Saturday, May 31, 2014

Workbench Update: Avar Horsemen and Old West Citizens

Before my blogging hiatus, I always found that organizing my thoughts in the form of a blog post was very beneficial. For one, it helped cleanse my cluttered mind and keep me focused on the task at hand. Also, as a blog reader, I enjoy reading about what others are plotting and painting as it would often give me a chance to live vicariously through projects that I would likely never take on myself. So here we go.

A Unit of Avar Light Horse for Impetus. The chap on the left is the last one to be finished.

My Avar/Slav army for Impetus was in its infancy when I stopped blogging a couple of years ago. However, I'm pleased to report that my painting carried on even though my blogging didn't. The horsemen pictured above are the last unit of cavalry for that army (thank god). Although I love the 15mm scale and I enjoy painting 15mm projects as a whole, cavalry at this scale can get particularly monotonous. To do a nice job, one must pay attention to certain nit-picky details such as the horse's barding and saddle, not to mention the belts, scabbards and quivers sported by the rider. For a complete 500-point army, all I have left to paint is two units of Slav Javelinmen (FL). Contrary to the cavalry, I find these light infantry types go much quicker so I anticipate having the full army ready to go by the middle of June. This completion date will coincide with Stu receiving his Frankish army, a commissioned painting project that will just so happen to provide historical opponent for my Avar. Can't wait!

This "I don't particularly enjoy painting 15mm cavalry" realization is quite timely in one way and a little inconvenient in another. I have enough 15mm miniatures poked away to paint a full 500-point, all mounted Alan army. They will stay in storage for now, but if I knew then what I knew now, I likely wouldn't have purchased an all-horse army in the first place. However, it's not all bad - I backed my first Kickstarter project this year. I will be getting one of the new Westwind 15mm ancient armies in the Fall. Although we are still figuring out which era we will pursue, I've already made up my mind that I won't be choosing a horse-heavy army.

More citizens for Assumption in various stages of completion. Eli Mason (far left) has already joined the posse.
The above photo shows the Old West citizens I am currently painting. These are all from Dixon miniatures. I bought them years ago and never got around to them. I must say, it's quite liberating to finish projects that have lain dormant for so long. I have another half a dozen that have just been primed. I'm aiming to have them all finished before my Foundry cowboys and my Renedra buildings arrive in the mail.

To Dip or Not to Dip?
I am at that stage of geeking where I have more or less stayed focused on a few main projects - Gothic Horror, Old West, Pulp, and Impetus. Both Gothic Horror and Impetus are pretty much finished (as much as any project is ever finished) and the Old West and Pulp projects will be clued-up by the Fall. With a new 15mm army on the way soon and looking to next year, it will soon be time to try some new things I think. As I get older, and as the miniature cabinet starts filling up with painted figures, I feel less need to make every project the best I can do. With that in mind, I've been starting to develop a curiosity concerning dipping products. Specifically, I would love to buy a box of 28mm plastic something-or-other (from Warlord Games, for instance) and try my hand at priming the main colour, painting on the other base colours, and then dipping/inking/washing. I don't expect the same level of quality as with a traditional paint job, but I would like to experience the thrill of mass painting 30 or 40 models at once in a week or two.

I have ordered a dropper bottle of Army Painter's Strong Tone wash. When that arrives I will experiment on something I have lying around. I shall post photos of my successful or failed results here.

Thanks for reading,


Monty said...

Must admit, it was the dip that brought me back to the hobby. I just don't have the time to devote to anything more elaborate and besides, I think you will be pleasantly surprised; the results aren't that bad really ;)

JET (aka Jason) said...

I am intrigued. Off to your blog to to investigate...

fireymonkeyboy said...

Love those Avar. When do we get the glam shot?


JET (aka Jason) said...

Just finished basing that unit. Gonna try to get some photos taken this week. I'm thinking one post of cavalry and another with all the infantry.

Terry Silverthorn said...

Jet, I have been using the original Army Painter varnish dips for some time now. I wanted the protection it added with the matte overspray to help protect the miniatures from the gaming they will see. I stocked up on about 20 cans when there was a blowout sale to tide me over.

I definately prefer painting on the dips & there seems to be some sort of reaction with them to the matte spray, though that may all be in my head.

Looking forward to seeing your thoughts on the product.

Tim Kulinski said...


I d now as a regular means of painting, I rarely paint a full figure anymore. In fact dipping has made me a lazy painter! But with saying that, dipping (or in my case brushing on the dip) I can get whole armies done quickly and I do not have an problems with the paint wearing off. I have even had figures get knocked off the table with out even a scratch on them. Give it a try, it's fast and looks good.

JET (aka Jason) said...

I'm really thinking that I'm going to try this. I may borrow some from a friends just to try on a couple of models first. Thanks for the input guys.

WQRobb said...

I started using "the dip" a lot over the past few years, particularly on massed figures or anything that wasn't going to be the central figure of an army or warband. It saves a lot of time and looks pretty reasonable.