Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Simples....Part the Second

My previous post seemed to strike a chord with many gamers so I felt obliged to expand a little on my thoughts around the whole painting subject. If I am honest this is more about what has inspired me in a deep-rooted fundamental way and how this has influenced my thoughts around painting figures.

Think of Little Wars. Think of all those Britains figures marching across countless battlefields to engage the enemy. Think of the sheer thrill of seeing these glossy metal warriors marching or charging to glory across the battlefields of the world - from the cockpit of Europe to the sand-blasted oasis of the desert to the dusty plains and crags of the North West Frontier.

The figures are basic - even crude - in detail, flat painted with no shading and gloss varnished. BUT they are quintessentially soldiers - straight of back and steely of resolve.

I would challenge any wargamer seeing such a spectacle not being inspired in some way!

My first painted efforts all those years ago were modelled on the techniques used on the old Britains figures and this style is optimised for speed above all. The quality of the figures lent themselves to such an approach as they were pretty basic in respect of detail. I am of the opinion that such a style can be readily used on modern figures - especially if those figures are also fairly basic in terms of detail. Simply put, a state of the art ultra detailed model that is sculpted to within an inch of its metal or plastic life would not suit being painted in such a fashion - it would look plain wrong because if the detail is there then it should be painted.

I am not going to name ranges but I have mentally discarded umpteen manufacturers of figures as being unsuitable for what I want to achieve. I suppose the mantra I have grown into is as follows:

"Basic figures = basic paint job" and "Detailed figures = detailed paint job".

By a strange coincidence the era that one typically associates with the old toy soldier style of model and paint job is of course the late Victorian or from 1850 to the Great War - which happens to be a period that has taken up a lot of my recent gaming time.

Simples again methinks.....


PatG said...

You should really take a look at what Kev is doing over at One Last Wargame- SPACE 1889.

Very pretty in the old school way but as Stalin is said to have said: "Quantity has a quality of its own"

Paul Liddle said...

Which manufacturers would you recommend David, I have purchased some Irregular Miniatures Home Service 28mm soldiers with a view to playing Funny Little Wars with them.



David Crook said...

Hi Paul,

That is a tricky one as figure ranges tend to be quite personal choices in my opinion. It is probably easier to mention a few that I would not use - and not because they are bad figures; on the contrary - they just do not suit a simple paint style (and I am not including any 'dip' techniques here either).

If I am honest I would suggest Minifigs as being the likeliest candidate for the style I want to use.
There are a few others of a similar ilk that would tick the boxes as well.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Pat,

Very nice indeed! I am rather fond of VSF although I have not done anything with it for a while.

I have to say that this all looks very tempting!

All the best,


Tim Gow said...

Simple = good. Be it rules or painting!

David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

You could also add life to that as well!

All the best,