Finishing the job
Recently I decided to take a page out of BigRedBat’s book, having read his article in a recent issue of Wargames Soldiers and Strategy. The article, called “One piece at a time” and published in issue 69, spoke of how he collected his armies together using a mixture of miniatures he had bought and repainted off Ebay. I wanted to try this and see if it was any quicker than the fast painting method that I have discussed on my blog before. In the back of my mind as well was the simply huge amount of miniatures we would need to recreate the battle of Ligny: we would require hundreds of figures! Anything that helped curb this lead and plastic mountain would be good.
I don’t usually buy miniatures off Ebay. It is at times a hypnotising place where you can get sidetracked for hours or end up in a bidding war – to lose (with gritted teeth) or to win and possibly suffer “buyer’s regret”. The main reason is the amount of time it saps away. Time is precious when deadlines are pressing, which is pretty much every day.
So I fancied giving a try and repainting a few miniatures I had recently bought off Ebay (one of those knee jerk decisions!). I paid £26 including postage for 42 plastic French infantry. The package duly arrived and to my relief, there were no breakages in transit; the models were intact. In addition, the glue used was fragile, so breaking off backpacks, etc., would be easy. This I wanted to do so I could repaint them cleanly.
The models themselves had been given a pretty basic coat of paint; I suspect without the use of an undercoat. They were for the most part tidily done with a few obvious parts that would need touching up, where white had strayed into blue. They also had a slightly glossy look. The good thing was there were no “blobs” of paint obscuring detail.
Now to work. I removed them from their bases and also removed the backpacks. I then tidied up any areas that had obviously been mispainted or needed a second coat. This was a fairly quick procedure. I then added a black wash (Army Painter Dark Tone ink), which covered the figure nicely, while removing any excessive pooling of ink. This had the additional benefit of matting the miniature. I then waited for the models to dry before adding a few simple highlights, typically on the face. I also added some white lines to highlight the strapping and added in piping where it was absent. The backpacks and arms were attached back on with Revel Contacta Professional, which gives a good strong bond. That’s pretty much it!
I am pretty happy with the overall results and a quick inking and repaint is somewhat faster than starting from scratch. These 42 models will soon add a battalion and three quarters to my French force. And yes, we are using 24 figures to a unit or “battalion”. Vive Napoleon!