The Perry experiment begins
Posted by Martin on October 2, 2008
Since I’ve been off work looking after ill children, it seemed like an opportunity to start trying to paint my first ever Perry miniature. This horse comes from pack FN68 “cuirassiers on standing horses in reserve, at ease (2)” – quite a mouthful! And these two photos show work in progress.
So far I’ve done some work on parts of the saddle furniture including the shabraque, valise ends, wolftooth edging of the sheepskin saddlecloth and some of the cape strapped the valise. I’ve also done the head (above the reins). These items were selected to enable me to get a feel for what Perry horses are like to paint, to enable me to try out the Foundry wine stain paint triple and to confirm that the black coat I want to use for the horse is going to work.
My initial observations on Perry horses are as follows:
- They’re about the same height as Calpe horses, which makes for a pleasing scale fit.
- As I suspected, there’s more cleaning up and preparation work than I’m used to. Quite a few casting runners needed to be removed and filed down.
- They’re thin animals. This is especially noticable on the legs when viewed from the front or back. The body is also thinner than I’m used to and certainly more so that the horses we see plenty of in the Wiltshire lanes and fields locally. I suppose you might say these Perry horses are survivors of the retreat from Moscow!
- Some details seem a little rushed: the legs and particularly the hooves spring to mind. Other details I like very much, especially the head.
- The overall pose and proportions of the sculpts are very natural. Maybe the legs are just a touch too long but that might be a subjective view on my part.
The Foundry wine stain triple is a tonally good set. The three shades are just the right distances apart though I’m not yet convinced by the coverage. In mitigation, I should say that I probably didn’t shake or stir them thoroughly enough in my enthusiasm to rush and try them out. For use as lie de vin, they’re probably a bit too bright but I think that’s better than being too dark. I’m actually keen to have these details stand out a bit on these figures. I won’t be able to tell if the overall effect will look right until the sheepskin and horseflesh is painted. Foundry paints also seem to dry with a slight sheen to them but that’ll get fixed at the varnishing stage.
This is intended to be a black horse with a flesh coloured nose and mouth. If you look closely at any “black” object in real life, you’ll soon realise that it isn’t actually black but various shades of dark grey. I once read a really interesting article about painting black and white objects that asserted that white objects are defined by their shadows and black objects are defined by their edges. So here I’m trying to use greys to highlight highspots like the tips of the ears, eyelids and musculature. I think the camera flash has over picked up these greys in these photos -they don’t look so prominent in real life.
Overall, a pleasing start but there’s plenty more work ahead with the grey paints.