Mittwoch, 23. März 2016

US Winter Infantry Colour Guide

When I painted the US Winter Infantry from Warlord Games for Pat (of fame) he asked me to do a colour guide so he might match the rest of the infantry to those I painted.

Step 1: As with most of my miniatures the figures were given a thorough undercoat using Vallejo Black Surface Primer applied by airbrush.

Trousers on the left were done using:
A VMC Chocolate Brown
B VMC Flat Earth
C VMC Flat Earth + VMC Iraqui Sand (~1/1)

Trousers on the right:
A VMC German Uniform + VMC German Grey (~1/1)
B VMC German Uniform
C VMC German Uniform + VMC Iraqui Sand (~2/1)

alternatively you can also use:
A Foundry Storm Green Shade 27A
B Foundry Storm Green 27B
C Foundry Storm Green Light 27C

Step 2: For the winter jacket I went for the earlier more olive green colour.
A VMC German Camo Extra Dark Green + VMC Russian Uniform (~1/1)
B VMC Russian Uniform
C VMC Russian Uniform + VMC German Camo Beige (~2/1)

Step 3: The M-1 steel helmet.
A VMC USA Olive Drab
B VMC USA Olive Drab + VMC Brown Violet (~1/2)
C VMC Brown Violet + VMC Iraqui Sand (~4/1)

Step 4: The woolen long coat took me quite a while as I was never really satisfied with its look. Unfortunately the colour recipe I used for my 15mm US Airborne didn't work.
A VMC Chocolate Brown
B Army Painter Strong Tone Wash
C VMC Chocolate Brown
D VMC Flat Earth
E Army Painter Soft Tone Wash
A VMC Flat Earth
Trousers & Scarf (pullover or whatever)
A Foundry Storm Green Shade 27A
B Foundry Storm Green 27B
C Foundry Strorm Green Light 27C

Step 5: Helmet cover and the thing he wears around his head
Helmet Cover:
A Foundry Arctic Grey Shade 33A
B Foundry Arctic Grey 33B
C White
The thing he wears around his head:
A Foundry Rawhide Shade 11A
B Foundry Rawhide 11B
C Foundry Rawhide Light 11C

Step 5: The webbing.
A VMC US Field Drab
B VMC US Field Drab + VMC Khaki (~2/1)
C VMC Khaki

Step 6:Boots and gloves. For the gloves you can almost take any (reasonably drab) colour you fancy. I deliberately painted the gloves to look like fingerless gloves (is there any specific term in english?)
Boots/ Chin strap:
A VMC German Camo Black Brown +  VMC Flat Brown (~3/1)
B VMC Flat Brown
C VMC Flat Brown + VMC German Camo Pale Brown (~3/1)

Step 7: Skin, rifle stock and metal parts. These were painted using the same colours detailed in my 'Late War German Colour Guide'.

 As always I hope this was of help for some of you and if there are any questions left feel free to ask in the comments.

Samstag, 19. März 2016

9th and final AHPC VI submission: 15mm Cold War Gone Hot

This sunday the 6th instalment of the (in)famous Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge is coming to a close. For me it was the third challenge I took part in and again it was great fun to be one of several dozen lunatics who joined this good hearted contest.
I didn't have as much time this year as I had hoped but still I'm quite pleased with what I achieved.
Thus here's my latest and last entry for this years challenge:

Not being someone known for his resilience when it comes to new shiny toys, the moment I saw the new Team Yankee stuff on the web, I knew I'd to get my hands on it at some point. Surprisingly, I managed to hold on until Tactica, but by then my resolve finally crumbled and I virtually threw my  cash at the fine people selling my newest object of desire.

As Bundeswehr will only be released later this year I first went for a soviet mechanised platoon. As addiction dictates and getting a bit carried away by my excitement, I forgot to buy their means of transport but instead acquired a whole company worth of T-72's. I'll probably never actually be able to field these in a single game. Only later was I to realise my 'little' mistake but at that time all available BMP's and other means of dapper transport for these fellows were already gone. No big deal though, as I need another squad to round out the platoon anyway. Looking at the platoon commander below I don't think it hurts these guys too much to be degraded to footsloggers for the time being. Seems like catering with the red army wasn't that bad after all.

Not being a big fan of the Flames of War rules I instead decided to go with the 'Cold War Gone Hot' supplement for Force on Force. Having enjoyed some games pitching regular versus irregular troops I'm rather curious to see how the game system copes with regular forces fighting it out against each other.

Both platoons comprise of a NCO with Ak-74, one guy with the infamous RPG 7, two with RPK light machine gun and three other fellows sporting AK 74's of whom one is also carrying a RPG-18 disposable anti-tank rocket launcher.

The figures are quite nice and painted up rather well, but the casting quality is a bit of a disappointment. Some miniatures suffered from huge amounts of flash and mould lines while others were disfigured by misaligned moulds. For the price Battlefront are asking for I'd expect a better quality control. For the next figures I'd maybe give Khurasan a try, if only shipping and customs weren't that disproportionate from the states.

I'm no expert on soviet armour but the plastic T-72 clearly is an improvement on the Shermans that came with the first FoW Open Fire starter set. Not quite happy with the colour (it's too green if you get my meaning) but our very own GregB already sent me his recipe for painting soviet armour. Thanks mate!

The box comes complete with decals and a set of plastic tank commanders which are quite nice.

16 foot figures, one tank and a half figure in 15mm should net me another 39 points. That's 574 points for the challenge and 499 points for the side duel.

As I pointed out in a previous post I'm away with work for the week ahead and probably won't get any more painting done in the meantime. So all that's left for me to do is to admit defeat to my good friend ChrisS. Well done Chris. I tip my hat to you Sir! Just let me know what figure you want me to paint for you.

As this will be my last post for this years challenge I've included the, by now, obligatory group shot. Even considering the missing Winter GI's and Halftrack, which are by now safe in g'old Great Britain, I'm definitely not disappointed by what I achieved during the last few weeks. Especially considering the limited time during the first month.

Now I feel it's time for a few last parting words. First of all I want to thank our beloved Mr. Snowman Snowlord for organising the challenge once again. As always it was a pleasure to be part of this hobby spectacle par excellence. My admiration also goes to Mrs. Sarah for enduring all this year after year on end. Of course we won't forget our trusty minions who, despite me being under direct administration of THE man himself, I dare to say made a fantastic job. I always enjoyed your good humoured comments. And last but not least my heart felt thanks to all my fellow participants for some excellent weeks. It was a pleasure!

Mittwoch, 16. März 2016

8th AHPC VI submission: Schaeffer's last Chancers and a lonely Cross of Iron Steiner

During the challenge is probably the most inappropriate time to try out new techniques and recipes. Nonetheless I had to give it a go and here's what I came up with:

Schaeffer's last Chancers
So far I was quite happy with my take on caucasian skin tones but figured it to be about time to try some different approaches on painting skin. So what better way to do so than to paint up some Sci-Fi miniatures? After all who knows what different complexions people have in the 41st Millennium?

I only got six of the originally twelve figures done, so the rest might appear in an upcoming challenge. If I should then feel the need for some 40k, that is.
These figures were among my very first figures I bought as a teenager and I have fond memories of the day they were released in Germany. I was saving my pocket money for some month to get my hand on these on the very first day.
This latest paint job is probably the fourth or fifth coating they recieved during the intervening years. Still they're some of my favourite models ever. Would have made for a fitting entry for the 'Nostalgia' round I guess.

Also new for me was blending and OSL. Due to its form Schaeffer's power sword might not have been the best choice to try this but Shiv's power dagger came out better than expected. I'm not totally pleased with the OSL on Schaeffer's plasma pistol too. First the colour doesn't fit with the rest of the miniature and second I should have extended the lightning to shine on his glove too. But for some reason I feared it to look too over the top.

A good friend of mine gave me the 'Cross of Iron' figure wich comes with the Ostfront supplement for Bolt Action. As Schaeffer's last Chancers are called 'Steiners Galgenvögel' (Colonel Steiners Rogues) in Germany I thought it only fitting to include him  here.

I tried to paint the metal parts using the so called Non Metalic Metal technique. It's far from perfect perfect but I'm quite chuffed with how it turned out, if I might say so myself. Maybe something I should try more often in the future.
Now I only need a Hauptmann Stransky to accompany him. I'll probably go for the one I already painted as Curtgeld in the 2013 challenge. Man how time flies!

Another grand total of 35 points for this submission I'd say. So that's 535 points in the main challenge and 460 in the side duel with ChrisS. Not nearly enough...

Montag, 14. März 2016

7th AHPC VI submission: 28mm Late Roman Ballistae

With the Challenge drawing to a close and me beeing away with work for the coming week, the last few days saw me frantically beavering away on a few unfinished items. So here's the first of three submissions for today. This one should see me safely reach my goal of 500 points.

With all that 15mm stuff I've done during the challenge I was itching to get  at least one more base for my 28mm Late Roman army for Impetus done. Beeing severely hampered by a lack of time I was in the urgent need of something quick to paint. So this set of two Roman Ballistae by Wargames Foundry came in more than handy.

As I can't stand clones, at least when there are only a hand full of figures to a base, I had to do some minor conversions to three of the crew members. Two head swaps and a slight repositioning of an arm later I was happy with the over all look. To round things off I added a suitably commanding looking Centurion from Westwind Miniatures and a body guard from Foundry.

As of yet I was never able to field artillery in one of our games so I'm quite curious to see how these will fare on the table. No better than any other freshly painted miniatures I guess.

Due to a lack of time I wasn't able to get hold of a fitting decal for the shield and had to resort to my rather under developed free hand skills for this one. The pattern is only remotely inspired by those from the Notitia Dignitatum so don't even try to bother me with historical accuracy.

The 50 points of this entry see me doing a precision landing on my goal of 500 points for this years challenge. Unfortunately that's not nearly enough in my side duel with ChrisS, giving me a mere 425 vs. his 504 points.

Freitag, 11. März 2016

6th AHPC VI submission: 28mm US Winter Infantry

With some delay, here's my latest challenge submission:

This weeks entry sees something of a premiere on my part. It's the first actual commission I took on, therefore the bases unfortunately had to stay bare for the recipient to match them to his collection. Well, frankly comission probably is a bit of a stretch.
 Actually I asked Pat (of fame) if he'd like to trade some of his awesome terrain for some miniatures, I'd paint for him. He was kind enough to agree so it's been more me commissioning myself. It was an interesting experience to actually paint some more miniatures than the occasional figure for a friend, for someone else. But I definitely wouldn't do this for money.

Figures in question are Warlord Games (oh wonder, I know) new US Army infantry in winter clothing. And sorry to be so rude, but they were frickin' awful. Never since I first dipped my toes into the hobby waters I've seen figures that painted up so terrible. At times I did terrible paint jobs, granted, and there even might have been the one or other figure that wasn't pure joy to paint, but these figures were among the least fun I've ever, ever, ever painted.

Don't want to rant to much about these, but if you like miniatures that actually have folds in their clothing than you should keep your hands off these. Of course I hope that Pat is happy with these, though.

Next is a M3A1 Halftrack from Rubicon. The kit was a straight forward build and painted up nicely. My only gripe with this kit is it seems like the plastic used doesn't react to plastic glue like most other plastics I've encountered. Somehow it doesn't seem to melt properly so the joints remain quite brittle. I've tried two different brands of glue but neither worked. So in the end it's fingers crossed the Halftrack survives the trip to g'old Great Britain intact.

But otherwise it's a very nice kit with quite some potential for conversion I'd say. For a wargames kit it's quite detailed too, without swamping you with myriads of parts to assemble. For the first time I did the weathering and pin wash using exclusively oil paints. It worked a charm and was definitely cheaper and easier than using the various enamel based products out there. Still have to do some experimenting as to what works best, though.

Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the two crew members, so all you can see of them is their helmeted heads on the above pictures. They were no nice sculpts anyway, so not overly tragic.

I didn't glue the backrests in the rear compartment as the kit comes with the options to be built either as command vehicle with communications equipment or as troop carrier. So I painted both options for Pat to decide what he likes the most. Also the weapons weren't glued on for both ease of transport and flexibility.

So this entry should give me another 57.5 points (37,5 for the Infantry, 15 for the Halftrack and 5 for the seated crew) towards my total. So as an aside this also let me take the lead in Chris' and my side challenge with 369.5 straight points vs. 344 points. As that's a marginal lead at best, I should better stop to blather and get back on the brushes.

Dienstag, 1. März 2016

TACTICA 2016: Some Impressions of THE best wargames show on the continent

Last friday saw the missus and me heading out for Hamburg. After some seven hours and several hundred kilometres through the whole of Germany, we finally arrived in that blessed city.

Donnerstag, 25. Februar 2016

5th AHPC VI submission: More 15mm Caesarian Romans

This years Painting Challenge seems to be rather slow going for me. Nonetheless here's my latest installment in the challenge.

I'm still alive and slowly beavering away on my 15mm Late Republican/ Caesarian Roman project for Impetus. Not much progress was made but I felt a sign of life was due.

First are a base of Germanic Skirmishers who will fight alongside my Romans as allies. As my mate ChrisS went for Germans as opponents for my Romans I decided it would only be logical for me to incorporate a few Germanic allies into my army. Probably from a tribe on loggerheads with Chris' band of unwashed barbarians. Nothing wrong with letting these uncivilised animals kill each other before sending in the legions to mop up afterwards, eh?

Miniatures are Forged in Battle again and I'm still impressed with the quality of their offerings. It wasn't till I was almost done with these when I realised I had painted their shields in the colours of my favourite football teams arch rivals. No harm though, this way it will only be easier to sacrifice them for the greater good I guess. Fortuna wills it.

The next base is of no real combat value in Impetus other than to be attached to another base in order to depict the unit to which the General is attached to. I would have loved to include a pair of Lictors (no, not the Tyranid ones from 40k) carrying their fasces to symbbolize the high ranking status of the general but unfortunately I wasn't able to track some down in 15mm. Well, at least not till the base was finished and I happened to stumble across *these*. Next time I'd say...

The General is supposed to depict Gaius Iulius Caesar, but in all honesty I don't see much of a resemblance here.

In order to not make it look silly when attaching the base to a unit of infantry I opted for a rather static pose with these miniatures.

So, that's it for today. All in all this entry should give me another whooping 30 points towards my goal but unfortunately not enough to catch up with ChrisS in our little side duel.

Sonntag, 14. Februar 2016

4th AHPC VI submission: 15mm Caesarian Roman Heavy Cavalry (32 Points)

With workload increasing to a completely unexpected level, I not only had no time swinging the brushes, but also to post my latest entry to the challenge. If things continue to eat up even the last bit of my spare time I can hardly see me reaching my goal of 500 points in this years challenge, let alone beating my friend Chris in our side challenge. But enough with the whining, here's the painted lead:
Once again work got in the way of enjoyable and civilized pastime. Nonetheless I thought it appropriate to show a sign of life, no matter how small. Thus I present to you eight 15mm Caesarian Romans from Forged in Battle/ Westwind Miniatures. The miniatures are based for use as heavy cavalry in Impetus.

Except for some minor casting issues (the feet on some of the riders were not fully cast) these, once again were a blast to paint. I think I even enjoyed painting horses for the first time in my hobby career.

A few years back I started a Caesarian Roman project in 28mm, which, due to various reasons, never got off the ground. As mentioned in my last post I'm planning to go 15mm for some of my future projects, so I thought it might be the right time to revive this old favourite of mine only in a smaller scale. And no Curt, 20mm is no option ;-) While the AB figures are certainly nice, I simply can't get to grips with that particular scale painting wise. Don't want to rant again about the subject, but 20mm to me is quite a half-assed thing. Somewhere in between the pro's and con's of 28mm and 15mm. I'll stick with 20mm for my modern stuff, as decent Bundeswehr is hard to find in both the other scales, but nothing else... as of yet ;-)

As I want my force to be based on Legio X Equestris I went for a heavily stylized bull on the signum. Thinking about how unwilling I normally am to do free hands I'm actually quite chuffed with how it turned out. The shields only got a basic geometrical design copied from Heresy Brush's take on the very same figures (sorry can't find an image for illustration).

This should give me another 32 points to add to my total. This also helps me to cement* (well, 'cement' might be a bit over enthusiastic) my lead in the 'Bavarian challenge' with 285 (Having already added the 20 points from the bonus round entry) straight points vs. ChristopherS's 244 points.

*By the time writing this Chris of course already outpaced me by a formidable 49 points.

Samstag, 6. Februar 2016

3rd AHPC VI submission: 'Let it rip' - Defensive Terrain Bonus Round entry

Meant to post this a lot earlier but work got in the way. Nonetheless the poll for your favourite interpretation of 'Defensive Terrain' is still open, so make sure you head over and leave your vote.

It was a close run thing but I finaly got something in to the bonus rounds. With a little more time at hand and a head full of ideas I enthusiastically dived head first into the preparations. At first I was planning to do a little WW1 diorama but, while having the right figures, lacked in the skill and patience to pull it off. Than, while rummaging through the attic, I stumbled across some old Warhammer 40k terrain which would have fit the bill and instantly set to work to pimp it up. When finished, but before painting, I actually realised that terrain isn't really the focus of the challenge and I'd need figures to go with it. Running short on time and not really feeling like spending crazy money on some Forge World Death Korps of Krieg miniatures (which I would have liked to use for the particular piece and am eyeing for some years now), it was now time to turn to plan C: the ever trusty and highly popular (at least with me) World War 2 plastics by Warlord Games.

The figures are from the newish plastic Fallschirmjäger set converted using cutting, gluing, offensive speech and some pieces of the older plastic sets. I can't actually put my finger on it, but the Fallschirmjäger set left me a little unimpressed. I'm not exactly sure on why that's the case, as except for the detail, which is a little soft, it's in no way worse than the last sets. Maybe it's me comparing them to the older metal figures which have waaay more character. That said I hated the bad casting quality on the metal figures.

Using crates and some other paraphernalia from the bitz box I created a suitably 'defensive' looking base to go with the figures. To add a little interest to the otherwise still quite bland stack of crates, I added a camo cover made from tissue paper. A trick I already used in one of the last challenges. In order to be able to remove casualties, the loader was magnetised.

This entry should give me 20 points (10 for the miniatures and another ten for the crew served weapon) for the Bavarian challenge and an aditional 50 points for my over all target.