Samurai on a Stick!

I’m never sure of the best way of painting cavalry. Should you attach the rider to the horse and paint the model as a complete item? Or is it better to paint the horse and rider separately? I’ve tried both methods and I think that when it comes to painting a unit of cavalry, I find that a batch paint for the horses and riders separately works best for me. I tend to paint the horses in two’s or three’s, varying the colour for each batch and then adding different markings to give some variety. The same goes for the riders, unless of course, they are in uniform.

It’s then a question of how to paint the rider. By this I mean how do you hold the rider when there is no base to grip?

my previous method of mounting riders for painting

I’ve tried several methods. My preferred method used to be to sit the rider on a ‘saddle’ of blue tack attached to a stick. I then upgraded this to the method above. A wire stuck in bluetack through a plastic tube. It was OK but a bit over engineered!

My latest solution is just to drill the base of the rider and use super glue to attach a cocktail stick. The cocktail stick is more than big enough to hold whilst you are painting the figure and gives you access to all areas! Once the model is painted, I simply clipped off the stick with my trusty Xuron sprue clippers and the rider was ready to attach to his horse. Cheap, easy and effective.

Samurai cavalry primed, dry brushed and ready to paint.

As you can see from above, I ‘plonk’ the stick into a blob of blutack in between coats to protect the paint from any damage or if a wash is drying.

The horses were painted separately as a ‘mini batch’
Ready to paint the riders
The nearly finished Cavalry – just the basing to complete!
two out of six complete – just four more on the bench.

So, I have a new simple method of painting cavalry riders that seems to be both cheap and effective. Unfortunately, whilst it makes painting easier, it doesn’t make it faster. It’s taken me two weeks to get six horses and two riders completed. Just four more to go!

Horses done, riders underway.

Happy modelling!

How’s Retirement going?

I officially retired on Thursday 28th March and with the Friday being Good Friday a bank holiday, it should have been an easy transition to a life of loafing and painting model soldiers. Hmmm. It didn’t quite work out as I planned. The fact that everyone else was off on their Easter break made it feel like nothing much had changed.

As grand parents, we found ourselves on child care duty for a few days over the last couple of weeks to cover the school holidays, so again, my time wasn’t quite my own. Add to that the glitches involved in closing a business down and the queries that have arisen regarding all sorts of family and other issues and it doesn’t quite feel like I have reached a state of contented bliss that retirement promised! Indeed, I have painted less in the last three weeks than I usually manage.

The good news is that it hasn’t all been work and complications. Eleanor ( my granddaughter) and I were able to finish off one of her modelling projects. She had been making and painting a Sarissa precision delivery van which she chose to complete as a Fresh Grape sales van. Most of the painting was done, it was just the basing to complete. Here’s the result.

Fresh Grapes anyone?

I helped with the ground work but Eleanor did most of the painting and was very enthusiastic when it came to adding the tufts and flowers! It’s a nice little model for her collection and I very much recommend the smaller Sarrissa kits as great little project for youngsters ( Eleanor is 8 years old), so long as they have an adult to help with the super glue etc.

We also visited the Newark Air museum. Perhaps not quite on Eleanor’s agenda but Granddad thought it was appropriate. Actually, I thoroughly enjoyed the visit as did Eleanor. We were lucky enough to be able to sit in the Vulcans cockpit – it’s not always available. There is plenty to see here, mainly Cold War jets but a really good venue. Anyone coming to Newark to go to the Partizan Wargames show would be well advised to take time out to visit the air museum. It is less than 2 minutes down the road and well worth a coupe of hours from your day.

Ashigaru with teppo!

Despite all of the distractions. I have achieved some progress with my Samurai project. It has taken some time but my second unit of Teppo armed Ashigaru is now completed – just the movement tray to landscape! This now gives me 24 Ashigaru with Teppo, more than enough for the time being. So I’ve now turned my attention to mounted Samurai.

Ponies for the mounted Samurai.

I have six assembled and awaiting painting. I’ve decided to paint 2 light brown ponies, 2 dark brown, one black and one white one for variety. The horses are first up and you can see the first two are ready for their riders.

Mounted Samurai W.I.P.

I’ll paint all six horses first before returning to paint the riders. I’m hoping that now the Easter holidays have come to an end and I gradually tick off the job list, I’ll have a bit more time to get these finished!

As always, Happy modelling!