Friday, July 5, 2024

Regimental Fire & Fury - Project Finale!

Hello out there!

The huge ACW commission is finished!  Clocking in at a whopping 1500 figures, it is the biggest project I have ever done, and that is certainly saying something.  But for lack of words to get going, let's talk some more wherever the dopamine and thrill of the finale takes me.

I have done a lot of big projects in my 20 or so years of almost purely commission painting.  Painting armies (or "large batch" for some projects that don't really fit that word) because it is what I enjoy.  A single figure to me is a pleasure to paint well and fun. Many, many of them is something else multiplicative and much more. It is really hard to describe, but for some people wired like myself, the thrill of a truly grand effort, and the final conclusion of it, is always so much more than the sum of it's parts.  This is not just 1500 individual models painted with individual care, it is also and more a single great effort of concentrated will and pleasure of craft that I am grateful to have the opportunity to be what I do. And I would say not just do, but is "me."

That is already enough sap to turn Canadian, but I have to add one very important additional point before we get to the details - this project is very important to me because it bookends the time of the house fire.  This client's Samurai project was what I was working on when it happened.  That was an ordeal I went through and here we are at the end.  Our new house came during the first half of this project and now have even better.  

Was in love with my old place.  Didn't live there for any reason at all but it was sentimental.  It is strange to say out loud but on bad days, I'd comfort myself by thinking well at least I will always be here. Making do with space simply because I wanted to and could.  Everything I had ever painted and all my displays for photos fit by Millennium Falcon magic into a tiny bedroom and garage.  If you have been around and you've seen my work, you would have been a bit surprised. Now have more square footage in my purely "studio" space than my entire old house.  One thing taken away is every event in life no matter how dark, will always have some silver linings.  They might just take a minute. 

Have moved on for a while, but this post I suppose is true and final closure.  And what a project to end it on. 

This project is a combination of Perry Miniatures and Sash and Saber figures.  Almost everything is metal, with a few exceptions. To start broadly, the two ranges work very well together.  With some good paint over top, what subtle differences there are disappear.  Which makes for a good end result, because I am always a fan of variety in sculpt in posing, just not style. 

The one plastic entry is some of the artillery parts.  28 cannons and 18 limbers - 12 of the cannons were plastic.  Both metal and plastic is Perry, but slight difference in size of the carriage between the two. My solution was to do a couple extra 12pdr Napoleons and put them on the plastics, and the ordinance and parrots on the metals. Just being too obsessive, but I sleep good.  The limber teams are metal Perry, the boxes plastic.  Really liked the plastic limber boxes.

As with any other project, what you see in the photos is me playing with and posing what the client needs for game.  It is always an interesting aspect to these.  This is for Regimental Fire & Fury rules, so he needed some disorder markers (casualties), brave colonels (individual leader figs) and such.  I always appreciate these little things for what they add to the final photos, even though they are actually purely utilitarian.

The flags are for the most part GMB Designs printout, historically accurate flags I have taken and through a varnish process, essentially turned them into a workable plastic.  Then work it and clip, cut, bend it, and use that as a base for what is otherwise all paint in what you see in the end.  Really love all the flags, and the client chose a great command stand composition with the two banners, musician, and leader each.

One thing I really enjoyed about this project is the contrasting challenges of color between the Confederates and Union.  For the Union, I worked very hard to mix the perfect blue that "feels" accurate but also looks very appealing.  Spend a while on historical uniforms and reality, field wear, old far from color fast dyes, and variety of them ends up dead on the table, in the weeds to what looks good and looks Union, and is exciting to look at.  Everything about the Union comes from this line of thinking and was a very special and hard fought mix.

The Confederates on the other hand, are an interesting challenge of mixture of color and process, rather than any one color. Every single line figure was jumbled and mixed in a process of color application to give just the right feel, and never ever cutting corners in color placement.

Analogous to that, the same was done for mounting.  You will never find two of the same sculpt on one 2x2 40mm base.  In the end, you can pick up any base and find a small scene of four unique figure sculpts.  Beyond that, you can pick up any Confederate base and also see four totally unique figures, to the base and in the entirety of the Confederates in color application. It is one of those things that is a big effort, a small thing, and a big impact to the overall. 

The basing is inspired by sample images sent by the client.  Broadly, green natural and realistic with flowers.  The base blend of flock is unique. Made one giant tub that is probably 20 different flocks - leaf, short and long various static flocks, tiny clump foliage and very fine foam flocks.  Every base was give this application, and while still wet given flowers, sticks, brush.  I have at this point various flocks enough to kill a cow, very possibly literally.

Some of the bases are larger scenic additions, made from various things.  Perry camp kits, leftover models from here and there, Renedra tents, and various resin bits and bobs.  I really like these, and just a few adds so much character overall.  

Well folks, that is a project wrapped.  Thank you very much for viewing.  I hope you enjoyed the images and the project, and maybe my writing.  See you very soon for more exciting stuff.  Tau, Night Lords, new terrain backdrops, Gencon!  Exciting rest of 24.  See you soon, thank you.

"Fun" bonus story.  The very last day of final true paint work before basing, wrapping etc,  on this project I had worked so long and so hard on, we had a nasty storm that took out trees and power across the whole county. After all this time and effort, in the final moments, I am left without power and hanging for what ended up being around five days.  It was torture. I mounted some figures by daylight and played some games by oil lamp at night.  In some ways truly awful.  In others, managed an okay camping in. Sometimes you just can't make life up.