Another day, another horse
Posted by Martin on March 17, 2007
This week I started on the second horse in the Calpe Prussian command set I’m working on at the moment.
Most of the early work, is frankly, necessary but boring: I did a little cleaning up of mould lines with files and a fibreglass brush, not that Peter’s castings ever need much attention in this department. Then I drilled and pinned the rider to the horse. I still use paperclip wire for the pin (the ones I use have a diameter of 0.8mm). But I’ve evolved a couple of time-saving simplifications to my method.
Firstly, I now drill the hole in the horse’s saddle a much greater diameter than the pin – actually 2mm. This means I don’t have to worry about being precise with the positioning. Though the hole in the underside of the rider is still done as a tight 0.8mm fit and the pin is fixed there prior to marrying up with the horse.
The second change is that I can’t be bothered with the fiddle of mixing up two-part expory adhesive any more. It’s too smelly, the stuff is stringy and awkward to work with and it takes ages to set. I’ve never liked cyano-acrylate (i.e. superglue) because the bond is brittle. So, the solution? Simple, I use green stuff – both to fix the pin in the rider and to fill the over-wide hole in the horse. Then I simpy press fit the rider on to the horse and leave the green stuff to harden. Setting still takes ages but the whole job is quicker, simpler and cleaner.
After that, I primed black and left overnight to dry thoroughly. Notice how it takes two nights to get this far! That’s why I always save these jobs for week nights when I’m tired after a long day at the office.
Then, on Thursday, I started painting the horse. This one is intended to turn out as a very pale, almost cream one with dark knees and socks. So I’ve experimented with five layers: flat earth, ochre brown, yellow ochre, buff and ivory. It’s not been entirely successful. My idea is to have the constrast of a really deep colour in the deepest shadows but, on review, the flat earth is too dark and I’ve overdone the area covered by the ivory so the contrast is even more stark.
Later tonight, I hope to apply some remedial measures to cover over almost all of the flat earth with ochre brown and make more use of the other two mid-colours in this palette. If that works well, I can finish up the knees and socks and move on to the rider himself.