Monday, June 15, 2009

bmc jägers...

Little by little I'm recovering from 54mm burnout caused by the ECW stuff. I've been accumulating Rev War figures over the past few years and decided it's time to get some of them painted. I can't explain it but I feel the need for jägers. I don't have any, of course, but I do have some extra BMC Hessian fusiliers. The kneeling pose just says 'jäger' to me. So, off with their heads!

Naturally, I didn't have the camera battery charged either so this is not a step-by-step entry. Instead, it starts with step 3. The first step was to cut off the fusilier heads and shorten the muskets down a bit. Step 2 was to cut off the heads of some of the useless American artillerists that came with the BMC Yorktown set. For what it's worth the artillerists are wearing tricornes as the jägers should. Step 3--which is where the pictures start up--shows a straight pin stuck into the figure's body. The pin gets snipped off with a pair of pliers and the new tricorned head gets forced down over it.

Once I've got the head positioned appropriately, then I squirt a little gap filling super glue into the gap just to tack it in place. Then I fill the gap where the new head joins the body with a little string of clay. I also recreated the man's queue which I had shaved off when removing his head. For this project I used Super Sculpty simply because it's a little stiffer than normal modeling clay which I've used for other minor projects. The next step is to coat the clay with another thin layer of super glue to give the whole thing a nice hard surface.

Once the super glue dries I glue the figure to a poker chip. In preparation for painting I coat the whole figure with Aleene's Tacky Glue. I use Aleene's as a primer for soft plastic figures primarily because it's water based and doesn't require a trip out to the garage to use an aerosol--no nasty fumes to inhale this way. Painting on Aleene's is a learned skill but not too difficult. The thing to remember is that quite often the first coat of paint will exhibit cracks as the water based Aleene's expands as it absorbs water from the acrylic paints. I've learned to ignore the cracks because by the time I've added a lighter colored highlight and a darker shading tone, then the cracks are generally covered anyway.

And, let's face it... I'm not aiming for collector quality fine art here! If I was I don't think I'd be using BMC figures with bayonets and other non-appropriate (not to mention oversized) impedimenta as jägers! But they'll do for gaming purposes...In general, I'll paint one figure of a unit before completing all the others. Sort of a trial piece to make sure the color scheme I've chosen looks correct and to identify any painting challenges. In these last shots I've got the test figure mostly complete.

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