Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dismounted dragoons (and a dead legere) nearly done - the 'how-to' for basing and finishing your new dragoons!

After the usual interruptions I've managed to do the finishing on the dismounted dragoons from the latest Perry's release.  I decided to use the plastic bases that came with the set - perfect for the figures in 'open order' as it were.  I cut and maggy-sheeted some individual bases to go with them.  The figures in this first pic have been finished with Army Painter, final touch-ups (white cartridge-box belts etc)- got all the way through them, glued them to the bases and started the flocking before I found out I'd forgotten the boot spurs! 

After leaving overnight for the Painter to set, a solid coat of matt varnish and then leave them for a few hours more. I found it useful to do it in stages, leaving the figures overnight after finishing the painting as the paint has to be completely dry before coating with Army Painter otherwise you risk crackling ( a nice effect interior designers strive for but a disaster for miniature soldier painters!)  The completely dried and varnished figures are then removed from the painting sticks, the figure bases cleaned up and then glued to the stand bases, all of which have magnetic sheeting cut to fit on the bottom (gives the figures a smidgeon more 'heft' too!)
The first part of the flocking I add some rock and grass features.  I gives a nice touch to the bases rather than just the straight flocking mix.  I tend to do it on the nicer figure stands, command vignettes and casualty markers.  Its pretty straight forward and an easy techniques to use to enhance the look of your bases.
I use small rocks - railway scenery 'ballast' that is actually a very light shale - put a dollop of PVA glue on the base (I use a fine palette knife to make sure I get it where I want it) and then press the small rocks into it - just enough so they are seated in the glue not covered by it!  I then get a good pinch of the static grass and making sure it covers all the glue and rocks, press it firmly, then carefully lift and tap off the excess.
The next step is to add the rest of the flocking.  I use a paint sample-pot of Dulux Olive Green which gives a nice undercoating as well as remaining wet enough for the flock to adhere to. I think I have said in a previous post that you get 250 ml. in a sample pot - enough to do thousands of bases!  As you can see above, the grassy outcrops look particularly effective on casualty markers - this one being a dead French legere  carabinier (French light infantry equivalent of a grenadier) - formerly a dead British fusilier and one of the handy casualty freebies you get with the horse sprues in each box - the grenadier's bearskin courtesy of the elite company dragoon heads.

After you've given them a final flocking (sounds kinda wrong but looks alright!) wipe off the excess on the edges finish sealing them with paint - I use a flat black acrylic as it defines and lifts the base. 

Tomorrow its off outside to give them the last coat of matt varnish to seal the lot in forming a nice solid protective coating for the stands. I'll post some pics of the final results when its all done - then its off to paint hordes of Indian sepoys for the Black Powder Indian Mutiny battle planned for week after next!

We do like that dragoon officer too! He's turned out OK but I may have to do more work on that fake leopardskin on the helmet.