Wednesday, November 28, 2012

London Thug, Victorian Farm, & Painting Teeth

The other night, I wanted to post this photo along with the Old Glory explorer, but I ran out of time, having to dash out of the house on an errand. So with much delay, here is the photo of the first completed figure from the West Wind GL-106 London Thugs pack. I imagine him just getting off work at a fancier establishment, still wearing his red vest, and then causing some mayhem. I was thinking of painting the buttons the same red as the vest, which would have been very traditional for this cut of vest, but I decided to paint them an ivory color instead for some contrast. Several more of these figures are nearly done, so hopefully I'll get to them soon.

Inspirational Photos
Like the other figures in the pack, this figure is painted in simple colors using craft paints. After all, these guys are working class thugs. They can't afford fancy digs, unless they stole them from someone. (Grin) I've been drawing inspiration from shows like Victorian Farm, the old 1980s Sherlock Holmes series (my favorite version!), and just my memory of watching too many BBC Victorian dramas back in the day. Lots of browns and grays and white-to-off-white shirts, with the splash of color here and there. One of these days I'll work up the nerve to try my hand at some plaids and patterns!

Painting Teeth
The guys in this pack look so crazy and fun. I've been enjoying them. I did worry excessively about painting the teeth though. My solution was to use a "wet drybrush" technique. I used an off white, kind of pale yellow, paint on a 00 brush. Wiped off some of the paint, but not as much when drybrushing. I then ran it across the teeth. To my joy, it worked perfectly! It hit the tops of the teeth but left the gaps black. Several of these figures are bearing their teeth. I must say that many of these chaps need some major dental work!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Old Glory Explorer Finished

Having a couple of free days because the wife was sick and the son was working at the local movie theater, I actually did some miniature painting. It was a great day here in Central Florida, so I opened the man-room windows, fired up my early 1980s New Wave mp3 collection, and sat down for some relaxing painting. This was the first time I painted without having our cat, Chessie, taking a drink our of my rinse jar when I first sat down. It felt a bit lonely and odd. I kept thinking I heard and saw her. Anyway, I actually finished a couple of figures--the first in months! Today's figure is from old Old Glory.

Old Glory LAT-10 Explorers
This is one of the better figures from Old Glory's large pack of African explorers and missionaries.  For an old Old Glory figure, I think it came out pretty good. Nothing really special. I began painting this figure four years ago and let it languish. I have a few others from the set still to do, but I won't be doing most of the pack. I've decided to move on to better figures, such as Foundry. I need to play a game with some of these figures. It's been a year this week since I played a miniature game!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Chessie: 1994-2012

It has been a rough week. This afternoon we had to put to sleep our cat, who was 18 1/2 years old. Though very old, she had been doing well. But time and old age started catching up with her this week.

Since I've been a huge train buff all my life, we named her Chesapeake for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, but called her Chessie, the name of the railroad's corporate mascot and later the name of the Chessie System railroad. We raised Chessie from a tiny kitten. Her mother died when Chessie was only two weeks old, so we had to feed her with a dropper.

Those who knew her, knew Chessie as a feisty little thing! Every time I sat down to paint my models, she had to jump up on the table to drink from the jar I used to rinse off my brushes. She would tiptoe through my miniatures to get to the jar. I can't tell you how many times she jumped up on the table to walk across whatever game we were playing--the attack of the giant cat! My son is taking the loss very hard, as are my wife and I. We knew this was going to be harder than when my father died last April or when our good friend and neighbor George died last June.

Anyway, I'll keep using that jar to rinse my paint brushes. But it will feel odd and lonely not having a cat trying to drink out of it.