I've been enjoying a consistent run with the paint brushes this January, trying to spend at least 15 minutes each day painting up some late 17th Century figures as part of my “new” (actually older and now resurrected) wargaming period. Lots of things have helped me achieve of a rare purple patch of painting consistency.
Remembering each evening to sit down and pick up a paintbrush when getting home from work has helped a lot. The more I’ve done, the more I’ve wanted to do – regular painting creating a bit of a momentum as I see the results very slowly building up over time.
Curt’s Painting Challenge has really helped, sharing the experience of winter painting with a great collection of other hobbyists, painters and wargamers throughout the world.
And also, I’ve been reading painting guides. I blogged about “Painting Wargames Figures”, a great little book from Javier Gomez, “El Mercenario” last Autumn, which I find really useful. This post, I’d like to recommend “Wargames Illustrated Paints”, a super little magazine supplement from the publisher of Wargames Illustrated, and available from North Star Miniatures and from some newsagents in the UK such as W.H. Smiths.
Written by the very talented Matt Parkes and Dave Taylor, “Wargames Illustrated Paints” takes the reader through a complete guide to painting wargames figures. At 74 pages, it’s a shorter publication than “Painting Wargames Figures”, but it covers everything you could really want from a painting guide. Preparation, undercoating, basic techniques, and face and skin painting are all covered before Matt and Dave move offer some very interesting sections dealing with more advanced techniques.
There is an exceptionally good, but quite advanced, section on painting different fabric textures. The section on painting faces is excellent, giving several different methods of painting skin textures and features such as scars, freckles and black eyes! There's a lovely section on painting wood, which I have never seen addressed before in such detail, or so well. And there’s a great section on metallic, illustrated with the example of a plate armored nobleman, which includes a stunning black-plate decorated Tudor armour painting guide. Sections on horses (always useful) and bring end up the booklet, each of which gives some very useful advice.
“Wargames Illustrated Paints” is very well illustrated in colour throughout, with lots of photographs and sidebar sections setting out “how to” guides. I would have added more images to this blog post, but as the publication is only short I didn’t want to “give the game away” or infringe copyright.
Therefore, I’d simply say that “Wargames Illustrated Paints” is an excellent booklet, full of sound advice for all wargames painters. I think that the booklet is more focused on the intermediate, improving, or experienced painter than the total beginner, with some of the techniques being quite advanced. However, for anyone having painted a couple of dozen figures and who wants to improve their brushmanship or brushwomanship, it should definitely have a place on your bookshelf.
One of the best things about the booklet is that it is also very reasonably priced – only £5.95 in the UK, and in my view worth every penny. I’ve been using it on a near-daily basis to try and refine my painting techniques, and I’ve really had fun try to recreate some of Matt and Dave’s effects. If you fancy doing the same, give “Wargames Illustrated Paints” a try, with my firm recommendation!