Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Making Seneffe: Part the Second

Well under way now, my 3D war-artists impression of Seneffe will feature on three bases of grouped buildings, the largest and most central being a rendition of the church depicted in the previous post. I created a set of basic templates from very thick card and have set off building three identical well-to-do rural houses. A fourth slightly lesser double story house is also under way. One each of these first types will be on each base with an assortment of lesser dwellings surrounding them.
The figure set in shot is not quite flush with the model building but you get the idea. The front door is in fact 25mm tall and 12mm wide and all window apertures are 12mm square. The height measurements are not far off minimums to scale but the widths and depth of the structures are deliberately compressed. I'm hoping they will convey a three dimensional image of a greater home whilst occupying a much smaller footprint.
Construction materials are simply PVA white glue, 5mm foam core board and cardboard. I have opted for balsa doors but at this point think I will leave the windows unframed or adorned. I intend to spray the insides with the darker shade coat of my two-tone paint scheme. I suspect some plain papering will be required to cover the exposed foam for consistency of finish. I'm near to completing the basic construction of four of the ten buildings for this project. You have no doubt noticed I'm opting for typical Dutch architectural facades.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Making Seneffe

It's been an age since I've returned to this project but whilst home on leave I am turning my attention to modelling the buildings for the battle of Seneffe 1674. As you can see from this image, spelling is far from consistent. Along with my stylized lithograph approach to building this wargaming period I've allowed my distracted mind to dwell periodically on the matter of terrain.
Normally I'd obsess about accuracy as far as I can determine it for the ground and any building featured. My approach to this period; however, has become one of style over substance if you will. I aim to capture the essence of the battlefield as relayed to me by the artists of the period (or near to the period). I confess the above image was copied directly from a related bog I admire and follow - Anno Domini 1672. This image was itself taken from a map uploaded by the Bibliotheque Nationale de France - Gallica online archive.
Like the cartographers and artists of the times, I am only interested in 'representing' the towns and villages and so for me the above representation and layout will do nicely ... so that's what I'm modelling. With reference to a collection of 17th century Dutch images I have collected, I will add minimal detail to what are very basic block representations of houses, barns and churches. As a matter of interest, depending upon the scale of a map, hamlets, villages and towns are often only represented on maps of the period by a singe church. How times have changed.
I am also creating towns/villages as a single 28mm model. I am not interested in house-to-house fighting. Similar to the old Napoleonic wargaming concept introduced through In the Grand Manner, single representative battalions may fight for and 'occupy' whole village/towns. Therefor my buildings will be clustered together on a single large base.
Because I am not constructing buildings for occupancy I am also aiming to minimize as far as possible the size of the models. They will be closer to true 25mm and if I'm going to err on one side or another it will be toward the 20mm scale. I don't want my villages/towns to dominate my terrain but rather provide a cohesive feature which might anchor a flank or provide a break in the field of battle best fought around or if necessary through rather than 'in'.
I will also be minimizing the detail in keeping with the sketch artists. No detailed brickwork, fancy doors or even tile or thatch-work. At least this is the intent - let's see how I go. All features such as trees, walls and hedges will also be painted in the same two basic colours identical with the figures.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Unlucky General: A rare appearance

This doesn't get my projects very far for Williamite Warfare but I've been having fun learning Photoshop. So, a rare appearance by me, the Unlucky General.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Photoshop Phun

With a little mucking about you can see the idea coming together. I'm extremely happy with the colour matching: no filters were used in this mock-up. I think I got the palate right for my parchment scheme. Into the future, with multiple units on matching terrain, scenic effects and buildings I am confident my Williamite Warfare creation will have that of-the-page look.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Making it Real (4): Finished

Well, the first battalion is done and I am satisfied with the results. I may return to lift the bases and ground work a little with further dry brushing but for the time being, this is it. I am tempted to Photoshop them onto a sketch backdrop. The light was poor at the time and given my general aversion to flash-lighting they appear darker than in real life.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Making It Real (3): Nearly There.

Based in accordance with my previous basing convention notes, my first battalion is nearing completion. A generic battalion, I am nevertheless labeling them for specific unit against the Seneffe order of battle. Whilst the practice was for three colours (flags) to be carried by a battalion within the Dutch army, I have represented them with only two. At this time, I am opting for entirely blank or plain colours. These I added after painting the ensigns with the rest of the figures. I make my own from fine cloth and for the next battalion, I have stiffened the cloth with diluted PVA and fixing them with the poles when I fix them to the miniature in the prepping phase. I have already commenced the next battalion.
I use pre-mixed wood putty which comes in a variety of colours but I only have it in brown. This has proved a pain in applying it, especially for the rear-ranks musketeer stands. Normally, the figures are painted in full colour and the bases are later covered in scenic effects and the figures dirtied up - so any contact the putty has to the figures simply adds to the effect. This time, I need everything in parchment shades and the textured bases will be painted in the same shades as the figures.

I thought this process would be much faster than it is but allowing 24 hours between painting applications, waiting for glue to set and putty to dry means it is taking be about a fortnight per unit. Still, it's been taking me a month to six weeks for fully painted units these days so I suppose it still is relatively rapid.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Making it Real (2): Experiment Unfolds

Now that I've finally turned my attention to this project once more, I'm impatient to get it moving. Paint dries in it's own time; however, and my primers need 24 hours. Nevertheless, I have satisfied myself with my grey/brown undercoat and have hit the first test figures with the bone coloured dry brushing and am happy with the results thus far.
The finish is darker than this exposed light photo might indicate and darkens as it dries. This has been fastidiously brushed on using a soft brush No:12 and unlike normal undercoating (especially when spraying) absolutely every nook and cranny must be filled as this base coat is the only one I should need for the recesses and deep detail. Otherwise I'd have to ink them which I think I can avoid. Funny, after so very many years of painting I still stumble across new tricks.

As total coverage is paramount for the base coat, I found holding my figures upside down when brush coating is best - it just hits all the recesses so much easier than the right way up!

Okay, the next shot is my first highlight with the bone colour and you can see the comparison with the base coat alongside. I'll be almost dusting the figure afterwards with the merest of white dry brushing for highlights. I experimented with brushes and found that a No:12 trimmed to a flat end works best so far. I may also need a second undercoat over the Green Stuff hats.