First I want to acknowledge what I should've done to start with, that all the photos on both my blogs are provided by my lovely wife, the Protector of Pelarcona, who is a wizz with the digital camera.
I've been trying to advance several projects simultaneously, which means each of them goes slowly, so there's not much to report or show. However, here are the first three of the Hundred Years War figs, from the wonderful Perry's range.
On the WW2 front, the Russians have been suspended for a while as we ordered some Pendraken models for North Africa, and I decided I'd try to "speed paint" these, to compensate for the other projects which need more time. First stage is to spray paint both sides (8th Army and Afrika Korps/Italians) Army Painter Desert Yellow as undercoat. This covers pretty well.
Next stage is to "dip" the models. Except I don't dip it, because this generally gives effects which are too extreme for my taste, and also limits your control, as well as potentially wasting dip. So I brush it on.
I decided to use two different dips for the opposing sides, so they could be more readily distinguished on the table.
I'm using Army Painter "Strong" for the 8th Army. This gives a rather greyish, stone coloured effect. And for the Axis forces, I'm using a teak woodstain/varnish mix. This gives a reddish brown result. Both these "dips" result in a gloss varnish. Being a confirmed matt varnish man, I've surprised myself by quite liking this gloss on some figures and may start a more "toy soldierly" project to use it - but it's not right for these 10mm models. So I had to matt them down before further work.
Then I apply the same technique to both forces, a simple drybrush with Vallejo Sand Yellow (916) and then a further, much lighter drybrush on the edges with a whitened highlight of the same sand yellow.
The result of this process using the two different dips is shown below (Axis on the left, 8th Army on the right):
I think this is pretty effective, and the two sides are distinct. Of course, some detailing is still needed on the models, but basically they could be played like this. The actual time it took to paint these models to this standard is probably less than five minutes per model, in total - just a lot of waiting time between stages.
The SYW ImagiNation project is progressing along several lines at the same time. I've learned that I get bored easily (with everything!) so try to have different irons in the fire all the time, then I can move from one to the other as the mood takes me.
Presently, for the SYW, I have three foot regiments underway (one of them nearly completed can be found on the Mendelstadt blog), I'm three quarters of the way through the ACW to SYW dragoon/cuirassier conversion (12 figs), and have some jaegers on the go as well (aiming for 12 figs).
But I've actually spent most time following a suggestion from one comment on this blog, for which I'm very grateful: to do some "green-stuff casting" of the compnents I need for my conversions. Basically this involves making a mould out of greenstuff (from a previously made master) and then casting any number of copies using greenstuff again in the mould.
So far I've had mixed success. I made two moulds for turnbacks, and one for a tricorn. I made all three were too thick, pressing the masters too deep within the mould, meaning I've had to do some sanding and carving to get usable components out of them. In addition, the tricorn was a badly chosen master, with not enough definition, so I will need to make a better one. I ended up spending more time shaping it to fit than I would have if I'd started from scratch. But the turnbacks are working very well, and have speeded up part of the conversion process enormously. I think if I can get a decent tricorn cast, I can convert a regiment of cavalry (12 figs) in an afternoon. So that was a great tip.
It's not going to help a great deal with the major conversion, though: the hussars. It should work for the mirlton and sabretache, but each pelisse will remain a patient labour of love. So don't expect to see a completed squadron in the near future!