The first figures have been completed! Ok, it is only seven so far but these were test pieces to see if my choice of colours and dip technique would work. I have to say that I am pleased with the results and I am now confident enough to blaze away with the rest of the project.
What follows is a sort of step by step version of the painting process, just three steps you will be pleased to read! The basic paint job, the dip and then the varnished model. Lets start with the British infantry figures. These were easy to paint, the detailing being so crisp and clean, there are even incised lines between the cuff and the sleeve of the jackets (and other areas) to make the job so much easier. The detail is also deep enough that you can clearly see what is what on the figure and be able to get at it with the brush; this makes a huge difference.
So, first the basic paint job. This needs to be as neat as possible but depth coverage on certain areas is not such an issue, the knapsack for example; it is supposed to be rough material anyway. Iffy coverage will actually help the dip give a flat area texture...honest. Not so good on belts though, coverage here must be good. Skin areas can also benefit from slightly less than perfect depth coverage, helps add a little character later.
Don't look great do they? Neat and tidy, yes but dull. I have also added some highlights to some area at this pre dip stage,the trousers and jacket, ammunition pouch etc. Not too much but enough to see. I do not paint faces on figures and definitely do not do eyes...makes the figure look creepy at best. Let the casting and dip do the work.
So now I paint on the Army Painter dip, the Strong Tone in this case. Generous amounts starting with the hat and working my way down the figure. Let the dip build and well up, we need the figure to be well covered, but make sure these areas are cleared before you finish. Just use the tip of the brush to lift the excess out. Practice and personal preference will allow you to get the amounts right.
This is usually the panicky stage....oh my, what have I done! etc etc etc. Even now, I hesitate before applying dip! It still goes against the grain after years of straight forward painting. That said, despite the glare, you can see the effect the dip has had. Some detail is now visible and the figure has a good degree of shading. The faces have really changed and now look a lot better and the detail is very clear without the scary haunted doll look. But, the figures now need the all important anti-shine varnish..painted on for preference...I do not trust spray varnishes. But the effect of the varnish is quite amazing....
The shading is now more subtle and the highlights added before the dip are clear enough to add their effects. All of the detailing is now clearly visible and the benefit of quality figures shows. Empress Miniatures are so easy to paint and the detail allows my dip method to really have an amazing effect for very little work. Damn I love Empress Miniatures....I am ordering more this week!!!!
OK, the Brits have come out well, but what about some of the civilian figures I have; those pesky settlers that will need rescuing?? So far I have just done the ladies, a Mother and two daughters I suppose....that is how I am using them anyway. These needed less work at the basic painting stage given their huge dresses but again the dip allows you to work with such tricky areas.
Once again, basic paint job but with some highlighting.
So, what do you think? I am very happy with the results and I am looking forward to the rest of the project. The Empress figures look great and suit my chosen painting method. There is a lot of detail on the infantry figures so they do take some time to base paint that neatly but this is more than compensated for by the effect the dip has.
I apologise if some of the pics are not great, I just can't get the lighting right some how. Next post I will look at converting Muskets & Tomahawks for the New Zealand wars and my army lists.