Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Irish Brigade

I felt for the painting challenge I would clean up the figures around the desk area first. I have some Old West figures, about a dozen Zulu warriors, some horses and cows (in a non-living state), Slimer from Ghostbusters, The Texas Brigade, and what you see here - The Irish Brigade.

It's one of those iconic brigades and one I knew I wanted to try to model when this madness started years ago. Overall though I think I am more fascinated by the flags of the civil war. Both visually and just what it represents as an icon. It's amazing what the flag meant to these men. Moving forward in the civil war project, I know I will be first drawn to a flag and then model that particular unit.

What I absolutely need to figure out is how to improve my flags (some are from Signifer and some are off of free sites online). There isn't a lot of "life" to them, and a truly great looking flag has a lot of "life" to it.

It's probably because every year I'm blown away by Rick O'Brien's flags - better known as The Flag Dude - down at Historicon. If you are a black powder modeler and have never seen Rick's work, I highly recommend looking them up. Simply amazing!

I always prime in gray, but I absolutely hate painting straps (on any era figure!). So why not try to cheat a bit and prime in black. This was my first attempt at this and it did help with the strap issue, but I felt it was harder for me to pick out details. Probably because I wasn't used to it.

One thing that I've started to do that is completely opposite to what I've done my whole life is to paint my initial coat of flesh on first. I absolutely know this is the unconventional way to paint figures, but for me this is another one of those "trick yourself" things - by painting the flesh first I can see the figure as a "person" straight away and it's helped me immensely over the past year.

Truth be told on the Old Glory figures, they label this pack of 30 figures as The Irish Brigade, but they are no different than any other right shoulder marching figures, EXCEPT for these super cool little sprigs of boxwood leaf on the figures hats! Apologies for my awful camera, it's kind of hard to see but they are there and they are a brilliant little addition!

As always, thanks for looking!


  1. Interesting, I always paint my flesh tones first. It definitely helps from a psychological point, but it's also WAY easier to cover up the flesh tones spillage on collars and hats than the other way around.

    Have you tried embedding tin foil between the two edges of flag, and then scrunching the sandwhich of paper and foil while it's drying to sculpt some life/wind flutter into it?

    1. Nice to know someone else out there is painting flesh tones first too!

      I'm absolutely going to give your tip a try, sounds like exactly what I'm looking for, thanks a lot!

  2. They look super, super characterful!

    I might try that with the flesh myself...seeing as I always have to go back and tidy it up anyway...

    1. Thanks!
      I'd definitely give painting the flesh first a try, like I mentioned in the post, for me it immediately turns the figure into a "person" and makes it feel real :)

  3. Flesh first eh? I'll have to give it a try. Usually base the flesh in mid-way.

    Really like these Irish. Those beards are fantastic.

    (Where'd the nifty cornfields come from? Do they come in 15mm?)

    1. Thanks! There are some pretty epic beards going on with the Old Glory figures :)
      The cornfields I made from JTT Scenery - they make train scenery and I really like their products a lot. These are O scale, but they make HO scale as well, though 15mm may look good with the O scale? I can take a picture with some 15mm acw figures if you'd like. If you want to give me your email I can send them to you.

    2. Sho' thang: deadestdai at gmail dot com

      And thanks!