Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Royal Navy Marines or Trouble In Port Largo

Though I have not completed any miniatures the last two weeks, I have been working on quite a few.  I tend to batch paint which sometimes leads to long delays between completions.  However, there are several that are ready to come off the assembly line and join the ranks.

The first to exit the painting queue is a batch of Royal Navy Marines from Black Scorpion.  I had a terrible time painting these guys due to several reasons.  For one, I used a white primer thinking that I would save time with the whites and get a more vibrant red.  I quickly learned that I should have used black or gray instead.  Besides the red coats, white is the predominant color on the minis and I found myself either outlining in black to create separation between the garments or repainting all the white areas in gray then highlighting back up. I felt like I was taking two steps back to go one step forward.  The other difficulty is that I simply hate painting reds.  That color, more than any other, seems to be my bane and nemesis.  I think the coats came out OK but not nearly as well as I had hoped.

Technically the miniatures are not quite finished.  I still need to add a layer of gloss coat followed by Testor's dullcote to knock off the shine.  The humidity has been very high here in the Florida Keys over the last week so they have to sit and wait for a change in the weather.  When the protective coats are completed, I can finally finish off the models with a bit of flock on the bases.

I have eight more of these fellows to paint for a proper crew.  I think I will try a different approach this time though.  I recently read of a technique called gray-brushing?? that works well with models that have large areas of lighter color.  I plan to primer black as usual then drybrush a nice medium gray over the miniature followed by another drybrushed coat of white.  If I understood the technique correctly, this should give me a good base for working with the whites and reds while still giving me the separation and depth that a black undercoat would.  I'll post the results when they are finished.

As far as the miniature's role in my Legends of the High Seas project, let's just say the Governor of Port Largo will not be happy to see the HMS Fury sail into the harbor and these guys disembark for their new post.  Since the HMS Defiance departed the Windward Islands for home over two years ago, the waters around the port have been quite lawless.  Piracy increased significantly but the Governor and many of the merchants in town have done very well for themselves despite the occasional loss of goods and ships.  The pirates and ruffians frequently return from sea heavily laden with goods to sell and coin to spend and they find officials in Port Largo willing to turn a blind eye to the origin of said goods - for a price.  Though the port sees more than its fair share of trouble when the "lads" are in town drinking and wenching, all in all, the arrangement is beneficial to both parties.

However word as reached the Governor that the HMS Fury is due to arrive shortly and that the 20-gun frigate is to be stationed in Port Largo for the foreseeable future.  Furthermore, her captain, William Anson, is rumored to be carrying orders to hunt down several of the most notorious pirates in the area....many of which are some of the Governor's most profitable partners.

There is talk on the streets and whispers in the tavern... A storm is gathering in Port Largo.

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