Saturday, August 28, 2010

An Evening at the Workbench

My free time this summer has been spent chiefly reading and researching the American invasion of Canada; only recently have I picked up a paintbrush again. Because of other commitments, most evenings I don't get to paint, and when I do it is rarely for more than 1 hour. For a change of pace I thought I would document an evening at the workbench.

10:31 pm. I'm ready to go. I keep my works-in-progress on a tray and settle in at a spot where there is a radio and good light. The radio is tuned to Minnesota Public Radio; at this time of night they are running a Canadian program called As It Happens. An interminable and fairly pointless interview is airing with a long-time resident of New York's Carnegie Hall (gah!).

I have a bunch of figures on my work tray at any one time. Close to completion are 2 Essex blue-coat Continentals, 2 Peter Pig militia, 1 Musket Miniatures artilleryman, and 4 Freikorps Miniatures naval artillerymen (1 of which is painted to represent a Canadian artillerist, and another an armed merchant). There are also some Minifigs Canadian militia, some Musket Miniatures Continentals, and some Stone Mountain Continentals and British light infantry. Not pictured are a bunch of Minifigs that have been languishing on the tray since March, and that one of these days (or weeks or months) will be completed so as to represent the British 33rd Foot.

My goal for this evening is to finish off a few of the minis that are close to completion. I start with white (all the paints I am using this evening are Vallejo Game Colors), and paint some details on the Freikorps and Essex figures.

10:44 pm. I enjoy mixing colors, and at this point I add a small amount of "filthy brown" to the white and paint the backpack straps on the Essex figures.

10:52 pm. OK, that didn't turn out so well. I break out the Prussian blue and do some touch up where the off-white strayed.

10:56 pm. I normally like to use metallic paints last, but to ensure that I can complete several of the figures tonight, I begin applying silver to various gun barrels and shoe buckles.

11:00 pm. The BBC comes on the air, which provides some of my favorite late-night listening (especially the interviews).

11:08 pm. I switch to black and add the hole to the end of the musket barrels on the Peter Pig figures. They are now complete, unless I should suddenly notice some small flaw (as happens all too often). Shoes, hats, and hair ties are attended to with a handful of figures.

11:20-11:31 pm. I alternate in a short time between blue, white, red, and black, and finish up three of the Freikorps figures. Several others are now also very close to completion, but they will have to wait for another night.

At the end of the night, the work tray looks little changed from when I started. The final detail work, at least, is complete on 5 figures. Two Royal Navy men, 1 armed merchant, and 2 American militiamen are now ready to be varnished, based, and flocked.


  1. Lookign good, AD. I like the Royal Navy types in particular - you rarely see AWI games that feature the navies of either side.

    Best wishes


  2. Thanks, Giles. You're quite right that the Royal Navy doesn't get a lot of attention from wargamers in this period, but as I'm sure you know, they played an important role during the war and were present at a number of engagements fought near the coast and along inland waterways.