Saturday, 24 March 2012

Vallejo Primer

One problem I've found with painting plastic figures is priming them. I've always used Humbrol enamel paint for this in the past and have had no problems using it on metal figures. However, this has not worked as well on plastic figures and so I've been looking at other brush on primers to use and have found an excellent product - Vallejo Acylic Polyurethane Primer.

As can be seen the product comes in multiple colours and bottle sizes. I have only used the black primer so far and I am very pleased with the results. The paint is applied as it comes with no thinning required as it contains a self-levelling medium that ensures the miniature is coated without hiding small details. The primer has worked well on the plastic figures and the resin bases that I use (more on these in a later post) although I've yet to try it on metal figures, when I do I'll post the results here. The primer can also be used through an airbrush without thinning.

If you normally sand your figures after priming then this product may not work for you as once sanded through the primer tends to lift. I'm guessing that this is only an issue for large scale figure painters as it's not something I've ever had to do with 28mm (and smaller) scale figures.

The second unit of Tomb Kings skeletons are nearing completion and I should have photos up shortly.

Friday, 9 March 2012


February was a busy month at work, however, I have managed to finish the first unit of infantry for my son's Tomb King army. This is twenty figures at the moment but will probably need to be increased to thirty or even forty in the future.

The figures took a long time to get right as I've never painted skeletons before. Lots of research on the net accompanied by numerous test pieces resulted in a method that I'm reasonably pleased with.

The figures were glued and then undercoated with GW Dheneb Stone. Once this is dry the figures were completely covered in a 50:50 mix of Badab Black and Devlan Mud wash and left to dry. They were then drybrushed with Dheneb stone followed by GW Bleached Bone followed by a lighter drybrush of Vallejo Ivory (70918) and then Vallejo Offwhite (70820). Finally pure white was used to pick out raised surface detail.

The gold was done with GW Shining Gold followed by a Devlan Mud wash and then highlighted with Shining Gold followed by GW Burnished Gold and a final highlight of Burnished Gold mixed with Silver. This turned out ok but I think I prefer my old method which I'll cover in a future post.

The blue on the shields and standard was done with Vallejo Dark Prussian Blue (899) over a black undercoat, followed by Prussian Blue (965) and finally Vallejo Medium Blue (057).

I used turquoise as a 'spot' colour on some of the shields, headwear and command. This was done with GW Hawk Turquoise followed by a wash of GW Asurman Blue and then highlighted with Hawk Turquoise with a final spot highlight of Turquoise plus white.

Overall I'm pleased with the results and have made good progress on the second unit of twenty infantry over the past week.

So far this year I've completed 38 figures and bought none so a good start to 2012. I'm hoping to increase the monthly output now that I have the colours worked out for the Tomb Kings and the plan is to have forty infantry, 10 archers, 10 cavalry and three chariots completed before the Easter weekend.

Reading wise I've now read the first five Uhtred novels by Bernard Cornwell and have enjoyed them all. They are full of ideas for SAGA skirmishes which I'll come back to later in the year. I've now started re-reading the Arthur books to find ideas for further units to add to this army.

As ever all comments welcome - particularly any tips you may have on painting skeletons quickly.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

More Arthurians

Finally managed to find the camera and get some pictures of the latest figures to be painted. These still need the bases completing and I'll do this after I've completed the next unit of 10 Archers.

The first figures were painted to expand Tewdric's unit from 22 to 30 figures and also to make sure I can still match the colours of the original figures that were painted over two years ago. I'm pleased with the results.

I've also painted up 10 archers in the same colours so that they can either form a rear rank for a 40 man unit or deploy as a separate archer unit.

I'll try to take some better pictures once the next unit is completed and I've finished off the bases.

Next up will be a unit of 20 Tomb King skeletons for my son, I'll hopefully have the first batch of these completed next week.

In the meantime I'll also be reading the second book in Bernard Cornwell's King Alfred series.

The first one was very enjoyable and highly recommended for anyone into historical fiction.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Steady Progress

I've managed to complete eight additional figures for Tewdric's unit (Bulls Head shields) to take the unit total to thirty. This was really an experiment to make sure that I could still match the colours after nearly two and half years. The figures turned out well, so I've moved onto painting 10 archers in the same colours so that they can either form a back rank for a forty figure unit or a separate unit of missile troops.

I'll get some WIP pictures up at the weekend when I get the archers finished and find my camera.

I've also been reading this book over the past few nights and really enjoying it:

It's the first in a series of books which, through the eyes of a Danish raised Saxon name Uhtred, tells the story of King Alfred and his struggles against the Danes. Gripping stuff as ever from Bernard.