Tuesday 30 October 2012

Italian diversion?

I had intended to incorporate the Perrys Italian figures from their EA Range into my Burgundian forces, as many are known to have been recruited to the Ordonnances. However I've recently been distracted - whilst waiting to finish my next men at arms unit - to see if I could create some figures through a speedier approach which are of a good enough standard to allow me to undertake a modest diversion into Condottiere forces for some of the Italian states. So here are the test figures.

I've tested Army Painter dip and acrylic Games Workshop washes over blocked colours, followed by selected highlighting of the main clothing items and the flesh. I've tried to create the great finish that Dave Imrie at Saxon Dog has achieved for his collection. The approach that I'm most satisfied with, and so will probably follow, is to use a mix of GW Devlan Mud and Ogryn Flesh (or whatever their new names are?) in roughly 30:70 proportions & mixed with a dash of flow improver - with AP Dark Tone dip reserved for the plate armour, where it works nicely on a base of GW silver.  The highlighting is mainly the same base colour painted after the wash has dried, with a spot of white added only if needed - I do need to discipline myself to do the minimum on these and remind myself that this is a  'quick and dirty' approach to get figures done swiftly.

If these plans go anywhere I'm planning to use preprinted flags - some nice ones for this period by Pete's Flags and Battle Flags. Hopefully someone will soon produce some shield transfers for these figures too. Conversion work will be kept to an absolute minimum, although I am intending to add the lovely helmet plumes that Mirilton produce from the 'Rout of San Romano' paintings to the Perry plastic men at arms for some extra Italianate period appeal.

The riders were pained with dip all-over after a base of silver for the harness and other main colours blocked in. A matt varnish was then painted over the non-armour areas after a little highlighting.  the mounts have washes, as per the foot figures, with a highlight back up afterwards. One of the keys to avoiding dirty looking figures with wash and dips is, I believe, to carefully select and test base colours. The usual guide is to use them much lighter than normally - perhaps the highlight shades only (as I did for these horses) and very light browns/buffs. I'm still testing for the best colours to use/avoid. The initial process of blocking in (over a white basecoat) is very uncomfortable for me, but the wash does key-in the figure and then whatever highlights are needed can be applied.

Thanks to all those on the Lead Adventurers Forum, who provided their feedback and encouraging words.

I'll drop some occasional updates on this blog and we'll see how it all shapes up....


  1. As I said on LAF, these look great and I'll be trying to follow the same method when I can put brush to figure.

  2. Looking realy good Simon !!!

    Best regards Michael

  3. They all look very nice indeed!

  4. Lovely work Simon.



  5. If you need lots of figures painted to a good standard with the least amount of effort, this is the way forward. I went from a black to a white undercoat and I think this works best when using washes. Superb work as always, and I look forward to seeing how you get on with this method.