Friday, June 24, 2016

On Miniatures - Essay The Second - First Colors Go On!

First color: Testor's Acrylic Model Masters 4707, 'Red Earth',
which is the closest color I can find to match the Floquil
'Samoa' that Phil specified way back when.

Second Color(s): Black for the hair, 'french vanilla' for the kilts,
'Terracotta Brown' for the leather, and Liquitex 'Antique Bronze'
for the lady's armored skirt.

More Second Color(s): More black for the kilts, headdresses,
and shields; Reaper 'Chestnut Brown' for the leather, Ral Partha (!)
'Dark Brown' on the spear shafts; I've gotten ahead of myself and
added more 'Antique Bronze' for the detail on the armor. the inner
surfaces of the shields are Reaper 'Shield Brown'.

Yet More Second Color(s): Liquitex 'Titanium White' for the
robes and headdresses, Liquitex "Pale Orange' for the
(Who's that goddess in the back?)
Our coat of primer now having dried overnight, we're clear to start work. A long time ago, there was a French company called 'Historex', which produced some truly incredible model solders in 54mm. They had a very useful booklet on painting figures, which I think I still have; the important thing in there was the sequence that one slapped the paint on the model.

The idea is to work from the skin out, 'dressing' the figure with paint as one works from the skin to the outer layers of equipment.

So, the first color that went on all of the figures is my usual Testor's Model Masters Acrylic #4707, 'Red Earth'; this paint is the closest color that I can find to match the old and now long-out-of-production Floquil 'Samoa', which Phil first mentioned in his 'Painting Guide' that he published in The Dragon magazine back in 1976 or so. Since all of my figures usually wind up standing in for somebody on Tekumel, I paint everybody in this for their skin tone. As you can see, you don;t have to be really precise; any stray paint will get covered over in the next step.

Second, kilts / tunics, headdresses if any. I also usually do hair at this point, fully expecting to have to touch up the black after I do any collars or necklaces. Hair is usually Liquitex 'Ivory Black', often with a flat black undercoat, as this is a slightly glossy / satin finish and looks more like real hair. Once the basic clothes are done, then it's whatever layer is on top of that; in this case, it's the leather armor for the temple guards.

I also got ahead of myself here, and did their shields and some other stuff; normally, I do all this in the third step, when I do all of the belts, straps, bags, and other accessories. I also put some Liquitex 'Antique Bronze' on the emblems on their armor; again, this would normally one of the last things I would do, but hey - I love these figures!

Should I do a list of paints, both the old ones and what I use these days?

Now, with this set of colors curing, we'll let everybody sit on the workbench for a night, and be back tomorrow after everything dries hard...


  1. Sure, paint conversions are always useful! I have been keeping track of my Foundry Paints <-> Cheap Craft Acrylics conversions and what works for triads and what doesn't. I'd like to see your conversions!

    1. What I'm looking at doing is a list of the Floquil and Humbrol paints Phil used to use, and modern equivalents. The IPMS has lists, so I'm going to provide links for them...

  2. It's interesting the different techniques I see; I've seen "dressed from the inside out" quite a bit, while other sources recommend going from the largest block of color to the smallest. I tend to do metallic bits first myself because I'm usually drybrushing over a black basecoat.

    Do you glue shields in place before painting?

    1. I think there are as many techniques as painters; you'll develop your own style, as you find out what works for you. Like the tip about metallics over black; doing this would make the leather bits a snap!

      Yes; I try to do all of the assembly work and gluing before I do any painting; these figures will see a lot of use, so I want the best glue bonds I can manage.

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  4. Great work Chirine! Paint conversions/equivalents would be most welcome.

  5. The figure in the center, foreground of the second photo looks like Conan...or is that Gronan?

    1. The big guy with the sword and dagger didn't come with a name; he's one of the three in the 'Heroes' set. Kinda looks the part, though... :)