Nurse, pass the trailspike
Posted by Martin on July 25, 2010
Back to the painting table this weekend and another one of the figures for the Prussian horse artillery base is completed. This chap holds a trailspike – the name for a glorified wooden pole used to help manhandle artillery pieces in the field. Some nations seemed to go in for trailspikes that were carved into interesting shapes but the Prussians stuck to a simple straight pole. The woodwork of Prussian artillery equipment was painted a grey-blue, so I’ve gone for a palette of Prussian Blue, Grey Blue and Sky Blue here which seems to work well.
I’ve also taken on board some feedback about the mud weathering and applied it to the bottom of the overalls as well now – thanks to Harry the Elder for spotting that oversight.
Only two more figures to finish off plus the artillery piece itself before I can base up the whole ensemble. I’ve started on the wheels for the cannon using the palette described above. The plan is to paint each part of the cannon individually and them assemble it because that makes painting those awkward to reach places much less stressful. So, at the moment, my painting table sports the comical vision of two cannon wheels impaled on cocktail sticks which are in turn skewered to a wine cork that is firmly blu-tacked to a bottle top. It’s a Heath Robinson affair but it’s standing up to the rigours of handling very well.
As I look at this pair of photos that I’ve stitched together here, I’m definitely feeling that I’ve mastered the photography set-up now. I’m getting the results I’ve always visualized in my mind and, more importantly, it’s a consistently repeatable process now. Plus, I only have to do minimal digital post-processing. I suppose that means I ought to write it up for reference – you never know when a memory lapse might strike. I’m tempted to describe it right now but I think it would be better with a few illustrative pictures of the set-up so I’ll leave it until another occasion.