Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Star Wars...yup, Legion - Pic HEAVY!!!

Howdy all,

So, yeah...at the end of 2017 and in my recap of the year that was and the year that is going to be, in 2018 I indicated that I was planning on stepping into the Star Wars Legion realm.  As is generally my style, I was late to the starter box scene...no problem...my initial purchase into this world was more a way to dip my toe into the water and see a few things:

1. How do the models look...they are billed as larger than Imperial Assault figs...however, I think the largest part to them is their base...otherwise, I think they look good, very nicely detailed, and with some extra care in the prep and part making...Overall NICE MODELS

2. Try my hand at painting them to see if my style could adapt to my ocd expectations for what these models should look like.  There's nothing worse than buying a figure, having an image of how it should look after painting, and then not meeting that expectation.  I was okay with missing the starter box as I could spend some time recce'ing the figs to see how I liked painting them...

RESULTS: As I've heard and said before...time on recce is never wasted! And this was certainly the case with these figs...I now have the starter box on order and am waiting ever so patiently for its arrival...along with half of the free world.

I thought I'd try my hand at the Rebel Troopers and Airspeeder first.  Looking to my main guy and inspiration, Sorastro had already tackled these figs and model...so my ocd-stress had a way 'out' if needed.

The troopers were fairly easy to assemble...the main issue I am having with them are mold lines that only appear once you have a few layers of paint on the model and start dry brushing.  Seriously, they are not that noticeable at first...but then they kind of pop.  So, time on prep...not wasted...it will save you taking the file/blade to a 1/2 to 3/4 finished paintjob and hacking down to the bone to get that line out of the way...the good news, there are not that many lines to deal with!!

The troopers were good...nice fit, good looking figures, great detail.  I elected to paint mine up ala Tattoine-style warriors...kind of like a Mos Eisley Militia.  A mix of kit, different colours, some veterans, some FNG's, and a wide variety between the figures...however with some standard colours that are common between them because...well, because Tatt is dusty as hell...so yeah, browns are cool!

The Troops...Mos Eisley Militia, the old man, a vet or two of other campaigns...some distinctive non-standard styles.

Overhead shot of the troop...

Overhead shot...back angle...a nice variance on the equipment and clothing...my favourite piece has to be the trenchcoat of the unit leader...I was heavily inspired by a diamondback camouflage pattern I had seen on a helmet in a Modern Combat magazine...I tried my best to replicate it and am pretty happy with the result...

Normally, all of my pictures NEVER have enough light...this time I changed the background to all dark and felt like I had too much light...there's a happy medium there somewhere...

For some of the troops, I painted helmet colours either Green-Brown or Dark Camo Green, with some light green highlights...this trooper has a nice green coat that would be more appropriate for Endor...again, trying to capture other possible campaigns

This trooper was a lot of fun to paint up...I wasn't sure at first what colours to go with, in the end I elected to go with a very dark Camo Green for the base colour with some light green highlights to make the 'quilted' look really pop.

When I saw this figure, I was immediately inspired by pictures I have of World War 2 German Fallschirmjager airborne troops North Africa I had collected from previous research.  On top of that, I wanted her ion rifle to look very beat up; lots of shine and scratch.

This fellow was just a good ole Tattoine boy sporting the highest fashion in browns and greens...a pretty straight forward figure to work through...

For the heavy gunner, I took the same approach as the good ole boy...fairly simple, the best and most prominent part of this figure is the rotary cannon...again, given the 'Militia' backstory, something that screams beat-up and worn...

A couple more shots of the troop, with focus on the paintscheme on the coat of the unit leader...basically I outlined diamond-type patterns with burnt umber...I then mirrored that outline with a stone-grey, and then I think I hit it with desert yellow or Iraqi sand in the middle of the diamond...I then softened the edges out...a lot...

The troops posing with some close air support...a very heavily weathered and beat-up airspeeder.  Given that I am painting up Rebels...and they are very much your rebel on a budget Militia variety, I then needed to make sure that any big piece of kit they field looks like it is literally beat to hell. 

And when I say beat-up...we're talking, if this thing crashes we're going to scavange the hell out of it and salvage everything we can!! So, to compliment that theme, the speeder had to look like it has been through all sorts of Imperial hell...For the slash and damage marks on the fuselage and front of the speeder I had put down a few layers with varying degrees of gunmetal and then eventually adding in silver and ultimately with a silver streak, giving it that down to bear metal look.  On top of that I traced the 'score' marks with army painter strong tone and nuln oil. 

The bases for the troopers was fairly easy when I consider the work I put into the speeder base...it is desert yellow base coat, agrellan earth and badlands for texture and the cracked appearance.  On top of this I dry brushed US earth tone and then on the badland textures I also went with Iraqi sand and buff.  I also added a few additions of animal skeletons...you never know what you'll find in the Tatooine wildlife, so I had to have some appropriate looking spinal columns to fly over...also, from what I understand, it is worth highlighting and not loosing the arcs that are etched on the bases. 

I gave them strong tone look with highlight of orange to make the tips pop.
Keeping with the wear and tear theme...I also purposely kept the orange markings at a faded appearance...as well, you can see where I went to town with extra gunmetal and silver highlights to give a much more battleworn and recycled look to the model.

Really pushing that idea that this is an old airframe with tons of hours behind it...but also a franken-vehicle collection of spare parts and bits robbed from scrapyards, battlefields, and derelict vehicles.

The underbelly...not in line with the theme...but for anyone who looks, they will find a nice contrast with the main body of the speeder.

Thanks as always for the looking...I hope you enjoy! 

Lead Mountain Progress - Expedition 2018

28mm: figures: 20 (+7)
            vehicles: 1 (+1)

15mm: figures: 12 (+7)
            vehicles: 15 (+5)
            terrain: 1

Purchased - 9 (+8, SW Legion Troopers and Speeder)
Progress - +40 (+8, -8; even steven)

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Free Nations - Get on your 113's and RIDE!!!

Howdy everyone,

Taking some time out tonight to get some pics up of my latest progress shots on my 4 CMBG canuck battlegroup.  For anyone who is only seeing this for the first time or has been following my progress but wants to get caught up...feel free to check out the links to a few of my previous posts recording the collection, research, and painting of my Canadians:

M113's part 1
Research - tac call signs
Royal Canadian Dragoons and Leopard C1's
Research - Canadian War Museum

...and of course, I can't help but feel that my progress is somewhat timely given that Battlefront has recently launched their latest addition to the Team Yankee verse...
-picture taken from www.team-yankee.com-

I have been pumped for this expansion for quite some time...in fact, all of the M113s that I have painted to date come from the first sale that Battlefront had on their Nam line a BUNCH of years ago...projecting somewhat ahead, I had a rough idea of how many APCs I needed and I bought 4 boxes for that day when I would get painting and getting a 4 Brigade force.

So, with that in mind I watched the posts, pics, and videos with some interest as the release weekend came and went.  Given my excitement, it was not without its OCD-stress moments as I had questions on a few of the design choices...the Canadian M109s, specifically the barrel lengths and given my recent back and forth with a club-mate of mine who was in 2PPCLI in the late 80's with the mortar platoon, the carriers were the M125s...however, I will certainly give kudos for the 'scenario' rationale for the Canadians getting some 'lend-lease' M125s, well done...well done Battlefront!

Now, thanks to google, if you type in the search string "Canadian army m113 in germany" you get a great collage of 4CMBG pics from various sites including www.canadiansoldiers.com, www.armycadethistory.com, and www.silverhawkauthor.com to name a few.

For me, the biggest question when it came to this project, was specifically...how am I going to make my carriers and overall my battlegroup jump out and look different? The Free Nations has some excellent pics that are very motivating...there are some great samples of painting...again very motivating, but for me, as this has always been a project close to my heart, I wanted to look at the research and do my best to replicate what the pictures showed me.


In the case of the picture above...I needed cam netting, extra water cans, a nicely faded paintjob, and extra stowage and kit on the carrier.  Now, I do not know how it was for other armies, but for Canadian M113s, everyone of them seemed to have an extra road wheel mounted on the front shield as well as extra water cans on the rear of the track.  Oh, and lots and lots of netting.

2 Platoon of the 1st Company...tracks 12 to 12C...each of them festooned with a variety of stowage and extra equipment.  As per my previous post, I also included a couple of US Army armoured cav gun shields...the canucks were at war, and just like from their experiences in Bosnia, this crew...the predecessors of our first Bosnian contingent, scrounged and adapted where they could.  In this case, a couple of bottles of Crown and a few cases of Molson...and voila, a couple of gun shields per platoon.

The next biggest thing on the 'shopping list'...I needed coils of razor wire...almost every picture I have seen from Bosnia and certainly Afghanistan shows barbed wire hanging from the front or sides of Canadian carriers.  In the era of the 113, this meant hanging coils off of the extra wheel on the shield...I was going to hang some off the side of the track, but given the tightness of my foam tray, it wasn't realistic.

One of my favourite shots from the Army Cadet history site, a company from the Royal Canadian Regiment getting ready to move out...lots and lots of cam netting...this was a very inspiring and motivating picture.  I also like that you can certainly see a very different hue and shade to the basic colours.

On top of the platoon carriers, I also realized I would need a good FOO carrier to take the queen of battle to the enemy.  Given that my brother served in 1RCHA in the mid-80's to early 90's I snagged a few pics from him to guide me by as well.

As I was fielding hordes of M113s I thought it would be prudent to have some variants to the FOO, in this case I took the side skirts off to dirty up the track some more...and as I already had another c/s12 in the force, I thought I would use the 'G' letter in addition to help pick it out.

So, as for colours...I used nato green to base coat the vehicles...I then used a mix of Russian Uniform 924 with dark camo green 894 (couple of layers with varying ratio)...the camo was german grey 995 and green-brown.  I used the same weathering/mud technique that I have used for most of my vehicles and that I figured out when I started with my WW1 tanks.

And finally, please enjoy some pics of the force so far...6 x Leopard C1s; 2 x Tows; 1 x FOO; 9 x M113A1s

 I hope you enjoyed...take care...

Lead Mountain Progress - Expedition 2018

28mm: 13
15mm - figures: 12 (+7)
           - vehicles: 15 (+5)
           - terrain: 1

Purchased - 1 (15mm terrain)

Progress - +40