Sunday, 14 September 2014

Painting Tips - WW1 German

Howdy folks,

After painting some Stormtroopers I was asked if I could reference the paints that I used and I thought I'd go that extra step and post up a guide...I approached each figure differently and used a couple of variances with each so I'll approach the guide the same way.

Building the bases

For each figure, the general idea and colour choices for the bases was the same...I used some Starbucks stir sticks and cut these up to act as trenchline/battlefield duckboards.  I glued these to their respective washer/coin and let that sit.  Next I took some Woodland Scenics white glue and covered the base and flocked using sand...generic playground sand works.  After I had let it dry for a day or two I basecoated everything, figures and bases in flat/matte black and went from there.

Painting the bases

1. basecoat the bases with 80/20 mix of Vallejo 822 German cam black brown and water;
2. take Vj 941 burnt umber to entire base;
3. long live the dry brush...Vj 983 flat earth, dry but not too dry...more like dryish, make it look the way you like without obscuring the burnt umber;
4. another dryish layer of Vj 875 beige brown...this starts to make contours and relief 'popout'...
5. this layer is Vj 874 tan US and is a dryer brush than previous...just looking to get what stands up from the rest of the base, hit the edges of the duckboards to show some weathering;
6. another dry brush layer, this time Vj 819 Iraqi sand...again, just lightly brushing the edge of the duckboard, and the top and edge of the dirt
7. final dry brush of Vj 976 buff...very very martini-like dry...hell, lets call it a dusting on the edge of the washer/coin, the most prominent tops of the dirt and barely on the duckboards; and
8. take some Army Painter strong tone wash and use this to finish off the duckboard...specifically, the space between the boards and around the feet of the troops.

Ultimately, adjust the above to get the look you want...if your battlefield is a wet mess, then less Tan US and maybe more beige brown and strong tone...I was trying to capture the underlying dankness and wetness of the battlefield but also that claylike 'whitening' of dried mud that you see in pictures.
Do what looks good to you. 

(left to right)...Grenadier Jake, Pistol Wilhelm, Body Armour Hans, and Gasmask Fritz...

Painting the Troops

1. basecoat the entire figure with Vj 995 German grey 80/20 paint:water;
2. follow up with Vj 862 black grey 90/10 paint:water over the entire figure;

Grenadier Jake

3. 90/10 mix of Vj 830 German fieldgrey for the tunic, pants, and puttees;
4. Vj 830 to the tunic and pants;
5. 75/25 mix of Vj 830 and 837 pale sand to tunic and pants...when painting this one, err on the dryer side...not intended to be a wet brush.  Treat as drybrush and take a few extra strokes over the cuff edges and knees and elbows and wrinkles in the tunic;
6. To finish the puttees, I took a mix of Vj 830 and 837...probably around 50/50, I wanted these to look noticeably lighter in tone than the uniform;
7. The helmet was a camouflage pattern of Vj 914 green ochre, 981 orange brown, 983 flat earth and 979 German cam. dark green...just add a line of black to separate the colour blocks...I randomly made the pattern after a picture in an osprey book;
8. The ammo pouches were initially given Vj 983 flat earth, then 914, and then mix of Vj 914 and 988 khaki, and then mix of Vj 988 and 884(?) stone grey;
9. The rifle was Vj 983 flat earth on the stock and wood and then wet-dry brush of Vj 875 beige brown.  The barrel and fittings were painted with Vj 863 gunmetal;
10. The dagger handle was Vj 995 and then mix of 995 with Vj 863 (approx. 50/50)...the scabbard was Vj 875 beige brown and then mix of 875 with Vj 874 (approx. 50/50);
11. The gas mask canister was similar to the handle...Vj 995, followed up with a drybrush of Vj 863;
12. The grenades: the stick handles were painted with Vj 983 first, dry brush with Vj 875 beige brown, and then dry with Vj 874 Tan US.  The grenade head was Vj 979 German cam. dark green;
13. The canteen was painted with Vj 983, 875, and then a drybrush of 50/50 mix of Vj 874 with 837 pale sand;
14. The e-tool: the handle is the same as #12, the head of the shovel was Vj 995 with dry brush and/or 'streaks' of 863; and finally
15. wash using Army Painter strong tone...

Pistol Wilhelm

3. The pants were done the same way as #3 and 4 for Jake;
4. The tunic was wetbrush of Vj 886 green grey, followed with a 75/25 mix of 886 and Vj 830 German fieldgrey emphasizing the wrinkles and edges.  The collar was left darker than the tunic (this was an osprey tidbit I found in my research);
5. The puttees and kneepads were done with Vj 874 tan US;
6. The pistol was Vj 863 gunmetal with a dry brush of 863 and Vj 837 pale sand;
7. The large pouch or bread bag was Vj 988 khaki and then mix of 988 with Vj 914.  This was followed up with a dry-ish brush of Vj 819 Iraqi sand;
8. The belt was Vj 950 black and then Vj 862;
9. The grenades, gas mask canister, canteen, and e-tool were done the same as Jake's #11, 12, 13, and 14...
10. finished with a strong tone wash...

Body Amour Hans

The only different element for Hans is the body armour and helmet.  His uniform is the same as Jake's as well as all of his other kit...the armour plates on his body and the front of his helmet were a combination of layers using Vj 863 then Vj 979, then dry streaks of 863 with a few streaks of Vj 981 orange brown.  The strap for the helmet plate was painted using Vj 875 beige brown and Vj 940 saddle brown. 

The gasmask was fairly straight forward...the facial piece was burnt umber and then mixed with tan US and drybrushed with buff.  The canister is Vj 979 drybrushed with buff.

Gasmask Fritz

There are only a few elements different for Fritz.  First, the bread bag/grenade sacks use the same process as Wilhelm's #7 but I used Iraqi sand mixed with stone grey as the dry brush layer.  The uniform pants are the same as Wilhelm, but the tunic is Vj 995 and 862 instead...this was lightened up and dry brushed using mix of 862 and 837 (75/25).  Fritz's gasmask is done in the same way as Hans's

There were many similar processes at play here...the helmets and personal equipment were very much the same...give or take a couple of subtleties...


I wanted to weather the figs and some of the personal equipment to show that these guys had to get dirty to do their job...and after all this work, I wanted a nice quick process that would add to the detail and not detract or worse obscure everything after they were
1. Vj 875...very dry layer
2. Vj 874...martini like dry
3. The final layer for everything...martini desert like dry brush with Vj 976 buff.


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

World War 1 German Stormtroopers

Howdy folks,

As promised in my previous posts...I was able to finish up the first four figures from my batch of North Star Miniatures WW1 Germans.  IIRC the figs are from North Star's "Great War" line from the stormtrooper blister and without a lie were very enjoyable to paint up...OCD aside, lol...

I consulted Mr. Google and Mr. Osprey very heavily before I started painting these troops up...I wanted to make sure that I got the colours right and really wanted to take care in the basing and painting of these figures.  I had taken some pics from the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa during a previous visit and used these as the basis for my colour choices.  I was also able to find a great pic online from someones Twitter feed (I apologize, I cannot remember their name) and followed this up with Osprey Publishing's book on the German Stormtrooper 1914–18.

I wanted to use these figures as a means of testing a number of uniform and colour combinations as well as get comfortable with a process and look that I could easily transfer to 15mm as well...I'm very happy with the results and the weathering...

As always, thanks for the views.  Feel free to hit me with any comments, questions or advice.

Take care.

The always crucial...research, research, research...


Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario...

...This is how the Beatles did it...well maybe, without the grenades and gas mask...

Monday, 8 September 2014

Thank you...5,000+ Views...

Well everyone,

I just wanted to say thank you very much...sometime over the past week we (yes, we) lept over the 5000 views hurdle.   Please alow me to say thank you all...literally would not have happened without you.


Thursday, 4 September 2014

Great War Germans - WIP

I was pretty pumped last night as I finished off the first of my 28mm WW1 Germans...this of course being in preparation for my entry into the First World War with Battlefronts new line.  I have to admit I like the flexibility of taking pics with an iPad but my photos so far have come out decidedly impulse is to suspect lighting but it seems to happen everywhere...

As for the mini, it is from the North Star Figures "Great War Miniatures" line from the stormtrooper blister...or maybe it was labelled trench raider...better minds will prevail.

I have a few pics, first, I took a page from Roundwoods World and painted the base first...I wanted to portray the fig as moving through some very muddy patches, complete with duckboards, etc.  I painted the base colours in 5 steps starting with burnt umber and finishing with Iraqi sand...the pic has the paint numbers...I am working on four figs so I painted each fig according to the order that I used the colours...the only colour not represented is the dry dry brush of Iraqi sand (buff would also work)...

Thanks as always, comments are always welcome.  Cheers.

Painting bases: 1) basecoat in black with the rest of the model 2) burnt umber 80/20 paint to water 3) flat earth 90/10 paint to water 4) dry brush with beige brown 5) very dry brush with tan earth...highlight edges and areas as desired...I chose timber edges and piles of mud/dirt, and then 6) very very dry brush with Iraqi sand...
Finished product...

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Battle Report - AAR for Fate of a Nation

Hello hello...

Recently our club decided to move ahead with a Fate of a Nation campaign, however the GM decided to base it on the Tank Aces model to give that system and the more modern force lists a try.  In July we had the opportunity for Arab and Israeli forces to meet and go toe-to-toe.

Using the Tank Aces was a fun idea (we also ran an Infantry Aces Italian campaign that was very successful) but there were some definite quarks to the system that had some pro and con game play issues...none of which took away from the overall enjoyment and fun of the day.  As always, miniature battles are much more fun to play than the real ones!!

Anyhow, I arrived at the day with a T55 Arab tank force as well as an Israeli Isherman tank force ready for action.  We needed an extra IDF player, so I volunteered to play the long guns.  The GM was press ganged into action partway into the morning when another IDF player showed up so he took my T55 horde for a spin...

All in all, I played 3 games, with the first one being waaaaaaaaaaaay longer than the other 2 combined...

Game 1: my first opponent was a mixed Arab tank force, composed of T34's, IS3's, and a few ISU 100's (?).  Needless to say they easily had 4:1 odds on my 5 Ishermans.  The most difficult thing with playing this force in this game system was the inability to shoot at an entire platoon/company.  With Tank Aces, each tank is an independent team...this means you can only target one tank at a well, I had forgotten one of the abilities of the IDF (re-roll failed to-hits when over 16" and stationary) which certainly cost me some kills...regardless, the game was fun, I think I killed approx. 10-13 tanks (memory is a little foggy), but we ran out of company commander was still alive at the end however...

Deployment...IDF on the right, Arab forces on the left in the ville...
Turn 1...shooting by IDF, none by Arab forces...more bails than kills...these bails would haunt me...the IS3's were very very tough to crack.
Turn 2...IS3's remount and get themselves into the fight...T34's take some more pain, but keep on chugging

Turn 3+...IDF guns hitting far, managed to get some kills on the IS3's.  These 3's took the bulk of my focus, bordering on obsession...they definitely interrupted my shooting cycles.

More long range gunnery... 

Game 2: Without a lie, this game literally took 5 minutes...I'd like to say that the vastly outnumbered IDF tanks took the fight to the enemy and through guts and determination were able to soundly defeat their foe...I'd like to say...

The IDF brought the fight to their foe...and were soundly crushed by an Arab horde of T34's...I think the number came in at 25+...25 T34's!!!!

Israeli right flank...
Israeli left and centre (left)...right flank (above)...Arab horde of T34's

The horde on the move...IDF shooting is they come!!!
Their shooting is much more effective...something to do with volumes (?!?)

Closing the loop on the company brewed up T34 off in the distance...

Game 3: This game took longer than 5 minutes...however it was the IDF's turn to lay out a spanking.  I was up against 5 Jordanian M48' this situation, it all came down to deployment and who would win the initiative to shoot first.  Deployment was like a mirror...after I placed my first tank, my opponent placed his in a shooting position, I then placed my next tank to cover his first tank, and he then did the same, which I repeated, etc, etc.

It really came down to who was going to be able to shoot first.  This time, I was very lucky on the roll, was able to shoot first and effectively removed the immediate threats to my tanks in turn one.  Actually, I think I knocked out 3 of his 5 tanks in turn one...the remaining 2 turns were spent mopping up and hunting his remaining tanks down.

The IDF get some payback in this one...taken part way through turn 1...

As I said, a lot of fun was had on this day...I like the Arab-Israeli lists...I enjoyed the Tank Aces...I even enjoyed the relative mayhem that the rules caused...all in all, a great gaming day.

Take care folks.

What's Next:

WW1 German troops in 28mm...currently on the painting bench, hoping to have them finished by end of the weekend.

Air Support -- Fate of a Nation and Vietnam

Howdy folks,

Hello again to you all, I hope your summer has been outstanding.  As promised, I went on an August hiatus and am now just getting caught up blog-wise.  I will admit, I have lurked for the past week and focused more on prepping minis for my 'To-do Project' pile (approx. 2-300 15mm figs) than on actual painting.

However, I took the opportunity to snap some pics today of some aircraft that I finished up at the end of July.  These aircraft will fill out some points requirements for my Fate of  a Nation lists, as well, I painted up a North Vietnamese Air Force Mig17...not sure where I'll use the NVAF Mig, but the paint scheme looked really cool and...well, I just had to try it...

Anyway, here are some pics of the aircraft.

What's next:

  • Battle report from our clubs Fate of a Nation tank ace campaign; and
  • Last night I started on some 28mm WW1 German troops...yes, I have been bitten by the recent Great War bug (thank you Battlefront) and wanted to try painting these troops on a larger scale before tackling a couple hundred of them when they arrive in the mail.  I will try to finish these troops soon and post some pics.

Take care all...

Group Shot... (l to r)
NVAF Mig 17, Arab Mig 17, IAF Ouragan

Arab Mig17 and Israeli Ouragan, both are Battlefront...

Hero shots of Arab Mig17...

Hero pics of Israeli Air Force Ouragan...

various poses of North Vietnamese Mig17...painted up on a whim and I really like how it turned out...maybe it will make a snatch & grab or demolish objective for a Force On Force game...