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


Saturday, 20 January 2018

Playing around with the lightbox!



Hi folks,

Those of you who have known me a while, or have ever employed my service, have probably heard me moan a little about my poor photography skills. It's been a bugbear of mine for a while, as I always feel my shots never really do my work justice, and in turn - as I always send out proof photos before a commission is finished - never really give the client a total feel for the minis.

Talking to one recent customer I was advised to check out 'lightboxes' and I must say, I cant believe I had never seen or heard of these wonderous little constructions before!

After checking out several different types I finally decided to invest in a middle-of-the-road price/quality box, just to get into the flow of things. Over the last few days, in between painting, I've been happily snapping away and editing as many photos as I can, intending to practice and hone my skills.

Here are the results so far.

The Early Days

When I first got the box assembled, I was eager to start taking shots, so proceeded without any of the backing cards that came with the set.

The results were nice, but a little too 'shiny'

28mm Dark Age Warrior

28mm Gladiator

6mm Spanish

Onto the Boards


The box came with 3 backing boards - white, cream, and black.

First I tried out the cream,
15mm Javilinmen

then onto the white,
Spaceships


But, it was the black that I seemed to get the best results from!


6mm Ancients

28mm Advanced Heroquest

15mm Romans

15mm Archers

28mm British AWI

28mm German Infantry

6mm Cars!

28mm Confederates

28mm Union

Overall personally, I think its making a great improvement. Still plenty of practice needed to perfect and improve. I've got to deal with the brightness to start with, but I think I am getting there!

These photos are a sample of the many I have taken so far. If you want to see more, please do visit my Facebook page (you dont need a Facebook account, its all on public show!) via this link -

https://www.facebook.com/MarchingInColour/


As ever - thanks for reading!

Chris

PS. If you like this photos, I am always available for commissions!
PPS. If you REALLY LIKE these photos, check back in a week or so, when I hope to have these items for sale!!





Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Pricing Structure Revamp - Done!

Hi folks,

As some of you may have noticed the old price charts have gone and new ones have taken their place.

First a quick note on all existing and booked in commissions - NO PRICES HAVE CHANGED for you guys. I have already made a note on existing commissions to work on the old system (not that things have changed much, as I'll explain)

Changes -

28mm.
The old lower standard of A and B have been amalgamated into the new 'Rank and File' level.

The old middle standards of C and D have been changed into the new 'Standard Quality'

E which was the old higher standard has now been dropped completely. Instead a new 'Premium Quality' will be for really top end work.

A quick note on the old C standard. Under the old system prices allowed for an fluctuation between low-standard-complex, with prices being 3.00-3.50-4.60. A simple robed spearmen would be 3.00, a Napoleonic Grenadier 4.60. This got a little hard to follow sometimes with the models being so different. Under this new pricing the simple spearmen would now fall into 'Rank and File', while the Grenadier gets a small upgrade from the old Grade D.


15mm
Follows much the same method, A and B become Rank and File, C and D become Standard, and a new Premium Quality has been added.


10mm
Old A and B become the new Standard
New Premium Quality has been added


6mm
Prices revised and lower end (0.10p) dropped. In reality it was extremely rare to find a model that was so simple and fast to paint that I was able to charge 0.10p for. In the last year I think it happened once!
New Standard quality has a slight (0.10p) added to the 'Complex'. Painting detail on 6mm is time consuming and I was losing a little under the old system. This change though should not effect that many model types.

New Premium Quality Added! I had a lot of requests for this so had time to work on them and watch the clock to work out a proper quote for everyone.


Overall,
I think its a better, more streamlined system.
Cavalry now have a much clearer price structure.

Premium level - I do hope to really deliver some quality miniatures under this. The price is a little high, but the quality will reflect this!

If you have any thoughts or comments or general feedback, I would love to hear it.
Email - Project_Vehemence@yahoo.co.uk

thanks
Chris

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Marching In Colour - 2017 Reflections and 2018 New Features

Howdy folks,

Now that the fuss is over for another year (I hope you all had a great time!), I feel that we are due a little recap of how MiC faired in 2017, and a brief look on what I have planned for the future of the business.

Commissions Completed in 2017: 48!
That's almost one commission per week. Not bad - thanks for the support guys!

Number of Miniatures Painted: Erm...
I did start trying to count them for this update, but honestly when we factor in 6mm and 10mm, the number soars into the thousands!

Photos taken: 3425!
I tend to take more snaps than I actually use, so if we say 1/3rd of those get sent to the client, then that's 1142!

Updates posted on the Facebook Page: 225!
That's almost one update every 2 days. If we exclude days-off painting, then that's fairly solid communication I think!


Overall 2017 has been a great year. MiC has been my only source of income, and I consider still being housed at the end of this year, a great success!


Into 2018.....

This last year has highlighted a couple of issues that need addressing. These are...

Photo Quality

I suck at taken photos, so it is about time I tried to address this. Thanks to a great tip (cheers Rob!), I will be looking to get a 'light box' in the very near future.

Lighting
At the end of 2017 we hit a bit of a back-log (which is still to be cleared). This was due to a great increase in smaller scale orders than I was used to receiving, and not taking in to account the reduced quality daylight hours. To address this I have picked out a third lamp which will be arriving soon.


Once those are dealt with, the next topic on the 2018 agenda is...

A Revamp of the Pricing Structure and the Trade For Painting Credit

First the pricing...

The main changes will see a couple of tiers dropped from the 'Standards'.
For those who have been with me for years, we will be reverting back to the old 3-Tier system. Offering 5 options seemed great, but in reality it was tricky to differentiate and most people just went with A/C/E.

Also in with these changes will be....
*A better 'top end quality' that will really deliver some great looking minis, and
DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND - a top tier 6mm will be added!!

Revamp for the Trade-In should follow soon after that. I know a lot of you enjoy this feature so the revamp will aim to offer a better, clearer method for trading in old models, especially in differing scales (ie trading in 15mm for 28mm painting credit).

Also coming soon...

MiC's new online shop!
(probably two shops....)

The first will be with 'Etsy'. This site focuses purely on hand-crafted items, so the idea here will be to offer painted miniatures. I have several thousand photos now of  my work over the years. These will be used as 'store-front' for people to order the miniatures as shown, with more added as I finish commissions. What this means is that if you ever view my updates and think 'Hey, those models look lovely', you can order miniatures painted almost identically straight from the store.

The second store will probably be with the dreaded Ebay....

The idea here is to sell all those items I take in for trade, and for new items I will be stocking.

If you are reading this and you saw my stall at the excellent 'Battleground' show (or have visited the hashed 'for sale' pages here), you will see I have a wide variety of random stuff. Ebay will be the outlet for all these goodies.

As for what I will be stocking....

Well, I have plans to become an Independent stockist for two lines. These aren't 100% confirmed yet, so I wont say anything else yet. Lets just wait and see what 2018 brings!


In summary,
Thanks again folks for your support over this last year (and longer for some of you!). I feel honoured and blessed that I can pursue my dream of creating art, and I could not do this without you all.

I hope you will continue to stick with me into 2018!

thanks
Chris

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