Sunday, 4 October 2009

The first batch of Valiant's GI's painted: Saving Private Ryan?

Quite simply I enjoyed painting these tremendously and I will be seeking out the other Valiant packs, especially the British. :)

It was also very good fun to work with the Vallejo paints and mixing Vallejo with other paint ranges I have lying around. I am afraid I break the Vallejo doctrine of only using "distilled water" and I think the state of  my water jar in general would make them shudder, particularly at the irregularity of its changing to clean and the murky deposits at the bottom.

Anyway back to the GI's, these first eight figures are the "complete/whole" figures from the sprue needing no construction work done on them (FYI: Sixteen figures to the sprue, four identical sprue to the box, 64 figures in all, a nice generous amount). As hinted at the remaining eight figures require a bit of glue in assembling which of the multiple pose/variant parts (different satchels, heads and things to attach) you would like to use. These first eight I used as virgin, although I will doubtless tinker with those that follow on. Put it this way your 'spares box' will start to bulge. For some reason these first eight (see below) I associate strongly with "Saving Private Ryan". Not quite Rangers but good enough for me:

I think I will probably stick with individual bases, though people may shake their heads when I try and play CrossFire or Command Decision with them. The objective is to base up enough for a Command Decision battalion (which is roughly equivalent to a Crossfire company). I accept that they are chunky and large when next to other manufacturers but I forgive Valiant because the figures are so nice. I guess my challenge is for that not to happen on my wargames table (too often).

Painting techniques:

I used two different methods but with the same materials. The results of method one are shown below to the right, that of method two to the left. Note: Remember I did not need to PVA these boys as the plastic is really hard! A++

Alas the picture does blur when you click in, I still have to work on taking decent infantry shots :( 

Method One was my standard approach:

Base Coat Black (GW Chaos Black), Base Shade areas as per the Flames of War US Infantryman Painting Guide (Click into product to see a slightly blurry version of the guide [Vallejo Paints]), subbing colours from GW and Anita's Acrylics as required (remember I do not possess the Quartermaster Set, nor see the need to) and then highlight up the Vallejo paint with a cheaper Anita Acrylic (see the various paint squares I have on transparent ex-stationary items). The result is not bad (I'd actually say petty good as it pleasantly surprised me), though perhaps a tad heavy on the shadow lining. I did seven out of eight of the figures that way.

Method Two was a throw away approach:

I was playing around with a figure I had not yet undercoated and basically was slapping on the Vallejo paint still left on my brush. I followed method one but then gave it a relatively weak black wash (Anita's Acrylics) in the cracks and crevices. Annoyingly I think it is as good as or even better than my more time consuming method one. The shadowing is much less pronounced. It seemed that much quicker as I was prepared to put the paint on much rougher. There maybe an important moral here ;)

Any comments appreciated :)


Monty said...


I love 'em - have a look at my efforts on the Valiant GI front I did a while ago, which I too really enjoyed painting. The plan was to base them for my beloved Crossfire rules, but the only issue I have with them is their size. I can't find any other vehicles etc that match them as they are too big for 1/72nd but too small for 28mm, which is fine if you want a purely infantry battle using only the supplied figures; but apart from that you're snookered, which is a real shame.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Hello Monty,

I was well impressed with your Valiant paint jobs. In fact I changed the painting scheme of the latter eight figures from my first sprue to match yours.

I was painting the backpacks Khaki and have since changed them to Brown/Green. Point taken regarding size. It always been there, the Hasagawa to Airfix kit difference strikes me the most.

The best compromise I can see is doing units of one manufacturer. A kludge at best.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Footnote: Having the correct visual space between the units is important too.

I was taking a scan at some Command Decsion 4 game shots and to my horror saw magnificently painted 1/72 tanks (Konig Tiger and T34/85's) almost touching barrels.