Thursday, 21 April 2011

First 6mm ever

First 6mm ever
I got boxes of Italians from Heroics & Ros and GHQ this week.
As a suitable fist project I painted a M13/40 from H&R.
Base colour Vallejo 916 Sand Yellow, a wash of Devlan Mud and a dry brush of Vallejo 976 Buff.
Tracks and machineguns Vallejo Gamecolor Gunmetal washed with Devlan Mud.
The rubber on the wheels were painted with black, and the exhaust system Humbrol Rust.
The paining is good enough for a game.
The question is whether the tank is good enough if it meets one of Laffe’s Matildas…


This is made for model railways, in HO scale by Faller.
Painted in Vallejo 890 Iraqui Sand, a wash of Devlan Mud and dry-brushed with further Iraqui Sand.
I painted the statue and plumbing with a dark bronze from Vallejo, GW Snot Green was painted in al crevices and I dry-brushed with the bronze colour. Looks rather god as verdigris.
Finished with matte varnish.
The water, a transparent piece of plastics, got a wash of Devlan Mud, followed by gloss varnish.
This piece will probably be seen on a city square in France when the 20mm soldiers will fight next time.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Fantasy orcs from Rackham and Chainmail/WotC

Not so much to discuss.
They’ve been half finished on my painting table since December, and I’m making an effort to clean the desk prior the a 6mm invasion.

Two Jackal Warriors from Rackham (R.I.P.) and an Orc Berserker from Chainmail/WoTC.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Space Ork

This space ork is, of course, from Games Workshop, GW. I got a gang of dark green ocs, and will try another colour-scheme on this one to see if I like it better.
Skin is Vallejo 971 Green Grey, and then Army Painter Quickshade Strong Tone followed by matte varnish. I’m really pleased with the result. More will come.
I’ve long been rather uncertain about my 40K orks. Shall I paint what I have, or simply give up on them? The fun part with them is to orkify other stuff, such as WWII vehicles. There is a risk that they will survive, and slowly multiply. I do have, if not a mountain, at least a hill with ork plastics and tin.
Maybe I can find someone to play with, and I might get the Gorkamorka-box up from the dungeon.
By the way, this is what I got already painted:

Skeleton dwarves from Chainmail

These skeleton dwarves have lived in the tin-mountain for at least six or seven years. They come from Wizard of the Coast’s (WotC) short-lived miniature skirmish game Chainmail. A decent game, and some figures were really nice, whilst others were… well…
Anyway, Chainmail got me started painting figures again, so that game has a special place in my heart.
Nothing special with these, block painted, Devlan Mud and matte varnish.
Two figures less in the mountain, and strangely enough one can’t see the difference.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

British camouflage

Painting early war British camouflage has given me a lot of head-ache. I have a bunch of vehicles that a painted in wrong tones, and I’ll re-paint them as soon as I figure out what colours were used. Don’t believe in the colour schemes presented in model kits!

BEF (British Expeditionary Force), fighting in France 1940 used a two-tone camouflage, that I’m on a quest to get right. To find the right colours has been easier said than done. There are many recommendations in literature and from manufacturers, but few seems to have gotten it right.
Some months ago I bought the book Warpaint part 2 that gave me a good understanding of British camouflage during the war. Unfortunately it didn’t have a good reference of the colours used. Scouring the web I found a man who seemed to know his stuff, had written some books British WWII camouflage, and who had colour references in his books!
I sent a mail to the author, Mike Starmer, he answered and I ordered his books “Vol. 1 - Desert Colours; The Caunter Scheme 1940 – 1941” and ”Vol. 4 - British Army Colours and Disruptive Colours in the United Kingdom, France and N:W Europe 1936 – 1945”, costing me £30 including P&P. Less than a week after I sent the first mail I had them in my snail-mail-box today.

His other two titles are, if anyone is interested, ” Vol. 2 - Desert Colours; Alamein and After 1942 – 1943” and  “Vol. 3 - Middle East Colours; Sicily and Italy 1943 – 1945”.
You can contact Mike directly at mike_starmer(at) if you’re interested in a book of your own. Well worth supporting!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Bofors 37mm anti-tank gun, camouflage

Bofors 37mm anti-tank
Time to experiment, you remember the ripped bed-sheets camouflaging the Finnish AT-gun. In order not to experiment my nice gun to pieces, I built a mock-up from plasticard and brass wire.
Ripped sheets – paper anyone?

Silk paper
I bought a couple of sheets of silk paper in an arts shop and I got more paper than I will ever use for less than SEK 20 (approx $3/£2/€2). I need white camouflage, and the paper was white.
I cut thin strips of silk paper with a new blade in my knife. After that I try to get them in place, and get them to look like cloth and nothing else. Sounds simple…

- Silk paper – dry
When I take my thin strip and try to wrap it around the gun, I quickly find that the down-side of silk paper is that it is ***** thin. To have a strip stay in a singular form is easier said than done. And the result… well, it doesn’t look like anything even remotely close to what I saw in the movie. And it falls off as soon as you stare at it.

- Silk paper - whet
To get an authentic fall of the “cloth” I had the excellent idea of wetting the paper-strip before wrapping it around the gun. Considering my previous statement about fragile silk paper, this was positively stupid. I might as well dip the gun into paper pulp. Would have been easier too.

- Silk paper –dry and wet
I started with dry paper, drape it around the gun, wet it to get a natural fall. Hey, that doesn’t look to bad. You can call me the Miniature Armani! Or not…
Well, not. Wet paper dries, and it turned out to be rubbish. But I might be closer to the solution.

- Silk paper – now with glue!
I got this excellent idea! I wet the silk paper strips with diluted white glue instead of water. Then I let them dry for a while, to get optimal strength, and I easily drape them over the gun to get an outstanding result. That’s my theory.
“There is nothing as practical as a good theory” I had a colleague once tell me. He was smart.
I guess he wouldn’t give this theory much credit. Fortunately I can rinse my mock-up, my hands and clothes…

- Silk paper – all in one
I wrap the bleedin' gun with dry paper, wet it with glue, and…
That will be a future project. It might even work.

Ripped sheets – why not plate armour
When I discussed this via e-mail with a fellow gamer (this is entirely your fault, Thomas!) he suggested metal foil. Let’s see how it turns out…

Aluminium foil
This should solve the strength issues I had with silk paper. Metal = high strength! Right?
I grab my trusted knife and carve me some thin strips.
- Kitchen foil
I wrap thin strips of kitchen foil (the type you wrap food with) around my mock-up. It looks just as if the Finns had wrapped their gun with plate armour, even when painted. Cloth doesn’t look like this, I’m sure. Not a good result.
- Champagne!
I will do everything for you, dear reader. I went out and bought a bottle of champagne, just to get my hands on the soft metal foil that is wrapped around the neck and cork on the more expensive brands. Hmm, hobby or pleasure, how do I account this? (Well, I’ve had this foil laying around in a bits-and-pieces box for quite some time. I knew I would find a use for it!)

Not too bad, it’s falling much more naturally. It looks just like the Finns had melted a long strip of lead-plate and draped it over the gun. I guess the gun would have been a hit in Ukraine nearly fifty years later (or Fukushima around now, when I translate this into English).
(The picture was so blurred you could think it was taken in Area 51, but believe me, you won’t miss anything.)
No more experiments with metal foil!

This is it for the time being. When my blood pressure is back to normal (in a couple of months) I’ll continue my quest for Finnish bed-sheets.

Note: No liver was damaged during these experiments

British QF 2 pdr from Britannia and Hinchcliffe

I’ve got two guns from Britannia (£2) and two from Hinchcliffe (£5).
Brittania – more details, but at the same time more clumsy, just check the shield.

Two versions from Hinchcliffe, shooting and towed – more slender but worse in detail.
Due to the fact that the crew removed the wheels when before shooting, you will need two variants, one shooting and one wheeled. Advantage to Hinchcliffe that have both variants.
I’ll just have to paint them… when I have figured out which paints to use.

Oh, by the way, QF stands for Quick Fire.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Bofors 37mm anti-tank gun from SHQ

Bofors 37 mm anti-tank
This model comes from SHQ Miniatures (£4,50) and you’ll find it amongst their Polish stuff. Good details, but it is made of rather soft tin, so I had to pin one of the ‘legs' when it decided to live its own life. It’s darn thin and the pinning was really fiddly.
This gun will serve in the 1939-40 Winter War, obviously on the Finnish side.
Painted in Vallejo 888 Olive Grey and then unevenly with white paint. Finished with a wash of Devlan Mud and of course matte varnish.

It could have been finished now, but why do something in a simple way…?
I want to do something like the camouflage seen in the excellent film Winter War/Talvisota. In the film some soldiers push a Bofors-gun through the woods, and fire a shot against a T-26, and then they quickly drag it away. That gun is wrapped in white cloth to break up the silhouette.
But how to do this in 20mm?

More on this later.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

French Hotchkiss 25mm anti-tank gun from Hinchcliffe

French 25mm Hotchkiss anti-tank gun
This one is from Hinchcliffe too, just like the artillery, but much higher quality. Recommended.
I painted it with Vallejo 975 Military Green, dry-brushed with a lighter green and topped off with some pigments.
Here we have another of these guns I finished last year. The crew is a mix, three men from Battlefield Miniatures (lovely models!), one (in the back to the left) is from Caesar’s French infantry, and one, not seen in this picture, is a modified Airfix WWI French infantry-man that originally releases a pigeon.

Monday, 4 April 2011

French 75mm artillery from Hinchcliffe

This years goal is to finish as much as possible from the tin- and plastics-mountain, and as a part of that I checked the box of 20mm WWII-tin.
I found a couple of bags with guns, wining for paint.

French 75mm Canon de 75 modèle 1897
I found two bags from Skytrex/Hinchcliffe, bought for £5 apiece.
They were made of quite a lot of tin… meaning a lot more than was necessary. Terrible cast.
After some cleaning the result was decent.
French equipment was painted in a variety of possible and impossible ways, and I tried to get a militaristic look different from British and German equipment.
I painted the guns with Vallejo 887 Brown Violet, and dry-brushed with 886 Green Grey. As dust I used Vallejo pigment Dark Yellow Ochre, and soot at muzzle was MIG Black smoke.
I’m pleased with the result, especially considering what I started with.

More guns to come.