Introduction



Thanks for visiting my page. To help with navigation, here is a list of popular pages all about Marching in Colour

* The History of Marching In Colour - who is the man behind the words and service, how did it all come about

* Commissioning Models for Painting - how the process works, start to finish, and what you can expect

* Gallery of Artists Work - with over 20 years experience, here is a small sample of finished commissions

* Items For Sale or Trade - as well as painting models, I also sell pre-painted models and assorted loose models and scenery. Click the link for the current lists

* Trade in your old models for Painting Credit * click here for details

* To see details of all current commissions booked-in and estimated completion dates - click here

SCENERY and TERRAIN - for pre-made, handcrafted items of scenery and terrain, please click here

For TUTORIALS please follow this link - click here


Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Battleground Show - My After Action Report

BATTLEGROUND 2017



Hi folks,

As a first time trader at the Battleground Show, I thought some of you may like to know how it went, my feelings on the day, and the results of a days trading.

The Venue
It's a sports hall on a College campus. The hall was great and clearly maintained to a high standard. The lighting was great, open and bright, and importantly the hall was warm! There was also plenty of room to move between stalls and games.


Pre-Event
I decided to make my day of trading based on two principles.
Firstly, that nothing on my stall that I was selling would be cheaper to buy online, and secondly that I would be open to barter on every item.

I feel this is what shows are about - people want bargains, great deals, and to handle the models in person. Everything you cant get from online sales. It didn't seem much point to me to sell at the same prices as online and only offer a saving of postage costs.


The Big Day
Thankfully I got situated between two great veteran traders who warmly welcomed a new guy. Big thanks to 'Templar Wargames Scenery' (https://www.templarwargames.co.uk/) and 'Grahams Wuerkshoppe' (https://www.facebook.com/grahamswuerkshoppe.co.uk/).

And I totally forgive the random dude who came over to my stall and accidentally spilt his cup of tea all over my business cards! Not quite the start to the day I was hoping for, but it was a laugh for sure!


Sales and Takings
I didn't really know what to expect here. Would I sell much? Would I sell anything?
Thankfully the day went really well. On my stall I offered a wide mix of random miniatures and random deals. I had 'Buy One for £8 or Buy Two for £15', 'Any X for £X', and one lot clearly marked 'Or Nearest Offer'.

The Good -
Most people went for the Two for's... or the X for's... and on multiple purchases I rounded-down on the odd few pence rather than root through for change. I think this helped speed up sales and visits to my stand a lot. Rather than have people wait around and count coins, it was a straight case of exchanging notes.
This had the added benefit of there being usually good space around my table, with nobody really needing to look over each others shoulders and wait for folks to move on.

The Bad -
Tech! I totally failed to consider how sales have moved with the times. I was aware of the usual 'card readers' for card payments, but more than once I was asked if I accepted Paypal, with payments made by mobile (cell) phone!

The Annoying -
The purchases I made at a couple of fellow traders stalls. One in particular was for £20.35. An odd number which given the atmosphere of a trade show I expected to be round off to £20, as £20.35 would be the same price I would have paid online.
Perhaps it was a little cheeky of me to expect the change to be discounted, but it got me thinking about time and effort. Here as a consumer I made the time and effort to come to the show, to patronise the event and the stall. I also saved the trader the time and effort of having to wrap and post the item. And this spirit was not worth 0.35p?

The Lost Art -
Whatever happened to barter, bargaining, offers and counter offers? Despite a lot of models on my stall being bagged as loose minis, and one lot clearly marked as taking offers, I only had one guy the entire day barter and knock me down from an £18 marked item to a sale at £15.



In summary - 

It was a great day, in a fantastic clean, airy and bright venue, with plenty of space to move and dozens of games to watch and play. Sales were good (for myself at least) but I did hear a little mutter from other traders over their takings for the day and I couldn't help but think maybe it was due in part that they were not offering much beyond the same as they offered online?

I also saw that the number of people attending was well over the 600 mark. Attendance is great, but at the end of the day it is sales that drive events. If you are making the effort to attend, and enjoying the experience, days like Battleground will only grow if the traders are happy, and the traders are only happy if the sales are good. Maybe effort is needed by both parties? I know I need to improve - I need to accept PAYPAL!

thanks for reading
Chris

Friday, 17 November 2017

Battleground Show - Layout

Here is the floor plan for the Battleground 2017 show.
I've marked my table with a red circle. Do come over and say 'hello' if you are attending. It's free entry this year, so lets make it a great event!

thanks
Chris




Wednesday, 15 November 2017

November/December Update

Hi folks,

In this update -

1. A general 'thank-you'
2. Battleground 2017 Show
3. Online shop
4. Christmas Orders


1. Thanks folks!
I feel I haven't said it for a while, but thank-you to all for your continued support of my service. No matter if its a one off commission, a small sample, a large order, or I have known you for years, I appreciate each and everyone who supports my business.

I consider myself very lucky to be able to work as an artist, and follow my passion, and I literally could no do this without you good folks. Thanks guys - each and every one of you.


2. Battleground Show (Stockton-on-Tees)
I don't attend many shows in a professional manner, but I am happy to say I will be at Battleground on the 25th of this month (November!), with a trade stand. The show is a great little occasion, with a very friendly atmosphere and free entry this year. I'll post a link with all the details at the end of this post.

I'll have a display of my work, and a few items for sale. If you are attending, please do come say hello! If you would like anything specific bringing from my sale lists please let me know. Collecting finished commissions at the show is also possible.


3. Online Store
I've collected a lot of trade items over the course of this last year, and I haven't really had the chance to promote my sales from my website as much as I would have liked (you guys keep me busy enough with painting!). What I don't sell at the Battleground Show I will be using as stock for a new online store. Probably on Ebay or Etsy, or both.

The store will also feature 'painted to order' models based on my previous work. The idea is to use all the thousands of photos I have to allow people to order prepainted models as per the photos. So if you see something you like on my updates and think 'I could do with some of them', you'll soon be able to order them fully painted!


4. Christmas Orders
If you require anything special or specific for gifts this year, please let me know asap. My current workload is rather heavy into December and Christmas painting for would-be gifts usually tends to require high level work. For me to guarantee it in good time for Xmas, I need to take orders well ahead of time.


Thanks for reading.
Chris

Links as follows -
Battleground Show - https://www.battlegroundshow.co.uk/
My blog - http://marchingincolour.blogspot.co.uk/
My Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/MarchingInColour/


Friday, 1 September 2017

Painting Tutorial - 28mm Viking Warriors

Hi folks,

The good news is - Vikings are easy to paint! In fact, most 'Dark Age' models are. Its down largely to the simple tunics of the age, which for the regular folk tended to be plain died wool. This makes it simple for us to get great results with a few basic colours and a little highlighting.

1.Assembly and Undercoating. Its probably best to go with a light colour for the undercoat as most of our colours today will be plain, flat, and light.


2. Research. There is plenty of good source material available on the internet for Dark Age clothing. Here is a good chart which shows the dyes of the period, what source they came from and the kind of shades of colour they produced.


3. Choosing Paints. Now we have the research done, its just a matter of selecting colours that are similar to the dyes. Dont worry about getting exact shades, use whatever you have to hand as long as they are close enough it will be OK. Here are the 8 I chose - 



4. Base Coats. Paint the main bodies first. Dont worry about painting over belts and pouches, or slipping onto the arms and legs. Just get the paint on the main tunics. We will tidy the rest up later. For now we just want block colours on the main tunics.

Once you the tunics done, then we can do the arms and legs. This requires a little concentration not to slip onto the main tunic, but dont worry if you accidentally do clip the tunic at this point, we have a trick to sort that later.



5. Painting the rest of the model. Once we have the tunics and arms/legs done, its time to get the skin, beard, belt, pouches, shoes and whatever else the model may have. Everything but armour - dont worry about that just yet.

Paint the flesh on the face, then the beard around that.

Take your time here. The belt is tricky, but dont worry if you clip the tunic (we still have a trick in hand still to play). The pouch and straps are easy as they are raised up from the model.

6. Ink wash. Optional, but easy! Use a brown ink on the wood and leather, and a flesh wash on the skin and beard. Ink is easy to use and gives a real quick and good looking result. Carefully brush the areas with ink, dont flood them. And again, dont worry if you slip up anywhere, we'll come to fixing mistakes in a bit.

With the beard and flesh - let the ink run into both areas. It gives a more natural look.




7. Highlighting. Remember the trick I mentioned to fix any mistakes? This is the part where we can do that.

Now we are going to mix the base colour, with a little dollop of white, to provide a paler shade. The trick to mixing is WATER.

Drop a little patch of water on the area where we are going to mix, then add the original base coat, and then stir in a little bit of white paint. Use only a little drop of white, and mix  until you can see a visibly lighter shade. Then paint this over the top of our tunic, leaving the original basecoat only in the darker/shaded areas.

You can repeat this highlighting as much as you like. The key to mixing really is WATER. Not too much, but each shade you want to apply should be both,
1. A little lighter with white paint, and 2. A little more water.

This really is the key to 'blending'. Paint the lighter coat over any raised areas, or where the fabric calls for it. Just be careful when adding water - too much and it becomes too watery and not very good to use. With practice you will get it though, so dont give up! Each lighter coat should be on a smaller area than the one before.

For example, if the base coat is the entire arm, the first highlight should be 80% of the arm, leaving 20% of the arm in shade. The next highlight may be just the elbow and the cuff. The highlight after that just the cuff. Each highlight a little lighter with white, and little more watery.




8. Armour (and shields). Paint any armour black. Helmets, swords, shield rim etc all black. Then use a 'dry brush' technique for the silver. If you dont know what dry-brushing is, then just paint the silver on very lightly, run the brush over the area instead of trying to paint over the black. You should get an equally good effect. Remember - dont paint 'over' the black, instead run the brush gently over the top of it.

For the shield colour and design, I took a little inspiration from a TV show. You can google 'viking shields' and you should find plenty of designs and inspiration for your own.



And there we go - told you it was easy!
Remember - block paint tunic, then arms and legs. Then pick out the details of belts and pouches. Skin then beard. Wash wood, leather and skin. Add white and water to your base coat to highlight tunics.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your painting!

Chris


Tutorials - Main Page

List of Tutorials

Painting

1. 28mm Viking Warriors

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Spaceships 2: First home-made fleet!

Howdy folks,

Since my interest in Spaceship wargaming, I've found a number of manufacturers which produce amazing looking ships. Until I can decide just which I like the best I thought I would have a go at scratch building some of my own... here's the results so far!



The paint scheme is rather simple - solid flat black, with purple plates, and pink dots to represent light from windows. Small rod beads added, and painted metallic brass to give a little extra detail.


The main vessels were assembled from 3 packs of phone connector thingies from a local DIY store, each pack £1.45 (so less than a fiver for the fleet!). Stands are from EM4 minis, decorative rods 99p for a pack of lots. Other than that, the fighters are made from a cocktail stick, and the torpedo ships from a lollipop stick!


Two of the larger craft -



Two variants of the smaller craft. These two were originally joined together, the 'wing' on the right forming the bridge. I decided to cut them apart keeping the sticky out part to see what it looked like. I decided to add a small length of cocktail stick to the edge to represent some kind of larger weapon.


Lollipop stick bombers, cocktail stick fighters! They are stuck on pieces of old plastic sprue to give them stability. I am thinking of replacing the sprue with very thin wire, as they could be mistaken for different types of craft on these solid bases. With wire they would look more like small independent craft.


Also.... painted up these wall plugs(!) to represent troop boarding craft, long and thin to hold vast numbers of marines, I envision these like torpedoes - hurtling towards a large craft, hitting front on, burning through the hull and unloading the troops!



Now... enough of silly ships... I really should be getting back to what I am actually paid to do - sneaky peak of some 10mm Ottoman cavalry just about finished!




Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed my endeavors!
Any tips or advice for the ships would be warmly received. Please also take a look around the website here if you have the time. I have a lot of random stuff listed on the 'For Sale' pages, and am always taking painting commissions. Email - Project_Vehemence@yahoo.co.uk

thanks
Chris

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Pet Project - Spaceships!

Occasionally even I need a break from seemingly endless Napoleonics, and I dont think you can get much further from that period than this - I present my own little pet project, random spaceships!

I say random, as (typical gamer) these were more of an impulse purchase at a show than any real planned project. I have no rules, no scenery, no real plan beyond 'paint little dots on the sides of ships to represent windows'... lots of windows...


First up - a selection of my GZG fleet.


I decided for these to stick to a uniform colour - orange brown for the front of the vessels, blue for engine areas, and white for command/operations. The front of the ships also have white bands painted around the rim, one or two bands for small vessels, up to 3 for the large ships. Some of these bands also have checked colours (reds and blues). I figured this would be a nice way to identify the different 'class' of ships.



Next up - a set of plastic little ships I picked up off Ebay. I believe these are made by EM4. The models were a little too 'fighter' and larger scale when aside my GZG, so I decided to randomly cut them up and try to make little spaceships.



At the moment these are just a random collection of transports, merchants, pirates, different races etc.


Even a commercial liner of sorts! A golden luxury transport for civilians with the money to travel in style. You cant tell very well from my poor photography skills (although the bottom photo does show a little detail) - the craft has rows of tiny windows along the hull. After all, we want to pack as many civilians in per trip as possible!


An attempt at - a troop transport (or maybe cargo/merchant), some kind of raider, and a black stealth ship.


Thanks for viewing!
I really am just jumping into this scale and period and am on the look out for resources, inspiration, and different manufacturers of ships. If you have any advice, please do drop me an email - Project_Vehemence@yahoo.co.uk  it would be much appreciated!

thanks
Chris