The New Order

I've completed the new cardboard paint-rack I was working on, and used the opportunity to reorganise my modelling bench work-space a bit.

It doesn't look much more organised than it did before, but believe me, it is. Not only because I have a new paint rack, and not only because I've tidied up a bit, but because my friend Gold gave me one of these kitset MDF tool racks. He didn't have the construction instructions for it, so putting it together was a bit like working out one of those annoying 3d jig-saw puzzles, but I eventually managed to figure it out.

I've been making (very slow) progress on painting some of the HäT plastic 20mm British Peninsular War infantry I mentioned a little while ago. I've been finding it a bit of a hard slog; the painting method (working up from a black undercoat) is new to me, and I spent a bit of time floundering about to find a decent way to do the white uniform trousers decently — a Vallejo Iraqui Sand undercoat did the trick; grey looked too dark and harsh.

This is as far as I've got in the last month or so, at this rate it will take quite a while before I have an army's worth of figures painted and based. I am getting a little bit faster though.

I've always been a metal-figure man, and I still think metal figures are more tactilely satistfying as well as having generally sharper detail, but I have to confess that plastic figures have some significant advantages. They're much, much cheaper for a start, and that's no small consideration when it comes to building large armies. They're light and durable — again a big advantage when it comes to large armies; humping hundreds of lead miniatures around can be a groin-straining exercise, and metal figures are notoriously fragile when they clatter around against each other.

And one last thing — they make basing easier. That may seem a small thing, but disguising the stands of metal figures with putty and what-not can absorb a surprising amount of time and effort. With plastics, I can just use a small soldering iron to melt the figure stands out, merging them with the base material (I'm using 3mm MDF here). You can see the raw, unpainted, smooshed-out basing in the stand on the left; the other two have been painted over. I'll probably flock the bases, but they would serve quite well in paint just as they are.

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