Thursday, 22 February 2018

Wooden Toy Soldier - Part 3

My painting test is near complete...

I hit a few snags and as a result some of the painting is a little raggy. One of the main things is that I need to buy a set of proper thin nibbed Sharpie markers. The drawing pens I have use non-permanent ink which - obviously - runs when you try to touch up with wet acrylic paint! (Du-oh on my part!)

Acrylics can also be a little hit and miss sometimes - some colour cover beautifully (that blue and red were great) but others are a real pain and require several thin coats to get the same effect. I've tried both the premium Vallejo modelling paints and cheaper craft acrylics and, to be honest, there ain't all that much difference. So, as I don't fancy the hassle of trying enamels instead, I shall just have to persevere and work out which are the 'good' colours and which are the troublesome ones.

Still, that's why we do painting tests.

Once again, I chose to varnish with the budget Wilko's spray lacquer. It seems to do the job (but only time will tell if it will crack or yellow)...

Debrief and Conclusions
This was a fun little project but it could be improved upon. For variety sake - should I wish to try these out as wargaming figures - I think I will look into a means to make proper separate arms (so I can pose the figure better). Also, I need to do something about his feet - as in, he needs some!

I'm OK with painting on the face and I do quite like the cartoony look and the same goes for uniform details. I don't want to start adding additional small parts as separate components, that would just start to get too fiddly.

Finally, the 25mm bases work fine, though this figure isn't really any specific scale. Is that a problem? Well, if I want to use other third party accessories - like terrain or artillery pieces - it might be, but at 47mm tall from head to foot I may be able to get away with some 54mm props.

These lovely wooden toy trees are just the sort of simple 'toy town' style that I
think would go with my peg soldier. Perhaps another good reason for me to look
into buying my own hobby lathe?

In any case, because of the unique look I would probably not want to mix these figures with other types and make my own similar looking props myself.

Well, onto my next test piece...This time I will be experimenting with a full sized peg doll soldier in the style of a traditional Christmas 'nutcracker' toy soldier.


  1. Replies
    1. :) Thanks! Varnishing him improved his looks and smoothed out some of the dodgy painting. Be great to see what several of these soldiers looks like together (that's on my project list)!

  2. Stephen, Many congratulations that is an inspiring trio of posts. Roll on my retirement!

    1. Many thanks, Howard. Making my own soldiers has really gotten me back into this hobby. :)

  3. Really great work. I also love the cartoony style. It really works well for this style of figure. The gloss coat also works well, and makes them ideal for gaming.

    In the end, you will never game with these mixing it with commercial figures, so what scale it is does not really matter. Even variations in height, due to inconsistent sawing of the doll pegs, is advantageous. Freehand painting also plays well into the style. By the time you get a proper unit done, you will have variation while still having uniformity.

    Those trees look really nice. I will have to think about building some with those shapes so I can vary my woods too. Right now I used three different sizes of "christmas tree" style trees.

    I look forward to seeing more.

    1. Thanks Dale. Yes, I love those little tree designs and I'm starting to think seriously about adding some power tools - particularly a small lathe - to my workbench. :)

  4. Great stuff! The “toy soldier” classical look to these figures is spot on. I feel a Little Wars game coming on!

    I have looked at those trees myself and I agree they are nice. One of the things that I think would also really work for the look of game I think you are going for is to not worry so much about scale. If the trees are a little small for the figures, who cares? If you find some quaint period wooden buildings that are too small for the figures, who cares? I think when you have it all out on the tabletop, the overall toy soldier look will completely trump any scale concerns, and it will all look fabulously together.