Friday, 16 January 2015

From KevinH - Lt. Winters and more Bolt Action US Airborne (28mm) - 60 pts

I've been participating in the 2015 Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.  This was my entry for January 14, 2015.

For today's post, let's continue the "US Airborne" theme...

First off, the Limited Edition "Lt. Winters" figure.  I really liked this figure!  I have to look into this, but I think Warlord commissioned Paul Hicks to sculpt this figure, and it just looks awesome.  It's not quite so easy to see from my pics, but "in person," it looks to me as if the face even looks a bit like Damien Lewis from the "Band of Brothers" series!

My only gripe about this figure is the "dog tags."  They were cast in metal, and that makes for a very HEAVY figure!  I wish they had cast the dog tags in resin, to cut down the weight.  I might have to pick up another of these models, so I can do one on a "groundwork" base, to match my other figures.

Next up, Lt. Winters gets a Radio Operator, to keep in touch with Command.  I had to replace the barrel on the Carbine, as it was about ready to break off anyway.  A bit of fine brass wire, and a bit of Super Glue to mock up a muzzle, and we're done.  Also added a nylon paint brush bristle for the radio antenna!

This round, sees the addition of a 60mm Mortar team for the Airborne force.  I'm not really a fan of modelling a group like this on separate bases, but some rules require this sort of thing, so there you go.  And this way, I can always use the guy with the binoculars as an Artillery Forward Observer (watch this space for further developments on that idea!)

Carrying on, we have two Sergeants with Thompson SMG's.  I don't think this line has one, but a running figure with a Thompson would have been nice, to model Lt. Spears from "Band of Brothers!"

 I also completed a few more Riflemen models to start fleshing out this force.  Here are two kneeling models.

 And here are three standing models.  I really like the running figure in this group - a really nice 'dynamic' pose, and and the animation of the posture is spot on.

And just to recap, here's a "group shot" for this round - 12 models for a grand total of 60 pts. 

And last up, a shot of my Airborne force so far.  A Lieutenant with two Riflemen; a Bazooka team; a 60mm Mortar team; two seven man Rifle squads, with one squad including a Medium Machine Gun team; and an M4A3 Sherman tank.  I think I might just have enough to start playing modest games of Bolt Action!

Thanks for looking!

From KevinH - Fortnight Challenge - Victorian - Steve Saleh's Ratcatcher

Here is my entry in the "Victorian" Fortnight Challenge for the 2015 Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

Amongst the figures I bought from my friend's Estate sale, was the beautiful Wargames Foundry, Limited Edition "Victorian Ratcatcher" model by Steve Saleh.  Wow, this is a great model!  Nice, crisp detail, great proportions, cute "character."  It's a bit bigger than most 28mm's (maybe a "29mm" if you like), and sort of a bit more "heft" than most 28's, but those things don't harm this model at all.  When I found it among the figures I'd picked up, I knew I wanted to paint it for the Challenge - then, I noticed "Victorian" was one of the Fortnight Challenges!

I like the little rat poking it's head out of the cage, and the one crawling up over the shoulder.  I was tempted to start Googling pics from the movie, "Willard" but decided against that.  When I started cleaning the model earlier this week, I was thinking about clipping off the cast base, and sculpting a "sewer" base for this guy.  Then I noticed the one additional rat on the ground, between his feet.  Rather than trying to cut around the rat, and maybe risk ruining the rat, I decided to just glue the figure to a GW base, and do basic Liquitex Resin Sand groundwork instead.

This was a pretty straight-forward paint job.  I was a bit rushed on it, as "Life" threw me a curveball today, but I think it turned out OK.  I stumbled on a nice trick for the gold buttons and top hat buckle - I base-painted those items with a "dark yellow" (basically, the colour of  WWII 'Late War' German armour).  I'm never quite happy with how Gold paints onto a model - often the paint itself is a bit thin, as it's really just "carrier" with Gold flecks.  The dark yellow base colour helps unify those flecks, and I didn't get the "streaky" Gold I usually get!  Maybe this isn't something new to most of you, but it was something I tried on the spur of the moment, and it worked great!  I'll have to try using a Grey base for Silver and Gun Metal paint next!

When I was poking around for some "rat catcher" reference pics to give me some inspiration, I came across this old illustration (surprisingly, there seem to be very few pics of the miniature out there on the Internets!).  So for my final pic of this post, I added in a couple of dog models my friend had painted.

I think it makes for a nice grouping!

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

From KevinH - Fortnight Challenge - Mounted - Sergeant Preston and Rex

From KevinH - Fortnight Challenge - Mounted - Sergeant Preston and Rex

In last year's Challenge, I did Sergeant Preston for "Favourite Character."

So, for this year's "Mounted" Fortnight Challenge, I decided to do Sergeant Preston and Rex, his horse.  As some of you will no doubt recognize, this is from the Pulp Figures "Sgt. Preston" pack.  (Observant folks out there, will notice the 'dismounted' figure in this pack, is NOT the one I painted last year - but I think the figure I did paint as "Sergeant Preston" makes a better Sergeant Preston.)

I found this old puzzle box art, which was really handy, and I was planning to paint the horse Chestnut!  (...Oops!)

Pretty straight forward painting on this figure - just match up with last year's figure, and the puzzle box art.

Lastly, a shot of last year's figure with this year's Mounted version.

Oh, and I put away the photo booth for the time being.  I found a couple of decent swing-arm desk lamps at "Wally-mart" and some good old, Incandescent bulbs to light up the scene!  In my mind at least, they look much better than my previous pics this year.  I'll need to get some tissue paper to cover the lamps for better diffusion, and I might still need a third lamp for "fill" light from the camera area, but I'm much happier with how these shots turned out - and pretty minimal Photoshopping to get them ready!

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, 28 December 2014

1/56 WWII US M4A3 Sherman

Analog Painting Challenge - 1/56 WWII US M4A3 Sherman (18 Points)

Another post from the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge! This time around, I decided those US Airborne figures needed some Armoured support!

I've painted an M4A3 Sherman, in 1/56 scale - by Warlord Games, from their Bolt Action line. I'd bought three of these kits from a Canadian seller, who was getting out of 28mm figures, and concentrating on 1/72 scale products. It wasn't until the Challenge, that I'd sat down to look at the kits. Turns out, two of the kits have casting/missing bits problems I have to contact Warlord about, but they're very good about putting these sorts of problems right, so I have no worries about that.

I still used the portable photo booth for these pics, but I took out the fluorescent "twirly" bulbs, and put in good, old incandescent bulbs! Switched my camera back to the previous settings, and those pics look much better. I still need more "fill" light from the front, but learning the ways of the photo booth takes some time too...

The model was pretty straight-forward to assemble. I put most of the components together, and then, being as it's a resin kit, gave it a scrub with dish soap (washing up liquid, for

our friends across the pond!), and left the elements to dry overnight.

Unlike most people's complaints about resin models, the "track" pieces on this kit were straight enough, that I had no problems with assembly. There's a good number of "fiddly bits" though! The Headlight assemblies on the front of the tank almost drove me to have a "Roman Shield Decal" moment, a la Curt! I soldiered on though, and finally got all the little bits sorted (my big, old "meat hook" fingers don't work so well with "fiddly bits" any more...)

I drilled out the Antenna mount, and used a bristle from a cheap, Dollar Store (Pound Store?) nylon paint brush. They work really well! --and one 3" brush will give you virtually a lifetime of antennas and radio aerials! I've used them previously, on my Flames of War Canadians, and they look great! Just a dab of superglue and you're done - they're nice and bendy, so no need to worry about breaking like stretched sprue, and no impaling your hands like with metal wire antennas.

I did have one rather significant problem with these kits though. I think Warlord has since changed the policy, but these kits did not come with any decals! (Arg!) Fortunately, I was able to do a "work-around!" I printed out some 8mm and 9mm Stars at work (I do Graphic Arts, so this was easy enough to whip up). When I got home, I put clear tape on the front and back of the Star images (for strength and stability), and proceeded to cut out the insides of the images and make my own stencils!

I don't think I'm going to do this for the other kits, but it did turn out OK. I had to go in with a thin brush, and clean up the lines a bit just to "neat" things up. I don't know if this counts for "Extra Credit" or not Curt - what do you think? --an extra 5 pts maybe? Your call, of course. (Curt was nice enough to give me 3 extra points for the stencil work!)

And just to close off my post, a "scale" shot with the Airborne Bazooka team from my last post. In this shot, the figures don't look too bad against a 1/56 scale tank. Personally though, I think I'd rather 1/48 scale was the more "de facto" size for use with 28mm models. These 1/56 scale models do look just a little small compared to the figures. The Sherman here, almost looks like some odd, "Stuart" variant next to this Airborne team!

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Analog Painting Challenge - 28mm WWII US Paratroopers (30 Points)

Once again, I'm participating in the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

The Challenge isn't a "challenge" in the normal sense, that is, you aren't really competing against the other participants.  Rather, you're competing against yourself.  You set a points total you want to aim for over the course of the Challenge, and then try and paint enough models to reach your total!

This entry is worth 30 points in the Challenge scoring (5 pts per 28mm figure).
I picked up a portable "photo booth" last year.  Unfortunately, it came with the new "twirly" bulbs, and they've made my pics look pretty crap - even with some Photoshop tweaking.  I'm a bit sad about this...  I think I will go back to my old method of snapping pics.  I've still got regular bulbs, so I might try swapping out the "twirly" bulbs for regulars in the booth...

So - my first post (outside of the Fortnight "Theme" post the other day), will be for some Bolt Action/Warlord "US Airborne" models, in 28mm.  I painted five Riflemen in the last Challenge, and I'm determined to get more of these guys done this time!  Here are a couple of "Officer" types, a Bazooka team, and an LMG team (Light Machine Gun, for the uninitiated)..

(please excuse the shoddy pics - I will endevour to do better next time.  Those pics from last year's Challenge look SO much nicer...)

Here are the Officer figures.  The first has a pistol and Carbine rifle, the second has an M1 Garand rifle.  He also has a pair of binoculars, so could double as a Forward Observer, I guess.

This is the Bazooka team.  The Bazooka seemed a bit tiny to me, but Curt who runs the Analogue Hobbies page, and the Challenge, pointed out some examples of WWII Bazookas, that show this sculpt is about the right size after all.

And lastly, the Light Machine Gun team - moving to a better firing position.

You'll be seeing more of these figures over the coming weeks.  I picked up the "Lt. Winters" special edition figure Warlord produced a few months back, plus I've also got two Airborne jeeps, a Mortar team, and a Pack Howitzer team, as well as a few more Riflemen.  I love Paul Hicks sculpting - looking forward to doing more of these great figures!

After painting the first few in the last Challenge, I've gotten over my 'hang-up' of trying to paint these guys!  So I look forward to continuing the efforts.  The same could probably be said about all the British Airborne figures I have - but those damn Denison smocks really DO give me a mental block!

Thanks for looking!

Analogue Painting Challenge - Theme Round #1 - COLD

40mm Sash & Saber "Retreat from Moscow" Napoleonic French

Another Analogue Painting Challenge is underway!  For the "Cold" theme (and my first post of the Challenge), I went with a couple of 40mm, Sash & Saber "Retreat from Moscow" figures.
These are (I think?), my first Napoleonic figures (unless you count "War of 1812" figures...), as well as my first 40mm figures!  They are painted largely with Vallejo Game Air paints (that's right, the Airbrush paints!). I recently started to try learning to do more Airbrush work, and I found the Game Air paints work quite nicely with bristle brush painting as well.  They're fairly thin, straight from the bottle, so require almost no additional thinning.

I did the common "black & white halftone" undercoat with the airbrush, then started in with traditional brush painting. (ps: not sure how well the "halftone" undercoat works with brushed on acrylics, but at least it gives a decent starting point, and gives brighter highlights than just a straight, Black undercoat.  The "halftone" undercoat probably works much better with Oil paints).  The bases are laser-cut MDF, courtesy of Byron from SG2 Creations, one of the Sponsors of the Challenge (Thanks, Byron!).

I used Liquitex "Resin Sand" texture gel to build up the bases, and once all the painting was done, I spread thinned white glue over the texture gel and covered with Baking Soda.  That's right - no need for fancy, expensive "Snow" basing material, just plain old Baking Soda.  Cover the bases LIBERALLY in the Baking Soda, don't just sprinkle it on - the white glue will suck down LOTS of the Baking Soda, and give nice, natural "mounds" like real snow.  I think it looks quite good!  I did some WWII "Winter War" Finns with the Baking Soda basing treatment as well, and they look pretty sharp (if I do say so myself).  I might include a few pics of those in a later post, as I'm working on some of those for the Challenge also.

Here's a shot with the ubiquitous Space Marine, to give a rough idea of size/scale.  For 40mm figures, they don't quite seem "all that" next to the Space Marine, but then, the French are hunched over against the cold, blowing winds of the Russian winter!
One final shot to show the backs of these figures.  I must say, considering the size of these figures, the detail and sculpting seem a bit "primitive" - considering what is available for 28mm figures, you'd think 40mm figures would be super-detailed!  Oh well, I'm not a sculptor, so I can't complain too loudly.  I know Curt has some of the Perry "Retreat from Moscow" figures, and they are, no doubt, much nicer sculpts.
(I snapped these pics on my iPad.  They didn't turn out so great...  Back to the little digital camera I've used in the past, I think...)

I picked up a couple of dozen of these figures from the Estate sale of a friend who passed away in 2013 - more French, some Russian infantry, Russian peasants, and some "dead" figures.  I think I will try and get more done from this range, and maybe try a skirmish game at some point.  I may need to order some of the Wolves and mounted Cossacks too!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Well...  I finally did it.

I went and started a blog to display my miniature painting.  It seemed better than my old web site, as there's far less coding involved!

The winding, winter road picture seemed very appropriate - both for where I live, and how my painting goes!

This will be an interesting project - I hope you enjoy the ride!