Work in Progress

Musketeers WIP

Posted by steve_pickstock on 31 Dec 2020, 18:49

Just before Christmas I got all unnecessary over the new Red Box musketeers range. Despite my childish excitement, I couldn’t really start work on them because right through the pandemic my wife - who works for the British Justice ministry - has been based on our dining room table where I would usually work. Instead, and because I have other projects planned, I have been working on clearing space in my attic to work up there.

That work is now done, the space has been established and the other day I started.

There are a couple of projects currently on the go:
1) Some individual swordsmen and worthies, towns people etc – including Porthos, Aramis, Athos & D’Artagnon, Captain Alatriste, Cyrano de Bergerac, Rochefort and members of the Cardinal Richelieu’s Guardsmen, not forgetting various noble ladies.
2) The start of a couple of small armies of figures for The Pikeman’s Lament – a ‘pike & shot’ variant of the Lion Rampant by Osprey Publications. These will be of 4 – 6 units of 6 or 12 figures, one of which will be French. That army will include 2 units each of 12 pike and 24 shot (using Zvezda figures, as I now have quite a lot of them) but also 1 unit of 6 mounted Musketeers and 1 unit of 12 foot musketeers.

The Swordsmen project is the main one and that began by making bases.
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I made the bases by taking two sheets of Slater’s embossed Plastikard – Random Stone and Paving Stones – and gluing 20mm Round bases from Renedra Mouldings to them. These were then cut out and shaped to make my own embossed based.
You can see the result here.
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Slaters are here:- https://slatersplastikard.com
Renedra are here:- https://www.renedra.co.uk

Next I began to remove the bases that come moulded onto the figures, so I can insert pins into the feet/legs, using a pin drill and cut down dress maker’s pins. The embossed bases were then drilled and the figures glued in place.
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I found cutting the feet off the original bases and keeping them square to be quite tricky, and in the end settled for slicing them straight off the base, keeping the blade as flat as possible. I was trying to keep the shape of the foot AND keep the surface flat for drilling and so that the figure stands up properly. The female figures were easily achieved but the men were less so.

Once the figures were based, they were mounted onto a strip of foam board and some were given a quick undercoat with Citadel Miniatures Chaos Black Primer, while others – mainly the female figures received an undercoat of Humbrol grey Primer. The black painted figures then received a light spray of Halfords White Acrylic Primer from directly overhead. (Basically whatever I had to hand) The idea of this being a zenithal highlight, to show where the light will strike the figures. I didn’t do this on the female figures yet, they probably will get later.
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steve_pickstock  England
 
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 31 Dec 2020, 22:07

I really benefit from step-by-step tutorials like this one.

Say on, dear friend!
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by steve_pickstock on 31 Dec 2020, 22:15

Bluefalchion wrote:I really benefit from step-by-step tutorials like this one.

Say on, dear friend!

This is a learning experience for me, but my first thought on seeing these figures was "I am going to have to raise my game with these!" So i have been studying people like Udo Spreng and people like that, I think I know the way ahead, but you never know!
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steve_pickstock  England
 
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Posted by Konrad on 31 Dec 2020, 23:39

Hello Steve,
I also ordered these figs.
Maybe we'll go this way together a little. ;-)
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Konrad  Germany
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Posted by OwenChpw on 01 Jan 2021, 03:33

Love seeing the step-by-step process, the Redbox minis are great sculpts!
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OwenChpw  Australia
 
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Posted by MABO on 01 Jan 2021, 12:05

I also based three of mine. I will try to paint them and show my solution. I will follow this with great interest, Steve!
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Posted by Peter on 02 Jan 2021, 18:55

One for all and all for one! Where is the fourth musketier? ;-) :thumbup:

Looks like a nice topic to follow! :thumbup:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by Mai Strac on 02 Jan 2021, 19:52

Very interesting, I follow you with great pleasure! :thumbup:
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Mai Strac  Italy
 
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Posted by steve_pickstock on 03 Jan 2021, 17:35

Today I bring you the WIP on Hercule Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac - the greatest swordsman in all of France! - as portrayed in the excellent film of the same name by Gerard Depardieu.

In passing I would also mention - as I have done in the past - that the advance of the Spanish Tercios during the Battle at the Mill in the film, is one of the best representations of that aspect of warfare I have seen and worth a view if you get the chance.

As soon as I saw this particular figure it cried out to be painted this way.
In evidence for this I cite the following images from the film.
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I selected the figure that had been undercoated in grey. The first thing to do was to add the plume to the hat. For some reason I managed to get it on the wrong side of the hat, which is okay because the thing is unnatural, it never moves throughout the film. It's always there! Which never happens in real life, the damned things are always the first to disappear. But if you happen to have the services of a full wardrobe department I suppose....

Anyway, a small lump of Miliput, and a sharp needle later- one feather! And it looks okay there, it fits the line of the figure. Having done this, I blocked in the cloak and the suit. The base colour of the cloak was a mixture of Vallejo colours - matt Brown, matt red, British Uniform, and a drop of flow improver. In fact most of the colours I used on this were Vallejo. I use Vallejo Air sometimes because they're thinner, but mostly I use straight Valejo.
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The suit was painted in Vallejo Air Blue.
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Next came the life-changing moment!
I have been watching people on Youtube (there are a lot of very good tuturials) use a wet-palette for a while and decided that this was the ideal opportunity to have a go myself.
The pallette itself is a tub that had contained sour, fizzy sweets. Cleaned out I placed a layer of foam in the bottom, added water and placed a piece of cooking parchment onto the surface.
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The colours are brown, red leather, red and orange, all by Vallejo.

I udnerstand now why people use wet-palettes, I spent the next ten or fifteen minutes doing the cloak, I could blend (it helps that my attic is freezng cold, the paint dries very slowly, you can learn to live with frostbite if it helps your painting), and if you make a mistake, go outside the lines, or you don't like a bit you've done - you can go back to the palette and pick the colours up again.

I'm afraid the pictures don't do the work justice but I am really happy with the shading on the cloak.
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With the cloak done, I turned my attention to the suit, working up through various blues, to a light blue, then 'cooling' that colour down with a tiny touch of black, to get the blue grey of the suit from the pictures.

Boots and Scabbard were done in flat brown before the boots were lightly dry-brushed in Valejo Iraqi Sand. The brown, thinned down, was brushed onto the plume, and mixed - 1 to about 3 parts of black - to paint the hat. A dark mix of Iraqi Sand went onto the gauntlet on the extended right hand, and the sword was finished in Vallejo Silver over a layer of matt Black. I probably could have gotten into shading and adding depth to the colour but I liked it as it was.

The face just got just a coat of Vallejo flesh with a touch of brown in the shadows. There isn't a lot of detail on the face, and it's pretty innaccessible so this seemed about right to me. The plume received a couple of coats of Iraqi Sand and white working up to pure white, lightly stippled on. The same process worked for the braid on the right leg and the tiny section on the upper right arm. Both of these sections had had a thinned dark blue applied over them as a shade that defined the braid against the blue-grey.
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At that point I roughly finished the base - I will come back to it later, but I was very happy with the figure.
AS I said before the pictures don't do it justice. But to me the figure looks just how I wanted it to look - which in 50+ years of figure painting has to be a first. It's neat, there are nice graduations in the shading. I generally avoided pure black and pure white and for a wargames figure it will do the job.

Below is how the wet palette ended up.
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I was painting for about an hour and a half, and the paints were still wet at the end of the session. Once done I put the lid on, and snapped it tight, that will keep them usable till tomorrow.
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I hope you found this useful.
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steve_pickstock  England
 
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Posted by Minuteman on 03 Jan 2021, 18:38

Really useful, both the reviews of the new Redbox figures and the useful painting and basing tips; Thank you!
I will try out the wet palette when I 'return to work' (ie: painting) tomorrow. My painting room is a garden studio and if I omit to turn on the fan heater it should be cold enough to replicate the chez Pickstock attic.

The painting results on the 'Cyrano' figure look excellent. Will be interested to see how this project develops.

PS: Having a well cloaked 1/72 figure with a broad-brimmed hat does of course 'hide' the inevitable question...how LARGE is his nose?
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Posted by Santi Pérez on 03 Jan 2021, 19:58

Fantastic beggining for your individual swordsmen gallery this splendid Cyrano de Bergerac figure, Steve. :drool:

I also hope to get the new Red Box musketeers this week, and I'll try to paint some of them sometime. ;-)

Best regards. :yeah:

Santi.
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Santi Pérez  Spain
 
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Posted by Peter on 03 Jan 2021, 20:40

Nice figure Steve! Gerard looks good! ;-) :thumbup:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by Bluefalchion on 03 Jan 2021, 22:43

Very cool process. Thanks so much for sharing. I tried a wet palette before without much success, maybe I will try your version.

Tell me, what is the black circular object with the grey interior that can be seen behind your Cyrano in a few pictures? A respirator of some kind?
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by steve_pickstock on 03 Jan 2021, 22:46

It's a respirator. I use it when sanding resinous materials, or spraying.
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steve_pickstock  England
 
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Posted by OwenChpw on 04 Jan 2021, 01:52

Wow, very nice, great to see the reference photo and the reasoning behind the mini. I've always thought that I should get a wet palette but I've always just compensated instead by adding more water to paint (it's just laziness lol).
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OwenChpw  Australia
 
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Posted by Graeme on 04 Jan 2021, 11:45

Lovely looking figure Steve, the graduated shading is very impressive. I reckon Gerard would approve. ;-)

Paint drying is one of the reasons I'm not wholly comfortable with acrylics i might have to try the wet palette, thanks for the building blueprint.
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Posted by Beano Boy on 04 Jan 2021, 15:20

Great Stuff, :thumbup: i hope you put a woolly jumper on Will ? BB
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Posted by steve_pickstock on 14 Jan 2021, 17:50

Another episode in my Muketeers WIP. This time, Senors y senoritas I present to you the great swordsman and bravo, el Capitan Alatriste, as portrayed in the film of the same name by Vigo Mortenson.
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Unlike the sartorial elegance of M de Bergerac, el capitan is a bit of a scruff. As you can see from the pictures below his clothing is well worn and grubby.
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First off, I based the figure as I have the others and a new base, pinned and glued to a new home made base. Here he is back left, with a black base coat (Games Workshop Chaos Black) and a zenithal highlight of Halford's White Acrylic primer.
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Next I blocked the figure in using Valejo Red-Brown, Saddle Brown, British Uniform, Vallejo Air Black, and a little Yellow Ochre. I can't say precisely what, where and how as, since I began with the wet-pallette anything goes. Seriously, I have found that whereas before I would have applied a solid base colour over the undercoat, (and probably covering up a lot of detail) now i apply a much thinner layer of coIour, the detail is preserved better and even base coats get blended. In this case, the red browns went on first then I applied some areas of yellow-ochre, looking to make the areas of wear on the doublet.
Once that was dry I gave the whole model a wash of Games Workshop Sienna wash. It doesn't look that spectacular, and it is very glossy but this is very much the first step.
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Once that was well dry, I then went back to the blacks and browns but this time instead of thin, wet colours, I dry-brushed them on. There are several advantages to this
1) dry brushing kills off the gloss of the wash.
2) highlights the details nicely
3) brings up that worn look
Also at this point I blocked in his linen - shirt collar and cuffs. rather than base coat these with a white-grey I used Iraqi Sand with a touch of Basic Flesh, this gave me the creamy colour of unwashed linen.

The figure is also equipped with a scarf (the proper term for a waist or shoulder sash). Scarves were worn to identify officers and other persons holding rank. The French at this time used a white scarf, ECW Royalists tended to go with rose-red, and the Parliamentarians usually used an orange-tawny scarf. There were no hard and fast rules, so I gave Alatriste a deep red scarf, because I wanted it to match the general pallette of colours and not stand out.
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This latest day's work saw the baldric, scabbard and boots, high-lighted. The hat done in a black brown and his linen finished with an off-white, gloves in an ochre-brown-black (highlighted up using white) and the face started.
For the next hour or so I moved back and to between areas, adjusting them to suit, keeping the same basic pallette of colours, hghlighting mainly, but at one point going back with a fine brush and a very thin black/khaki mix to line between areas and define them better,
Alatriste's face and hair were worked in using black, brown and white, and highlighted, and the wear on his boots worked in.
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And apart from the base and the blades, I'm happy with him!
He pretty much looks how I set out for him to look - dirty, dusty and deadly! (That's TWO! Two, in as many weeks after years - decades - of trying! :xd: I've got two figures how I wanted them!)

Like the de Bergerac figure, he will need some back up. In Cyrano's case it will be some Gascon Cadets, for Alatriste I will do some Spanish bravos, who will mix it with anyone who looks at them sideways.

Also on the go at the moment, are a couple of Musketeers, and some street scenery for them to fight over, as well as some old Paris buildings, and washng lines.
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steve_pickstock  England
 
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Posted by MABO on 15 Jan 2021, 08:22

Alatriste is well portraied. He is my actual favorite. I follow this with great interest.
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Posted by Susofrick on 15 Jan 2021, 10:37

Looking swell! How do they compare with the old figures from A Call To Arms?
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