Friday, September 13, 2013
Marx Vikings - first batch finished / road trip
This week, I've been on a business trip. I was at a very engaging convention, and during the day my mind was filled with new software development techniques and pointers on the business of software. This meant that, after the socializing and networking was done, my mind was in desperate need of a good rest from all things cerebral.
For me, there are a few activities that are truly meditative. All of them involve something artistic, that requires my total attention. Painting miniatures is, of course, one of those activities.
So, I packed up a traveling painting studio.
These days, the TSA requirements on air travel impose new challenges on this kind of endeavor. It used to be that I could throw my paints, brushes, figures, and even Xacto knives into a tackle box and carry it on. These days a little more thought is required.
I needed brushes and paint for this trip. All the trimming and other knife-work had been completed. So, I pulled a selection of browns, tans, muted colors, metallics, a flesh tone and my washes out of the paint rack and slipped them into large ziplock bags. These bags went into plastic cases I raided years ago from my son's Playmobil sets. A third case was used to hold the figures, each carefully wrapped in toilet paper. I was able to fit a dozen Marx Vikings into the case with room to spare for extra padding and my brushes (not shown...I'd already unpacked the figures when I took this).
Over several nights in the hotel, I managed to finish six figures (shown in this article) and start on six more (more on those soon). As with the Emhar figures, everything started with the flesh and hair. I also painted any fur areas, then washed them all in W&N Peat Brown ink. For darker brown hair and dark fur I used a little GW Nuln Oil ink as well, to really make the shadows fill. After that, I started laying in the colors. The pictures below show the progress at the end of the first night (assuming I'm remembering right...my brain was full to bursting later in the trip and my recollection is foggy).
Color coats done, it was time for all of the tans and browns for leather and wood. After than, most areas got a wash of GW Devlan Mud to add shading. Metals then were painted, and shaded with GW Nuln Oil. Finally, all areas were highlighted with the original shade (with a couple of exceptions, where an intermediate shade of the base color plus a little brown was needed). Below are the six finished figures.
The Chieftain of the Marx lot (I need a name for these guys). I figured a little royal purple would look great with all that mail and mark him as a leader.
One of my favorites of the Marx poses (along with that fur-cloaked berserker swinging a double-bladed axe). I like his face and his natural pose very much.
Last, but not least...a little distraction has arrived in the mail. I found a small lot of these 60mm Charben Three Musketeers on eBay and had to have them. Not only are they chock full of character, but they supplement the Jecsan musketeers set I bought years ago very nicely. The Jecsan set includes six foot musketeers in cross-embroidered tabards, as two poses of commonly dressed men on foot. I think they're intended to represent two poses each of Porthos, Athos, Aramis and D'Artagnon before he earned his tabard. But, that's hardly enough to put together a decent sized skirmish force if one wants his musketeers to go up against a large mass of Cardinal's Guard who duel as well as Stormtroopers shoot.
Enter the Charben musketeers. Here quite clearly, we have D'Artagnon, Porthos, Athos and Aramis. Not to mention the Cardinal himself (background). These will be painted in blue, of course. And that lets me paint all six of the tabard-wearing figures from the Jecsan set in red Cardinal's Guard livery.
The set I bought had a few duplicates, including D'Artagnon (in pink). This doppleganger, as well as the "D'Artagnons" from the Jecsan set, will be painted in dark civilian clothes to be used as ruffians, robbers, ne'er-do-wells (i.e. Cardinal's Guard in civilian disguise).
I'll want to add a few more such nondescript ruffian figures to the collection. Cherilea makes two sets that should do nicely. Their Elizabethans may be a bit "early" for Three Musketeers games, but painted in dark colors to reflect their dastardly predilections, they should pass nicely. Similarly, their "Cavaliers and Roundheads" (sometimes seen sold as Conquistadors) have some soft-hatted swordsmen that will fill the role nicely.
Now then. Never mind this distraction. Back to the Dark Ages!