This post was prompted by completion of work on the initial forces for an ongoing but slow burn project here at Monty HQ, namely the War of Spanish Succession using an adaptation of “Bloody Big Battles”, which, if readers hadn’t noticed, is a favourite rule set round here!
Anyway, I have completed the first tranche of French and photos are attached – yes, I know, I still have the guns to do! They are all Baccus figures and represent a good mixed force based on the French contingent at Blenheim.
I really enjoyed painting them and this set me thinking about the whole process of getting figures ready for the tabletop and I came to the conclusion that there are two absolutely key issues, and that neither of them is size! As a professional painter, I paint all sorts and all scales and there is very little difference in requirements or methodology. Sure, I tend to use brighter colours for smaller figures and a degree of ‘impressionism’ is necessary. For example, the hat lace may be over-scale, but it needs to be there or the figures just don’t look like what they are supposed to be. No, the really key issues are the quality of the sculpt and the quality of the casting. The two go firmly hand in hand – no amount of care in the casting process, no amount of care of the mould or investment in quality materials can rescue a poor sculpt. But the converse is also true, a beautiful model that has that care and attention lost in the casting process, be it through poor materials, lack of care during the process or poor mould maintenance, will become a relatively shapeless lump of metal regardless of how beautiful it was at the start. Now if quality is maintained through both processes, what you get is a lovely figure and one that is so much easier to paint. Detail is crisp, clear and easily identifiable and a brush (a good one) will find it so much easier to follow that detail.
And this sums up these figures perfectly. They were a joy and a doddle to paint, far easier than some bigger scale figures, precisely because they are lovely sculpts that have been carefully and well cast. This is a bit of a theme right now – as well as these Baccus figures that have just completed the process; the workbench is home to some Pendraken 10mm Napoleonics. The same applies – lovely sculpts well cast; they really are beautiful figures. Pendraken have also just announced that they have released 1000 new products in the last 5 years. Whilst a real achievement, the most impressive thing for me is that they continue to deliver exceptional quality despite such a hectic release schedule. And that is not just for new products, the care taken with the casting process means the quality carries on through the years following release. Hats off to you all, gentlemen, your work is very much appreciated by this one painter.
Anyway, the piccies:
Monty the Desert Rat