Sunday, August 5, 2012

Minutemen Part IV

After a hiatus from the painting scene in order to move, I have returned to complete my squad of Nervous Southern Militia figures by the Perry Brothers. On their own, the men of this set have some very dynamic poses, and would look equally good fleeing the battlefield or skirmishing in the uncut wilderness. When arranged together, they make a visually interesting tableau of a unit just beginning to break.

Looking in more detail at individual models, we can see the interesting variety of accouterment sculpted on this set. Each militiaman brings his own weapons and gear when he's called up, and this shows on the figures. There are several styles of canteen, haversack and cartridge box throughout the set. 

Another fun bit to paint is the fact that some of these men are fighting barefoot. I painted this one in a blue work smock, and a dark brown wide brimmed hat, as though he is fresh from his farm. On his back he wears a military canteen and haversack, but carries his ammunition in a civilian hunting bag, which seemed appropriate in leather.

One of my favorite militia poses is the dynamic entry. One of the better dressed of the militia, he runs across country with a french Charleville musket in his left hand. Lightly Accoutered in only a hunting bag and powder horn, he makes for a great individual figure, who would work great running toward or away from the enemy.

He is another example of how actually reenacting this period has changed my painting style. Previously I would have done a figure like this in earth tones, but would have chosen from among my WWII colors and probably done a two tone outfit. Since being a part of recreating the Revolution, however, I've noted through research and through first hand second hand experience exactly what kinds of colors and dyes would be more appropriate in different levels of colonial society, and decided that as he was more fully clothed, he was [probably a bit better off than his barefoot counterparts. He has a roughly cinnamon colored outfit with matching breeches and weskit.

Next down the line, we have another good outdoorsman. Also barefoot, I painted him up in simple shirtsleeves, but with buckskin breeches. Heavily laden with cross belts, I made them dark to contrast with the light colored outfit.

The Pose again could be a fleeing or advancing run. The important part is that he looks appropriately desperate.

Perhaps my favorite member of this team was the most militarily accoutered, and seems to be trying to convince the rest of his men to stay and fight. This was a fun challenge to paint. I did him as though he was wearing a uniform, sans coat. He sports wool breeches and weskit, a proper cartridge box, haversack and wooden canteen, and even half gaiters. It was a combination of the gaiters and military style cocked hat that made me decide to paint him this way. The hope with this figure is that the subtle color difference between shirt and small clothes is enough to differentiate the material they are constructed from. The more yellowed breeches and weskit are intended to read as wool agains the stark white linen shirt.

A brief note on photography: these models were shot outside in indirect natural morning light. You may  notice a departure from my usual white background. This time they are photographed on my colonial table.

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