Friday, July 4, 2014

Spencer Smith Minis Arrive

After reading issues of Battlegames and various classic Charles Grant books it's become a fantasy to own a collection of toy soldier style Spencer Smiths. On a seemingly unrelated note, my mother in law took the wife to England this Spring. The connection?  I was able to think quickly and arrange to have a massive pile of lead delivered to their hotel and then carted back to the US in their luggage! The wife was a good sport even as she wished my hobby was feather collecting or stamps.

I've experimented with two styles of painting for the new minis. The first is to leave strong black lines as borders between colours and body parts. The second is to use only blocks of paint and ignore shading, highlight, and all the typical tricks we use in modern figure painting.

Here are the grenadiers. I used the painting guide from Nec Pluribus Impar site detailing the army of Piedmont in the War of the Austrian Succession. Because really, why not build an army from an obscure conflict that's completely overshadowed by the following massive conflagration? And even an army fighting in the less well known theater of that obscure conflict.  I'm sure I'll find oodles of opponents.

Up next are the fusiliers. I used just blocks of colour and skipped any defining lines. I have to admit, it made the process absolutely zip on by.  It almost feels like cheating to whip off a unit so quickly. In the end I think I'm going to stick with this approach. I like the speed and my skills are not up to maintaining extremely fine lines, even when I base coat in black.

In both cases I am pretty thrilled to perfect my facial hair drawing skills. Lucky this is a heavily mustachioed time period! Cavalry is next.


  1. Lovely Spencer Smith figures.Both styles look very effective indeed. A most fortuitous visit to England indeed.
    This year I acquired hundreds of plastic SS figures .I found them difficult to paint.Your pics have inspired me to try again some time...

  2. Once you get the rhythm down they do go quickly enough, and even with my skills they look great en masse.

  3. Nice painting,glad they aren't done to death like some paint jobs i've seen. One tip,for eyes try using a fine point permanent black marker. Good stuff.

  4. I have painted some Spencer Smiths and have more on the table. The challenge for me is doing very fine work on these rough figures.