Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Another method of making "Craftees"

In this blog entry, guest blogger John Acar shows us how he makes his Craftees (wooden warriors, in my parlance). Take it away John!

Hello. My name is John Acar. Welcome to my craftee tutorial. This is a documentary of building my very first craftees. I modeled my boys after Matt Kirkhart’s Hoplite figures. [-ed See the Wargaming on a Budget forum for more of Matt's or others' work.] After giving his work a good study, I got under way. I did not look back as I felt I would be more creative just making up anything I needed to add.

Part 1: First I primered everything gray. There is a definite choice to be made here. White brightens colors. Black makes them dull. Gray does something in between. I chose gray because it is most forgiving about coverage for color and dulls them a bit.

Part 2: I started by blocking everything except the linen armor. The flesh was base coated with cocoa. The tunic hem and sleeves are a blood red color. The entire head is base coated in cocoa as well. I found that the craft paint gold looked better over brown. The test figure had gold painted over gray and then I switched to brown and then gold.

Part 3: Next I did the linen armor. I painted everything white from the neck down to the top of the tunic line. Then I added the pteruges (the dangly things) that linen armor has, which cover the red leaving red lines showing. [EDIT] Also, I did not paint the strap shapes, but rather painted the armor all white and then painted the strap outlines in dark gray.

Part 4:  The flesh and fine details were done next. I painted the eyes first. Then I filled in around the eyes with flesh tone. I left a bit of the cocoa showing to line the eyes and a dot between the eyes to give a hint of a nose. The spear shaft was done with Games Workshop’s Bestial Brown, an expensive way to go but I did not have a craft paint color for the spear shaft. I painted the point black followed by gunmetal leaving a black line at the base of the point.

Part 5: I made a couple of line drawings of some Carthaginian symbols and placed them in a 13mm circle. I printed the circle on heavy card and cut them out. I then base coated a 5/8” washer in blood red.  Finally I glued the cut out on to the washer.

Part 6:  The shield went on last of course! Here are a couple of pictures of the final product. These figures are Carthaginian Hoplites, probably before Hannibal fought the Romans at Cannae. I like the results of the figures themselves. The cut outs look a bit raged. I can probably rectify that next time by using a hobby knife to cut them out instead. [-ed Actually, $10 scrapbooking scissors are the best way to cut small items like this.]

The first figure took about an hour and a half to paint. This was mainly because I did not know exactly what I was doing. The second figure took about a half-hour or more. I could have knocked it out quickly were it not for the drying time.

The paints I used were American Craft Paints. The coverage was pretty good. I did end up having to paint on two coats for most of the colors. The paints themselves are about mid range for craft paint. $1.25 per bottle is what I believe I paid.

I used a 5/8" by 1/2" spool for the body, a 3/8" button plug for the head, 1/2 of a round toothpick for the spear, and a 5/8" diameter washer for the shield. The shield face was printed on 110 lb. card stock and cut to 13mm diameter. You can see in the picture below how it compares in size to a 15mm figure on the left, and a 28mm figure on the right.

I am looking forward to doing more figures in the future. These were pretty fun and surprisingly easy to paint.

Thanks to Dale Hurtt for letting me guest star on his blog. Special thanks to Matt Kirkhart for without his clever idea, none of this would ever happen.

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