Sunday, 22 November 2009

Scots Frame Gun, Perry Miniatures

In between my painfully slow painting a legion of plastic EWC figures this small artillery piece from Warlord Games kept catching my eye. I believe it would be more accurately described as an organ or volley gun rather than a frame gun. From what I’ve read the frame gun, designed by Sir Alexander Hamilton, would be mounted on a wheeled frame similar to a tripod. Either way this would have been a pretty unpleasant anti-personnel light field gun.

The figures are nicely sculpted and paint up well. The figure shaking his fist has a face that is a picture of glee after delivering a successful volley.

The crew figures have been painted in subdued colours. Grey seems to have been the colour of choice for the Scots. I gave the officer a more slightly more colourful but still relatively plain blue line white coat.

After I’d glued the small barrel (from the Perry farmhouse set) to the base I noticed illustrations that show that it should be leather lined with a pull string making access easy and safe. I’ll try this next time using Green Stuff to replicate the effect. At least I’ve painted the straps to resemble rope rather than metal to decease to the likely hood of sparks.

I normally apply a first coat of high gloss then a semi-matt second coat so the figures don’t resemble Britains traditional lead soldiers. I remember reading years ago that high gloss varnish offers better protection than matt varnish although I don’t know this is true; matt varnish simply has additional flattening agents added which disperse incident light rays.

Whilst I was applying the final coat of matt varnish the spray can spluttered and died. 'No problem' I thought, I'll buy another can. However after I'd done this I had a mini crisis after applying the matt varnish. Left overnight I found the set looking like it had been dusted down with talcum powder. After a few choice Anglo-Saxon  expletives I decided to look for a remedy (if there was one) using the power of the internet. One forum suggested completely stripping the figures and starting again (no chance). I settled down and tried several different methods on various small areas of the figures.

Several sources suggested applying another coat of varnish, I again sprayed the figures with both gloss and matt versions but this made the problem worse. I then applied both matt and gloss varnish by brush to see if this would work - nope. Deciding to remove rather than add I then tried white spirit but this made little impact. Finally I used a cotton bud dipped in real turpintine on a small section and this seemed to work. Eventually and carefully I removed the offending cloudy layer. As acylic paints are water based and varnish is oil  based (I assume) the painting was unaffected (thankfully) avoiding a 'wicked witch of the west' effect - "I'm melting, I melting". If that would have happened I'd have thrown the figures out the window. The turps dissolved the plastic pot so I won't be using this on plastic miniatures.

I will be eventually be adding this little lot to my future Hamilton's Scottish forces.

Latest Newcastle's Whitecoats countdown:
39 down, 25 to go.


  1. Sorry to hear about your varnishing accident, but at least it worked out well.

    The same thing happened to me a month or so ago. I'd applied a small amount of spray matt varnish over my figures, when they started turning milky-white. I panicked. I didn't have turpentine on hand (nice thought, that), so I took them upstairs, grabbed a toothbrush and went to work as the varnish dried. Naturally, some paint came off the highest parts, but it was easily repaired. Nevertheless, it's disheartening to watch your blue-coated French turning into Austrian dogs before your eyes.

    Lovely work.

  2. It has indeed turned out very well - a lovely piece.

    Best wishes