Wednesday, March 20, 2013

From MikeW: 28mm El Cid Mounted Sergeants & Ronin #42 (110 points)

From Mike:

Well, I'm not going to catch Ray, but...
Herewith Ronin #42: this is one of a very very nice set of Westwind Samurai, of which this was the one I picked. I kind of regret it, because while it was the easiest to assemble, those arms are in a really awkward place and I hate doing faces at the best of times!
The nittygritty: Army Painter black undercoat: the base details - the red armour is several layers of progressively more sparingly drybrushed AP Dragon Red, and the chest armour is the same drybrushing but with layers of AP Weapon Bronze and then AP Greedy Gold and AP Strong Tone ink. Based on a UK 2p piece, Tamiya Dark Earth textured paint, some eBay foliage clusters. I have to say I'm not 100% happy with it, but as a piece it's way way outside my comfort zone, and it's not anything I'd attempt for myself!


I wanted to explore just /how/ good Army Painter can be, even for someone as generally lousy as me, to get a unit to wargames standard. So...

4:30 pm today: start assembling the horses from a box of Fireforge mounted Sergeants (I already used three as command in my El Cid army, so there were 9 left)

5.05 pm: done. Spray undercoat in AP Matt Black, leave to dry. 

5.10 pm: assemble first four riders

5.30 pm: pause to consider cloaks, realise I've put the heads on too soon. Swear, remove heads before glue sets. Stop assembling riders. Remove rest of bits of riders *except* cloaks from sprue. Spray cloaks AP Dragon Red *on the sprue*.

5.40 pm: Dad's Taxi Service to take son to tennis

6.10 pm: return from tennis, assemble rest of riders sans heads

6.30 pm: blutac to painting stick, spray undercoat AP Daemonic Yellow - two coats about 2 mins apart.

6.40 pm: find spare kite shields without arms from left over Conquest Games Normans, satisfy myself I have nine between these and the non-heater shields in the Fireforge box. Spray backs AP Leather Brown, leave to dry while finding wife's pin box, spray fronts of shield AP Daemonic Yellow, again on the sprue. 

6.50 pm: Paint shield designs with AP Dragon Red

7.05 pm: try sticking pins in heads. Discover they won't go in. Heat pin on gas ring, NOW they do. Arrange line of heads on pins on painting stick. Feel like a very angry Sheriff of Nottingham making an example of some miscreants. Wish I'd photographed it.

7.15 pm: Discover I'm out of AP Plate Mail spray. Swear. Spray heads with AP Human Flesh instead (and the can ONLY just lasts).

7.20 pm: brief moment of panic as I can't find glasses to drive to fetch James. Find them upstairs by dressmaking box. Pass wife (on way back from work) on garden path on way out to be Dad's Taxi again.

7.50pm: Return with son. Supper.

8.20pm: Start painting horses. Three black, four bays of various shades (mixes of AP Oak Brown and GW Dark Flesh), one chestnut (GW Dark Flesh/AP Monster Brown mix, Vallejo Khaki mane and tail), one grey (AP Ash Grey using an AP stippling brush). A couple get white markings with AP Matt White and a touch of Vallejo Khaki on white-socked hooves)

8.50 pm: Start on horse blankets (AP Dragon Red), saddles/tack (Vallejo Red Leather - I pick this because I *never* use it as a horse colour, so my tack always stands out).

9.10 pm: brief pause to say goodnight to son.

9.30 pm: finish horse tack. Glue riders in saddles, start painting mail, axe head, swords, spearpoints on riders (AP Plate Mail). Re-glue the riders that don't stick first time.

9:55pm: start on spear halts, axe handle, standard (Vallejo US Field Drab)

10.15pm: Start assembling cloaks/heads.

10.30pm: Start basing: Tamiya Desert Sand textured paint and straight into a tub of Javis Desert Sand mix, knock excess off on sides of tub.

10.45pm: realise I forgot to do stirrup leathers and sword scabbards: Out with the Vallejo Red Leather again, being careful how I handle the bases!

10.55pm: Deep breath. Ink washes. AP Strong Tone first, on the mail, cloaks, standards and shields (just to back off the brightness of the yellow a bit). Then AP Soft Tone on the yellow surcoat.

11.15pm: mix 50/50 AP Matt White/AP Barbarian Flesh, try and retouch highlights on faces a bit.

11:20pm: AP Dark Tone ink wash on horses (except for the grey which gets AP Strong Tone.

11:27pm: poke head outside back door, realise it's close to zero outside. Decide varnishing is probably a bad idea :D

11:30pm: photograph, upload, start typing ... :D

Mike, that was a great advertisement for both AP and for what can get done in an evening. Great job! Also, thanks very much for Ronin #42, he will take his honoured place amongst the others in many blood-soaked skirmish battles to come.

Mike's Ronin and the mounted sergeants will give him 110 points. Well done and thank you very much for #42!


  1. What a busy night you had, I just watched a film.

    They look great as well


  2. Curt - can I just add (now I'm awake again and still jet lagged after five days!) how much I and I'm sure everyone else appreciates just how much effort /you/ put in curating and managing this contest.

    I remain, as ever, distinctly humbled by the standard most folks manage, but I have to say? This contest has always been some of the BEST motivation both to get better and simply to get working through the lead/plastic pile.

    Mike, looking for a suitable mailing box for several Samurai and a Viking!

  3. Breathless stuff. I'm knackered just from reading that! Superb stuff.

  4. Great work Mike and that's amazingly quick work on the cavalry :)

  5. Nice work Mike and sounds like a fun packed evening!!

  6. Preaching to the converted, great job.



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