Friday, 31 January 2020

Thirty Years War 6mm progress 5: drybrushing the bases

I had to patch the basic dark brown coat twice as a result of my mistake in using a white gesso undercoat instead of a black one. I am repeating this as a penance and to sear it into my brain for next time. White undercoats are appropriate for figures that are going to be painted with washes but not for block painting.

The next step was to dry-brush the ground, avoiding the figures as far as possible. The recipe - in fact the whole base-before-painting approach - came originally from Nik Harwood and is executed with successive applications of the following Citadel colours: (1) Mournfang Brown (formerly Calthan Brown), (2) Zamesi Desert (formerly Bubonic Brown), and (3) Ushabti Bone (formerly Bleached Bone).

The Mournfang Brown barely shows but it’s probably important in achieving the overall effect. Owing to the closeness of the figures I'm applying the dry brushing only to the outer rim of these figure blocks.
I assume these names mean something in the Games Workshop universe. I was helped in tracing the name changes by this very useful colour chart.

The Zamesi Desert is a strong mustard colour up close but after applying it the bases then look sort of greenish from a distance.
Using four colours just for the ground may seem excessive but the ground is going to be the most important area after the dark brown shadow between the ranks of figures. Lightening the ground makes a major contribution towards lightening the whole figure block.

Finally, the Ushabti Bone lightens the overall effect. The Croat Light Cavalry, the Dragoons (above), the Cannons and the Commanders are looser and require some paint between the figures.
With this amount of dry brushing to do I'm not being particularly careful. I'll be adding patches of 2mm Static Grass later in the process and this will cover any unsightly 'splodges'.

With this stage done I think the bases are already beginning to suggest how economical and effective this ultra-minimal approach is going to be.

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