So spring break has finally arrived. I’m looking forward to some painting and some gaming. And some sleep. And catching up at work. And just not having to account for somebody else for my time. Anyway, after today it’s seven more fabulous days of not being at school . . . sort of. Here’s what’s on the docket:
Actually I’ve finished a couple of things the last couple of days. First on the list are three Passaic class monitors. These are the smaller of the Ericsson built vessels that followed the original monitors. Generally, they were pretty robust. Armed with an 11-inch and a 15-inch Dahlgren smoothbore, they compelled the surrender of the ironclad ram Atlanta, were absolutely pummeled in a seaborne assault on the Charleston defenses. Most of them had very long lives. The Nahant was still in service in 1904.
I had three Passaic class vessels to paint, including my original model from twenty or so years ago. The earlier model is different, featuring a more sheltered turret top, but generally pretty much the same. I had to remount it because the original balsa base was starting to get pretty warped, so I re-primed it and went with the same color scheme as the later two.
I decided to approach it the same as the pics in Kevin Dougherty’s Ships of the Civil War 1861-1865. This shows the monitors in an iron color, rather than a dark gray or black. I gave them a couple of coats of Formula P3 pig iron. After that I gave them a couple of good washes of Vallejo black wash. I painted the funnels and turret faces Rain Grey by Delta Ceramcoat. I also referred to a description of the monitors in Donald Canney’s essential Old Steam Navy, vol 2 and painted a stripe on the turret top for each of the ships. Lehigh had a black stripe, Nahant had a green stripe and funnel top, Catskill had a lead color (which I interpret to be charcoal gray.) When it was all done, I gave a quick dry brush of Cold Steel by Formula P3. Mounted them all on thick plasticard bases.
I also finished the ten civilians by Musketeer Miniatures for the Irish Civil War. Honestly, they were pretty easy to paint and went pretty quickly. I enjoyed painting them.
A Solo Game
Monday, I’m going to play a solo game. Never done that before, but I am tomorrow. I haven’t had out my Revolutionary War figures in about five years, and I want to try out a one page set of rules I got from Jim Purky (De Alte Fritz) a few years ago when I ordered some Fife and Drum Miniatures from him. Honestly, they look pretty straightforward, so I’d like to give them a try. It will be a simple meeting engagement with five or six units per side. I just want to get a feel for the mechanics and whether or not I could easily run them with a group. I’ll keep everyone advised on this.
On the painting table
Spring break should always be a good painting week. And I do have my plans made. I’ve begun working on some Eureka Spanish conquistador figures for Lion Rampant. I’ve charted the Spanish for the conquest of the Aztecs. David Sullivan is working on this also, so we just need to swap some notes. I have a dozen arquebusiers I’m working on, which is enough for two units of six. They are nice figures and I’m about a third done with them.
I’m going to try something new with these figures too. I’m going to apply the dip. I’ve got my Tudor Brown acrylic stain, and I’m anxious to see how the figures work. I saw David’s ECW figures after using the dip, and they look quite nice. The colors pop and some natural shading happens.
It shouldn’t take too long to paint these figures, and then it will be on to my last two hydroplanes for Enfilade. They are the same hull. The Pay n’ Pak from 1973, and the Atlas Van Lines for 1976. A lot of white on both, but also a lot of lining (boo) and some lettering (double boo.)
If I finish these with time to spare, I’ll either work on the Bay model of USS Mississippi or some Musketeer Auxiliaries. I have fifteen of these paint. .
Music to Paint By
I’ve snagged a few records recently. I reviewed Buck Dharma’s solo record, Flat Out over on Tails From the South Sound. When I snagged that record, I also picked up Green Thoughts by the Smithereens. I reviewed an earlier record by the powerhouse 80’s band, Especially For You. This is one of those bands that I didn’t know anything about before I launched on my vinyl addiction tour last year. Green Thoughts is a very good record. The Smithereens are sort of formulaic. They are a very good power pop band. The songs are almost always about messy relationships and bad break-ups, which sounds like a recipe for boredom, but they are really good at it. Strong guitars, driving bass lines, good vocals. There isn’t a super song on this record like “Blood and Roses” on Especially for You, or “A Girl Like You” on 11, but “Only a Memory” and “Drown in My Own Tears” are very good. I’ve purchased a copy of 11 on Ebay to wrap up my Smithereens mini-assortment because “A Girl Like You” is so damned awesome.