Short, fat and unassuming, I have extended the boundaries of indifferent posting and spurious comment within the interweb community to previously unimagined levels of banality. This has been achieved without fear of ridicule or retribution. So if you're interested in thought patterns that tumble around the inside of my head like old underpants in a washing machine, this is the blog for you. Read it and weep.
"So he got himself a two inch brush and a pot of black enamel"
There are two new(ish) books out on figure painting which I
thought deserved mention. To be honest, I’d been doing the “Um, ah”
shuffle for a little while about getting
one of them and ended up with both. The first one is actually more of a booklet
produced by the Wargames Illustrated team and is a sort of group effort. It was
flagged up by Lee Abbott, who’s a very good painter and interested in that sort of
thing and that was my prompt. The second book is by Javier Gomez (‘El
Mercenario’) and I was persuaded to buy it by that master of the brush Sir
Sidney Roundwood who wrote a short, illustrated review. And now it’s my turn .
. . .
The actual titles of the books are:
Wargames Illustrated Paints (still available from the mag
stands or from the W.I, webstore); £5.95 at about 67 useful pages (i.e. without
the end papers etc.) which works out at about 9 pence per page. I’ll refer to
this one as ‘WI’.
Painting Wargame Figures; Javier Gomez; Pen& Sword
Military (30 Mar. 2015); ISBN 1848848226; £16.99 at about 218 useful pages
which works out at about 8 pence per page. I’ll refer to this one as ‘Gomez’ –
well who wouldn’t?
Why the note about the cost per page? Well, they’re two
massively different approaches and styles and it’s about the only way to
measure relative cost given the limitations of a blog. As it is, they’re both
about the same relative value, irrespective of content.
Who would bother to read a book on figures painting? You don’t
have to be a master figure painter to be interested in this sort of book, just
as you don’t have to be a Premiership player to watch a football match. I guess
audience is made up of three groups:
those new to painting,
those who want to improve,
those who are simply interested in reading about
Now, there must be as many painting styles as there are
figure painters and, usefully, these are examples of very similar methods,
although the Gomez book goes on to mention media other than acryics.
Nevertheless, both books could be described as giving instructions on how to
paint figures (essentially 28mm) in the three layer/shade method and neither
book is going to set you on the path to a Golden Demon Award by next Easter.
However, both books are useful manuals for most skill levels. Consequently, the
books are necessarily formulaic in their approach. They’re not definitive
guides and don’t claim to be although the cover of the WI does boast “Your complete
guide to painting wargames miniatures”: I should cocoa.
Hot tip: buy some shares in a certain Spanish paint company
as sales may well rocket about now . . . . .
Although broadly similar, each book has its strengths. The
WI book has useful sections on the use of decals and figure conversion
techniques and Gomez covers individual colours in detail, along with a large
section on horse colours and types, although some of this is a luxury in that the
section on individual colurs is repetitive: the technique remains the same.
Both books contain good sections on basing, but the WI includes mention of
painting wood in a variety of conditions, which complements this.
So which one? As with most things in life, the final choice depends
on personal taste. The content of both is good, but I prefer the WI booklet
because, although it’s not as substantial or glossy as the Gomez book, I find
the content more interesting overall. However, as I said, being filthy rich, I’ve
got both so it doesn’t matter.
I think it’s fair to say that I, and a lot of gamers I know,
use many more methods and techniques than those mentioned in these books, but
I’m a dabbler and I’m easily bored so I play around with paint and figures
probably more than most. If you scan back through the blog entries here, you'll see
several techniques mentioned or described. There isn’t one, single method and
some are more suited to some styles of sculpting than to others.
On a final note, anyone who recognises the words in the title or can sing the actual song is either a member (or former member) of Her Majesty's Royal Navy or should be thoroughly ashamed of himself (or herself). You surely wouldn't sing it to you mother . . . .
get a last one in before 2017 ended and the world went to pot again,
but I've managed to keep up my batting average and missed it
completely. Nothing that exciting to report, but I have been quietly
plodding along, knocking out old stuff that should've been finished
(or started) long ago. Still, the real world things that kept me
diverted last year (and before, if I'm honest) have now subsided, but
the leprosy returned during the late summer/autumn (back on the
tablets now, thank God) and that didn't do much for hobby effort or
Back on track now though and, as Christmas and New Year are
out of the way, it ought to be a Montgomery style advance, but on a
broad front with lots of distractions. Since the
previous post, my butterfly approach has served to divert my
attention in all sorts of ways. As a sort of side order while I was
painting other stuff, I decided to start experimenting with colours
and techniques for the landsknechts I've accumulated. …
to see you too. Where have I been? Nowhere really, but I've been
reading and ruminating and the like. Been cautious about what to get
involved with and I've avoided any strenuous physical activity like
painting figures and making terrain bits and, God forbid, actually
gaming. I can't tell an absolute lie because I have been dabbling
with new rule sets, but nothing too dramatic. OK, I do a little
painting too, but nothing too demanding. Over the
past year or so, or maybe longer, I've bought a few sets of rules for
various periods. Some, I thought were necessary updates for existing
sets I own/use and others were spur of the moment buys which have
joined the 'Hmmmm' pile which is the collection of rule books you
thought were going to lead you to wargaming utopia; those which
seemed to offer a new approach; those which seduced you with a
properly orchestrated propaganda campaign, those dripping with eye
candy; those accompanied by a new range of figures …
got over the mother of all colds with just a cough like a sixty a day
man to shake off now. However, I've done a bit of dabbling – mostly
touching up – and a bit of a stock take. At my present rate of
knots I'll be about 170 when I get everything up to date and tickety
boo with the existing projects, which makes me wonder what to do
about it. Being essentially a solo gamer, I have to build both sides
to a conflict. This is no big problem because before I went back into
the closet, I still tended to hanker after periods which weren't, for
those days, mainstream. I
got through the Ancients itch which was only finally killed off
primarily by pretty tedious rules that seemed to be engineered to
design out the 'rule lawyers', but then by reflecting on the
character of many of the opponents I met. Everything seemed to be a
clone of the latest WRG thinking (still is to an extent) and quite a
few of the players knew lots about the rule mechanisms and precious