Now I have been hinting for a while now that I was going to start painting up some 15mm figures, and even showed pictures of my new arrivals from “Peter Pig” the other week. Well the plan is to do a couple of “Hott” (Hordes of the Things) armies over the coming year, and maybe even play a few games too, if I can get either of my lads into the idea.
To this end I thought I’d start with a pseudo “Barsoom” force from the “John Carter on Mars” series by Edgar Rice Burrows, luckily the army list for this force is in the rulebook, though I have “tweeked” it a little to include two bases of “shooters”, mainly to add a little variation to the army and the figures, as even with this addition there are still only four different figures in the main body of the infantry. As I stated above the figures are from “Peter Pig”. I actually thought these were no longer available as they don’t do their Sci/Fi range anymore, but it turns out these are listed under their fantasy banner, good for me as I’ve fancied these figures for a few years and thought I’d missed out. I gave myself two weeks to get these done and due to the rather strange order I did them in I would have had to post nearly all the process last week, and then repeat it again this week on the rest, so decided to leave last week’s posting and do a bit of a long one this week.
So I began by having a mass clean up session, removing flash and mould lines from the all the figures, not a job I particularly enjoy but it has to be done, then they had their bases sanded flat on the undersides before they were glued to coffee stirrers with PVA wood glue for ease of painting (I glued squares of card to the bottoms of the stirrers to make them more stable. They were broken off of these and glued to their permanent bases once they were painted (but I’m getting ahead of myself. Next they went out for a spray coat of matt black, but sadly I ran out of black spray half way through painting them so had to finish the job with a brush and pot of acrylic.
Anyway then it was onto the painting the figures proper, I began as usual by dry-brushing chainmail over the guns and sword blades. Then the boots and belts were painted chocolate brown before being highlighted with leather, then taking a pot of red flesh (a colour I had mixed up myself from an old pot of continental flesh with a load of dark red and terracotta added), all of the exposed flesh was painted. I have a rather unusual way of doing this, so as not to get bored I paint up say the left legs on one type of troop, then perhaps the right arm on another and so forth until all the figures are fully painted (this took a few days! I have a very low threshold of boredom). I then added a few bits of copper to the buckles and sword hilts, and did the panties/loin cloths in coffee and cream, before highlighting the flesh in European flesh (these parts were done one troop type at a time). Finally I added some black hair and went round tidying up any overpainted and missed bits, this last bit took ages by the way!
When it came to Mars’ power couple “John and Dejah” I thought I’d try and make them stand out from the crowd a bit, so though Dejah’s flesh is the same as the rest of the figures her shawl (?) and knickers I did in metallic blue that I then highlighted with some turquoise silk, I also gave her a copper head band. John I decided would have the paler skin of a non-native Martian, so this time I used the European flesh as the base and highlighted this with the same mixed with a little pale flesh, and his hair I did in chocolate brown with chestnut highlights.
Truth be known I don’t like the “skimmers” that much, they are a bit on the plain side to me and they don’t really look like I imagined them from the books. The pilots and gunners are wearing helmets too and the look just “jars” a little with me, but that’s what I’ve got and rather than start messing about trying to make something from scratch I went with it, I’m still not happy with the result but hey! So once again working from the black undercoat I dry-brushed the vents and fans with chainmail before painting the rest of the skimmers bodies in copper. This was way too bright so a dry-brush of bronze went over this to dull it down a bit. The gunners and pilots were painted in the same colours as the rest of the figures, with a tiny bit of bright red on some pipes to add a bit of interest here and there. I was very undecided over the way to mount these too, I wasn’t keen on the flying stands provided, so was going to go with clear plastic ones, but they didn’t seem to “sit” right upon those so ended up going back to the metal “vapour-ish” ones they came with, and these were worked up from black with dark grey, mid grey, light grey and white dry-brushes, they look OK but I do think they could be better.
One thing I am happy with however are the bases. Now I decided after seeing Roy’s excellent “sand” bases over on his blog to try and do the ones on these in the same manner, so while I was ordering the suitable MDF bases from “Minibits”, I also ordered some fine modelling sand. Now I won’t go through the technique for applying this as Roy does a much better job over on his brilliant blog here…
So that is where I am up to as I write, these also need “Quickshading” and having their bases painted (I’m going to be busy!), But first I need to take part in Keith’s new monthly challenge!!…
So next weekend things will getting a little “Monstrous”.
Till then, stay safe. Cheers Roger.