Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pulp Adventure, Part I

This figure is the first in a series of pulp adventurers I am painting up for my friend Kyle. The model comes from Wargames Foundry, and has a lot of character. This was one of my favorite models from the pack. His simple dress and determined look makes for a great miniature.

Like with simple paint patterns on tanks, the simpler colors of the uniform allowed for some wear and weathering to be shown without disrupting the model too much. Though not perfectly shown in the photos, I've added sweat stains around the collar, under the arms, and down the back from the neck, as well as about the helmet where it would contact the head. The stains on the pith helmet are based on the ones that developed after I wore mine for a few years. I painted the leather gaiters and cartridge belt to have some wear around the edges, where the dye has rubbed off.
For now he stands on a simple desert base, though I am toying with adding deep savannah grass to make it more scenic.

 Also in the works is a sailor, who looks like he's straight off a tramp steamer. Fairly simple paint job here, with off-white pants, a blue peacoat, and white Greek cap. The most fun part was doing the striped shirt. He is based on an extra deck-base I'd made for AWI and Pirate crews. Now I just need a ship that will suit him...

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Redcoats are Coming Part I

Naturally, with the growing pile of Continental soldiers, they need someone to face off against, and, seeing as I reenact the 29th regiment of Foot during this conflict, there was really no choice. The officer above is a  Front Rank figure. Since he will mostly be used outside of formation and in smaller skirmish games, his base is round, as is the rest of my "hero" models for the redcoats. He is painted with the yellow facings of the 29th, a white wig, and a silver gorget.

These 4 figures comprise the "command" group of the redcoats when used in smaller skirmish rules that I typically play. All figres are Front Rank as far as I can tell, and all are based round. The basing reflects the regiment as well, as they are based on a grassy field, instead of (at least attempted) woodland undergrowth and uneven ground of my Continental Militia.

Perhaps my favorite of my Lobster backs. Enjoyed doing the blood-soaked bandage on the head. Otherwise a straight forward paintjob.

Lastly, we can see here the equipage that came on the figures. They are complete with cartridge box, bayonet frog, haversack, tin canteen, and goatskin backpack typical of early war uniforms. Also note the knee breeches and half-gaiters. I may go back and add white tape trim to the tricorns of the enlisted men, though the officer's will stay all black.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Naval Crew, Part II

These men were seen crewing the deck of the Dred Hawk, but I wanted to give you a closer look. Again, these models are Foundry Swashbuckers with Boarding Pikes (sans pike). This leaves their hands in the best positions I could find to be handling lines and actually sailing their ship.

These were a lot of fun to paint up; I have always enjoyed painting Foundry faces. The crew was painted in a limited pallet to look a bit more like a naval crew rather than pirates (though I dare say they could be serviceable as the latter).

This is by far my favorite model of the set. I love the short jacket, common among sailors until the introduction of the Pea Coat in the 19th century. As in all the bases, his is done with deck planking courtesy of my local Starbucks. The coffee stirs were glued to the base, then trimmed and sanded to fit the round edges. The coil of line on the deck in front of him is hemp twine that i untwined and then twisted into a rope of the proper scale, and glued to the deck. The metal base that extends between his feet was carefully trimmed off, and the completed, painted figure was then pinned to the finished decking with a cut-down sewing pin (the type that comes in men's shirts at Christmas time...) from underneath.

This one was fairly straightforward, with the same finishing as the above figure. I don't think this photo does justice to the subtlety, but his shirt is painted closer to a stark white, to look like a linen work shirt, while I gave his slops a more yellowish tinge to look more like cotton sail cloth.

This one really needs a swab, either for a gun or for the deck. This particular scuplt reminds me of a friend of mine from the San Diego Maritime Museum.

The last man of the group, with grey slops, and a straw hat. I painted it flat black, as a tarred sailor's hat.
I have always liked painting nautical figures, and hope to add more to my crew soon. These men will also crew my HMS Sophie until I am able to acquire some Napolonic British Sailors, likely also Foundry, unless I discover something I like more.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Shermans, Part II

Continuing with my windfall Sherman tank find, I've been going through these rather quickly, as they all have fairly simple paint schemes. It is somewhat hard to keep the attention span going on so many identical tanks, however.

To command my British Armoured Squadron, I've converted one of the tanks to have an open hatch on the turret, and added a commander figure left over from one of the Firefly VCs. I drilled out the solid molded cupola and cut a hatch from plastic card. However, I am a bit unsure of how the command tank should be marked, so for now it only has generic allied stars on it.

And below we have a group shot of all the completed Shermans so far. As I make a final decision on which unit i'm portraying, some more markings, perhaps decals, will be applied to the front hulls.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Continental Army

Though the American War of Independence began with the brave everyman of the militias picking up arms and defending their towns, the war soon grew beyond the scope of such an army. Though fighting  for ideals, their fervor rarely reached beyond their own towns to strategic concerns of the war as a whole. While Concord and Bunker Hill showed the world what men dedicated to a cause could achieve against even the might of the British Empire, the disaster at Long Island showed the limits of using less trained soldiers with looser command structures. If the war was to be won, America would need to raise an army of Regulars. The majority of the figures are Foundry uniformed militia figures. These had various states of dress and accoutrement.

My regulars are painted in the ubiquitous blue coats and red facings of the Continental Army. To garner a sense of hodgepodge, I painted their uniforms slightly different from each other. Small clothes are done in either a white, off-white, or buff color, in various states of cleanliness. Below is a continental from Front Rank. Though a little larger and rounder than his Foundry cohorts, and wearing long gaiter-trousers instead of breeches and stockings, he fits in the unit quite nicely, and tends to act as the squad's NCO.

The Foundry figures, being technically sculpted as uniformed militia instead of full Continental Regulars, have various dress and equipage. Many have only a cartridge box. Some have no shoes, and the hats also have some character.

The Foundry set presents a firing line, with the soldiers at different stages of reloading and firing. They work well en masse, as well as individually. Below is one of my favorite figures, both for the cartridge ramming pose, and for being barefoot.

And finally, one of the more, er, regular regulars. He sports a military cocked hat trimmed in white lace, and gaiter trousers. I like how the set (+1 frontrank figure...) represents a small cross-section of the regular Continental Army. The variations sculpted in the uniforms give them a more presentable look than my group of militia, while still looking a little less put together than my British Regulars.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Opel Blitz Part II

A quick FoW update - for my second Opel Blitz transport truck by Battlefront, I tried my hand at the other famous German paint scheme, dark panzer grey. Chosen for variety sake, and to look more like the truck from Raiders of the Lost Ark (sadly there is no FoW model for the Mercedez Benz E3000).

Monday, June 4, 2012

Long John Silver

In the wake of the Pirate Paint-athon, I found myself with a few of the leftover miniatures. Though surprised that none of the kids wanted the pirate missing a leg, I was more than happy to have a crack at him. With the recently reread Treasure Island on the brain, I painted up this one-legged Seaman as I had pictured the beguiling Long John Silver. He is painted with the same limited pallet I used for the event (Primaries, skin tone, brown and silver)
Smart as paint, me boy!
I had a lot of fun with this model, and decided to add the flourish of striped slops, which are somewhat visible in these pictures. The figure was not complete until I added the white trim to his cocked hat, which really adds some visual interest to the whole composition. Basing is done in the "island" fashion as sand, some pebbles, and low plant growth. This was a quick paint, done in about 1/2 an hour (not counting any of the prep, which was all front-loaded for the event). I will like to add a few finishing details, and clean up some lines. Last change will be removing the peg leg so that he rests entirely on his crutch.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pirate Paint-a-Thon Part II

After weeks of prep, the actual night of the Pirate Paint-a-thon was upon us, and I trekked out to Pasadena where I could put on the event.
All of the prepared and primed miniatures were displayed on two tables, featuring LEGO Pirates style island terrain (remember the 3 colored island baseplates from the old Pirates series?).
The Wargames Factory War of Spanish Succession Soldiers had one island, with a small house, and the pirates were on another table /  island with the HMS Sophie to show them off. The kids picked their men to paint from these displays.

The painting tables were set up with the same blue tablecloth and "island" decor, and provisioned with pallets, paintbrushes, Vallejo Paint, copies of my painting guide, and small cups of water (tiki shot glasses, if you must know).

This is an "after" picture showing what men were left after the painting frenzy.

We began the night with basic instruction and practice painting on the plastic WSS figures so that they'd have a better chance on their pirates. I did mine in the colors of a French Marine, circa the 7 Years War. It's amazing how well you can do with a limited pallet!

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