Monday, December 18, 2017

Pen and Sword: Painting Wargaming Figures Book Reviewed!

Always eager to improve my miniature painting knowledge and techniques, I was recently kindly offered a review copy of the Painting Wargaming Figures book by Pen and Sword Books As you could expect I wrote a short review as you might be interested in this particularly useful book for your tabletop wargame book library.

The Painting Wargaming Figures book is written by the talented and experienced painter Javier Gomez of the former El Mercenario miniature painting service in which he thoroughly covers all aspects of painting miniatures for tabletop wargaming.

Although the used techniques can easily be used for all scales and genres, the book is mostly focussed on the popular 28mm miniature scale and the historical genre. Smaller and larger scales are also covered in the last chapters if you're looking to paint vignettes and smaller scale wargame miniatures for your collection.

'Javier is a true genius with a brush, with a great sense of colour that turns figures into masterpieces' Michael and Alan Perry of Perry Miniatures

The book starts with a short introduction covering the basic steps of miniature painting such as the needed tools, paints, how to paint miniatures and the usages of patinas. If you have already painted miniatures, you can easily skip these chapters although I managed to still learn a couple of useful tricks along the way. Personally I wouldn't have missed this particular part of the book if it had been left out but I can imagine these chapters might especially prove interesting for novice painters when embarking upon their first miniature painting project.

The more useful chapters of the book for me were the dozens of chapters which throughly covered painting certain colours such as whites and blacks and themes such as horses and flesh tones. For example the chapter about painting the colour white is explained through the step-by-step painting of a Capitan Games Napoleonic Spanish Infantry Soldier. The painting of this miniatures is explained in both text and pictures of each step truly giving a full insight in the painting method and chosen colours for this particular colour. But what really finishes the painting tutorial is the information about which colours are used for the basecoat, first highlight and second highlight for each part of the shown miniature allowing you to easily recreate the same paintjob on your test miniature or entire miniature wargame army. The chapters based on colours show painting guides for the following most used colours: Black, White, Blue, Red, Brown, Grey, Green and Metals. In the pictures you can see a part of the review without sharing too much information about the actual painting tutorial.

The other chapters as mentionned before are based around certain themes such as shields, flags, horses and so on but also cover the important steps of basing and varnishing your miniatures. As an example we will take a closer look at the horse themed chapter as that's often one of the most daunting tasks when painting your cavalry models. The painting horses chapter covers everything you need to know about painting horses ranging from an explanation of equistrian definition to showing step-by-step painting tutorials of dappled horses, white horses, Napoleonic horses to name a couple of different horse colour painting schemes. Each of these colour schemes is nicely explained and covered in the scheme overviews. With these useful painting schemes you can paint every modern horse breeds like those been fielded during the Napoleonic Wars. Other scheme chapters especially worth mentionning are the excellent chapters on how to hand paint shields and flags for your miniatures along with the basing and varnishing chapters which proved especially useful for me.

The conclusion

After reading the book and already thinking which color schemes will be most suitable for my ongoing miniature wargame projects, I think most wargamers and miniature painters will find this book useful as an addition to their reference and general wargame book library. This book really covers everything you need to know on how to paint your wargame miniatures being either single characters and rank and file regiments by explaining all steps of the painting such as undercoating, painting schemes, basing and eventually also varnishing.

Although an excellent book for novice painters which I would certainly recommend, I have one important remark on how the colour schemes and painting guides are created. In the book painter and author Javier Gomez quite often prefers to mix his own colours instead of using the premade painting colours as offered by popular hobby paint suppliers such as Vallejo and Wargames Foundry. In my opinion this makes the book and the painting schemes harder to achieve for novice painters as it's always easier to use premade colours especially when painting batches of miniatures for the same units or armies over a longer period of time.

That remark mentionned I also want to point out the fact that this book has been written especially for painting tabletop wargame miniatures. The painting methods and their sometimes rather harsh highlights shown are very good for wargame miniatures looking great in units and from a distance and are also relativly quick to paint so you can easily finish your favorite wargame armies in a reasonable amount of time! Although experienced painters will find some chapters unnecessary I still think they might learn a few tips and tricks along the way from Javier as he has spend thousands of hours painting miniature commissions. For novice painters I would certainly recommend this thorough book as it contains everything you need to know in a single volume.

You can purchase the Painting Wargaming Figures book by Javier Gomez for £16.99 through our Pen and Sword Books Partnership Link above and in the meanwhile freely support Wargame News and Terrain allowing us to bring even more independent daily miniature and scenery wargame news, reviews and money saving deals. Bought and love the book? Let us know how it improved your painting!

Disclaimer - We received this book from Pen and Sword Books for reviewing purposes. Please note that this doesn't influence our review as we always strive to supply you with our own independent and honest opinion about the wargame products reviewed.

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