Thursday, February 28, 2008

Recon Reports

I finished a small platoon called the Airlanding Recce Platoon. In game terms it helps mark targets for other units.. Though this platoon is considered to be too expensive to use in a game I enjoyed painting the vehicles and experimenting on the bases. I also painted the Staff Team for the M1A1 Airlanding Battery and I got a little creative with the basing. On to the pictures!

Painting the crew of a vehicle is just like painting regular figures. Except mounting the crew on cardboard bases does not work so well! Here I use my thriftiness to mount the figures. A few used finishing nails and a leftover piece of insulation foam and VOILA. It is now a cinch to paint the crew.

I have standardised the colours I use to paint each figure. The light brown basecoat is Vallejo Game Colour "English Uniform". The smock is painted first Citadel Foundation Colour "Tau Sept Ochre" followed by Citadel Paint Color "Scorched Brown" and Citadel Foundation Colour "Orkhide Flesh". Gear and Helmet are also painted "Orkhide Flesh" followed by a drybrush of Citadel Paint Color "Rotting Flesh". The berets are Citadel Paint Color "Red Gore" mixed with just a touch of purple or dark blue (doesn't matter too much) highlighted with Citadel Paint Color "Scab Red".

The dismounted crew of the Recon Patrol is painted and ready for basing. At the same time I finished up the Staff Team for the Airlanding Battery, Royal Artillery unit. I picked the figures for this team with the idea that they would be consulting and staring out into the distance.

I used a few layers of drybrushing to further accent the vehicles. The part that would be metal such as the twin machine gun on the jeep or the shovel on the back of the universal carrier were painted Citadel Paint Color "Chaos Black" and picked out with the metallic Citadel Paint Color "Bolt Gun Metal". The tracks were also painted in "Chaos Black" and a heavy drybrush of the metallic Citadel Paint Color "Tin Bitz" was used I later highlighted the tracks with "Bolt Gun metal". I used the same colour to represent wear on the front mud guards of the universal carrier, as if the carrier had been nosing through some tight spots. The completed crew figures were then broken off the finishing nails and glued into place.

I took a different track in basing these figures. Instead of applying the putty around figures glued to the bases, I applied the putty first and then glued the figures through the wet putty. I don't know how these figures will hold up to use on the table, but I found this method to be less messy. Note the piece of cardboard on the base of the Staff Team, it will be made into a stone wall.

It is hard to see in the picture below but I have scored the dried drywall compound with blunt knife to create a rough grid pattern. Be careful since the compound may flake. Use a dry brush to gently remove the grit that comes up. Also remember that the rows of consecutive bricks don't line up!

The bases for all of these miniatures was done by drybrushing consecutivly lighter colours. The dirt areas got different shades of brown almost up to a yellow and the stone/rubble started with a very dark grey almost black colour all the way up to white. The progression can be seen in the following pictures. Note that there were more than three layers of drybrushing done.

Here is the completed Airlanding Recon Platoon. The vehicle bases got the same treatment as the other units, I had to be careful not to get paint on the vehicle itself.

Below is the Airlanding Battery, Royal Artillery Staff Team fully painted. I added a little extra detail after the stone wall. I figured they have to be discussing something. The question is: Have they got the maps the right way around?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Motoring Along

Not too much to show this week. I received a new set of Games Workshop's foundation paints. Eager to try them out I fell upon the Airlanding Battery's staff team and the first of my few vehicles.
The four figures in the foreground are the staff team. The figures in the background are the Recon team along with their vehicles.

I tried out the different shades of green and brown that come in the new paint on these figures. I will do a side-by-side picture with some of the other finished miniatures when I am done. In the picture above you can definitely notice the different shade of brown on the pants.
A little while ago I bought the Vallejo paint "English Uniform". I think the colour works pretty well and I can see a good number of uses for this light brown colour. I cannot say I am thrilled with the paint, it has the same consistency as the Games Workshop paints, or the "dropper" style bottle. I suppose I'll need to work with it a bit more. I still have to base the staff team, so they are not quite done yet.
Painting a vehicle follows the same process as painting a human figure. At this scale it is fairly easy to paint either. In 25mm miniatures, the flat surfaces tend to show the brushstrokes a bit more. This universal carrier has had a liberal brushing of "Orkhide Green".

Just like the figures I dry brush a lighter colour over top, in this case its "Rotting Flesh" and use a wash of the ink, "Flesh Wash" to darken the crevices. I still have trouble with the ink, but I got some good tips from one of the Games Workshop staff. In order to avoid the pooling effect simply use another brush to absorb the paint. The other brush should be fairly dry so that the bristles can soak up the paint.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Move! Move! Move!

I decided to challenge another FOW player to a game with fully painted miniatures. We are both starting from scratch and have until the end of April to get everything painted. Unpainted units take major penalties if used aside from the ribbing and jibes we'll recieve from the veteran players. This challenge will be difficult considering how long it has taken me to paint the first platoon.

Having completed the camo patterns (on most of the minis anyway) I painted the webbing and pouches. This is fairly easy to do even though the minis have been glued to the bases. I used a mix of "Goblin Green", "Dark Angels Green" and "Scorched Brown" though I forget what ratio I used.
Next to be done is the flesh. A little care is needed to make sure the detail and shading is not obscured. I used a combination of dry-brushing and wet paint to get the desired effect. Note that you should use only bad brushes for the dry brushing and very fine tipped brushes for painting fingers and faces and so on.

I ink the skin. There are two ways to do this. First is to use a general watered down wash all over the skin and then touch up or high-light the raised portions. Second is to use a fine tip brush and apply the ink directly to the creases.

With the faces and skin completed it is time to finish the base. The bases provided are always flat. Some companies provide pretextured bases, but I prefer to save my money (for more minis) and do the texture myself. In this case I am using some left over drywall compound. I am not sure how durable it is on the gaming field, but "live and learn" eh? The commander and observation team is pictured below. I used a small flathead screwdriver to apply the compound to the base. I also added water to the compound to make it easier to apply. These two teams were spaced fairly far apart making it easier to apply the compound but I had to redo some of the gun teams after I brushed against some of the figures. As a side note; in Flames of War a group of figures on a single base is called a team, a group of teams is called a platoon.

The compound by itself did not look too inspiring. In fact, it was pretty bland. To spruce things up a bit I picked up some tree bark and very fine sand. The tree bark was broken into small pieces and set into the still wet comopund. Some drybrushing with black and two tones of grey ("Codex Grey" and "Shadow Grey") will make the bark look like a large rock in this scale. The sand was sprinkled lightly atop the compound to simulate larger rocks and broken ground. After the compound has dryed I painted it with "Scorched Brown". I then dry brushed layers "Terra Cotta", Vomit Brown" and a final brush of "Bleached Bone".

You can see the stages involved in basing from left to right in the picture above. The far left is the first coat of "Scorched Brown" and the three teams to the far right are complete.

I thought the ground effects turned out pretty well, though I may add some grass to the gun teams. I am still working out how to apply the grass correctly. When I have that down I'll post how.

Buoyed by the completion of my first platoon (and also because I spilled some brown paint), I have started one of the Airlanding Platoons. You can also notice a barely started team in some of the pictures above. That is the Staff team of the Airlanding Battery. These fellows are in charge of calculating ranges and elevations to the target. It is them I will blame when my dice go against my during artillery fire.