(… or the importance of doing your research properly)
I’ve not posted for a while but I am doing things over the last few week. Most recently I’ve been working on more of the Perry Miniatures Vichy French for North Africa and Madagascar. For a change of pace I picked up this 75mm gun and crew which had actually been started last year.
The gun itself went together easily enough but it’s a pretty simple model and, for logical enough reasons, misses out a lot of the detail behind the gun shield. I set about adding some of the more prominent parts and in about 15 minutes the whole thing looked busier and a bit closer to the real thing. I was dead pleased with myself for doing this so quickly only to find far better reference for what should be behind there (hint – pictures of restored guns are perhaps not the best reference). So alas I couldn’t leave it that way and some of that was stripped away and more detail added. The ‘metal’ photos below show the earlier version before this was done.
The crew needed to be wrangled slightly to make them fit around the new struts and things (I actually left a strut out on the gunners side so he could fit OK). Really there’s only the basing left to do and some minor painting corrections. The satchel bag worn by one of the gunners, and by the infantry generally, should have proper satchel leather reinforcement and leather buckle straps. I assumed this was plain canvas like the earlier ones, but again better reference prevails.
I’m going for quite a heavy-lined look for these figures. The whole army is relatively quickly painted (more examples in previous post) and I want them to pop nicely on the table. I felt that for an army that I’ll be using with my kids this more ‘graphic’ look is appropriate.
One of my favourite poses this time – a really tense ‘advance to contact’ look. This figure is still from the first wave of Late War Americans, but I have the second wave (and some extra goodies) due in the post any day.
Sorry but lots of poses with this one. All sorts of additional kit makes this quite an interesting task to paint.
Paul has also shared early pics of the Kreigsmarine crew for the Empress U-Boat this weekend. Suddenly I find myself gripped by a strong urge to watch Das Boot again …
Another Empress 28mm GI complete, this time my first squad NCO. Pretty standard stuff but this time with British-supplied brown trousers (no joke intended). Looking at a lot of colour footage from 1945 shows a lot of these still knocking around and it gives some nice variety to a squad. Also a handy way of making the NCO stand out on the table in this case.
I’ve got the second wave of these due to arrive in the post at any second, along with initial casts of the new 1/50th Willys Jeep. Very excited to get my hands on those and will get to painting them as soon as I can. There are some great new patrolling poses in the second release along with heavier weapons. The theme of this first squad will be an alert patrol, with subsequent squads being either contact or gone to ground. I like to theme squads and sections this way and have a group of figures reacting logically as a group.
I’ve also suffered a slight 20mm distraction while waiting for other things to arrive. The result is this Dragon 1/72 StugIV. It’s only just had base-coat, pin-lining and light streaking at this point with all the fun stuff still to come.
So, First World Problems.
When I decided to start this blog I picked WordPress mainly because almost the entire ecosystem at work uses Google products (which Blogger is a part) and I’m usually logged into those with ‘work’ credentials. That’s a different world and things there stay there.
I had one or two friends using WordPress and it seems decent enough. The main downer seems to be that a large number of the blogs that I follow are on the Blogger platform … pretty much the majority. Following them in a browser is easy enough – they are all bookmarked, but it does make it a little harder to share these because I don’t seem to be able to add them to the blog-roll on my home-page. On the plus side I’ve found some hidden gems on WordPress, on the minus it’s harder for visitors to find some of my favourites.
With this in mind I’ve listed below five blogs which I consider absolutely essential for various reasons. All utterly compelling in my opinion, and each an overload of inspiration and content. I could only aspire to produce something even close …
I won’t describe each one, but I can’t recommend enough that anyone (of the dozens :-)) who spends two minutes here spend considerably longer on these.
Each one of these taps directly into the mother-lode as far as I’m concerned and a post on any of the above is enough to make my week.
On the miniatures front I’m tackling a few things. Westfalia Miniatures, Dark Sword, Otherword and some randoms. I’ll aim to post a WIP or two in the next few days.
So, he’s finished for now. Had a terrible time trying to get photos this evening and sort of gave up when I managed to get anything remotely useable. Sometimes these things just don’t work out.
The base is cork and grit built up in a flat-topped mound. I then used one of the excellent Greenstuff World rollers to get the stone floor pattern. This was fiddled a bit with to make the edges a little more logical and add some sharper cracks etc. Whole lot painted to match the figure, pinned and glued.
So, for now, some sketchy pictures. I’m hoping to takeadvantage of a friend to help out with some better pictures of the whoe group (henchmen a well) in future.
I love this figure and wanted it for ages. I think it’s from the old Masquerade Miniatures range and has now found a happy home at Otherword Miniatures. Looks like a Stefan Nieheus sculpt. He’s actually been a little trickier to paint than I expected – the sculpting is really energetic and exuberant, but a little loose in places (particularly the back of the cloak). This has led to there being more texture and even a bit of lumpiness here and there which needs to be minimised wherever possible. What I couldn’t clear away with knife and file I’ve obscured with paint. He’s a few hours from finished here.
I’ve posted this WIP partly because it marks a bit of a change in the way I’m looking at painting and particularly fantasy subjects. I’ve been following Ben Komets on Patreon (highly recommended by the way) recently, watched Painting Buddha videos etc. for quite a while, obviously read Massive Voodoo avidly for years and following the work of folk like Banshee. These guys are unfeasably good and represent a very deep level of understanding, analysis and exploration in the field of miniature painting. I would highly recommend a visit to the above painters sites, along with regular trips to Putty & Paint etc. whenever you need some inspiration (or even just to see how far most of us have to go). I’m happily aware that my painting falls into the realm of ‘wargames figure’ level and a million miles from the art that the above names achieve. However (and with some formal art training behind me) some of the ideas raised by these folk can’t help rub off. I’m not ready to commit weeks to a single figure, but am intrigued at the prospect of incorporating more considered colour theory etc. into what I do.
So, to cut a long story short, I’ve begun to consider setting, lighting and atmosphere more (or at least tried). I realise this all sounds very pretentious but it’s my blog so please indulge me …
With this wizard I’ve tried to imply depth and scene by adding some ‘infernal’ warm up-lighting and attempted to offset this with a more silvery blue ‘moonlight’. The upshot is the use of reds and browns in the blue tones, and conversely blues and purples in the reds. There’s even some green and other unlikely colours scattered in there at times. I’ve also begun to use ‘day-glo’ fluorescent paints to add strength to some of my colours which has been interesting. This is still a gaming miniature, and also early days for me, so I’ve not pushed this theme anywhere near as far as it could be – I still wanted a blue and red wizard after all, but I think this looks more interesting and has more depth compared to the Copplestone wizard further down the page which was done a few months back. This necromancer is also going to get a silly over-designed base along with two skeleton minions.
Anyway, a huge amount of text for a single picture … sorry about that. I’ll try to make it the other way around next time 🙂
The next GI is complete. As always the bases wait until a full or half-squad are complete, just to keep things looking consistent. This one carries an M16 smoke grenade which adds a nice splash of colour. I’m really enjoying painting the faces on these in particular.
If there’s any interest I can share a full list of colours and things for these.