Saturday, June 26, 2021

Citadel Contrast Paints: Flesh and Hair Variants


My obsession with Citadel Contrast Paints continues! This time for some peasants for no particular game - though most likely fodder for any number of Fantasy villains.

I thought I'd create a useful reference on the differences between the three "human" flesh colors they offer, but honestly, they are so subtle side-by-side it's hard to really rank them. I think you could use any of them and be satisfied.

This was the darkest out of the bottle and I thought it would be my favorite so I did two out of the four bases with it. As always, it requires the simplest of attention and it's all done. Everything pictures here is just one coat, pretty fast.

Guilliman is the lightest with Darkoath in the middle. Very difficult to tell and the shadow created by the longer hair makes it seem darker than they appear.

Darkoath Flesh

This is the lightest out of the bottle.

As I said, I think you could use any of them and be quite satisfied with them. I'll finish these up quick and see how they look all completed. 

 BONUS: I did the hair to see of that would help you see how the faces turned out: 

The best colors in my judgement are as follows: for gingers, Gore Grunta Fur; for blondes, Skeleton Horde is the most natural; for brunettes, Wyldewood looked best to me.

I'll probably never use the Gore Grunta for hair unless it's a civilian model where a redhead would add variety. Hard to tell here but Snakebite is not a natural hair color so won't use that again here either. Cygor Brown is, as always, too dang dark.

I also won't use Aggaros Dunes for hair either - it makes hair just a tad too yellow to be natural when Skeleton Horde gets it just right.

 Thanks for looking - questions, comments and followers are welcome and encouraged! I'm starting to build up a presence on Facebook so search for "One of My Men Became Restless" there. Or click the link here:

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

15mm Coastal Town with Quay

Anyone know the name of the manufacturer of this one? I've had it for a few decades, and painted it in the 90's sometime. It's dense foam and I associate it with Minifigs' Limeys and Slimeys rules and sets, but can't confirm.

At any rate - enjoy! It's an extraordinarily useful piece and can serve anywhere in the Caribbean or along an Iberian, Italian or maybe even a Moroccan coast. 

(Figures are Peter Pig.)

Thanks for looking - questions, comments and followers are welcome and encouraged.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

15mm Peter Pig Pirates! Part 2

Over the years Peter Pig has updated many of their older sculpts in their "Range 10: Pirates" range that are really lovely and in my mind one can never have enough so I picked up the new ones recently with which to augment the growing horde. I will buy nearly any 15mm pirate sculpt. Period. My mind is broken beyond repair obviously on the matter.

Regardless, there were three packs that had only a little of the fiddly bits on them, thus making them good candidates for Citadel's Contrast paints: Pirate Gun Crews, Unarmed Pirates, and one called "Hostages" or pirates with prisoners. 

This blog shows a ton of examples of the effects of these paints and I had to, in order to get the promise of speed fulfilled, choose models that were predominately a single color. That meant, ghosts in blues and greens, wraiths and spectres in black, gravestones in shades of grays, and wolfen beasties in varying shades of brown. I churned out a hundred plus figures in very short order, and was sufficiently burned out to need a 16 month break from hobbying. But I'm already back at it, but still not done monkeying around with Contrast paints. 

These weren't going to be as easy as a ghost which is mostly a one and done effort with Contrast. But I still was wondering how much faster they would be to complete seeing how these had very little kit sculpted on, trousers, skin, hat and sash and you're done. My typical method is black prime then up to 3-6 layers in increasingly lighter shades to final highlight. A single application was going to get that done in just a few strokes. And indeed they came out very very quickly. I did hardly any touch ups, just moved the blob of stain around and let it go. Where it takes time is carefully not staining adjacent parts of the model, so one has to be quite precise in laying down the color. Otherwise you risk having that color show through the translucent colors of the adjoining parts. Red from the sash, spilling into the white of the pants would be very noticeable.

In advance, I'll tell you where I cheated: the heated end element of the match of the gunners. I did the bases in the traditional way so they'd match their predecessors. I highlighted the swab buckets too as the Cygor Brown was just too dark and dense. Metal parts on hilts and pistols also got traditional metal treatments. Cygor Brown was also used on the skin of the pair of African water carriers and is really too dark to be useful. That color in particular doesn't work well anywhere I've tried it and thinning it with water or even flow enhancer doesn't really work either. (This is too bad as I'd be able to finish a large force of 15mm Essex Zulus in an afternoon if it would have more dynamism to it.) It's basically just a wet dark brown and never really sinks into the crevasses but sits at full strength all over the model. 

On with the pics!

Here's the gun crew  - the Africans came out so dark - maybe that's best here? I thought about highlighting them after but that would have kind of defeated the purpose of the exercise so I left it.

Here's the new crew alongside the older gun crew models I had finished years ago. The new ones are smaller, or maybe better defined and less blocky than the originals. Lovely models all.

These are the newer Unarmed Pirates. I have a rule for all my pirates that no two sculpts would be painted identically. Even the skin tones on the three topless models are the three different human flesh colors in the Contrast range.

Flash on

The skin is literally one wash of the Contrast paints and it's over. No shades, no highlights, no touch ups of any kind, just quick, multi layered colors. It took just a moment to do. Very fast. Pants, shirts, hats, all the same. One color wash and done. Painting the bases took longer than painting nearly all of these models did.

Pictured in the back row are the original Unarmed Pirates included here for comparison.

Hostages! This came out long after I had bought my initial collection from PP and never had predecessors as far as I know.

Unfortunately, a lot of the colors I own are very similar to each other at this scale - the skins and the blue and grays for the coats at left. Even the browns are very subtle at this scale.

There's nothing more satisfying then folding newly painted troops in with the old ones. This tray is only half of it - civilians, Imagination auxiliaries (mostly Minifigs Renaissance models) and more naval troops are in the other.

Thanks for looking - questions, comments and followers are welcome and encouraged.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Contrast Paints with Peter Pig 15mm Pirate Range Update #1 - All Finished but the Basing

These are so tiny - after over a year of not messing with this stuff I thought they were even tinier than ever. Luckily I'm severely near-sighted so no decay in vision so far for this kind of work.

5/30/21 - Finished up all of the ones I was going to use Contrast paints on today - three packs: Artillery crew, Unarmed pirates and Pirates with Prisoners.

I tried to use exclusively Contrast paints so had to buy a few colors for variety. The only place I cheated was adding metallics on buckles, sword hilts and all the metal bits. I also cheated on the pair of buckets for the artillery crew as they were just too dark to be satisfied with. There's actually much I'm not particularly satisfied with but overall they are on par with earlier examples. I'll have final portraits with side-by-sides in their own entry. Now, in no particular order - the results of this only third and last session - it is indeed faster than layering: 

A hold over from last week so you can see the skin and cloth effects.

(L) Pirate Artillery Crew, (Center) Unarmed and (R) Hostages

They came out alright - definitely faster, but not sure they are much better.

Unarmed and Hostages (pirates with prisoners)

                                  ****Update material is above this line. ***

5/23/21  - After more than a year, the paintbrushes are finally redeployed. I can't resist collecting all the later Peter Pig (PP) Pirate Range sculpts. The originals are already featured elsewhere on this blog and were painted in my usual layering style. But like everyone else, I'm looking to speed things along while maintaining high levels of quality. 

In this case, however my quality only needs to approximate that of the original - tidy, but certainly not showcase quality. Of the new PP sculpts, I looked for some that didn't have too many fiddly details. As you may already know about Contrast Paints, I think they are best covering large portions of the model instead of using them to pick out tiny details like belts and such. On 15mm, I don't want to master that level off precision keeping tiny items free from whatever adjacent Contrast color I'm using which is best applied in blobs then spread around quickly before it dries. 

These models had lots of skin and not a lot of gear - so suitable subjects for a go at Contrast paints in this scale. It's a multi-decade formed habit to break from 3-4 later dark to light progressions. 

This presentations ain't that great but I wanted to record my progress and my thoughts. I did purchase all three of the "flesh" colors: Fyreslyer, Guilliman and Darkoath. The Fyreslayer is the darkest and best captures the Carribean suntanned look of the three. If you're ever been to Key West or it's environs, the "sun people" have a very leathery dark color ed skin - which is what I had tried to capture in my original offerings of this line of minis.

There were a pair of Africans carrying the sponge buckets so used the Cygor Brown for their skin. In retrospect, a mistake - yes it's approximates the right color but doens't work like the other Contrast paints by staining the surface then collecting in the crevasses. Instead, it and comes out a very solid and even dark brown in this scale. I'm not going to fix it but let it stand.

Otherwise, honestly can't notice super sharp distinctions between the Caucasian fleshes at this scale. 

My method of determining the direction to take for painting models with random, or un-uniformed kits is as follow: Whatever is most common, I do half in that color. Ex., mostly undyed linen pants for example. Half get that then the remaining half get the exotic choices, again divided by half again, with the most likely color being prevalent first. I also endeavor with pirates to ensure no two figures are uniformed exactly alike and you'll see this strategy in use here in these shots. 

After some quick applications of this and that

Skin here is all Fyreslayer

These are the "lightest" flesh: Darkoath. If the pirates are to have captives they may not have the suntanned look of the pirates themselves so I selected the mostly likely figures that were not sea-faring people, the prisoners, the women here and the third model of each the sculpts I have for fulfilling the variety requirements I laid out above.Can you tell the difference? It's very, very subtle at this scale.

Another shot of the Darkoath.

The majority here are in Fyreslayer.

I'm going to just update this entry as  I go along and will do a a final portrait when I'm all done as are all the other photos on this blog. Thanks for looking - questions and comments are welcome and encouraged.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Winterized White Birch Project, Part 1

 Still not totally back into the hobby world, but I did bite today and picked up some things from Hobby Lobby to try my hand at making winterized birch trees for the Russian Retreat game.

I figured there would be a learning curve of some kind, the biggest hurdle was figuring out floral tape. I was about to return it for being old and not sticking until I checked online first. Very sticky stuff after all! 

Just seven strands of white floral wire netted me these three trees. There are 70 such wires per $6 bag, of which I bought three, so should net me, so long as I don't vary the thickness or heights much, over 600 trees! I'll never make that many.  This was a trial and will be a very time consuming process with no obvious way to streamline it. I'll put together a few here and there when idle. 

 My thumbs hurt from the twisting and bending it takes to screw these into shape plus the ends can be sharp and will let you know if you're not careful. 

These are still really sticky to the touch so I believe I'm to let them dry a few days. I've not divined the ideal basing system but there'll be singles, some rows and then clumps on cd-roms I imagine.

These aren't done, just the shapes are completed. A sharpie will came out after they are dry and the customary black markings will be on them in a flash, followed by the basing. Should be a simple process.

Thanks for looking -questions and comments are welcome and encouraged!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Embossed Victoria Cross Gallery Cards by Harry Payne (1858–1927) & Misc Crimean War Cards

 I've had these in a box unseen in many many years. I got them at the British Army Museum in 2001 and I'd gone back more recently, hoping to get more to no avail. Indeed, the clerks at the aforementioned Museum told me that had no idea what I was referring to and that they had no such thing in stock. [Edit 3/17/21: I learned today the name of the artist and that there are only 12 in this series so I do have them all.]

In any event - here are some quick snaps of them for your perusal. I have every intention of framing them properly. The first series depicts the heroic moment for which a Victoria Cross was awarded. Apologies for the glare and shadows. In no particular order and without comment: 

This second series of post cards came in a small set and are thoroughly modern I believe: 



I'm still on a long hobby break but the urge is returning ... please stay tuned. Thanks for looking!