Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Back to Base(ics)

I am feeling rather foolish on the back of what can only be described as ‘Homer Simpson’ moment – in other words ‘D’oh!’

I have often described my painting technique for the bases of my Axis and Allies: War at Sea collection. In a nutshell, I cut the bases out, glue the model in place (allowing roughly 1cm around the model for the ‘sea’), paint the base Humbrol Matt 25; apply a wash to the result with blue ink, dry brush waves and wakes in white and then add the national ensign and a label with the ship’s name. It is not difficult, merely time consuming although quite relaxing for all that. This has been the method I have used for all of my collection thus far and various pictures of the models have been posted to the blog so you can see what I mean if you have not done so already.

This technique evolved from my days painting 1/3000th ship models for which the model was fixed to its base, undercoated and then painted. The obvious difference is the fact that the War at Sea models are already painted. I don’t know why I didn’t think of what suddenly became blindingly obvious – if I painted the bases beforehand and then added the models just before the waves, wakes and labels stage, it would save a lot of time as I would not need to carefully paint around the ships hull at the waterline.

I tried this out on the French ships I have prepared for Mr.Kightly and the end result is indistinguishable from my existing collection but has easily taken less than half the time. The new process then will be to mark up the card with the required bases (pressing deeply with the pencil so the shapes are still visible after the paint is applied), paint in the said blue, apply the ink wash and then cut them out. Glue the models in place (I use a cocktail stick for applying the glue) and paint the exposed card edges in blue. Add the waves, wakes and labels and Voila! The fleet is ready to use. The use of the term Voila is singularly appropriate given that I was engaged in working on a WW2 French navy………..;-)

The postscript to this is that when I mentioned this startling discovery to SWMBO she observed that my ‘new’ technique is how she would have expected me to have done this in the first place!

Is it just me or do women have a practicality gene that comes in to use solely to keep mere men in their place?

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