The wonderful thing about our North Star 1672 range is that the figures will do for many different nations armies in the period 1665-1680. This is because it is a time just before uniforms, and the figures are all dressed in the fashions common amongst soldiers throughout Western Europe.
This of course includes Britain. The years covered by our range is called the Restoration Period in Britain as it was the time the monarchy, represented by Charles II, was restored after the English Civil War. It was also the genesis of the British Army. Britain, tired of soldiers and war, had disbanded much of it’s forces after the Civil War and Oliver Cromwell’s reign. With the return of Charles II to England in 1660, the units still under arms swore allegiance to the King and became the senior units of the British Army.Some of the infantry regiments: Coldstream GuardsGrenadier GuardsScots Guards1st Regiment (Royal Scots)2nd Regiment (The Queen’s)3rd Regiment (The Buffs)
I then glued the models to a piece of scrap card ready for painting.UNDERCOATINGUndercoating is essential as it provides a consistent surface on which to apply the next coats of paint, and it shows up the detail on a model much more clearly than shiny bare metal. The UndercoatFor undercoating the baboons I used Humbrol enamel matt black. You want the undercoat to be as matt as possible so the detail on the model is easier to see. For an acrylic undercoat it is a good idea to use a matting agent, as acrylics tend to be naturally a bit shinier.I brushed the paint on with a Small Drybrush brush making sure I covered the entire model. Don’t let the paint pool anywhere as this will dry very thick and could obscure details. Also watch out for any stray hairs detaching from your brush and sticking to the model during undercoating. Pull them off with tweezers before they become permanently attached! Take particular care not to clog up the face and fur, don’t be afraid to go back and clear runs or blobs of undercoat off with your brush. I then let the undercoat dry completely before going on to paint the models.PAINTINGThe figure painting follows my well known method of working from dark to light shaded form a black undercoat. This three or more colour painting method uses successive tones of colour (shade, middle and light) which are added to the model in layers, working up from dark to light. This creates a bold three-dimensional effect of shadows and highlights, the layers of colour giving greater depth and subtlety to the model. For the facial detail I used a WarpaintsDetail brush and for the eyes I used an Insane Detail brush.
BACKGROUNDAmongst the North Star Africa range are a number of useful animals, whether to use and creatures in their own right or as decoration on a large base with human models. Being fond of monkeys I wanted to have a go at the baboons. For this article I am painting the pack of models AA04 - Baboons, which has three rather sedentary baboons in lifelike poses. PREPARATIONSo I had to do some research, which mostly involved asking my anthropologist niece, “What do baboons look like?” From which I got a Niagara of pictures and other useful information, leading me to conclude these models looked most like Olive Baboons (who of course are not Olive!) from equatorial African countries, very nearly ranging from the east to west coast of the continent, which makes them ideal to go with the North Star Africa human models, a lot of whom hail from a similar area. The other pictures also gave me some other ideas… Mandrills they might be a bit of fun, how different are they from baboons? Could I convert these models to one of the most peculiar and colourful primates? Yes why not, they are to closely related to the baboons after all, but it would need some work, more of which later.CleaningThese models required some “cleaning up” before painting. Using a scalpel and needle files I removed all the visible mould lines – these are the thin lines that run right around the model. Scraping the knife blade carefully along the mould line, as if you are peeling the skin from a potato, holding the blade at roughly ninety degrees to the surface. Finishing off the scraped surface with a small file to ensure that the area is all nice and smooth, but try not to destroy the texture of the fur as you go. As a final word on preparing models, please be careful when using any sharp modelling tools.