Thursday, 30 December 2010

Step by Step American GI in Greatcoat - Part 1

I'm in the process of painting some 28mm GIs and I thought that I would put up some step by step pictures.   I'm painting these relatively quickly.  I'm painting some American Airborne to a better standard and I'll post a step by step of those at a later date.

I'm using a rosemary brush, series 33, size 10/0 (which isn't actually that small).

The first step is to clean up the figure and then apply a black undercoat.  I use Vallejo black and I pretty much just slop it on.  If you want to improve the finish then you need to apply the undercoat more carefully.

I would ordinarily paint the flesh first but on this mini I decided for some reason to paint the greatcoat.  On most gaming minis I try to choose a neat mid tone by which I mean an unmixed paint.

In this case I'm using vallejo US Drab.  I don't have much time to paint and using an unmixed paint for the midtone means that I can break the painting into stages more easily.  Once I've finished the base coat I can come back a few days later and apply the midtone without having to recreate the mix I've used.

So the first step is a coat of US Drab mixed with a little black.  Try not to put too much black in or the mini will have too much contrast.  You can see I've applied it pretty roughly - actually a little more roughly than normal - but I'm getting impatient in my old age.  Try to go as close as possible to the edges where the black lines are.  You can see the edges around the hands are pretty rough.  I'm going to clean these up when I do the flesh basecoat.

The second step is applying the midtone.  This is neat US Drab.  Your paint should be relatively thin.  It is better to have the paint too thin than too thick.  You can always go over it again if the paint is too thin.  If you apply it too thickly the surface of the paint becomes uneven and you can't remove the paint once it is applied.  Try apply the second layer over all the areas except those in deepest shadow.

Although the folds on the coat are largely made up they still follow the contours of the miniature.  So the folds on the forearm start in a sculpted fold in the cloth but are continued onto a flatter part of the miniature.  When I'm painting to a higher standard I try not to make the shadows follow the contours of the mini much more closely.  If I was being more careful I would have made sure that the mid tone on the chest further up towards the tab on the collar.  The highlight is almost reversed on this figure so that more base coat is showing at the tab than at the bottom where the greatcoat closes over the chest - never mind!

The third step - which I haven't done very well - is to place the highlight colour.  This is US Drab with a little white.  Try to place it in the middle of the mid tone - or over the midtone at the point which catches the most light.  I tried to change the folds on the right hand side of the trenchcoat mid way through....  didn't really work!  You can see I've also amended the highlight.

I'll post pictures of the rest of the squad during the same stages and then move on to the other parts of the miniature when I get a chance.

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