Sunday, 18 August 2013

The 'wet palette' & more Continentals.

I recently came across the 'wet palette' on a 'Lardie' blog (link). It struck me as a really good idea and so simple it had to be  worth a try. I have noticed recently with the warm weather how quickly my paints (now mostly Vallejo) have been skinning over and drying up on the palette. As I'm spending a lot of time painting with breaks to do other household related stuff I was wasting a lot of paint, but this has changed everything! It is possible to keep a blob of paint 'open' for 2 to 3 days, so I can at any time just go back to the palette and start painting again. It's so simple and effective that I just had to share it here. It also means you can blend colours and even work wet into wet for shading and highlights etc. Picture shows the plastic lid, with a circle of thick kitchen roll which is then soaked and over laid with a circle of grease proof paper. Well worth a try if you spend a lot of time painting.

Here are the links to the two relevant 'Lardie' blog posts:

The wet palette #2.

The wet palette#1.

Commands & Colors for AWI.
I'm continuing to paint additional 'blocks' for this game. Latest 'units' are some Continental Dragoons (3 blocks) and a unit I could not resist having seen the wonderful Troiani image, that of Lee's Legion infantry, who reportedly procured purple dyed coats and breeches in 1779, along with Tarleton helmets. I have seen references to purple dyed hunting shirts before so why not? Very hard to get a shade that looks convincing, and I may well touch these up a little more before I'm fully happy with them.

An example of a purple hunting shirt of the AWI.
Commission work.
Taking it easy during the holiday period as the house is fairly busy, but I completed this 32 figure unit of ACW 'Richmond Greys' for the collection of 'Old John' 20mm figure of course from the same German maker as previously and I believe OOP. Early war frock coats with epaulettes and shakos give them a distinctive look.

This week I'll be working through a load of 6mm Heroics and Ros Austrian Napoleonics (including no less than 22 guns and crews!), and baggage trains before turning my attention to 3 more units of 20mm ECW cavalry. After that its back to John's ACW lead pile again!

Pictures below: Lee's Legion infantry and some Continental Dragoons. Martin at Peter Pig is currently working on more dragoons with the helmet front, suitable for the 17th and others.


  1. Really enjoyed the post - the AWI figures look brilliant, and the tip about keeping blobs of paint moist might just change my entire view of Vallejo and similar. Previously I had a healthy Scottish prejudice against all that waste of drying paint! In truth this wasn't just about cost, it was the difficulty of getting hold of modelling paint if you live in the Great Northern Forest. I've had some pretty disappointing experiences buying paints online - apart from the quality and sell-by-date risk, I like to see the shades at first hand. Something to do with poor colour-vision and a strange inability to remember unmemorable shade names.

    Thanks for publishing the great pics - Tony

  2. Hi Tony - thanks for the comments. Just wanted to add that the 'mark II' version features a closing lid that can keep the paint usable for days! My first one dried up on the second night because the tissue dried out overnight, but if you can close it up overnight it lasts even longer of course. The paint just sits on the grease proof paper, there must be some surface moisture but it remains mostly dry. A very simple and practical idea.

    KNow what you mean re colours on the screen, I have been trying to find a Vallejo shade that matches a favourite brown - Citadel 'mournfang brown - but no luck so far! I have to say that since changing over to Vallejo I'm very happy with the quality of the paints, top notch in my opinion and excellent coverage.

    All the best,

  3. Hi Lee
    Lee's Legion and Continental Dragoons look terrific! That purple looks really good. A tutorial on your new methods would be most welcome.

    1. Hi Ron - thanks for the comments. I'll have to do another tutorial for 15mm figs as I have really picked up speed now!


  4. Im sure I used to have a Mark I Ford Escort in that shade of purple!

    Great tip on the paint palette...

  5. Hi Ian,

    You should have seen the first attempt! reminded me of a 70's 'Deep Purple' album cover .... I toned it down somewhat.



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