Wednesday 31 October 2018

Return of the Airfix Acrylic Grey Primer (01)

Just when I thought all was lost, I came across my favourite primer in Edinburgh's treasure trove of a model shop Wonderland! (see below, hopefully it means they are back online and available):

I bought two just in case ;)

Note: It also means (for better or worse) I can put my primer spray cans to the side for now!

Tuesday 30 October 2018

25/28mm Malburians Painting Spree Starts

Fresh from the land of 40K the same watered painted brush started getting into the 25/28mm Malburians needed as part of a large Ramillies re-fight scheduled fro January 2019 (in what is called a 'late' Christmas game). These boys are destined to be Spanish-Italians fighting in the French Army (see below: the brigade was found lurking in an old chocolate box in the loft ):

Given that their predominant colour is "White" I based them with a grey (see below, Vallejo Cold Grey): 

For this information I turned to a friend's ancient Malburian tome of reference. Still good even after all these years (see below, it seems that Mr Grant certainly new a thing or two):

The Regiment in question is the Grimaldi, so on page 49 of Volume 2 (16 lines down in the army list) I found their painting guide. White with other stuff  red. If I follow the Warhammer way I should 'base paint' the red bits, then "Shade" into the crevices, which I think should be as a watery black wash. Hollowing that "Highlight 1" [Grey - White] and then subtle "Highlight 2" [White].

Thursday 25 October 2018

Painting Reference Books

Ok I now have a GW 40K Ultra Marines/Space Marines Devastator Squad. No, what I have is a major "refinement" on the way I paint which is much more valuable IMHO. Play with those paints according to a recipe devised by the paint wizards, it works wonders. A win-win scenario. The books that did it are old, the 1995 Ultra Marines Codex (plenty of figure examples and tactical markings), the 1994 'Eavy Metal Painting Guide (aka the Bible), the GW 2008 How to Paint Citadel Miniatures Gold Standard and finally the Getting Started with Warhammer 40000, published I believe this year in 2018 - a good introduction to the "new" [to me at least] ranges of  'specialist' paints (see below):

The big win here is that as soon as I finished the last Space Marine [everything you wanted to know about painting mechanised metals and guns but was afraid to ask] I fearlessly switched across to the Malburian Spanish Infantry of the Sun King (France). The next thing to do is pick up the GW Getting Started with Warhammer Age of Sigmar Fantasy .. which I think will be good 'tour de force' for painting Ancients, with respect to lots of techniques and tricks for fabrics, fur and swords!

Paint on!

Monday 15 October 2018

Napoleonic Naval: 1/1200 Scale French v British (RN)

To me there is nothing quite as enchanting as 1/1200 scale Napoleonic warships in the thick of fight. Here a battle squadron of five British (three ships of the line and two frigates) coming to grips with two smaller Squadrons of French (two ships of the line and a frigate a piece). The game was in progress as I joined so some damage had already been accumulated two the leading French and British ships at the bottom of the picture (see below): 

The vans close to exchange deadly fire (see below):

The plan is for the British (who have the weather gauge) to finish off the bottom French squadron before dealing with the second French squadron. This means the rear of the British line is about to be exposed to some long range fire as their "T" is crossed (see below): 

The British Flagship locks horns with its French counterpart and a vicious boarding engagement follows. Not wanting to run foul of the British flagship the second in line abruptly turns to cut the French line (taking "hot" fire as she does so) while the lowly rear most British frigates escape serious damage from the French long range fire. The third British ship of the line decides to cross the French's rear "T" at a more deadly close range (see below): 

In the distance (see top of photograph below) the second French squadron slowly tacks, finding themselves out of position. There are two fierce close quarter actions afoot, with a dangerous looking "French-British-French" sandwich developing against the British flagship. Luckily for the British the opportunistic Frenchman intending to blast the rear of the British flagship sustained withering fire as it manoeuvred. The rearmost three British ships are tacking in an attempt to overwhelm the two stationary Frenchmen before teh second French squadron gets into the fight (see below):

The British flagship is suffering from a withering close range raking, which did not help the boarding action as the French are across her decks. All hangs in the balance. The fickle wind is not helping the six ships trying to manoeuvre into the battle (see below): 

There sadly I had to leave it as each round of the game was actually quite time consuming (old 1970 rules were being used). I later heard the British flagship had struck her colours but the two leading Frenchmen were in a very bad way so the game was called  a "Tactical" French win but "Strategic" Draw as the ships that had fought were no longer sea worthy and sank. 

Saturday 13 October 2018

What can you learn from 1994 Knowledge? (4) Painting End Point

The "painting" end point (see below, quite pleased with it if I do say so myself, basing and varnishing still yet to be done):

The retro-painting experiment concluded. This time I cheated and jumped forward in time for advanced "decal technology" whereas in 1994 my counterparts (as per the 'Eavy Metal painting guide) it hard; it  was a case of "hand painting" tactical signs onto (multiple) shoulder pads (now that would have simply have broken me into pieces on the floor!). The glorious Humbrol Decalfix appeared alsi to prep the area, soften the decal and seal it to the plastic afterwards. So it was a case of snipping the relevant pieces from multiple GW Decals sheets and the results are shown (see below, front facing Devastator Squad): 

The paint tray to the rear shows the Warhammer 40K "Army Sign" affixed on the right rear lower leg of Space Marine armour (again in 1994 it was hand painted; hysterical laughter in the background). Now, for better or worse I have my first Space Marine tactical unit, a Devastator Squad (see below, pity I really should have started with a basic Tactical Squad as this is deemed an asset to the Order of Battle - but I didn't have those figures and they ain't cheap, cheap):

From a distance you cannot see the detail so here are a few close-ups (see below, hear after taking the guys photo I noticed a paint smear/dot [yellow] on the red casing - opps - I cleared it up afterwards - but just goes to show you the camera never lies):

Space Marine "look mean" (see below, note the inverted Omega decal on the left shoulder pad. What I like here is that there is no black lining but shades of darker blue and blue ink - really effective):

The close ups nicely show up the "extra detail on the eyes" that the 'Eavy Metal guide recommended. Also note the right shoulder pad armour has inverted V (lambda?) of the Devastator Squads tactical sign and the roman numeral ten (even in 40K?), denoting the "Tenth Squad" of the "Second Company" (Yellow shoulder pads, I am getting the complete nerd now)! Ready to drop into battle, sir! (see below): 

OK that was a good painting journey. I found out that figures could look much better paradoxically with less paint, also always water paint down (it flows much better) and do not repaint over areas for the sake of painting because you think you have to. I also need to take a course in "sensitive brush care" (a really bad old habit) as I load the brush with way too much paint - even though I thought I wasn't! Yep, I feel good for the experience - I thank you GW your painting guide of 1994 actually works and stands the test of time!

PS: It seems a pity not to varnish and base them, so there may be a follow up post. I am also intrigued to go along and get "taught to play" on an "adult beginners evening session". I may get the kids interested in wargaming this way - the model Spitfire didn't seem to work!

PPS: The main thing is getting some advantage from these techniques across over to my historical ranges. I am thinking British Infantry in 28mm Napoleonic or Colonial!

Tuesday 9 October 2018

Guilty as charged - I cannot explain why except to say they are vaguely Colonial (28mm Zulu Warriors and British Warriors)

This came out of the blue, sitting next to each other on the shelves of Gaming Figures were the veritable opponents from my previous "Zulu Charge". I chastised (or rather pleaded with) Ian for not having more British Infantry in the firing line. Now perhaps I could subtly add some in (see below, it has Rorke's Rift written large):

I seem to be taken by some form of Colonial affliction ;)

Monday 8 October 2018

Stalingrad (2013)

Finally caught up with this one. A gritty extravaganza of set . A ruined city, a downed Heinkel, the statue of a circle of children dancing. Plenty of sustained HMG fire, snipers, Tommy gunners, mortars, a Soviet Scout, artillery barrages and crossing the Volga under fire, Least said about teh love interests the better. From a wargamer's perspective I really enjoyed it (see below):     

Spoiler alert: "Goodbye boys!" but a Soviet win!

PS: I know understand the Chain of Command scenery my friends have been conscientiously making ;) 

Sunday 7 October 2018

What can you learn from 1994 Knowledge? (3) Well "old stuff" is still "good stuff" [smiley emoticon]

My retro painting experience continues. It is an exercise in 'sticking to the script' and keeping faith with the method, even if it is counter intuitive to the normal way in which I paint. However that is "why" I am doing it, to unlearn mal-rules or find new (better) ways of painting! Here is when the Space Marines take on their distinctive armour "shading" comes to the fore (see below, "first highlight" is basic Vallejo Game Colour Ultra Marine [the base colour was 50% Imperial Blue and 50% Ultramarine Blue] - Note: the Space Marines to the far back right are three  previously completed examples from Space Crusade, all nice with decals applied - they seem a brighter blue as I used Vallejo Colour Magic Blue as a final highlight, not making the Ultra Marines Blue paler with a touch of white):

I like the end result, but more importantly discover that I can get good results by putting on far less paint, watering down the paint (quite critical as it turns out) and "being brave" and letting the layers be distinctive. My attempts at multi-layering just meant that the paint built too quick up on the model. The surface of the model became uneven because of the "thick paint" not being uniform - watering down was being sadly missed here. The same batch receive the final "white + Ultramarine Blue" second highlight layer. The should pads were also given Yellow Company colours (see below, reading my Space Marine Codex this reads in 1994 as the Second Company - in 2018 this yellow seems to have been replaced with a sexier gold look):

The good news with the "scripted method" is that the amount of painting (and paint) gets successively less. I seems to be painting the figure almost fully "three times: Shade, Base and Highlight. With teh Base, Shade and First and Second Highlights, this perversely only seems to be like painting teh figure twice. It seems to be as third as fast but not that particularly "fast in real time" as I have been 'on and off' these in taking me about a fortnight.