Wednesday, 11 October 2017

...because sometimes, an artist just wants MORE paints!!!!

The entire new paint collection in all its heady glory!

I have been painting miniatures and models for almost 30 years... give or take a 7 year hiatus at the start of my 30's

One would have thought that by now I would be toting the same quality painted miniatures as Mike McVey himself but no. For me, the ability to paint at that level just isnt attractive to me. What really ticks my boxes is producing entire armies of miniatures that are just good enough to draw the eye and get people talking. 

Im satisfied with this.

However I am a bit funny about the quality of what I will paint and what I will paint with. I really have a snobby attitude to poor quality product!

Some people drink, some do drugs, some are into travel, some follow footballers and some others are into some proper weird pursuits. For me, its paints! I would rather paint than do almost anything else in life.

Anyway, so to cut a long story short I was sitting at my desk wrestling with another Zulu regiment (have I mentioned by the way how much I hate painting these little bastards?) and I said to myself 'Self; you need more paints!'

There is just so much out there now to play with and try stuff out that I decided to grab a load of stuff for the projects that I have on the drawing board so let me take you around my latest purchases:

German Armour Colour Combo triples 1937-1945
 As anybody who reads my blogs or is forced to listen to my relentless rambling about my collections will know, the next big army on the drawing board is my Slovakian Army 1939 - 1941. Backing up this all too small Axis power however is my ever expanding German army.

Has any of this been painted yet? Not a bit of it by God!

My interest is the early war period and in line with this the right hand colour combo is for the early war German vehicles. The Late War German Colour combos however are almost perfect for two projects on the board. Primarily the colours are almost perfect for Slovakian armour with one substitution. The Dunkelgelb will have to go and I havent decided what I will replace it with yet. 

It occurs to me however that these three colours would be perfect for my Fallschirmjager splittertarnmuster... time will tell! 

ummm... yup! Clear doped linen!
 I havent been able to reach my Napoleonic French naval squadron this year, and in any case I want to partner this project up with learning how to photoetch brass so that I can put deck crews onto these 1/1200 ships but as is my usual want I ruminate on these projects long long loooooooong in advance working through issues and problems to find potential solutions.

One of the problems I have with my previous napoleonic naval ships is the sails and the decks. I liked them 10 years ago when I did them but now I just think they look shite! 

So I figured that along with my other weathering and tinting products I would try the colours for Clear Doped Linen along with another couple of other steps I'll let you in on in a further post.

A couple of loose paints and a thinner to try out...
 One of the things that is a constant source of irritation for me is the way pigments group together when diluted with water too heavily causing tide marks and such like. I've tried other solvents like Flow Release but have had little joy. I just wanted to have a bash using a high quality thinner specifically for fine grade pigments and see if I get any joy... haven't decided what to try this on yet though. :D

The two loose paints are linked to my Slovakian project. The uniforms are very similar to my Polish army's khaki green but I need a way to differentiate between the two forces and photos of modern reenactors show a somewhat greener cast to the uniforms than illustrations in books show. I figured that an adjustment in the filter used along with a highlight of a slightly lighter and greener colour may provide what it is Im looking for. You guys will get to see the results of this experiment all too soon, Zulus notwithstanding.

German Panzer Grey paint set.
 The other German Panzer paint set is a limited three paint collection. For most uses this may be fine and dandy at 15mm, however if I'm not satisfied with the results I wanted something that would enable me to really open up with the big guns. If it doesn't go right with three paints and I cant get it right with six something has gone desperately wrong!

German Field Grey Uniforms Paint Set
 I have a bucket of German infantry now and some of the German infantry I've seen painted up on the Flames of War Painting Group has really set a standard for me so rather than continually tunnelling through 250+ paints that I have I thought I would just buy a decent set of tailor made paints that I could deploy every time I need a Field Grey set of clothing...

Weathering powders, pigments, filters and washes...
 For the last 2 years I have been building up my ideas and plans for a batch of Dropzone Commander scenery and I anticipate that by next year I should have enough space in my office to be able to actually store it all.

The scenery project I have planned is very dystopian which just ticks so many of my boxes I'm not actually sure there is a word for the pleasure it will give me.

This means that rampant verdant arboreal growth and decrepit and derelict vehicles and human detritus are the way forwards.

I have rather a lot of stuff in a couple of boxes that should, by now, provide me with almost everything I need to create convincing mini-vignettes of an old human dystopian city-scape...

These two medium sets are just icing on the cake...

Uniform Definition Filters
 When I started out painting my Polish army way back in the day I was never completely happy with the colours that I was achieving... until I took a punt and put a Filter over the figures. This figure literally transformed the colour to an almost perfect recreation of the Polish uniform colour from 1939, on top of which after a bit of experimentation with thinning the Filter, how much to wipe off and leave on I was also able to balance the colour with the figure definition that I was achieving. Now I'm satisfied with the fact that my Obrona Narodowa are probably some of the best 15mm WW2 figures I've ever painted.

Uniform filters it would seem are the way to go. As I am not yet decided on which colours to use on my Slovaks I decided to take a chance with this Uniform Filter set. It provides two different colours with one of the colours (the brown) in two different strengths. This should give me enough alternatives to nail the uniforms the way that I want them to be.

Old & Weathered Wood Volumes 1 and 2, and the Realistic Wood Effects book
Last but not least, it should be said that at the start of the year I set myself a ridiculous amount of tasks to complete this year. By year end I will, with some confidence, be able to say that I failed in this.

However this is in no small part due to the fact that I just cant seem to put my Polish army to one side and in line with this sad state of affairs I have been so pleased with my Obrona Narodowa platoon that I've decided to expand it to a full company... and this means horse drawn carts!

I really wanted the opportunity to paint these wagons to look old and beaten up but if there is one thing I am not too flashy at it is emulating wood. I decided to take the plunge and buy one of  AK Interactive's instructional books along with the two acrylic paint sets and see what I could wring from these wagons...

Oh yeah, and there is of course also the fact that I will be able to use it on my dystopian scenery for Dropzone Commander and of course all of the wooden buildings that one finds in eastern Poland and the Russian front in WW2

So there we have it! New toys and I feel reinvigorated again....

Fix Bayonets!!!!!!!


  1. You can never have too many paints. In addition to all the Vllejo and similar I use a lot of artists acrylics- both the bottled sort and the tubes- they are often as good or better quality than "modelling" paints and usually a lot cheaper. Mind you the titles of the colours can be a bit misleading so you have to watch out if you want more specific colurs for tanks.

  2. I couldn't agree more Andy. I use a variety of artists oils and such like. Im careful with solvents especially though as industrial strength stuff can strip away paint layers too quickly and reducing control. Also the cheaper art materials may have much bigger pigment sizes which is damaging to the finer control of the mediums.

  3. Wow, It'll take a long time just to try all those.

    1. I'm a terrible collector of paints Ed. Truth is I only really wanted to buy some better paints for wood effects because I have a dozen Polish wagons to paint for my latest Polish Cross Ive nailed myself too... and I kind of got a bit carried away! :D