts. Despite having hundreds of paints from Foundry, Games Workshop, and Vallejo, I just pre-ordered the mammoth new Games Workshop set. This monster comes with 145 paints and takes one of my three favored brands to a whole new level. I've been using the Foundation series quite a lot, as even the yellows and reds can be painted straight over black, maintaining a high degree of opacity even when thinned. They also make my favorite washes because they dry matte. There are now seven different types of paint - Base Paints, Shades, Dry Compounds, Layer Paints, Glazes, Textures and Technical paints...

Citadel Base Paints 
There are 34 Base Paints. Their high concentration of pigment makes them perfect for coating your miniatures, even over a black undercoat. These replace the Foundation Paints I mentioned above.

Citadel Shades 
Shades are for adding depth to your models, to create areas of darker color, define details, and accentuate recesses. These are the new range of washes, and again will dry matte.

Citadel Dry Compounds 
Drybrushing is one of the first painting techniques that many painters learn; it's an exceedingly handy way of picking out the details on a model, or applying highlights quickly and easily. There are 15 different shades. The Dry Compounds aren't like your traditional paints - they're, well... they're pretty dry. They look kind of lumpy, but the result should be a smoother drybrushing effect and easier to achieve to boot.

Citadel Layer Paints 
There are 70 Layer Paints. Everything from red and yellow to gold and silver are a part of the Layer range. To give you an idea of the scale of it all, there are 12 different greens, including everything from a vibrant turquoise to a putrid yellowy green. Essentially the Layer paints are the main colors of your model.

Citadel Glazes 
There are four Glazes in the new paint range - yellow, red, green and blue. Their role is to intensify color, to make an area of a miniature really stand out. On initial examination they look a lot like Shades, but they actually act very differently, and apply themselves evenly over a miniature, giving it a new hue. They are also perfect for restoring color to an area that you might have over-highlighted.

Citadel Texture Paints 
Unlike Layers and Base Paints they contain a mixture of paint and fine grit, which can be used to texture the bases of your miniatures. Even better, there are six different colors, so you can paint your bases to look sandy, dusty, snowy, muddy, or swampy straight out of the pot. I have my own basing techniques, but I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of weathering effects I can achieve with this.

Citadel Technical Paints 
Liquid Green Stuff (really cool stuff - if you haven't tried this I highly recommend it), gloss varnish, a clear matte medium for thinning the Layer Paints, and a black primer.

You can see more on all of these paints here:

I'll certainly have more details when the set comes out, but after reading about them I knew I had to have these new tools in my paint arsenal. No matter what you may think of Games Workshop rules, they have always made fantastic paints and the new range, with expanded colors and tricks, looks to be no exception.