Friday, 28 January 2011

First project of 2011 complete!

I am happy to say I have completed my first project of 2011, shame of wasn't one of my three priorities. We have had the odd game of the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game at the club and I decided that I would paint a force up. Years ago I painted some Riders of Rohan but this time I choose Gondor, all the armour would speed up the painting!

My challenge to myself was that I wanted to build the force entirely from second hand model. Whilst the SBG is a great game it has fallen from popularity as the movies came to an end, there are always plenty of models on eBay so wait till you get the price you want - don't leap at the first Gandalf you find. 

This force is one from the 'Gondor in Flames' sourcebook (apart from Gandalf). 36 foot, 12 each of bow, spear/shield and sword/shield plus 6 Mounted Knights, a Captain and a King or Steward. Cost wise this is approximately 500 points.

Here is the Captain, Steward and Gandalf.

Warriors with sword and shield




Gaming wise it is still a week before the next club night, I got my weekly Memoir fix and I need to focus on finishing the next project and not get drawn in to anything else just yet.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Just a slight diversion

 I had to tidy up my office recently which put me in a mood to get some paint on some miniatures. Over the xmas break I did some basing on my LOTR Gondor forces and this looked like a quick win to start the year.

The force comprises 36 infantry, 6 Knights, a Hero and a King. Like all of my LOTR collection everything is second hand and much of it sourced from eBay. Prices can be very reasonable even for metal characters, just wait until the pieces you want come up at the right price. I have been stalking Knights for months.

Hopefully the army will be finished in about another week and I can start and get some games in. I have more infantry and characters stashed away.

Gaming recently has been more Memoir 44 and on Saturday we had an all-dayer Wild West game, a report can be found soon at

Sunday, 9 January 2011

A basic basing tutorial

I seemed to have spend a few hours lately basing up figures from my forthcoming chaos army, whilst I was there I took a few pictures with my phone.

Basing should not be disregarded, good consistent basing ties figures together in a collection even if they are not painted by the same person. Decent basing will always improve a figure whilst a nicely painted figure will always be spoiled by poor basing.

So what do you need, firstly I use a tub of sand which is mixed of various stuff like bird cage sand, railway ballast as well as rough builders sand (after drying it in the oven).

Next up is glue, I had a big tub of PVA which I used for sealing some plasterwork in my old house, still plenty left.

I buy cheap palettes from stationery or art shops, usually just a pound or two, just give them a clean in hot water now and again to get the old paint off. I also use the cheap nylon brushes often sold for children, they are quite hard wearing but no use what so ever for decent painting.

Add some PVA to the palette then add water to make a milk like consistency.

I find doing the basing before the painting on 20 and 28mm figures easier as I am a little messy. I can easily touch up the undercoat after basing is done. Here is a chaos marauder, he will get a shield once he is finished.

Now paint the watered down glue on to the base trying not to get any on the model.

Dip the model in to the tub of sand.

You now need to wait for the glue to dry, best to leave for an hour or so. I buy a variety of paints for terrain and basing from any DIY shop with a paint mixer, pick a selection of colours from the paint charts, I use 3 colours, a dark brown and 2 lighter browns. The exact shades will vary, the colours I use are no longer in the Dulux range but they tell me they can mix them from the info on the labels.

Dulux Colour          Citadel Equivalent
Earth Glaze           Scorched Brown
Tawny Crest 1        Desert Yellow
Tawny Crest 2        Bleached Bone
Ebony Mists           Adeptus Battlegrey (for urban bases)

I again water down the paint and use a cheap brush. Capillary action should help suck the paint from the brush on to the base. I would leave these now overnight for the paint to dry. The basing mixture always looks better painted.

When dry I get my middle tone and using a flat brush, roughly drybrush on to the base. After doing a bunch of these I swap to the lighter tone and again dry brush the base. In the photo below the left figure has the middle tone whilst the right has both.

To tidy up the bases I then paint the edges with Scorched Brown. I would generally varnish a model at this point and add vegetation to the bases once dry as the varnish can flatten the materials.

Vegetation can be added to bases using a number of materials;
  • Sawdust flock dyed various colours
  • Static grass
  • Finely chopped foam
  • Silfor Clumps
These materials are easily available from manufacturers such as Noch, Woodland Scenics, Javis. Silfor clumps can be found at Mutineer Miniatures or Antenocitis Workshop. A range of suitable flock and modelling materials can also be found at Games Workshop.

Flocks and static grass can be stuck on bases with a little watered down PVA. Silfor comes stuck on to a plastic carrier, select a suitably sized piece and pull it off, you can pull apart large pieces,  Silfor will need superglue to glue down to bases.

Urban Bases are done in a similar fashion using a dark grey as a base and then drybrushing a lighter grey on top. I found some railway ballast which was in a brick colour, a quick dab of watered PVA and a sprinkle of a ballast. Paint the edges with black to tidy up and finish off.

For more desert like bases I only use the two lighter shades and don't add any flock or Silfor.

Well, that's how I do it, relatively simple and I think it doesn't look too bad. You can also add other bits and pieces to the bases like spare parts from kits, bigger stones, slate pieces etc.

Monday, 3 January 2011

2011 - A preview

What's in store for 2011, well the new year is going to be about consolidation, finishing projects and moving things forward. I am not going to be naive and suggest that I won't be starting any new projects, that could change tomorrow with the release of a new range, rule set or inspirational movie or television programme.

So it might be appropriate to run through my current projects and where they might go in 2011, first up are those I am trying to make my priority.

Fantasy 28mm

I have managed to collect a large 'Warriors of Chaos' army, this is another priority for 2011, to get some figures on the table, even if only undercoated, to get back in to Warhammer.

A chaos knight, from Games Workshop, these are multi part plastics and whilst looking great are going to be
a pain to rank up as they are pretty bulky. I will probably buy another box and make a couple up into characters
on 50mm bases rather than buying the metal model which in my experience don't always go together that well.

ACW 6mm

Here is another project that just needs a kick start and once finished is a pretty complete project with nothing else needed - I must make this a priority for January!

Baccus figures are nice and straightforward to paint. I must pull my figure and get these finished.

WW2 6mm

I have had 6mm WW2 figures for some time, I have started revamping them and adding some German opposition. Looking forward to getting some games in with these thanks to Memoir sparking my interest in WW2 again.

GHQ Panther - you can see the quality in these models, they stand up well to close up photos.

ACW 28mm

This is hopefully going to be played a lot in 2011, I have a third box of Perry plastics in the post to make up my force for Terrible Sharp Sword. I am going to make some of these as additional standard bearers which does mean I could put together a brigade for different rules, just need some artillery.

An officer from the Perry ACW plastics set, I have added an arm from the cavalry set,
as I have with some of the others and put a kepi on the end of his sabre. The head was
cut off was replaced with another from a French Infantry set from Victrix.

And now the rest;

Cold War Soviets in 6mm

Most of the armour is based and just needs finishing off, the infantry will then need painting along with any aircraft. Not too much work then it's finished. I have buildings to paint but most of those will be useful for WW2 as well.

Sci-Fi 15mm

It would be nice to add some more vehicles to my force, perhaps some trikes, quad bikes and transports.

Napoleonics 28mm

I have lots of plastics to build and paint for Sharp Practice, giving me plenty of choice for scenarios, also at some point I need British Cavalry and some artillery.

Colonials 28mm

My Zulu war collection keeps moving on, I have some more British Infantry to paint now which I found on eBay. It would be nice to have some cavalry or irregulars but I am in no hurry. Of course if some plastic colonials come out I might have to make a box.

WW2 28mm

I have bought Troops, Weapons and Tactics from Two Fat Lardies, still need to get it printed out. Might be nice to have some biggish 28mm games with armour or paint my early German Fallschirmjager.

That does seem a lot but doesn't include some other projects from way back which might fight there way back to the painting table like the MoFo Mogadishu figures or my Dark Age lead mountain (Vikings and El Cid).

Finally for all the plastic and lead that get killed this year.