I've learned a couple of things this week: one due to the amount of time it takes me to get preparation work done, and the other is Sandy Paste.
I've had lots of interruptions (life, work) which have slowed down my preparation work. The result is that I have a number of figures that have been primed with gesso waiting on painting – and they've been waiting on painting for a few weeks. But ... I have noticed that the gesso seems to go really hard, and looks and feels as if it it may be better for the extra drying time.
I really like gesso. It does take longer to prime figures (then again a decent application of spray primer always took a while), but I can use it inside, any time of day, any weather. Also it seems to fill small gaps quite well ... it certainly improves the fit of my 1st Corps riders and their mounts.
After reading quite a bit on the internet forums about Vallejo's Sandy Paste I took the plunge and bought 200ml. I've only done one base with it so far (that little command vignette below) but I love it. The really good feature is that I can apply it with a brush – even a small brush – which makes getting around Roman caligae much easier ...
My 1st Corps auxiliary cavalry new recruits arrived this morning ... and a sword blade and a horse’s tail came adrift immediately. A little time spent drilling and pinning and gluing has done the trick. I've primed the last two figures bringing my first turma of calvary up to full strength (ten figures) ... now they are beginning to look the part – it's funny how much better ten figures look than eight.