Saturday, 5 September 2015

Spacefarers And Gendarmes

It's been a really busy week.

Our daughter decided that Tuesday would be a good day (being well rested after a long Bank Holiday weekend) to give birth to her twins, eight weeks early.

Despite a few nagging complications both mum and boys are doing well. Time is what is needed and we all have to be patient.

Work-wise I have had a nightmare week working on 15mm renaissance for one of my clients. More specifically, the cause of my angst has been 15mm horses for 16th century Gendarmes.

I love the renaissance and would say without pausing to think about it, that it's my favourite historical period.

Here're a few pics which I think will illustrate why my angst has reached a pinnacle this week. Fuck, I nearly considered going back out to work for a living...

After the first 32 of these, even fully equipped mounted crossbowmen seemed like a breeze. The models are late Essex Miniatures, which personally I find less aesthetically and indeed historically pleasing to my aged eyes.

And so to my weekend...

If you are one of the many who follow this rambling stream which I call my blog, you'll know by now that I am more than a fan of the Citadel Spacefarers... I am the fan. Furthermore, I've decided to build a display game with around 300 figures pitching Imperial Marines, Redemptionists and Space Pirates against each other, hopefully with as much attention being paid to getting them to look true to the times.

So, here I offer you what in my not-so-humble opinion is the greatest jet cycle ever produced by any company in the history of the world.

I have nicknamed this the 'Ackland Interceptor' and I paid a pretty penny for this, along with it's rider.

Now, I have a real bee in my bonnet about representing these old models with authentic paint finishes and styles.

To me, if you are going to use 21st century styles and wonder products on old lead, then you may as well fuck off, and join the GW fanboy brigade, whoring their souls to...

* At this point I had to go and calm down *

Right, where was I?

Ah yes, old style painting. If you go back and look at contemporary photos of this range (and others of course) you'll see that slightly wobbly free hand was the norm and that some decidedly bold colours were used alongside strong metallic tones which did not involve the use of this and that medium. My generation learned to paint well using a few sparse ranges of hobby paint and whatever we could get our hands on at proper artists suppliers.

So, I have only used paints and inks of the type that would be available in the 80s. I find the disciplines I learned almost 40 years ago, returning and what's more they still look good in the modern gaming environment. Flying bases are right out at this time for the most part and the use of wire to give the impression of 'lift' is what's called for. So, I have the model mounted about 6 inches from the ground. I concede that I have used laser cut MDF for the base, but I used to sit for hours in the back garden cutting cavalry and vehicle bases from hardboard with a hacksaw, then sanding off the corners. Once I get the obligatory green painted sand, finished with a yellow drybrush, or the apple green filler with a yellow ochre drybrush onto that base, it will look bang on the money.

Elite painters of the day such as Pete Armstrong and Andy Ritson also used 'Woodflex' wood filler, which gave a really great finish, but was expensive for large armies (and still is) but came in wonderful earthy shades, out of the tube.

I am not saying that modern painting styles don't look good. Hell, Delaney King's SF stuff looks lovely. But, for me, you have to get that slightly 'blocky' finish and utilise the strong yellows, greens and purples that made the best models of the era stand out.

Now, if you'll excuse me I really need to go and think about whether I should paint my marines in white or a garish orange.


PS: I have set up a Facebook group specifically dedicated to the Spacefarers range and game here:

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