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Flamboyant Miliciens, Canadian Militia (2)

It seems like it has been forever since I posted to the old blog. For some reason, it has taken me ages to paint these three figures. I think one of the reasons is that I don’t have a system in place for turning out figures. I think at one point, I had every figure that was in the system in a stage where they were all waiting to dry for the next step. This usually doesn’t happen as I try to keep some guys always primed and ready to start, others in some stage of basing, and others in some stage of painting, and yet more waiting for some sort of spray. It’s not pretty but it works a treat when it’s up and running.

I also think that two figures at a time seems to be my sweet spot, as I can rip through two, but there is some sort of geometric mutltiplication of effort going on as I increase the number of figures past that. With uniformed figures, I’m sure it saves time to paint more in one go, but not with the individualistic types I’ve got going here.

Flamboyant You Say?

After seeing some fantastic photos of Canadian Militia painted in colored shirts, I thought I would add some to the mix myself.

I have been having some great fun with the wash that I came up with. At this point it’s doing such a great job that I do VERY LITTLE highlighting afterwards. I like the effect as it stands, just block paint and wash. The only things I highlight aftewards are the edges of the tuque and the hammer, pan, and end of musket barrels.

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Random Musings

This is a list of things I’ve had swimming around in my mind that I can’t tell to anyone else buy you as they wouldn’t understand it.

Historical vs. Points Based

I listen to a lot of podcasts, mostly divided between Web Design and gaming. Sometimes I choose a podcast because I find the host(s) interesting rather than a deep interest in the subject. So, some of the podcasts are deeply entrenched in the “big boys” of wargaming, ie GW, PP, or FOW and the like. I’ve listened to some of them for around two years, that’s more than enough time for EACH of those systems to release a new version. I find that amusing in and of itself.

I can’t imagine letting a company decide everything for me. Now, I started out with these types of games and there was a time when I spent hours building lists and pointing everything out for that perfect list. Now, that just seems…silly. Almost…ludicrous to me.

I’m much more interested in reading a book on a period and letting that drive my modeling and gaming. I don’t really care if I win or loose really, though I will make every effort to due the best with the situation that I’m in.

There is a fairly large number of folks that will look at these statements and say, “That’s crazy, I don’t want to be a historian and read first hand accounts with funky spelling. I just want to play a game with evenly matched sides and see who wins.” But those folks are very unlikely to read my blog.

Army vs. Skirmish

I have switched focus (around November) from trying to paint masses of troops to recreate massive battles to painting individuals for skirmish games. Now, without knocking what I’ve been doing for the past five years, I have really enjoyed the change. I think the main thing that has changed is the mindset that I have when I set down to paint.

With painting large bases of 6mm troops I have focused on output, very much goal oriented. I have a list of units that I need for a battle, I knock them down one by one.

I now pick a few models to paint and spend time working with them. Each one has unique features that need special attention and different colors so they don’t all look the same. There are many more choices involved, which I am enjoying. It seems weird to say that it’s daunting at first, but it was.

I have definitely gone from enjoying the results to enjoying both the results and the process. I will definitely continue to paint units for the three periods that I have started in 6mm, but I no longer have plans to add more small scale periods.

Someone should make Flames of War figures

I don’t have anything to do with GW games or products if I can help it, but I am addicted to podcasts. With the ride to work and listening during painting time, sometimes I need more to listen to. That’s where Podhammer comes in. If you can get past the racist undertones that pop up once in a while, these guys remind me of my friends in college. We’re all grown up now, but that’s besides the point.

Like many people entrenched in GW or FOW, these guys are fairly ignorant of the entire historical side of the hobby with it’s manufactures and varying rule sets. They are getting our of Warhammer (unfortunate name for the podcast, much like the name of my site) and experimenting with FOW. That’s Flames of War for those of you hiding under a rock in Grognardia. They were talking about painting FOW figures at one point. The host goes on to say “Someone else should make Flames of War figures.” Then they continue to discuss how easy it would be for another manufacturer to produce WW2 figures that could be used with FOW. I chuckle about that every now and again when I think of it.

Life on the Frontier

This has been a new one for me. It really started when I started reading War on the Run: The epic story of Robert Rogers and the conquest of America’s frontier, by John F Ross. It describes in quite some detail the conditions that those folks who lived on the (then) frontier in New Hampshire and present day Vermont had to deal with. It also describes the winter weather conditions that they dealt with.

I suppose a great many places were frontiers at one time or another, heck, northern England was a frontier for the Romans once, the list is endless. I think about it constantly now, perhaps it will end when I’m done with the book (but I’m a slow reader). I burn wood as my main heat for my home. For those unused to it, it entails cutting the trees down on a friends land, delimbing them, bucking up the wood into small 18 inch segments, then splitting it, then loading the wagon, transferring the wood to my trailer. Once I get it home I unload it, stack it in the woods at the edge of my lawn, and wait two years. When it’s time to burn it I have to load it onto a sled, and then drag it into the house to go in the stove. This is a seriously labor intensive process, and I have used a tractor to move the trees, a truck to transport, a chainsaw for cutting, and a hydrolic wood splitter for the splitting. I can’t imagine the process without mechanization. If you ever wonder why war stopped during the winter or what troops did on winter garrison, I imagine this took a LOT of their time. Every family on the frontier would have to do this in addition to the regular things that needed to be done.

Many times I have to get more wood late at night, so I’m by the wood piles around 10:30, about 30 yards away from the house with my little head lamp. What if there were no houses for miles and you wondered about Indian raids. Crazy stuff.

I walk after school for cardio exercise. The other day it was particularly cold, not unusually cold though, I went out, put on my hat and tried to bring up an audio book on my iPod. By the time I had done that, maybe 1 minute, I couldn’t feel my fingers they were so cold. I had modern clothes on in good repair. I couldn’t imagine the types of maneuvers that Rogers and the Rangers would be doing in the weather that we have in the clothing available at the time. These men must have been tough as freakin’ nails to just survive the times, much less travel the distances they did and accomplish the tasks they needed to.

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Repainting Figures

I have always been afraid of having to do this. I have very limited hobby time with a busy family life and a few jobs, so I have dreaded having to spend one or two weeks of my hobby time on something that I will have to redo later. I have let it stop me from experimenting, a let it stop me from growing as a painter I suppose.

I took the plunge with some Canadien Militia recently and wasn’t happy with the results. So, it’s off to the store to pick up some “Simple Green”. I’m not sure about availability outside the US or brand name elsewhere, so you might have to do some research to find it. Simple Green is pretty widely known as a safe substance that does a heck of a job removing paint from figures. I’m not sure about plastics, but I don’t have any so it’s not a worry for me.

I popped them into a glass jar, put a touch of water in, and added an equal amount of simple green and let them sit over night. I pulled them out last night and gave them a going over with an old toothbrush. It removed 95% of the paint with ease. Pretty impressive. There were a few bits still in deep crevices and undercuts, so i popped them back in the Simple Green for another night. I hope this will take them back to “factory” condition ready for priming and getting back into the action.

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Miliciens Finished, Canadian Militia (1)

After a long haul, I have finished my Miliciens Canadiens to satisfaction.

Hitting them with some Dullcoat was a key move. I might even hit them with it again as I can see some parts that are still shiny. The only thing I would like to change is the dark leggings, they don’t seem to have much “definition”. I’ll have to work on that.

Here are some individual shots.


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Oooh…Shiny, Miliciens and Washes Part Deux

When I first saw these guys on the Galloping Major’s web site, I didn’t really think to much of them. I mean as a FIW layman, I knew nothing about the Canadian Militia and their role in the war, so I didn’t see any use for them. I have spent quite a bit of time reading about them since. I decided to paint them as a warm up for the rangers, really the main attraction, right? Well, I’ve since really fallen for these figures. They are great fun to paint and have loads of personality.

I have been looking at all the painted examples that I can find to figure out how to paint them. I finally decide that I will paint half of them with white shirts, one quarter with buff shirts, and the remaining quarter will be colorful in some way.

I have also been experimenting with what is the best sized batch to paint in. It seems like I haven’t posted a blog post in donkey’s ears. It’s because I choose to paint four figures at once for the first time. I think this would be a time saver if they were uniformed figures, but as it is, I still have to stop and change colors so often that I don’t think it saves much time to do batches of greater than two at a time.

Without further ado, here are the Miliciens Canadiens with the initial wash, ready for a light dry brushing and a serious matte coat.

Here are the models as individuals showing my new wash concoction. Regular readers will know that I had some…”undesireable” results with my first experiment with washing.

One of the most frustrating thing about trying to learn about washes is that there are very few videos out there that show the technique and I’ve never read a tuttorial that really made me understand. Top that up with me not liking the washes available commercially and every article out there telling you how to make your own NEVER specifies a recipe. It’s always, “Mix the paint with some future, I just keep adding until I achieve the effect I want.” Thanks for nothing A-hole!

The Wash

We’ll, if you like the subtle wash effect from above, here’s how I did it. You will see two of the ingredients on the left here Vallejo German Grey and Vallejo Glaze Medium, and the other is the wash. The only ingredient not pictured is Future Floor Polish which I found at Wal-Mart. I’m sure it goes by different names in other countries, if you do some googling you find it.

I mixed the wash up with the following ratios:

  • 20mL of Future
  • 1 Drop of German Grey
  • 4 Drops of Glaze Medium

I’m pretty happy with the subtle tones compared to the GW washes that I ruined the figures with last time.