Thursday, 29 January 2015

From PeterD - 28mm Berber Light Horsemen (81 points)

OK, it has been several weeks since my last posting.  Part of this was due to illness, part due to a hectic time at work (relatively speaking, my work life is still way simpler than it used to be) and part due to problems with this @#$%&* unit!!

Anyway we have an 8 man unit of 28mm Berber Light Cavalry mercenaries to fight alongside my Andalusians.  The figures are by Hat and produced in a hard plastic, and as such as a little "lighter" than metal 28s.    But the effect isn't bad if one keeps the figures in separate units.  And as I noted on a prior posting, the horses have a very nice fine boned Arab look to them.  The plastics don't paint up as well as metals since the detail is not as clearly defined.  While the plastic is harder than Airfix or Ecsi it lacks the crisp details of the Perry or Victrix plastics.

Anyway I ran into two issue with these guys, both of them originating between the seat cushion and the paint brush.  Issue one was I decided to go with a black primer since there was to be a lot of white on the figures, and I thought it might bring some crispness.  This worked really well with the horses, as the leaving a thin line of black primer gave a very good shading effect and highlighted details.  But it work less well on the riders since it required a lot of second coats with lighter colours (like whites, creams and yellows).  And before anyone asks, I am a "fix the riders on the horses and paint them both as one casting" kinda guy.  Therefore the idea of priming the horses in black and the riders in white isn't gonna fly.

Issue two came when I decided to go for a "Berber Indigo" colour on some of the cloaks and head wear.  Great idea, but an Epic Fail on initial execution.  I used a "primary blue" acrylic with Black washes, and the end result was aptly described by my better half as "too shiny".  So I got grumpy and sick for a while and contemplated binning the lot, but fortunately thought better of it after a while.

One of the advantages of working on campus is that there are neat resources available, like an on site fine art supply store that gives me a staff discount.  So I pottered off to chat up the store manager for ideas.  Her solution for Berber Indigo was a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Carbon Black, plus an optional dab of Dioxazine Purple.  Those are the names given to the Artists Acrylics shades that I work with, but I am sure that GW and other modelling lines have similar shades available with gaddawful names at three times the price (end of rant).  It turned out that my Purple had been binned a while back so I went with the Black and Blue mix but it greatly improved the figures and I rather like the effect.  It also got the approval of my at home colour conscious quilter.  I don't what the visual equivalent of "perfect pitch" is, but she's got it.

The flag is free handed based on Moorish tile designs plus artistic (sic) license.

I am not super enthused by the photos, they came out very dark and I had to play with the exposure and thus messed up the colours a bit.  But these guys are off my to finish list and on the blog roll!


  1. Not tried the HAT plastics yet but I am sure it is just a matter of time. So thanks for the heads up about them.

    These do look pretty good to me. I have also binned a unit so far in this challenge so I know your pain.

    1. Thanks Clint
      The hat figures do paint up nicely but there are some down sides too. The movement and the horses are pluses, facial details and lighteness of the men the downsides.
      Cheers, PD

  2. They look very nice for all the trouble they caused. I like the movement of the Hat figures and your banner is splendid!

  3. Well they were worth persevering with as the end results are lovely


  4. Sorry to hear they were so difficult, but they turned out well in the end. I hope you are feeling better. I was stricken by a bug this week myself.