Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Saga of Banner Painting: The Hares

This morning, I've been thinking about how to paint the banner for my Splintered Light hares. To the left is a (not-so-good) photo of the banner. I cropped it out of an older photo I shot. As you can see, the banner is only partially painted, and the hare holding it was still unfinished at the time, (Yes, I repainted the ears, getting rid of the green blob. LOL.)

As of today, I've only finished my sword and spear foot soldier hares. Though I've painted the fur on all the figures--using a multi-layered  drybrushing technique that created too much pain in my carpal tunnel hands (I'll have more about how I've had to change that technique in a later post as well!)--I still need to paint the tunics on my officers and archer hares. So here I am, thinking about how I will paint that pesky banner.

Shield Patterns & Banner Patterns?
As for the colors I've been using, the sword and spear hares have a red tunic. The sword hares have a solid hunter green shield, while the spear hares have an avocado green and hunter green shield pattern, with each color taking up one half of the shield. At the moment, the banner is done in hunter green. (My archer hares will have a different colored tunic, but that is a post of another day. Wow, many teasers this morning!)

My original inspiration for these figures has been a combination of British Zulu Colonials combined with Vikings. I wanted a simple but interesting look for the shield patterns, which the Vikings provide. This sheet of transfers served me well. Would it serve as a pattern for the banner?

Too Much Research!
This morning, I spent a couple hours researching banners for inspiration: medieval, ancient barbarians, Warhammer armies, Lord of the Rings, Redwall, you name it. This is an area I know little about, so it was a good education. Plus, I needed to keep quiet because everyone but me is sick. Internet research is quiet. So here we go....

Rohan Banners are Cool, Right?
Rohan warriors have horses on their banners, which makes sense because they are horsemen. Here is a photo of the banners hanging inside the Golden Hall of Edoras from the movie. I like these banners, but fear painting anything like them. Horses for Rohan. What would hares value so much that they put the things on battle banners? Hmm....

The "McBride" Banner?
Dave McBride thought of this as well. His hares have crossed carrots on their banner. Okay, I get the joke. Carrots and bunnies with pink ears, purple for Easter. Yep. But a bit too cute for my hare patrol. So no Easter carrots for my guys. Keep on moving...

How About Medieval Banners?
Okay, so let's look at historical medieval banners. I love Arthurian anything, so how about those banners? So I pop over to Little Big Men Studios to look at their excellent pre-printed banners.  A few seconds after looking at them, I realize why they are pre-printed. Amazing stuff, but way too complicated to paint by hand. Same for all the other Medieval banners.

So What Have We Learned?
Well, I learned banners come in all shapes and patterns. Most banners are very artistic, from Lord of the Rings to Warhammer Elves to GW Empire to historical. I bow in admiration to folks who can paint by hand amazing banners.

So what will I paint on this banner? I still don't know, even after all this. I might cop out and just leave it green for now, finishing off the trim and other bits. Maybe I'll just divide it into halves like the shields? I don't know. I need to think more, and eat some lunch.

I want the banner to look good because I think banners catch peoples' attention quickly, so they need to look sharp. If you guys have any simple ideas that a newbie banner-painter like me can handle, let me know. I'd appreciate it!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Perestroika Exhibition Pins

I found these pins at a local thrift shop, paying 50 cents for the bag. These were commemorative pins for the 1989 Perestroika traveling exhibition. I found an online article from the December 13, 1989 issue of the Orlando Sentinel announcing the exhibition's arrival, "Perestroika Comes To Orlando Show To Give Orlando A View Of Soviet Life." The pins seem to have some value, selling for several dollars each. Of course, I got them because I liked them. Plus, they reminded me of my 28mm Soviets.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

London Thug With Knife

Another of the figures from the London Thugs pack, this fellow is brandishing a shiv. This is the first time I've painted a figure with a bloody knife, but I felt it adds to his menace. The dripping blood was paint that dribbled down the blade all on its own, making for a happy accident! I will say, these figures sure do rock the 'staches.

Friday, March 1, 2013

If I Weren't So Drunk, Why I'd....What Was I Sayin'?

Today's lesson: Kids, don't drink and riot. It's a deadly combination. Just take a look at this fellow, who's had a bit too much of the sauce every day. Do you want to grow up to be like him? Need we say more? I don't think so.

I had a lot of fun painting this guy's face. When I finished priming him, he looked like a drunk old coot, so I just had to try my hand at making him look like one. I gave his bulbous nose a nice shade of red, along with his cheeks and lips. Plus some bleary eyes. That single tooth is also nasty. His ratty and worn jacket fit him perfectly. Sometimes I get a bit proud of my "children"! LOL. Another of the London Thugs pack.