Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The Thornicroft Giraffes

With not a lot of time to spare I finally finished off my daughters giraffes. She had rather firm ideas for this, first up she wanted two Giraffes, mummy and baby (what is it about girls and the need for babies?) "Also I want that one Daddy", that being a Massi Giraffe, go look them up and you will see why I steered her away from THAT idea. On a positive note I did find out a few facts about giraffes whilst doing this project. First up I know of three types of giraffe, the aforementioned Massi and the somewhat easier Thornicroft. Of course the third and easiest to paint the reticulated giraffe is the one we all know and love so if you think my colours are out blame it on the girl who wanted to challenge papa.
I also found out that all giraffes have just seven long bones in their necks, always good to know I guess. Also each giraffe has a different pattern to any other, a bit like our fingerprints, so I'm ready for the next pub quiz, shame I have not been to a quiz in two years but hay ho.
I wanted to put these figures on a fairly large base and originally wanted to get a tree that matched the type that giraffes like to chew on but failed to find anything suitable. Still I did not like the idea of a small base so instead added a little sparse grass and vegetation. The ground is in fact railway ballast I bought to use as extra rubble and road surface and is a dull grey originally. I have shaded it from dark brown to a light grey through six colours but I think it was worth the effort.
The grass is the same stuff I have been using for 28mm Kunai for my 28mm Japanese. Well these guys are 28mm figures though the mother stands about 75mm tall. I used a few of the autumn tufts to edge the grass. The grass is stuck down with superglue whilst PVA is used for the tufts.
The giraffe patterns were fun to do, I started with British Uniform Brown and basically anything I did from there would be an improvement. Then using German Camouflage Beige drew in the patterns. From that point on I just layered the different shades of brown to give a varied colour scheme. This was very slow at the start but seeded up as I gained confidence and a realisation that the odd straying of the brush actually improved the look.
The original idea was to finish both of my kids figures at the same time so I could present them with them together, thus saving possible sulks. However that seemed to be wrecked when I dropped my sons figure part way through spraying. Yes I did swear and YES it was a very bad word and NO it did not make me feel better. If it had been for me it may well still be there, or possibly embedded in the wall but I am glad to report after a few hours work it is restored even though I had to repaint the flesh from scratch (now there's a word I got to think of a few times today). Tomorrow will be the unveiling of THAT figure.
So with the finishing of the two bases for the kids I just have three part painted 15mm figures and as I am out tomorrow I doubt that I will get these finished. Maybe though, if not I will put them to one side and finish them off when I paint up the actual unit which could be anytime in the next three months. I have to admit though it's a rather good feeling if not a bit strange. I am surrounded by so much prepped lead and yet sitting back from painting. In fact it could not have worked out better. I get to play a game the day before the challenge and nothing fires me up more for painting than using some of the newly painted figures. Whats more my treatment has been moved forward to tomorrow so I should get a good days panting done on Thursday. But better than that, my kids will be home in just a few minutes and I get to surprise them with their figures  :-)


  1. Nice work Ian , and than you for the lesson of giraffe

  2. nice giraffes!
    very good work: very lifeful!

  3. Excellent work. Also, I now know that there are three types of Giraffe. Such factoids can be used to cement one's legend with the 6-9 year old set.

  4. They look great and I never knew that about their bones in their necks. Neat stuff.

    Happy Painting :-)

  5. Thanks everyone, I'm off to bed, up early in the morning got to be at the Doc's for 7.20AM don't they realise I'm supposed to be sick ;-)