Made a sizeable dent in the unpainted stash this past couple of weeks - a unit of EIR Auxillae (Warlord), as well as a start on an army of Brigantes tribesmen (and women) (mixed Warlord plastics and metals and Wargames Factory). The latter is for the narrative WAB campaign just starting at the club to replace the original planned Roman Civil War campaign (get well soon, Phil), It should be interesting since my army is a mix of the aforementioned Brigantes led by the much neglected Queen Cartimandua, with assistance from a bunch of Roman Auxillae. Usual last minute painting job - first session is tonight!
In doing this, I found myself running out of assorted stuff right, left and centre - black undercoat spray (horses), white undercoat spray (most other things), dark brown, red, grey, black acrylics, usable brushes, and worst of all the Tamiya dark earth textured paint I use for basing.
Most of this was no problem - Trevor down at the Rift in Peterborough is our Friendly Local Games Shop proprietor, and he usually has a decent stock of most things - but the only local stockist for the Tamiya paint is our other excellent local emporium, Trains4U. "No problem", I thought on Saturday, "won't need it till Sunday, can nip out and grab some after church tomorrow, and win Wife Points by having gardened today..." Imagine my unconfined joy to discover on Sunday lunchtime their Sunday opening is quote "winter months only."
Right. Time to cook up a replacement - basically the Tamiya stuff is a thick earth-brown goop containing sand-like particles. A quick trawl of various blogs suggested everything ranging from coloured Polyfilla to a mix of PVA, acrylic sealant, sawdust, paint and casting plaster, but in the end I plumped for a fairly simple recipe: roughly equal parts sand, PVA and dark earth paint. (The one downside of this is that the only dark earth paint I had to hand is a jar of Citadel Graveyard Earth, which is pretty much now an empty jar of Citadel Graveyard Earth - note to self to buy something suitable in bulk from someone other than Citadel).
And it worked - obviously, it does dry in the mixing pot over time (nothing that a surprisingly small amount of water won't stave off), but if you get the proportions right it's better than the Tamiya in it can be worked with a brush around feet and bases, and has the great advantage of containing enough PVA to allow me to dip straightaway in my favourite Javis Moorland Scatter.
All in all? Happy. And I'm done bar the last coat of Army Painter anti-shine, which I'll spray on when I get home from work and should be dry in time for club. It would be the same without an army smelling of varnish, anyway!