Painting – “Ready, Aim, Fi… look, a squirrel!”

I finished these three last weekend and spray varnished them on Monday night. It’s taken me the rest of the week to get suitable photographs of them! Two are GW Warhammer plastic archers (Bretonnians), and the last is a much older metal RAFM figure (RAF03907 Male Ranger). Interestingly enough, when I did a search to find out what this figure was, I realised that I also have the counterpart (RAF03908 Female Ranger) undercoated and ready to paint with my next batch of adventurers.

I looked at a few images of medieval clothing and costumes for archers (in recreations). I wanted a simple colour scheme for this lot and went with predominately greens and browns. The Bretonnians have a fair level of detail, but suiting peasant bowmen, are simple figures with minimal “gear”. They will be perfect for NPC’s, hirelings or henchmen in my D&D games. The Ranger has a lot more detail and “stuff” – bow, arrow in hand, quiver of arrows, two swords, dagger strapped to leg, pouch, bracers, and boot lacing. As much as I like good detail on figures, each of these needs to be different in colour so that you can pick them out. I didn’t want to spend hours mixing paint or selecting different colours and waiting for stuff to dry so there’s not much variation here. After all, I’m not entering a painting competition!

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“Something’s sneaking up on our flank!”

I check over my figures and clean up bits of metal/plastic and lines left over from moulding before I start. I find mould lines, in particular are more obvious after undercoating, so I often have a second round with knife and file then. The Ranger though was driving me crazy: I’d cleaned up the figure as I usually do, but as I started applying colour I kept finding things that weren’t obvious earlier – sword hilt attached to hat, bow “wider” behind arm bracer, extra material between sleeve and mail, larger cheek bones on one side of the face, one eye higher than the other! This figure either came out of a bad mould or maybe it was late in the casting run, or just terrible quality control. In the end, only the sword grip suffered badly. It is still slightly off-kilter (not a smooth slim cylinder), but I was afraid of breaking the end off if I tried to shape it properly.

The Bretonnians were based on some flocked bases I got from Azazel – rather than plain black rounds, since they are distinctly outdoor figures. The Ranger with his metal rock slabs got glued onto a plain round base and an extra rock added.

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Bowmen, rear view.

Next up – Group 2: female Ranger, male Wizard, male Priest, male priest/mage/angry noble.Hopefully I’ll finish these over Easter.

(Then three Elves in group 3)

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