Monday, November 26, 2012

Officer, 1st US Infantry Division, 1812

Largely for use in Sharp Practice, I have also been working on a battalion of US 1st Infantry Division from the Anglo-American War of 1812.

The first unit has been Americans in early war uniforms, which were more heavily ornamented with lace and other such detail. In fact, they are remarkably similar to the British redcoats of the same era which they will likely face on the table soon (after all, this war is related in no small way the larger Napoleonic conflicts of the time).

Here we have a junior officer, to play the part of a lesser Big Man. He wears the early war coatee and an early stove-pipe shako. The base is magnetized for storage and for movement trays in-game. The figure (and his entire company) is sculpted by Old Glory, which has a rich collection from this conflict.

I hope to post more images of these men as I continue on the project.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

15mm Scenery

My good friend David has entrusted me with the honor of painting a piece of terrain from his collection. The piece is a pre-cast walled village/church in the Roman style of plastered brick with tile roof, scaled at 15mm. I believe this was originally intended as a Built up Area for DBA (De Bellis Antiquitatis, a fine game for ancients!), but most recently saw service as terrain in a game of Sharp Practice, set this time in 15mm scale, and would also serve well in Flames of War, since this style of architecture is still  to be seen today in Europe and the Mediterranean.

After washing the resin with warm water and dish soap to make sure any last remnants of release agent were off the material, I went about creating a base for the terrain. Why base what is essentially all base itself already? Though sturdily molded, and quite flat on the bottom, the piece is still resin, and could potentially break in transport. The MDF board base will give it some more rigidity, as well as add a bumper around the edge so that the paint does not get scratched/rubbed off as quickly. It will also allow for a little bit of extension to the scenery, where the vestige of  a field can surround the walls and give them a little more definition.

Tools used for this phase of the project: MDF board, hand saw, rasp file, pencil, and sandpaper. I traced the village on the hardboard, and cut out the square that surrounds the wall, leaving about 1/8 to 1/4 inch margin.

To break up the pure rectangle outline (and to disguise my poorly cut rectangle), I roughed up the edges  using a rasp file. Note that the rough edge was applied as to also work as a beveled edge.

Here you can see the walled enclosure placed onto the MDF board base.

I used superglue to affix the town to the base board. To ensure that it dried flatly in place, and without gapping around the edges, I rubber banded the whole assembly together. This, however, was not enough pressure to ensure a good bond (I was impatient and kept checking), so I took drastic measures:

In case you are having trouble seeing the contents of the two cans, here is a better image:

That's right! I've use several hundred .69 caliber musket balls to hold the parts in place until dry (quite appropriate for blackpowder era gaming...). When the superglue is set, I can move on to gluing sand to the base and priming.

Stay tuned!

Monday, November 19, 2012


In order to create a balanced opposing set of Flames of War, I needed to add an infantry element to my allied force. After more waffling than a house of pancakes, I finally settled on painting up an American Parachute Rifle Platoon to run as allies to my Britished Armoured Squadron.

Looking at references for the color of the M42 Jump Uniform, there is a lot of disparity between the shades of khaki-green-brown between the examples. I found one image of a spread of at least seven variation of the same color from original uniforms. This became the photo on my artistic license.
In no small way influenced by Band of Brothers or Saving Private Ryan in the decision, I opted to paint them based on their appearance in the polular series and movie, rather than from a strictly realistic stance. This means mainly adapting the colors from the films, which were slgihtly altered, but the overall color is still within the spectrum I'd observed. This gives them a desaturated, somewhat sepia-toned apperence.

Seen here is my first test figure. This project follows the painting advice of cracdeschevaliers in regards to painting process, skin tone, and gunstocks (the last of which I have been painting too dark on models of this scale!). I also chose to lighten the webbing equipment beyond the average of actual examples so that they don't get lost on the small scale sculpt.

Overall I am pleased with my first attempt, and hope that I can continue on with the same fervor for the rest of the platoon. This will also mark a first attempt at more dashing scenic basing. With the models being painted separately from their bases, this allows for more scenery to be added later. I intend to create a tutorial based on my attempt.

Does anyone know of any guides that show this sort of work? I've seen some great examples where they've basically built a village/town that is divided among a platoon's bases, but can't find them now that I'm looking for it explicitly.
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