Monday 20 June 2022

Black Seas and the USN

Here's my story. Many, many moons ago I purchased Black Seas and expected to dive into the "age of sail" in 1/700 scale and be a Horacio Hornblower reborn. Except, the wargaming butterfly that is I moved onto another project (anybody not see that coming?) way before paint met model and rigging sail lead to s a sense of frustration, so the box sadly languished in a dark place the loft. I did construct the free (well you had to but the magazine) giveaway frigate from the cover of a Wargames Illustrated magazine, but no further progress was made with a fleet. Then (several years later) a wandering eye in the local model store, sees a bargain but - end of stock - USS Constitution, the rest is predictable history (see below, "a love story starts" with an American super frigate):  

Size can matter (see below, a case of we only budgeted for six but as the Carling beer advert says it all, probably the best in the world - normal frigate [RN/French/Spanish] in the background): 

The master plan being that with the Master and Commander starter set and WI giveaway I have six brigs and four frigates, plus the USS Constitution ("old ironsides" herself - good timbers apparently). That means a basic USN fleet of two brigs and USS Constitution, a RN fleet of two brigs and a normal frigate and two brigs and a frigate for the French! Leaving two frigates in excess, whether to reinforce the French or British fleets, or make a Spaniard is the question (perhaps a wandering Russian frigate?). The only "possibly needed" expansion would be to include the bizarre fleets of the Barbary Pirates of the Mediterranean (where the teething battles of the USN were fought on the shores of Tripoli, as per the US Marines song) or the addition of a lazy fat merchantman or two. A small self-contained project, what could go possibly wrong, provided it gets off the painting tray. 

Sunday 19 June 2022

Evolution of British Army Infantry Sections 1914 - 2022 (You Tube Video)

Wow, I found this very instructive and informative with respect the WW2 (aka Chain of Command) and post WWII British Infantry formations (See link below): 

Sunday 5 June 2022

Painting US Vietnam Infantry - My Platoon 20 Collection (PART 1) Notes to Self

Background: Sometimes I acquire a "collection of figures" over time rather than for a project, knowing that at a point in the distant future when a critical mass/event is attained they will be painted (when the stars align and the "painting interest bug bites"). That ably described the relationship I have with my Platoon 20 Vietnam figures. I collected them [along with plastic vehicles models and plastic helicopter models] when I could - knowing "their" time has would come (see below, first in line for action - a US Infantry Officer): 

Their time has come. The annoying thing about painting US Infantry in Vietnam is that it seems to be a futile exercise in painting various shades of green and then murkier green - everything seemed to fade and be stained differently. I am left with the feeling that "everything looks right and wrong at the same time", a bit like the war I guess.

The challenge for me is to make a distinct transition between the uniform and the webbing/flak jacket. It does seem to be a question of  "Which of the fifty shades of green is it today? I am currently bouncing around with variations on the following painting recipe: 

Uniform Tunic: Vallejo Model (924) Russian Uniform WWII [Base] with Vallejo Model (881) Yellow/Green [Highlight]

Webbing: Vallejo Model (887) Brown/Violet - although this seems to be a controversial choice in some quarters, as it may look too brown, with Vallejo Model (988) Khaki [Highlight]

Tunic and Webbing Wash: Vallejo Wash - Green mixed with Citadel Shade Nuln Oil, applied over all tunic/webbing area then repeat [Base] and then add [Highlight] -- Note: This step seems to make a real difference (++)

Flesh: Vallejo Model (927) Dark Flesh [Base] with Vallejo Model (955) Flesh [Highlight] - alternatively Vallejo Model (872) Chocolate Brown [Base] with Vallejo Model (983) Flat Earth [Highlight] 

Gun: Vallejo Model (950) Black [Base] and Vallejo Model (995) German Grey [Highlight] - plus additional Vallejo Game Gun Metal [Edge Highlight]

Boots: Vallejo Model (950) Black [Base] with Vallejo Model (995) German Grey [Highlight] although others would say that is far too neat and should be "dusty brown" reflecting all the trudging through the mud

Helmet: Vallejo Model (924) Russian Uniform WWII [Base] with Vallejo Model Yellow/Green [Highlight] although I have yet to experiment with the four colour camo helmet look ... using Vallejo Model colours [(983) Flat Earth, 50:50 (882) Middlestone and (833) German Camo Bright Green, (924) Russian Uniform WWII, (890) Reflective Green]

Useful "Painting Guide" video links discovered to date, both of which produce works of art, disturbingly opting for Brown rather than Green Flak Jackets (variety is the spice of life): 

Painting Templates (think they are Flames of War):