Thursday, 3 March 2011

Legends of the Old West - Lawmen

Yee-haw pardner! We're headin' way out west for this update. Having recently had a surge of keen for all things Old West (A combination of Red Dead Redemption and True Grit no doubt) I dug out the figures that I bought when the craze first hit. Dividing them up I discovered to my delight that I had enough for three complete warbands, a Lawmen gang, a vicious Outlaw band and a gang of Cowboys to cause trouble. Basing them up on pennies (so if you are curious about their actual size, the thing they are standing on is a UK penny) gave a nice weight and after a weekend of fevered painting this is the result:

These fine gentlemen are the Coyote Creek Sheriff's Office and Citizens Vigilence Committee. Otherwise known as the Law in these here parts stranger... Before we take a look at the individuals making up this stalwart body here is the rules-ey bit:

So first on the list, and rightly so, is Sheriff Dayton Goodwin (all the members of my various gangs are named after real lawmen, outlaws or cowboys):

Sheriff Goodwin has to look the part so he dresses smart and severe, from the stripy vest to neat cravat he is every inch the respectable gentleman. The model doesn't come with a badge so I painted one on, adding shadows around the rim to give it a three dimensional feel. Now the Sheriff can't do it alone so I added a pair of deputies. First up is Deputy J.J. Sharp:

Now I am not normally given to criticising miniatures (as I cannot sculpt better myself) but this guy has some serious problems. Firstly, he is HUGE, take a look at the group shot and imagine him standing straight. He is head and shoulders taller than the rest. I took the photo from a flattering angle but the coat is nearly a 1/4" thick in places around his legs and the hands are just... one is skeletal (the one in shot), the other is massive, puffy and posessing a thumb the size of three other fingers combined. Add to that the horrible undercut that joins the gun to the body (a massive plug of metal that cannot easily be removed) and this is not a figure that I could ever recommend. Unfortunately, due to Foundry's policy of only selling in packs you can't avoid him. Ho hum, did the best I could. As it has photographed well here I'll talk a little about the technique for painting the woodwork. I wanted a varnished wood look for these chaps so started from my usual Khemri Brown with Bleached Bone woodgrain. I then glazed the whole thing with Chestnut Ink, this gave a semi-gloss finish as well as enriching the browns to that lovely varnished colour. The added advantage is that you can use streaks of ink to enhance the wood grain.

Providing the other half of Sheriff Goodwin's backup is Deputy Clint Davenport, both of the deputies are painted to have a much more practical look. I imagine the Sheriff remaining in Coyote Creek while his deputies ride into the hills looking for miscreants hiding from the law and chasing off Apache scouts. Both deputies have copper badges rather than the bright silver that the Sheriff sports. I made extensive use of foundation colours in painting all these fellows as the desaturated shades were perfect for my purposes.

The dapper looking chap above is Lyman Wakefield, chairman of the Coyote Creek Citizen's Vigilance Committee. These are a bunch of local business owners who take advantage of their respected status to enforce the bylaws of the town. In other words, interfering busybodies. But handy enough with a gun that when trouble rides in to town the Sheriff has an able posse to ride em out. A handy tip when painting watch chains and the like is to "blob" the paint along the length of the chain as it adds to the texture.

Another member of the Vigilence Committee is Roscoe Rankin, the town's Saloon keeper. I love how the jacket looks hastily buttoned over the usual bright vest of the barkeep and the hat looks dumped on. It's as though he was disturbed from his customers by the arrival of trouble and only had time to grab his shooting iron and throw on some clothes!

This is George Maledon; the town's general store owner. I love this guy, he just looks unflappable, standing aiming his piece with no more emotion than he would show a customer asking for credit. Little touches like a red necktie on a model like this with predominantly brown tones "lift" the scheme and add some interest.

The final member of the vigilance committee is A.J. Caldwell and his trusty rifle 'Betsy-sue'. Note on this figure the various areas of colour stand out well from one another. This is due to a technique called Black-lining. Simply put you run a thin line of black or brown-black into the gap where one colour meets the next, it outlines the regions of colour and gives you a sharper finish. I just use Badab Black.

The last member of the posse is the local Upstanding Citizen, retired Major William "Bucky" O'Neil. Though he is getting on a bit for the day-to-day activities of the vigilance committee, his input is always valued as is his skill with his shotgun. To make the model appear older, in addition to the grey hair, is to add Fortress Grey to the highest highlights of the skin. The last thing to mention is the basing. To match the look of the Arizona desert (where I have based Coyote Creek) I needed to paint the sand a pinkish dust colour. This started from Vermin Brown with increasing amounts of Bleached Bone added with three sequential drybrushes until the mix is almost bone. Finally a little white is added to give that parched look.

So there you have it! The first of my Legends of the Old West gangs. Next post will be more Death Korps as it has been Grenadier Week here at PVP HQ, they are looking spanky and just a few details to finish up. Finally a bit of photoshop silliness for our enjoyment:


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