Saturday, July 14, 2007

Burtzenia observation corps complete!

I managed to squeeze in some time this morning, to start the flocking process then put all else on the back burner after dinner to complete it, since my mix of flocking glue was drying out!

I had made a note to Grimbsby Mariner about his use of floor polish product and my own use of a wood finishing product.

I wanted to hilight this here (sadly I had to cook dinner then finish off the flocking - along the way something happened to my internet connection and I have spent the past 90 minutes trouble-shooting it!) by showing off some minis I painted about a year and a half ago, before I started using the wood finishing stain & polyurethane.

Previously I was using Krylon Triple thick gloss coating spray. I was very pleased with the results and got some commercial success from the 'very shiny' miniatures in good eBay sales.

Then I was told about Minwax PolyShades, I gave it a try with some French Infantry and have not looked back since!

I use the 'Pecan' colour, but there are three other darker ones that could also do.

The process is to 'dip' the mini and then to shake or 'fling' off the excess before it has a chance to set. I use my sticks method for keeping the minis handleable (without touching the painted surface) so this was a bit of a problem. I use a 'modification' and rather than dip, I use a cotton ball pressed between two thin wood stir sticks (held in place with an old elasic band), this way I can coat the minis and then use either paper towel or toilet paper to wipe off excess. I have had very pleasant results, though occasionally I get the odd one like the senior officer in the white coat, holding his hat with a cane (he is next to the general on the horse in a diorama on the same stand). In this case I missed wiping off enough from the sides of his coat, so they look dirty, ultimately that is the only major effect of missing some part, the area tends to look like it has been 'in the field' for some time.

Even the white horses look a bit field worn, rather than the stark white they have a coffee stain sort of colour with slightly darker patches here and there and of course all the undersides and deep recesses fill in with the Pecan color.

In the comparison image I have a four man unit of Austrians in helmets that were gloss coated using Krylon Triple Thick spray and a four man unit in tricornes (for Jeff - of course!) from the current run that were done with the stain and polyurethane method.

Ultimately it is when the troops are assembled en masse that they really shine!

Any comments?

How do you finish off your minis to keep the paint from chipping with lots of handling?

Do you prefer Gloss, Matte, or Satin?


Bluebear Jeff said...

I'd like to point out that at our last playtest two weeks ago, all of these troops were bare metal.

Murdock has (once again) cranked out a huge number of good-looking troops in a very short period of time.

They look very good. I'm jealous of your speed.

-- Jeff of Saxe-Bearstein

Stokes Schwartz said...

Hi Murdock,

I'll second that -- Your output is most impressive! Great looking figures too.

Generally, I prefer a matt finish for my 15mm Napoleonics and use one or another of the sprays currently available. For my old school 18th century figures, however, I'm going for gloss and use plain old Future acrylic floor polish , which seems to work nicely and also gives the figures that extra fresh, clean scent.

Best Regards,

Stokes Schwartz

MurdocK said...

LOL, I definately think that the extra fresh, clean scent would qualify as the best part!!!

Fitz-Badger said...


My personal preference is non-glossy, so I spray one coat of Testor's Glosscote, let it dry (mostly) and then spray a coat of Testor's Dullcote. The Gloss protects well and the dull takes away the shine. Any bits I want to be shiny I later re-paint with brushed-on gloss varnish selectively.

Grimsby Mariner said...

Murdock excellent work as always.

I have no real preference for gloss or matt (most of my figures end up "satin" anyway!).

I used to use a very similar process to yourself and miniwax.

I took a 500ml tub of polyurethane varnish and added a 15ml tin of black gloss enamel. stirring this gives a very dark varnish but when applied to a figure the varnish finds it's own level and ends up with dark creases and folds and highlighted areas. Need to make sure though that you stri well otherwise you can get black figures (I know I have a few in the collection!).

Bluebear Jeff said...

So, have you now got more of these fine Burtzenia fellows in the painting queue?

Remember that these can do "double duty" with your Nappys. Perhaps some more Cavalry . . . hmm?

-- Jeff