Monday, 24 June 2013

WWI Russian Officer from Musketeer Miniatures

Hi everyone - very excited to share this one with you, part of a new historical period I'm working on.  These are from Musketeer Miniatures (the chap on the left is the Russian Platoon Commander.

I've always been interested in the First and Second World Wars, both from a wargaming perspective and a general historical side as well.  Me and Headologist both play Company of Heroes a lot, and recently downloaded the 1918 Mod - a really excellent piece of work.  It's sparked a bit more interest in the WW1 era, hence the chap on the left.

(Incidentally, I'm also working on a set of rules for Trench Raids on the Western Front - watch this space for more info later on!)



So, in keeping with the whole new period I decided to try something a bit special for the paintjob.  My usual style involves a lot of inking and re-highlighting, but I've always admired other people's work where there's a real step change between the levels of highlighting, and you can see it clearly.  The inspiration for me came from Sydney Roundwood's blog.  Take a look at the highlighting on the header image and you'll hopefully see what I mean.

So for this chap I picked three pretty distinct colours for the tunic, and restricted my ink washes to flesh and around the belt, straps and equipment to give the impression of shadow.  The final highlight in particular was decidedly Spartan, leaving a large portion of the intermediate stage showing through (I'm currently working on a full, illustrated step-by-step).

Also, I worked a lot on historical accuracy and did a lot of background reading to get things like the belt buckles, epaulettes and medals spot on.  Probably a few errors in there, but I'm confident I captured the feel of the period.

Perhaps the most time-consuming effort was the detail - shoulder boards and medals took a long time to get right.  I tried to capture the right 'feel' for the shoulder boards, with the wartime bite starting to be felt and the replacement of gold lace with yellow.  I deliberately used an old, half-dry tin of blotchy Boltgun Metal for the rank pips, to give a raised impression.

If there's one thing I need to work on it's flesh and skin.  Never been very good at it, and the face looks a bit off to me (may give it some Soft Tone to blend the highlighting together a bit).  Apart from that I'm really happy with him, and going to press ahead with the other 14-odd chaps and get them painted up ASAP.

So what are people's experiences with painting out of the comfort zones?  Catastrophe?  Epiphany?

Thanks for reading, and as I say stay tuned for a step-by-step tutorial later on in the week.  Until then...

Ed

13 comments:

  1. Painting ? I quite enjoyed doing the Divisional Liaison Team for the Cadian 127th. It makes me think that perhaps painting miniatures is not as bad as I seem to remember.

    Anyway, I do like your Russian, aside from most of my references being B&W, your man is a nice match for the colour plates in Osprey. I may have some true scale red army maxim gunners kicking around somewhere...

    obtw, did you and Headcase pick up the mail ?

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    1. Haha yes it's not so bad once you get into it. The good thing about Russian uniforms is they're never very consistent... These are probably not green enough, but the variety in colours lets me get away with that.

      Not seen any email myself, but have been on very dodgy internet while I'm on holiday so might not have seen it...

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  2. Oh very cool, Check out Tsuba Miniatures for a little more variety in in figures also. Check out there Russian-Japanese war range.

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    1. Utterly beautiful work sir, as I said I think this is amongst your finest painting, really came out a treat. We've both been drooling over Tsuba's miniatures for a long time commissarmoody, they're the next project :)

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    2. Thanks guys, he took a very long time but I'm pleased with him. And Tsuba Miniatures will be getting a chunk of my next paycheck hopefully.

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  3. Looks great sir.

    My comfort zone was always a nurgley affair, so painting my 15mm Flames of War Brits was a big step away from that and I'm still getting used to it.

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    1. That's quite a dramatic change, in some ways the bigger the difference the better, as you're less likely to relapse into old habits. Both of your efforts look equally good though imho, and 15mm is a tricky scale to paint.

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  4. Good looking mini, the stark contrasts are nice change of pace. I enjoy painting things in different styles, that being said though no matter how I paint things I feel I can always sort of pick out my minis. Over time everyone kind of develops a signature. When you look at someones work you can just sort of tell they did it due to subtle things they may not even intentionally be doing. I've always thought that a neat project would be to paint different historic minis in the style of painting that was popular during that period of history. So renaissance minis for the Italian Condottieri painted in the rich colors and soft flesh tones of renaissance paintings. Malburian minis painted in the vibrant colors of the epic battle paintings of the period. Napoleonics in the beautiful neoclassical fashion. Colonial wars in the impressionist style, so on. But that sort of thing could easily turn into something that I would hate as much as love. Enough rambling, looking forward to seeing the rest of these First World War fellows.

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    1. Definitely think that's true about signatures, I'm sure my painting is influenced by my graphic design work but I'm not sure how lol.

      That is a brilliant idea, would love to see that done.

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    2. Some very interesting thoughts there, I certainly let the theme of an army show through in the painting, so lots of ragged drybrushing for WW2 Russians, neat, heavy well-defined lines for my Mordians. I'm not an expert on history of art but that sounds like a really interesting project. And thanks for the feedback, more Russians to come this week!

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  5. Colonel, he looks absolutely splendid. Great wok on the tricky shoulder boards and medal. My own experience of working outside the comfort zone is awful at first....but it gets better eventually!

    Really looking forward to what you come up with on the trench-raiding rules. There's a great crossover with historical trench raiding to 40K (as I'm sure you know well!) - "Straight Silver" anyone?

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    1. I phoned FW recently (last week) intending to get a load of their trench kits to make some defensive lines. They've stopped doing them ! I wept a bit and had to buy something else to cheer myself up.

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  6. Thanks - very glad to hear you like it! Yes, I spent a lot of time consciously choosing colours and techniques for this model which is why he took so long. I've been working on a few more riflemen since this one and things have sped up a bit.

    I'll probably be sharing these rules soon, once me and H have had a playtest, so we'll see how they turn out... can't think of much to say on them.at the moment as they're still in a pretty fluid, concept stage but it's a fairly small, self-contained system and shouldn't take too much longer yo finish.

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