ISSUE NUMBER 1

HISTORICAL MINIATURES BY GEORGE GRASSE
HISTORICAL MINIATURES JOURNAL

AUGUST 2008

HISTORICAL MINIATURES JOURNAL ISSUE NUMBER 1

PUBLISHED BY GEORGE GRASSE

MODELING TIPS

 

MILITARY MINIATURES

Tip 1) I use primarily acrylic water-based paints.  One exception is the occasional use of enamels such as Testor's Model Master or Humbrol.  The necessary exception however is the use of artist's oil for horses.  Horses have a large surface area covered with muscles that have to be highlighted.  This can only be done while the whole of the surface area is still wet enough to blend without being rushed.  Once the folds (dark shading) and the ridges (light shading) are done do my satisfaction, I bake the horse in a warming drawer at about 150 for about 6 hours.  By then, all of the oils are baked dry to the touch.  Then, I paint the "socks" and head patch white.  Here's a tip: occasionally, the oils dry to a finish that will not accept an acrylic paint; this is where the enamels come in.  If you need to over-paint with acrylics, an enamel surface works fine.  After the white is applied, I next paint the horse's nose which can be a variation of pink or grey.  This is followed by the eyes and then the hair.  After all that, you're home free to paint all that saddlery, metal fittings, portmanteau, shabraque, and so on.  The example shown below is a Mtal Modles MM0046 7e Regiment de Dragons Soldat.  By the way, Mtal Modles is pronounced "may-tall" "mo-dell" and not metal models.

                                                   

Tip 2) Horses reins are made from lead sheet stock, i.e., from my large supply of lead foils saved from the thousands of bottles of wine I have consumed.  Of course, nowadays, the foil is not lead based.  Cut the strips you need and prime them.  Then paint them a semi-gloss black as in the photo above.  Attach with a sparing amount of "super glue".  I usually pre-drill the area where the reins are to be fitted unless there is a pre-existing loop through which the rein can easily pass.  By the way, I pre-drill the area on the figure where saber straps are to be glued.

Tip 3) I rarely over-paint black leather with clear gloss.  Rather, I mix about 1/2 flat black and 1/2 gloss black and this works well for boots, cartridge boxes, black leather straps, even black horse hair.  For brown leather, I choose a light brown color and paint the object.  I then stain it with a dark red-brown.  When dry I do over-paint with a clear semi-gloss mix of 1/2 clear gloss and 1/2 distilled water.  You can experiment with the level of gloss you prefer.  Often, the semi-gloss (clear or black) is cut down on my palette by adding more distilled water for clear or more flat black for the semi-gloss black.

 

WORLD WAR I AVIATION MODELING IN 1:48 SCALE

Tip 4) For wiring (wing bracing, struts) I use .009 music wire.  You have to pre-drill every single hole.  It's quite a difficult and tedious task but each wire is cut to length, put in place (and trimmed if necessary), before a small amount of "super glue" is carefully placed in the hole with the wire.  This process significantly strengthens the model when completed.  Make sure you have on hand a pair of small, delicate pliers made especially for cutting hardened steel wire.  You can purchase any scale wire in varying lengths from: http://www.smallparts.com/

Tip 5) I use MisterKit acrylic WW1 paints for finishing the model in most cases.  For each of these MisterKit colors, I have mixed or found matches in several other paint lines just to have other choices especially as a base coat over which the final MisterKit coat is applied.  Note that these paints have a slight satin sheen and hide brush strokes well.

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