Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Mellow Yellow

Not really a fan of Donovan, but it seemed  suitable title for my lyrical waxings about painting yellow. I always thought it would be the Stones and the Kinks for me if I had been born 10 years earlier....

Anyway, yellow.

One of those incredibly weak colours that struggles to cover any sort of undercoat, I have tried a few different techniques which I will briefly outline here for anyone interested. I do not like painting yellow or red, which shares the same problem for coverage, and used to go to great lengths to re-undercoat over my usual black to enable me to paint these colours, but that was all a bit laborious. Then, along came the GW Foundation range, which altered my painting significantly and these paints (and their recently released equivalents) form the basis for my present work.

1) Pale Yellow - black undercoat, Iyanden Sun basecoat, Gryphonne Sepia wash, then highlight with Iyanden Sun and finally with Bleached Bone. Gives a more washed out look, which I have used on my Swedish Yellow Regiment for the Thirty Years War. I will post some more close in pics to better illustrate, but there are some pics on the blog already from the  30 Years War/"Wargamer" show/ "Steinkirche" threads.

2) Bright Yellow - Bleached Bone basecoat washed with yellow ink. Gives a very vibrant yellow, but be careful when varnishing as the ink will run again when wetted. Used in the past when I have wanted a "special effect".

3) "Normal" Yellow (as in de Monthermer, Pennington, etc) - Iyanden Sun basecoat, washed with Gryphonne Sepia, then Iyanden Sun again and keep adding white and a bright yellow (I use GW Sunset Yellow) for extra highlights. I usually go for three successive highlights (Pennington, e.g.) but can lay off earlier for a deeper shade (e.g. de Monthermer).

This is probably all horrendously complex and I am keen to hear other views.


Monday, 6 August 2012

Inspiration, Execution and Trials With Yellow

Picture the scene.

It is the summer of 1983 and a just turned 16 years old G is making his only ever trip to Warwick Castle with his older sister, her husband, their baby daughter and G's best mate. It is a lovely August day and the party are laid out on the green in the centre of the castle enjoying the warmth and fresh air. Young niece is busy crawling around eating daisies or something, as happy as can be.

Move on to the gift shop and the purchase of a certain tankard.

Striding forwards nearly 30 years, G is clearing his late mother's house and finds that tankard again. G is also slowly building up info on the Bannockburn era of Anglo-Scots warfare. The tankard stands out like a beacon in the dark and G decides he must paint its subject matter.

But it is yellow, a colour G does not like to paint, though has attempted on a few occasions, notably with his TYW Swedish Yellow Regiment and on the recently completed Sir William Pennington.

It had to be done.

I do not know whose retinue Ralph de Monthermer was part of, but he was there, at Bannockburn I mean. Graham Turner's painting in the Osprey Campaign Bannockburn book shows him alongside such worthies as Marmaduke de Thweng, Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, and the late Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, so I am going for the joint Gloucester/ Hereford battle, of which he is my first member.
I have several more exmples of heraldry from this particular battle within Edward's army, so he will be joined soon by de Bohun and co.


The tankard. Ralph de Monthermer, earl of Hertford (and later of Gloucester). There is some interesting blurb on the back about his life, how he was imprisoned by Edward I for secretly marrying his daughter, Joanna, etc.

Slightly dark photo. His arms are Or, eagle displayed vert armed and langued gules. Why is green such an uncommonly used colour in heraldry?

Slightly better photo (?)

The other side. Astute viewers may have noticed that I tried to copy the details of the tankard picture, not just the heraldry, by giving him a sword in his right hand, for example. Fireforge Games parts made up the figure again.

The yellow here is a basecoat of GW Iyanden Darksun over a black undercoat. This was then washed with GW Gryphonne Sepia, then ID painted on again and highlighted with increasing amounts of GW Skull White and some old GW Sunburst Yellow. These colours all have equivalents in their latest range of paints. I have not highlighted this figure quite as strongly as I did with Pennington, as I wanted some variety within the same colour to show different wear and tear, inexact dye recipes, etc.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

More posh blokes

More Fireforge Games bits went to make more for Lord Clifford to throw vainly at the odd schiltron or two.

As I posted last time, I moved from red and white to blue and yellow. I have tried to pick a couple of knights each time with the same colours for their heraldry to try and speed things up a little. Being a bit anal, however, I only want knights correct for the bit I am doing, which makes choice rather more difficult. I could do bits from different retinues, but then would not get any single retinue done quickly.
Oh, problems, problems....


Sir William Pennington - Or, five lozenges in fess azure.

When I put this figure together, I had in mind a little vignette of him avoiding the close contact of perhaps a lone Scots spearman or something. I foresee perhaps a spear striking under his shield or across his body as he charges in. Hmm, we will see.

Sir Thomas de Mounteny - Azure, a bend between six martlets or. A mrtlet is a small bird for those unaware. I found these very difficult to paint, despite their size!!!

I am not happy with the possible lack of strength in the plastic lances supplied in the box, so used an old Vendel pike for this one.

Clifford's Retinue - slowly mustering

This 1300 project is a slow burner.

I have been trying  to work out how I can progress this as quickly as possible, alongside all my other stuff, the main issue being the heraldry. Painting it does not overly bother me, unless it is something stupidly complex, but that is mainly limited to the later middle ages, when family A was crossed with family B, with input from family C and a respectful nod to family D, etc. Don't you just love posh people?!?!?!?!

I hit upon the not exactly world-beating idea of selecting heraldry with the same basic colours, as shown below with a couple of gules and argent specimens, but heraldry itself takes time up paint neatly. The idea works quite well, but, necessary concentration to achieve the aforementioned neatness aside, you quickly run out of "identical" colour options within your chosen retinue and even within your period and the whole idea is to show the variety of the period, not paint uniforms!

Anyhow,  here are a couple more WIP shots of some more of Clifford's retinue from Bannockburn, namely Sir Richard Huddlestone and Sir Matthew Redmayne.

More to follow shortly, now I have moved from red and white to blue and yellow.


Richard Huddlestone (Gules fretty argent), composed of parts from the Fireforge Games Teutonic Knights box. Apart from some minor work on mould lines, etc, the most I had to do before gluing it all together and painting it was to remove horns from the helm.

I am not sure about how I have "bent" the straight lines around the cloth folds. I think his left is his better side!

Matthew Redmayne. Red and white again, but I do not know how to describe it properly. The white shapes look like tasselled cushions and have an ermine pattern.

Fireforge Games bits again, but no carving off horns this time.