Saturday, 23 August 2014


Seen this? If you haven't its 80 pages of how to paint French Napoleonic figures from a Spanish concern called 'Proyecto Cruz'. Its the work of Senor Rafael Perez who is one of the seemingly endless line of talented Spanish painters and whose collective master works can be found across the blogosphere. Oh and if you live in the UK it will cost you GBP 20.70 (inc p+p). I hate to think what those across the pond might be asked to contribute.

Is it worth it? I put it in these terms rather than 'Is it any good?' because to my weary eyes it is a splendid product. The figures look great and there are plenty of new ideas for Vallejo triads - I have to confess I am a sucker for these. If someone says you can mix Hull Red with Dark Grey Blue and then lighten with the ubquitous Iraqi Sand  to recreate French camouflage at Dien Bien Phu then I am the first to copy the idea (obviously this is a made up reference, try it at your own risk. It may or may not work). This alone had me hooked as I worked my way through the line infantry, the gunners, the cuirassiered miner, the cavalry and finally the Emperor himself.

Lots of good ideas and some nice pictures, what more could you ask? Pedants will no doubt find the curious Spanglish grammar somewhat challenging but any painting guide that includes the word 'neophyte' in its introduction has got to be worth a look. And anyway you know what they mean and if you cannot work it out then perhaps you might have tried a little harder at school. Except in the case of 'neophyte'. I'm still unsure.

Let's face it, when you trust your investment to the Spanish postal service your hopes are not high. But ola, the package arrived in 4 days. Yes it did. So all in all I was happy.

But is it worth it? You'd spend the same on a box of plastic figures wouldn't you? It would get you around 18 metal figures and you wouldn't think twice, would you? But £20 for a magazine?

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Varnish and Spanglish

I'm normally pretty diligent when it comes to varnishing a figure. Gloss is no problem - the Humbrol enamel is easy to apply and dries quickly enough (although it does tend to become unworkable after I've used about half a tin and end up chucking it away. The challenge comes when it is time for the matt.

I use the Winsor and Newton galleria range. It's very good and dries flat. No sheen or satin finish with this lot. But can I get full coverage of the figure? I put on two coats and then leave them to dry. After which I'll check the figure and touch up any gaps where the gloss is still showing. Then I repeat and repeat and repeat. No matter how often I check the figure there is always a greater or lesser shiny piece winking at me. 'Where did that come from?' I cry. It wasn't there previously but I suppose it must have been. Any hints or tips out there on how to ensure that this doesn't happen? 'Try harder' is not helpful.

I splashed out the £20 necessary to buy the Painting War booklet on how to do French Napoleonic figures. Not cheap. I haven't had the time to properly read the thing yet but will do a small review once I have. The text is however an idiosyncratic form of Spanglish which keeps the reader entertained. The front cover has a logo which looks like a footprint with the words 'In campaing' stamped in the middle. Go figure! Some very nicely painted models though.