Despite being in my fifth decade I still love my toy soldiers. Any casual reader may have guessed that from this blog but what exactly is there to “love” about miniatures? As a boy you had the colour and noise of imaginary battles. As an adult the gamer has tomes of leaden rules and measurements to the millimetre. The one element I think a lot of people miss in our hobby is the humour in the miniatures. The title image of veteran Timpo wild-west figures makes my point admirably. It’s not the figures themselves that make memories but the whole mix of history, play, imagination and social interaction. To this end I thought I might try a quick painting challenge to get our miniature armies into action. Six colours maximum and super fine details omitted. I didn’t go the whole Timpo route with skin the same colour as the weapons but see what you think?
Firstly, the inspiration. I have in my collection, Normans with green horses straight from the Bayeau Tapestry, and legionaries in green and blue from the Asterix series. With tongue firmly in cheek I decided to look at the rather cute Indian carvings for inspiration ( if your important other was wondering!) The Terracotta Army was the feeling I wanted, a limited pallette of colours, with nothing too garish.
The miniatures were Old Glory- thirty Indian spearmen. I hate drilling the hands of these minis. I must have spent two hours cleaning up the castings but they are quality sculpts, true 25mm. I undercoated them with rattle cans, Army Painter skeleton bone. The great weather helped but timing my visits to the garage to avoid nosey neighbours took great skill.
Sunday evening, the first day, had the miniatures cleaned up and undercoated. Monday morning started with Agrax Earthshade by Citadel. This stuff is legendary and not without reason. If you are short of time, this wash gives you fast results but it can get messy.
By Monday evening, I’d got two more one hour sessions in. The metal bit were painted with oily steel ( Vallejo 70865), the spear shafts ( Foundry Boneyard light) and a trouser highlight of GW squige Orange. All I did on Tuesday was to colour straps in Mournfang Brown and paint belts/ headscarves with GW Averland sunset. Shields were painted on the front only with Vallejo cork brown. Three days after starting and they were stuck on their Wargames bases with Bostik.
Those who can remember my 15mm Aryan Indians may recall that I left them with dyed red hair. The competition was next day and they still have dyed hair to this day. I did restrain myself from the historical green hair they sometimes sported.By Wednesday I had six units and thirty miniatures coloured. Null oil hair wash took me to seven paint pots opened but they were done.
They may not win any prizes but I think they are perfectly serviceable. We shall see if I can stick to just six for my Late Romans. I’m starting them on Monday and hope to be finished by Friday- we shall see! After that it’s the Tercios of Spain and that will be a challenge.