Wednesday, 14 December 2016

My approach to heraldry

A short note in response to some comments about how I do heraldry on my figures. There are three components that need a different degree of attention. Shields if flat are easy to paint, Body livery is trickier as they can be obscured, but because of the small size an impressionist style can be sufficient. The caparison is often the biggest challenge as it is so obvious so needs a lot of care.

I tend to follow a number of approaches

Ideally if it is moulded on the figures I just undercoat black like the armour and then dry-brush silver at the same time. This has the effect of highlighting what needs to be painted. I then paint the raised surfaces and then colour in the lower. This works well with white/yellow objects on backer backgrounds. An example of this approach is the Zvezda Black Prince.

It's more tricky with colours reversed as it can hide the emblems unless I take a lot more effort filling in the background. The recent Charles d'Albret figure (on the left) was done this way.

The complex heraldry on a caparison was solved by printing a paper flag out that has been distorted to the correct size. This usually takes several attempts. I needed to ensure the receiving surface was as smooth as possible and also cut the paper along joins so it can be applied to curved surfaces. I did this for Charles the Bold and his brother

If the heraldry not critical (related to a particular commander, etc) I just pick whatever is easy to execute, I'm better with geometric objects rather than animals.

As a more general note I use a slightly stronger pair of glasses (2.0 rather than 1.5) when painting this level of detail as recommended by my optician.


Service Ration Distribution (Hobby) said...

Stunning and, I must say, it looks impossible from where I'm sitting. You must have your optician on a retainer. What a job. Absolutely amazing. I couldn't do it to save my life. Well done indeed Will.

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Yes, your work on the figures and banners looks stunningly good to my eyes.

Best Regards,


Phil said...

Superb, absolutly superb!

Paul´s Bods said...

Excellent, very masterfull.

João Peixoto said...

Just great!!!

painterman said...

Very impressive commanders and heraldry Will.

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

They look GREAT. Hand painted has a richness to it that decals cannot approach.