Posts Tagged ‘iraq’

In a Battlefield of their own

November 29, 2012

Happy coincidences are always welcome, especially when they produce figures which fit into somewhere the manufacturer didn’t intend.  These modern figures from Hasslefree fit quite neatly into the world of the popular game “Battlefield 3”. For a player of that game, like me, it does make them irresistable.  The figures are very similar but have a choice of two main weapons and seperate heads.  Giving them different paintjobs makes them look less similar so that’s the course I took.

These come on slotta bases, and like a lot of the smaller producers it’s a restriction which the sculptors strive to escape from. Kevin White is no different in this aspect and the miniatures feet are barely in contact with the slotta bar. As I base on tuppences having such a small area of contact between figure and base can be a problem.

Not wanting to repeat problems I’ve had before when totally removing the slotta bar I decided on a new angle and this was to cut away the bulk of it leaving just a thin strip. This gives a lot more contact area but also allows the lightness sculpted in to the piece. Worth a try and a lot quicker than pinning.

In the computer game the troops have a very loose dress code, so rather than try to replicate a scheme I decided to just go for the gneral Battlefield Casual look which they all seem to have. I’m happy with the finish althoug, yet again, the photos have me sucking my teeth at the touches of dust, the odd wrong dab, etc, which only becomes apprent at this size. Good news is it distracts me from any blurry photos.

Hasslefree are about to release another pair in this series, and I suspect they’ll be as animated, well detailed and generally brilliantly sculpted as we’ve come to expect. A must-paint.

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Tim waits for no-one

November 29, 2012

It’s always surprising to see a paintjob you’re perfectly happy with once you’ve taken a photo of it and see it four times large and no more so than with this great figure of Tim Collins from the freebie range from The Assault Group. Enlarged it doesn’t look so good although in part that is down to the narcissistic nature of painting figures combined with the paranoid self-criticism which drives it onward. If you’re ever totally satisfied with your efforts there’s a good chance you’ll just give up there and then having reached the perfection you seek, so I’m not complaining.  It’s a simple figure to paint and I enjoyed it, right up to seeing it so large. Northwards!

He ain’t heavy, he’s my loader…

October 17, 2012

Here’s a couple more Afghan support weapons by Eureka which I picked up at Salute 2012.   They’re the usual joy to paint, even if my photos aren’t very good. The recoiless rifle is on a very big base, and there’s a big space near the loader because the ammo box wasn’t in the bag.

Thankfully Nic at Eureka was happy to send me one all the way from Australia, not that I’ve had time to paint and add it. The weapon was a little tricky to get together right but plenty of testing was the way to do it, with gentle tweaks to get the legs of the two-part tripod the right height.

Here’s the Eureka Afghan mortar, which has one figure sculpted so you can set him up with his hand in the ammo box. Well I was impressed. A much tighter fit on the base which I prefer.

Again a slightly tricky assembly of the weapon with three pieces which have to be glued simultaneously as I see it. Should you glue the tube into the base plate seperately it might not fit onto the bipod without being too splayed. Tricky but not impossible.

Again a fine example of the brilliance of digital photography is the small hair on the base plate while making everything else slightly blurred. The hair has since been removed, imprisoned and under going severe interrogation.

Rust In Peace

October 16, 2012

Back in May there was a fine two-part documentary on the BBC featuring Rory Stewart called ” Afghanistan: The Great Game.” which not only brought forth an educated perspective on the country but also offered some stunning imagery. One instance was a couple of Soviet vehicles in the spot they were destroyed during the 80’s rusted into a memorial of bad times past. I thought a similar model would suit my gaming table.

Of course my first concern was the idea of paying for a model and effectively turning it to a non-playable piece of junk.  Then I remembered how Bob over at Imprint Models not only did stunning models, but he also has a number of miscasts available at a lower price.  I wanted an APC rather than a tank so emailed the man himself and yes, he had some BMP-3’s available. Ура!The condition of the model was impressive for a miscast and wouldn’t take too much work to make a fine model for playing with. With a solid lump of resin as it is there’s no opportunity to make great holes or hollows in it, so the first thing to do was to hack off most of the track from one side. Some of this I reattached to have some hanging track on the front., some went onto the base and some I simply lost.

Having this sitting flat wasn’t going to work so I make a base with a slope so one side would sit higher than the other, and also have some of the remaining track buried under pebbles.  The vehicle and the base had to be done seperately, then joined and some additional work done to finish it.

I did add some small damage, namely several bullet holes on one side, and a larger RPG one on the other side. Some folk might think it looks too small but I remember watching a Mujahadeen video many years ago of an attack on Russian armoured vehicles and a succesful RPG hit which appeared to my naive eyes to be lttle more than a loud DONK! The small hole it produced did bring the vehicle to a halt and as the cameraman approached still filming it became obvius how the entire crew had died instantly…

For the rust effect I wasn’t sure what to use so I asked over at Frothers and Freakinacage recommended Modelmates Rust Effect, and once he explained it was a single application effect whereas a lot of rust effect kits are lots of stages with a pot for each.  It’s not cheap but it does a stunning job. My key point would be to use it as thinly as possible, but there’s a tutorial via the link above. I really recommend it, great effect with the added joy of being a bit like finger-painting which is always fun given how tightly figures have to be painted.

For additonal rust an old favourite was used, artists pastels. These are messy but are worth it, if you decide to use them consider going for really light tones. Once varnished they go darker so a bit of experimenting is called for. Once it had all been matt varnished I gloss varnished the oil leak at the rear, then dry brushed some of the stones with the base colour and then drybrushed again with matt varnish. I used two tones of grass as a finishing touch, a greener one for most but a browner one for around the oil leak. It took much longer than I’d have liked, an entire Sunday afternoon, but it was probably worth it even if I can’t explain why to my domestic Goddess.

Hee Hawfully Good Models

October 3, 2012

This sublime Donkey Mill is another one of those timeless pieces which would fit a wide period of games, ancient to modern and be a great addition to them all. I’d seen the Architects of War Middle East range some time ago and always wanted to see it up close before parting with any shekels. I found this piece at Red Knight when they still had a shop and jumped on it immediately. With my upcoming Jihadistan game at a soon to happen show I finally pulled this out of the to-do pile.

The pack contains four pieces, the mill and ground as a single pre-coloured in brown resin piece, the millstone, the wood and the donkey all in pewter. As with most simple kits it’s also a little tricky. The millstone and the wooden upright have to be straight on the vertical while the horizontal beam has to meet the donkey’s harness properly. A tiny bit of tweaking was needed on the beam to get this right and i found the easiest way to assemble once painted was to hold it all in place and with my third hand glue the donkey into place first.

Corn was what I wanted being ground. So I gingerly picked out two shades of yellow from mixed flock packs with the agility of a diamond buyer with a date with Kiera Knightly. This was glued onto the mill and into the sacks before assembly. To harden it up I doped it with superglue, as it dried the two-tone yellows went dull brown, well two-tone brown. So had to be dry brushed with yellow to brings it back to life.

It was fun to paint, I imagine some might think the donkey is too small but foreign ones typically aren’t as healthy no9r as big as the seaside donkeys we see most offen. Can’t wait to get another piece from these folk.

Have I Got News for You

September 2, 2012

I was seeking a camera man for a FUBAR scenario involving Ross Kemp having already modded a figure suitable. Also I thought I could do with a a more American reporter for those rare occassions when I allow Freddy Forrin on the table.  In the end I went for the Assault Group reporter and an Em4 camera bloke. They work well, even if my photography doesn’t do them any favours.  Both were great fun to paint – the reporter has a flak jacket on while the camera man doesn’t, but I feel that reflects the very different worlds they inhabit… another nugget of wisdom born from the meditation you enjoy while painting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the photo of the finished Ross Kemp aside the camera. Well it would be but I’ve mislaid him!

Even more Bazaar

September 2, 2012

Filling out the Jihadistan project gave me the chance to paint these rather brilliant Eureka miniatures‘ middle eastern civilians. There’s also a couple of stalls but I haven’t quiet figured out the best way to base those so they can wait.  It’s easy to assume how simple figures are simple to sculpt, and the burqa clad ladies might ecourage that train of thought.

However I already have a couple of burqa wearers and they’re simple figures simply done whereas these have been much better made. Each figure has a distinct attitude in it’s carving making them look more like a moment frozen in time.

They’re also rather timeless, with the exception of the woman with carrier bags, so could fit in an ancient scenario right up to the modern day. Although I wouldn’t buy anything from the traders I’ll be knocking on Eurekas door again.

Rubbish Grass

August 22, 2012

These are a few markers for general rubbish and grass tufts which we also use for marking IEDs.  The smaller ones are either Skale Scenics field grass or small scraps of metal folded and partially painted, The larger ones are chopped gas cannisters from the ever wonderful Fenris.  They’re all based on Fenris laser-cut ply bases. In game they’ve proved very interesting to use. In the first game we used them Daring Dan managed to set one off by driving over it in his very first move, this set a tone of wariness which has only worn off slightly as the majority of them are nothing but markers for grass or rubbish.

Troops Out… for the lads

August 20, 2012

It’s been a productive week on the Jihadistan front, bolstering the good guys with quite a selection of manufacturers and starting with this HMG from Brooks Miniatures. A very sweet support team which I don’t think my photography does justice to.

Again I’ve mounted them on a 40mm Fenris Games laser-cut ply base with various stones and tufts.

The Assault Group figures have become my favourite range for Modern Brits with a wide range even if I only use the helmeted ones. Four more have joined my ranks.

This is their prone pack with a SAW, an HMG, a bog standard SA80/L85 and a very neat sniper.

These have been painted but not based (awaiting bases) but you get the idea.

These will be finished off with the usual stones, sand and tufts.

blahHere’s the Empress Javelin Team which I’ve had unpainted for too long and it’s a handy addition to the forces.

Sadly these chaps come without weapons so I’ve added a couple of Hasslefree guns. Otherwise I’d worry about their personal safety.

The spare Javelin is a nice touch. This team comes with two other figures…

…this chap with a shotgun and a slung SA80 and another sniper. There’s something about snipers which I adore. I have far too many for a proper OoB but so what? They’re fun.

Finally a pack of Brooks Miniatures via Old Glory UK. I wanted a few more plain and simple squaddies with just SA80s to fill out the sections and these suit perfectly. I’ve painted these all in the new MTP camo, I’m not sure how accurate I’m doing it but it looks right to me and I’ve got it down to quite a rapid paint technique. Missing the big military shows over the last couple of years I’ve not had a good look at it, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Here’s a comparison shot of individual figures, TAG, Empress, Brooks, LAM German Marine, Eureka German Bundeswehr.

And one of support teams; Empress, Brooks and TAG.

What me Warrior?

May 14, 2012

This perfectly scaled beauty is the Imprint Models “Warrior” which I hastened to finish after my dad-in-law got this tank done very quickly. This model comes with the extra armour which is standard now, but if you wanted an older version you just leave it off. There’s also a pair of draped camo nets supplied which I choose not to fit.

Again the quality is top notch making the entire experience enjoyable. Even thing fits together well with only a little bit of extra effort to fit the armour up kit.  Unlike the T72-M1 all the hatches are seperate, so you can fit crew if thats preferred over the buttoned-up version.

I’ve used Brookes Miniatures WMIK crews from Old Glory UK – they’re well priced and can be hacked to suit. I’ve painted the driver as Johnson Beharry prior to his Victoria Cross.

Effectively it’s the last vehicle for the regiment and it fits in well as a father figure to the smaller vehicles.