Sunday, 11 October 2015

Is more less?

I always find it quite hard to know just how far to go when painting detail on my Hinton Hunt figures. For a start a lot of the detail just simply does not exist on the castings and has to be invented and painted in. In the case of this Cuirassier trooper he had no clasp over his shoulders or belt around his waist.

The reason I paint a test figure is to decide what level of detail I’m going to go for and this is usually a matter of trial and error because sometimes what I plan to do just doesn’t look right on the figure. Often I simplify things, for instance I don’t usually paint buttons on the rank and file figures but will do so on officers and personality figures.

So tonight I’ve spent half an hour messing around with this trooper introducing the white edging to the red lining of his cuirass, putting a black belt around the bottom of it and painting in a brass shoulder fastener – all things specified in the Hinton Hunt painting instructions but not actually modelled on the figure.

Whether this is really worth the effort or will be visible on the table during Vintage Waterloo (where this figure will be lost amongst 2,000 others) is debatable. However as this will probably be the only French Cuirassier unit that I paint for this project I’ve decided to make the effort even though it will add a couple of hours extra painting time to getting this unit finished.

10 comments:

MSFoy said...

Matter of how far you want to go, I suppose, but I must say the white piping on the cuirass lining and the brass straps look terrific. As I am a fairly poor painter, I've put some effort into refining my excuses over the years. I find that sometimes I do better if I leave some of the detail out - for example, I don't paint the white edging on the turnbacks of 20mm French Legere, simply because if I don't put it in people don't miss it, and if I do put it in and it's less than perfect it actually makes the figures look worse. I've developed a rule of thumb for my white uniformed Spaniards - if they have white lapels with a coloured piped edge then i paint it on - otherwise a bit of facing detail is missing - but if they have coloured lapels with a white edge (against a white jacket) then it looks neater and better not to bother with the piping. It's not really logical, it's what I find looks best in a particular case.

Anyway - your efforts on this fellow look excellent.

Somebody, years ago (was it Rose Miniatures? Scruby?), said you should paint on belts etc, because a belt in 20mm scale was about the same thickness as a coat of paint. Now there's a recipe for some scruffy figures!

Tony

The Hobbyist said...

With such small units a little extra is reasonable - plus its like an itch, once you know its there (or not in this case) you cannot ignore it.

Stryker said...

Tony - I know just what you mean, sometimes leaving detail out definitely improves the overall effect. The problem can be knowing what to leave out!

Mr Hobbyist - yes with a 12 figure unit I really have no excuse to cut corners!

Wellington Man said...

It's definitely possible to put too much on. I know this because I'm an habitual offender. However, I think you've hit just the right balance with this one. He looks terrific.

Stryker said...

Thanks Matt!

Conrad Kinch said...

I think it's very much a case of personal preference. I've had this argument with Du Gourmand on a couple of occasions, he quite rightly points out that such and such a detail can't be viewed at wargaming distances.

Then I counter with, "But I'll know it's not there!"

Stryker said...

Conrad - you've hit the nail on the head there, it's all about feeling happy with the end result even if it can't be seen from three feet away!

MSFoy said...

This business of perfection that you can't actually see regularly catches me out - especially with flags. A little while ago I spent a fair amount of time buying in a special 18th Century computer font which was perfect for the text on some irregular Spanish flags. I was really pleased, and took a lot of trouble over them - when they were printed in 1/72, you couldn't read the text at all - even with a magnifying glass - and I could easily have used a Chinese font for all anyone would know. Of course, I laughed about it, but I recently caught myself showing these flags to someone, and heard myself saying, "You can't tell, but I used an authentic vintage font for that text that you can't read..."

This is why very few people ever visit here twice, I think.

Wellington Man said...

What have you stuck him onto the lid with, Ian?

Stryker said...

Matt - I use super glue as this is the only thing that will hold the riders really steady. I use wood glue for figures with bases.