Wednesday, 25 August 2004

Thoughts on the Foundry Paint System

The [Foundry Paint System]( has been available for quite some time now. For those of you not aware of it -- it's basically a line of paints (_specially formulated for miniatures_ of course, meaning there's more and more finely ground pigment in it than in regular acrylic paint) with a twist; the twist being that they come in sets of three: a shade, base and highlight colour.

The idea is that these paints will help you paint in the 'Foundry' style, i.e. the classic high contrast three shade layering, by providing you with matched colours, obleviating the need for mixing. I use this method of painting (and have been for quite a while before it became so popular), but tend to go easier on the contrast in my paint jobs than the [Dallimore]( - [Dean]( school of painters.

I have not used any of the Foundry paints so far, so I cannot comment on their consistency, ease of application or covering power (three oft discussed qualities on miniature painting related mailgroups and websites). I do have some thoughts on the idea of providing matched sets. I have mixed feelings about this.

On the one hand, I like the idea of being able to buy paint and being reasonably sure that they will work together for my painting style. Although I have a fairly good 'feel' for colours, and can usually tell whether sets of colours will work together, there are the occasional misses, which should no longer be there with the Foundry paints. Having the highlight colour available also means there's no more mixing (I usually pick a shade and base colour from my paints and mix up the highlight from the base colour).

On the other hand, not having to mix the highlight colour can be a bit of a mixed blessing (_sic_. Those of you not accustomed to my brand of humour can consider themselves warned now). I usually mix the highlight by adding either white or beige (beige for the warm colours, white for the cool colours, in general), so that I get both a lighter _and a less saturated_ version of the base colour. This last bit is important, as most of the stuff that I paint (virtually all, even) comes from time periods before there was anything like the kind of dyes used today for clothing, meaning that the vast majority of clothing would be drab and washed out looking. This is simulated by the weakly saturated colours. Mixing by hand also means that you can vary the colour from figure to figure, which for most non-uniformed (and even most uniformed) figures will add a touch of realism.

On the gripping hand, selling paints in sets of three (and they're packaged by the two sets, so you buy six in one go) that are effectively unseperable can also be considered as a genius marketing ploy by the Foundry, if you were to be the cynical type.

So, in general, I'm not running white-hot for the FPS, but I think I will pick up some of the more 'difficult' colour combinations (reds, to name one, although I have found that mixing with flesh instead of red is a great way of mixing up the highlight for reds) some time in the future.

Tuesday, 24 August 2004

Painting station

I used to have a room apart in the house for my painting desk. In the new house that's currently being built, I will have a wargame room to myself again. Nowadays, however, I paint on a movable painting station, as the room I used to paint in, and that still houses my 'official' painting desk, is now our daughter's bedroom.

When Britt started to sleep in her bedroom, instead of in her cot downstairs, I decided to make my painting area transportable. I had seen [Games Workshop]( "Games Workshop")'s [painting station]( at Phil's, and initially thought of buying that, but in the end decided to 'build' my own. I say build in quotes, because my painting station is simply a piece of 8mm MDF:

![Painting station](/snv/ttm/pics/painting_station.jpg "Painting Station")

As you can see, the thing is basically a square piece of MDF (about 70cm to a side), with all my painting stuff on top of it. Very basic, really. The only out of the ordinary thing about it is that the empty herb pots that hold my brushes are glued to the board, so that they don't easily get knocked over or thrown off during transport. Otherwise, everything is simply put onto the board: paints in one part of an old lunch bread box, work in progress miniatures in another part, water in two containers (dirty and clean water) that are officially cacao powder shakers for capuccino, an ice cream box lid that used to be white but is now multi-hued as the
result of five odd years of use as paint palette, and some kitchen towels to wipe excess water and paint off of the brushes.

Whenever I feel the urge to paint, I go down to the cellar (where I keep the thing), bring up this board, put it on the kitchen table and start painting. I had not quite expected this, but I find that I like painting this way better than sitting apart in a room in the house and paint there. Like this, I'm in (largely) the same room as my wife or daughter (although she's usually asleep by the time I get painting in the evening). This makes it possible to paint and still talk to my wife (albeit in a limited fashion -- I'm male, meaning that my ability to do two things at the same time is, not to put too fine a point on it, inexistant) or listen to the TV background noise and generally feel more a part of things happening around me.

I like this way of painting so much that I'm thinking to continue working like this when we have moved in the new house, where I'll have a wargames room with a painting desk. We'll see.

Wednesday, 18 August 2004

Full Thrust Miniatures

I got an email in my guise as [Schild en Vriend]( webmaster, asking about which models we used for our [Full Thrust]( games. As this might be useful for more people, here's what I answered:

>> However, I was wondering if you please could tell me what models you've
>> been using, and where you got them?
>We've been using a number of manufacturer's models. GZG is one (e.g. the
>Tolstoy, mentioned in the campaign, is the big ESU dreadnought by GZG), but
>there are a lot of others:
>AOG's Babylon Five miniatures: AOG (Agents of Gaming) seem to have gone
>bust, but this site claims to have found a source:
>[AOG Babylon 5 minis](
>ICE Silent Death figures: there are many stores that sell these, but
>here's the manufacturers site:
>[ICE Silent Death](
>Be sure to order the metal ones, the resin ones are huge (3 times the
>size of the metal ones, or around 10 inches)
>Irregular Miniatures: this is a miniature manufacturer in the UK doing
>all kinds of figures and scales, including spaceships (though they're
>basic - to get an idea: the Morgenes and most of Fleet Section 408 as
>pictured on our web page are Irregulars):
>[Irregular Miniatures](
>The spaceships are listed in the 6mm section of the catalog.

BTW, that's [GZG'z online store]( mentioned in the first paragraph.

Ancient history

For those of you with a nostalgic streak (and years of experience as ancients wargamers), Sue Laflin Barker has put up a webpage with the scanned in [early versions of WRG rules](

For someone like me, who has come into wargaming in its golden years, the fact that the staple figures [seemed to be]( the various Airfix plastic sets, is quite refreshing :). In true [Ourobouros]( fashion, it seems that in these days of figure cornucopia, history has turned around on itself and recreated [gaming with soft plastic 1:72nd scale figures]( as a sub hobby on itself.

Sunday, 15 August 2004

WAB at JP's

We played a game of WAB (my fifth or so, but for most people at the game, it was one of their first, if not the first) over at JP's place on Friday. We used JP's 15mil figures on his Geohex mat, with terrain from various sources and manufacturers.

A horde of unwashed Avar barbarians, half of them on horses, invaded against a peaceful Carolingian Frank army minding its own business (and the vineyards along the Rhine, but that's another matter entirely). Armies were 2000pt each. The Avars were played by Graham W and Steve, while David B and myself took the Carolingians.

After fierce fighting, the game turned out to be an Avar victory, after Graham, true to form, danced his light horse around the Carolingian cavalry trying to come to grips with them, resulting in death-by-many-arrows for the Carolingians. As it turned out, we made some rules mistakes that might have changed the outcome of this fight (then again, it might not have), most notably that _fire & flee_ is not allowed as a charge response when the chargers are closer than half their charge distance to the charge target.

On the other flank, the Carolingian infantry meanwhile put up a good fight against the Avar warbands, initially defeating and breaking them. Unfortunately, the Avars managed to rally and come back to break the Carolingian infantry later on, effectively ending the game.

Much fun was had by all, I think, and even Graham, despite initial misgivings, seemed to enjoy the rules (no doubt swayed by the fact that his beloved light horse antics work just as well in WAB :) ).

I took some photos during the game: check out the [photo report](/games/pics/wab_jp_13082004).