Posts Tagged ‘Foundry’

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Holiday in the Caribbean

September 24, 2016
Click for a larger version

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Here’s a scenic piece that I put together recently, showing a pirate relaxing with his dog. I actually like this one immensely! The story behind this is a good explanation why.

It started out as a scene of a wounded pirate leaning on a tree, bleeding to death. Maybe I was having a bit of a downer day, but that felt a little too grim. Thus it changed into a drunk pirate sitting by a tree…but I already had a drunk pirate passed out in a pig pen. Around this time I remembered the miniature dog (an otterhound to be exact) I bought at Salute from fellow hobbyist and Frother, the wonderfully talented painter Jon “Dags” Atter. So the piece turned into a relaxing pirate, leaning on a tree with his eyes closed and a dog by his side.

Now, this piece made me especially happy. Normally most of the stuff I (and most other hobbyists as well, it’s wargaming after all) is framed by a context of violence, with the occasional dash of humour thrown in. Even in a fairly light-hearted setting like my Hollywood Caribbean, the majority of miniatures are armed and in fighting poses. Not this one! I think the piece manages to capture something of the lazy, hot summer day feeling that is closely linked to mental images of pirates and Caribbean islands. I think this piece pretty much captures the essence of my project.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

What also makes me happy is that it was super easy to build. It’s a model railroad palm tree combined with a Foundry pirate casualty, the aforementioned dog miniature and a pebble I picked up outside. I dressed it up with some static grass and a few Army Painter tufts.

I’m currently painting up a lot more stuff for my project, including a few special things for an upcoming Halloween game. Stay tuned!

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From the painting desk #42 – Redcoats

August 27, 2016

Pirates obviously need opposition, and who better to fight them than good old redcoats. An iconic piece of Hollywood pirate imagery, the British soldier were always going to play a part in my project. I’ve actually amassed a fair few, and finally got some painted.

Click for a larger version

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The miniatures, that I picked up at Salute, are from Casting Room Miniatures, who are an offshoot of Foundry. The soldiers are part of their wonderful War of the Spanish Succession range. I love them for their character – some of them really don’t enjoy their stint in the Caribbean. I imagine this lot has ended up here after lots were drawn, or maybe they came looking for a nice, sunny holiday. In my mind they draw inspiration from late Terry Pratchett’s city guard, turning a blind eye to the occasional bit of smuggling for personal profit and safety. Obviously a Serious Military Man is coming along to put these miscreants into some sort of shape…

As you can see from the photos, I had to build up the miniatures’ bases quite a bit, as they’re a fair bit smaller than my Galloping Major soldiers. I stuck some plasticard under the minis and covered it in putty, and it turned out quite ok. They’re still less bulky than the Galloping Major ones, but now they’re of a similar height. I wanted to base them similarly to my pirates, but to distinguish them I replaced the tufts I use on my pirates’ bases with flower tufts.

Another thing you probably noticed is that I used one of my buildings as background for the minis, and the pure white background was making everything look a bit too clinically clean. What do you think? I’d love to hear your input on this new, hugely dramatic change.

The minis’ uniforms forced me to spend a bit of time thinking about historical accuracy. It’s not a big issue in this project, as it’s Hollywood pirates after all, but this stuff is often (sort of) interesting. The War of the Spanish Succession was fought from 1701 to 1715, putting it just before the Golden Age of Piracy in the Caribbean (1716-1726). The other redcoats I have are from Galloping Major’s American War of Independence range, and that war was fough 1775–1783, sixty years later. As it is, uniforms had changed by then. Funnily enough, the Pirates of the Caribbean films, that are a big inspiration for the project, are supposedly set around the Golden Age of Piracy, but feature British soldiers with much later uniforms, and so the historically inaccurate uniforms are the ones we associate with the era.

I solved the problem by not caring. I’m sure grognards would gag at this approach, but from where I’m standing, it’s a project with undead pirates, so a bit of historical inaccuracy regarding uniforms isn’t a deal breaker. This is an approach I’ve learned in years enjoying the hobby, and following fellow bloggers has reinforced this way of thinking. It’s painting with broad strokes, having fun and buying miniatures I enjoy painting instead of leaving them on the shelf because of trivial issues.

However, and creating a bit of a conflict, despite this approach I have a tendency to strive for some internal coherence. Even if I’m not too concerned with exact accuracy, there has to be something to tie it all together. In this case I think of two things: one is the idea of the redcoat, and the second is a sort of historical explanation. The idea of the redcoat is simply that in my mind the defining visual characteristics of the 18th century British soldier are the tricorne hat, the red coat and the musket, and everything else is fairly irrelevant detail. The historical explanation is a bit more fudged (obviously, as the game isn’t set in a fixed year), and basically focuses on the idea that troops in the backwaters of the Caribbean will have older gear, whereas fresh troops shipped in from England or the American colonies will have crisp and more modern gear. There you have it, I sort of had to get it off my chest!

These bring my miniatures painted this year to six, literally doubling my output. Oh my. At least I’ve built a lot of terrain!

 

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From the painting desk #41 – Caribbean pirate

June 4, 2016

This year’s third (oh dear) miniature is unsurprisingly yet another pirate, this time from Foundry. To add some more diversity to my roster, I decided to paint him with a distinctly non-Caucasian skintone, which I think fits not only the model’s facial features, but my pseudo-historical pirate setting as well. For the jacket I wanted to use a colour I don’t normally break out, namely VGC Electric Blue. I’m not too happy with my shading of the colour, so will need some work with that on future models.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

This pirate brings my crew to a total of nine. While I’ll need a lot more to crew my ship – whenever I finish it – for now they’re a suitable raiding party for skirmish games and such. I’m thinking of making up several groups of pirates lead by different captains, and this miniature completes the pirate queen’s retinue for now at least.

For some reason, this mini looks much worse in photos than at hand, which frustrates me more than a little. Oh well, you’ll just have to take my word for it. Rather than get stuck on a mini I’m not completely happy with, I’ve already moved on to something a little different, albeit for the same project. More on that soon, hopefully!

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Here, piggy piggy!

March 14, 2016

Pirates ought to be somewhat dirty. The actual, historical pirates were a rowdy, often heavily drinking bunch, and this has of course been carried into popular culture as well. There’s a fun scene in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, where captain Jack Sparrow wakes up his trusted first mate Gibbs, who’s dead drunk in a pigsty:

gibbs

The scene fit my ideas of my own 28mm pirate town perfectly, and I wanted to build a little set piece of a drunk pirate passed out amongst pigs. I did some quick online shopping, buying some pirate casualties from Foundry and some pigs and assorted items made by Ristul’s Extraordinary Market. Both the pigs and the pirates are characterful sculpts, and I love the various accessories, the trough filled with slops especially.

I had a fairly large plasticard offcut that I used as a base. I simply slapped on acrylic caulking, stippled it with an old sponge and stuck the miniatures on, resulting in this:

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

After that it was just dirty, dirty painting. I really went to town with washes – after all this was supposed to be someone who has stumbled into a pig pen dead drunk and then passed out. I even painted some vomit on his chin and chest to make him a bit more disgusting. I let the brown wash (GW Agrax Earthshade) pool up in various areas to make the mud look more…muddy.

With the miniatures painted, I built the fences from bbq skewers and coffee stirrers using this very handy tutorial:

The idea of whittling down the coffee stirrers for a more irregular look is so simple that I feel really dumb for not thinking of it. It makes for a very nice looking ramshackle fence. I made sure to make the fence uneven and rickety. I painted the fences before sticking them on, painted the edges of the base to match my gaming board and as a final touch I added some flowery grass tufts around the pen for a more natural look. Here are pictures of the finished piece:

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Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

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And here’s a shot of the pig pen in (simulated) action, as two pirates check in on Philip the Frenchie after yet another of his nights of rum-fueled shenanigans:

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With the pig pen finished, I think I need to paint up pig farmer Brick Top as a homage to one of my favourite movie performances ever, Alan Ford in Snatch. The fellow will fit right in with other scoundrels.

All of a sudden, those pigs are looking a lot more sinister…

Feedback welcome and appreciated as always!

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From the painting desk #39 – A pirate in a hurry

February 28, 2016

It’s almost March and I’ve only just painted my first miniature of the year. Ok, in my defense I’ve mainly worked on terrain, but still…

Anyway, here’s a running pirate! He’s another Foundry one, and like all the others, a nice and characterful sculpt. For his shirt I went for the colourful-but-grimy look, which came out decently enough.

pirate3

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I had to fix the hand holding the sword a bit – either I’m completely misreading the miniature, or there’s some very lazy sculpting there. The hand didn’t really seem to be holding anything, the grip of the hilt was just sort of on top of the hand. I added a lump of ProCreate putty to make it look more natural.

With my impeccable sense of humour, I also present the obvious reason for the pirate’s running state. It also conveniently allows me to show the outhouse by Ainsty that I recently painted up. The outhouse was a fun little diversion, as it was very quick to paint and is a nice piece of scatter terrain. The good thing about painting this kind of model is that it’s supposed to look ramshackle, so you can just flail away with the paint and it still looks suitable. So here it is in all its glory, ready for some cagafuego.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

So, first model of the year, but the project is moving along nicely. Comments…ah, you know it already.

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From the painting desk #35 – Flamboyant George

October 4, 2015

Reinforcing my pirates is a colourful individual I named Flamboyant George. He’s loosely inspired by Robert de Niro in the movie Stardust (and this scene especially). After the previous pirate’s toned-down palette, I wanted to paint something with a bit more colour, and found the idea of a pirate with a penchant for matching accessories delightful. He’s prepared to mercilessly cut down anyone for their hat or boots. The miniature is from Foundry.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

The mini was also a chance to use purple, which I rarely do for some reason. I painted his hat, belt and boots as matching and threw in red details in the form of the band around his hat, the eyepatch and his socks. The yellow scarf works well with the purple shirt in my opinion – unsurprising as they are opposite colours. I like how the overall colours turned out and how the pirate still manages to look fairly menacing. While the concept stems mostly from just me wanting to have some fun, it’s not without historical merit, as pirates sometimes used the fancy clothes and the like that they stole or bought.

Flamboyant George is this year’s 20th painted miniature.

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18th century comparison

July 17, 2015

I love miniature size comparisons. With plenty of manufacturers out there, it’s useful to know which manufacturers fit together size and style wise. I’m not too fussy with what lines I use together (as you can see from my Colonial Marines), but I know a lot of people are very particular about it. As I’ve amassed a lot of pirate/18th century miniatures in 28-ish mm recently for my small project, I figured I’d do a quick comparison for the benefit of everyone out there. Posts like this are something I tend to google a lot, so this is just paying it forward. This isn’t a review as such, more a quick comparison.

The ranges compared are 18th century sailors by Galloping Major, pirates by Black Scorpion and Foundry and FIW civilians by Redoubt. Here they are side to side:

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L to R: Black Scorpion, Galloping Major, Foundry, Redoubt

In my opinion all these can be used together, but as said above, I’m not fussy. If you want matches, here are my suggestions:

Black Scorpion has a different style from the others. They also have a fairly large range, so you could just use them exclusively. If the height difference is the thing bothering you, Galloping Major matches up nicely. Style wise Redoubt’s weapons are thinner than Foundry’s or Galloping Major’s and match up quite well with Black Scorpion.

Redoubt can easily be mixed with both Galloping Major and Foundry.

Galloping Major matches Black Scorpion in height but not style. They’re a good match with Redoubt and Foundry style wise, but in general chunkier and taller. However, you could circumvent the height difference by removing the integral base from the Galloping Major minis.

Foundry are short, but style wise match Redoubt and Galloping Major. You could remedy this by giving them a boost under their integral base using putty or a washer.

So that’s my take! As a disclaimer, note that these are single samples from larger ranges which in themselves have internal variation and and..oh heck, I’ll just leave it to Captain Barbossa:

As I like all of these minis and don’t want to unnecessarily put you off from buying them, shown below is a picture of two Foundry pirates and a Black Scorpion one. As you can see, you can do wonders with matching basing and I think they go together just great, even with the height difference.

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Click for a larger version

Hope this post proves useful! If it does, I’d love to hear about it.

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