Thursday, 9 April 2015

From Box To Base No1 Perry Miniatures French Hussars

I thought i might have a go at a new series on my blog.
From box to base.
In this series I'm going to look at a box/pack of miniatures, see what you get, look at how I'm going to use them, and go through the painting and basing. I'm going to cover my painting technique, most of which will be nothing new to most of you and might not be some people's cup of tea, but im hoping it might come in useful too some.
ok let's have a look at the first box in the series.

French Hussars by Perry Miniatures in the box you get 14 multi - part figures
2 of the spur types you get as an example.

Nice sharp details on these figures, like most plastic figures there is a moulding line on some parts, which will need to be cleaned off before painting
 ( use a very sharp knife for this)
The horse parts and an assembled horse. A nice miniature good size will fit in with the main manufacturers size wise, nice clean detail.

The main spur for the hussars, the box comes with lots of shako version's to cover from 1790 to 1812, this is great as you can adapt the figure to the campaign you want to cover,
The Hussar parts and an assembled Hussar again nice miniature lots of detail, should be fun to paint.

The figures are going to be used for my French Grandeur army. Each base will have 5 figures, this will give me 2 bases plus 4 spare Hussars ( I'm going to use these as single mounted skirmishers for a later Peninsular project ) The bases are also going to be for the Peninsular Campaigns, so I'm going to use the covered shako for the troopers the full shako and cords for the officer and the colpack for the trumpeter. You only get one of the trumpeters arms in the box plus a hand holding a eagle standard, I'm not going to use a standard but I will use a trumpeter, the other base will only have an officer. I'm going to paint one base as the 1st Hussar and the other as the 4th both served in the Peninsular wars. A quick look at the handy painting guide that comes in the box, will give you all the information you need to paint your Hussar.

So on to the painting .
My painting technique has 4 stages not counting the under coat. It sounds quite an ordeal but trust me once you have done it a few times it works quite quickly.
Under coat: I use a grey. Why to be honest I have tried white and black, but I have found grey suits me.
One under coated horse.

STAGE 1
Paint your figure with what I like to call the flat colours. eg: for a horse it would be it's coat colour, markings, the horse equipment all gets painted in it's flat colour. Same think for the Hussar paint him up in his flat colours from his skin out (I got this tip from a friend ) you don't have to be that activ as you work your way around the figure as long as you know that you are going to cover up any little mistakes as you go.

The horse and Hussar at the end of stage 1 flat colours.

STAGE 2
Ok this bit will be familiar with most of you. We are going to ink wash the figure.
My secret weapon brown ink.

With a soft brush wash the ink all over the figure, what we are trying to achieve here is to blend all the painting elements. The ink will run, (if that's the right word) into all of the figures detail, but it will also leave a thin coating over the hole of the figure. As brown is a neutral colour it works over all colours. Leave to thoroughly dry. Then spray a thin coat of Matt varnish.
The horse and Hussar inked. end of stage 2 but not matt varnished

STAGE 3
ok hang in there.  Next up we are going to use the flat colours we used in stage 1 to highlight our figure this can be done with a detailed brush for the likes of belts,tiny details, the face. For the larger areas I find a dry brush technique. (dry brush is using a small amount of paint, even wiping the brush till it is almost dry then applying this to the figure). paint in the highlights on the figure add in as much as you want or as little, it's up to you. Leave to thoroughly dry then spray a thin coat of Matt varnish.

The horse and Hussar at the end of stage 3. The horse has had a coat of varnish.

STAGE 4
Ok last part use a light stone colour, and this time we are going to dry brush over the hole of the figure. This is what I like to call giving them that campaign look. I have read lots of Napoleonic books and all have the same thing in common. The uniforms of the combatants don't look good for long, when you are on campaign. So I like to dust them up a bit.
Ok what we are looking to do in this stage is to apply the lightest of covering of grey over the figure. (this might take a bit of practice  use a black painted figure to have a few tyres before you try it on a painted figure). As you get better at this technique you will be able to apply as little or as much,as you want to your figure.
There you have it a quick spray of Matt varnish to finish.
You may have picked up on my multi use of varnish, I use this as it creates depth to the figures.
The horse after stage 4  and the Hussar and mount.

Ok the base I start with painting the base a earth colour then apply PVA to the base and cover this in my sand, stone mix.
Leave to dry and then apply PVA to the areas you want to grass I use a mix of Army painter static grass. Once dry add some larger stones and some straw. I'm hoping this will give the base an arid look? Then dry brush with your stone grey on the stones and where you want, and there you have it.
The base of the 1st Hussar ready to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of France.

Well that's it for the first on my From Box to Base blogs  Hope this was of interest to some.
Till next time.