Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Red Menace

Long ago, when I was first developing the Shaded Basecoat technique, this is one of the units that I was working on.  At that point, I had mixed white primer with my paint to make the "lighter than needed" colors, and still do the priming stage too.  

Now that I have the airbrushes and the various colors of primer from Badger, it would be a lot easier to do this today!  These guys were tucked away in a box somewhere, forgotten for almost 10 years.  

I also didn't have the access to the fantastic glazing colors such as the Reaper Clear paints, or the Vallejo washes.  It's always interesting to look at very old pieces like these, and notice the differences.  It has more to do with the approach vs the final result.  

My current approach would let me focus more intently on the subtle color shifts in the shadows and mid tones, where years ago the establishment of highlights was the primary goal.

He's also here:

Monday, August 21, 2017

Panzer Blitz

Here's the finished images of the Panzer 3, which was started during the last facebook live painting session.  As with the StuG 3D, I began with "primer painting" using the Badger Stynlrez primers.  This was followed be glazes and layers of Secret Weapon weathering paints, and then final effects with a variety of Mig AMMO products.

Since these larger Panzer vehicles will be used in the Barbarossa campaigns more than France '40, I wanted to have a decent amount of mud and dust to reflect the inadequate roads and other features that the advance Eastward faced.

I was fortunate enough to have a few early war decals left from the StuG kit for this vehicle.  It is ironic that I have many pages of mid to late war sheets that I have not gotten to use!  Eventually I will be doing those sorts of vehicles, and I will at last get to use them.

This is a very basic Panzer 3, which is supposed to reflect the rather inadequate armaments and armor protection that tankers faced in the march East.  However, it has already shown itself to be very valuable in other early war battles.

I also used the Green Stuff World leaf cutters to make my usual patterns of leaves on the upper hull.  When combined with the dirt effects using the weathering powders, this gives the upper surfaces more dimension that seems to be concentrated more on the tracks with more vehicles.

It can be very tempting to have all kinds of texture on those lower areas, and leave the upper hull to chipping and rust.  I look forward to adding these foliage and dirt effects, especially given how leaves and debris accumulate on our wiper blades here in a peaceful urban environment!

A little peek at both vehicles.  Soon I will try to post some group shots with the rest of the tanks, trucks and so on.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Best Buddies

Time for a few more of the plastic dinosaurs!  These two presented some unique challenges.

First, the plastic was very flexible, which meant that I would have to be wary of hanging onto a tail and hoping to keep the figure steady!

Also, the material is like the BONES plastic, so mould lines pretty much are going to be in your way in some critical areas.

The task was to come up with some unique colors and patterns for these, so I tried to do that with not only colors but shapes as well.

This one was extremely flexible, which made painting the head and tail somewhat interesting :-)

While the colors on these two are not as bright as the others (no blues or reds, for example), I was more adventurous with the patterns and markings.

Now they get to frolic in the forests together!

There are more dinosaur images to come, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Battle Plan

While I have been posting individual shots of the winter American force, I have not had the chance to post any group or army shots.

As I have mentioned in precious posts, winter basing is not something that I have had a chance to do for my own armies.  This will be rectified with FOUR winter armies... US, German, Soviet and even Hungarian.

The Hellcat is actually from Trenchworx, and here's a link to some live facebook sessions showing how that was painted:

I also have some links to articles on how the infantry was done.  This army was also very unique in that it was the first where I used oils for the entire process!  Here's a link to an article:

I had so much fun painting them with oils, as well as creating the urban theme bases for the first time.  I also have links to a series of articles:

I will have many more articles and facebook live sessions on painting figures with oils, basing, etc., once Gencon and Nova Open have been complete.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Island Church

Continuing the centerpiece of the Barbarossa terrain board, it's time to get the roof finished with some shingles.  As I mentioned in the close of the first post, I was going to go with longer planks to match the reference images and a few of the other buildings that we already have.  Only one has traditional shingles.

I discovered that the spray adhesive works really well for this. Not only does it make it easier to glue them on, but it will not warp the hardboard and cereal box material like water based glues.

Yes, you heard that right... just strips of cereal boxes!!

By doing these longer strips, I conserved a lot of time, especially around the angled areas such as the dormers.

I cut a few strips to use on the crests of the roof lines.  This is a part of the actual design, and it helps to cover up the origin points of the planks too.

I repeated the process on the dormers, the door piece, etc.  I also put the Orthodox cross at the top of the onion dome.

Here are a few more images, showing the window sills, and a few other additional effects.

After letting the glue have a few minutes to set, it was time to match the sand and gravel on the base to match all the tree stands and previous buildings.

This was done in the usual fashion, starting with the heaviest gravel, and working down to the finer sand.

Then it was time to put the church on the island to see how it would loo, and if it would fit!

You can see the material that was used to create the church in the background.

This overview shows the size of the church relative to the other buildings that are already complete.

With the surrounding forests, this will not only dominate the landscape, but make a true centerpiece, surrounded by the village and the woods.

Roy was able to find a few resin bridges that will fit perfectly with the rustic nature of the village, and be interesting sources of objectives to fight over!

A few more views, prior to painting...

For the interior, I will be adding printed versions of this Byzantine style church art.  It is a nice way to enhance that part of the building, and potentially make more opportunities for "stolen art" scenarios.  Roy found one in the Battle of the Bulge book, so we will modify that for the Eastern Front.

When I found reference images for the church, I noticed that the interiors tend to be lavishly decorated, almost like miniature wooden Sistine Chapels.

Stay tuned for more!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Get me to the Church on time

The last major piece of the Barbarossa terrain board is going to be a small wooden church, done in classic Orthodox style.  I ran across a few images in a quick google search, focusing more on smaller, simpler versions.

This is essential, since time and space are an issue.  We will be placing this on the small "island" in the center of the board.  That will provide not only a visual centerpiece, but lots of line of sight screening too!

To match the existing buildings, I chose the simple A frame roof designs, and set about making some quick measurements.  I will be using the same thin pink foam underlayment that I have been using for previous structures.

Once the pieces were set, I used a pen to create a quick log texture on the walls.  I could have gotten fancier with this, but time constraints meant that I had to make do.

The four basic shapes are ready to glue to the base.  I had to leave enough windows for troops to shoot from, but I wanted to restrict the access to the interior by having just one door.

Also, the extreme roof pitch had to factor in, which is why the windows seem so low on the walls.

The initial pieces glued to the base with the strong, fast setting wood glue.

The roof will be made from a thinner hardboard, which is nothing more than the discarded backing of a palette pad.  Any sort of notebook backing, etc., is great for this purpose.  It is strong, light, and has a thinner profile than the pink foam.

This also has to be removeable from the main section of the building to place troops inside.

I used a few small pieces of painter's tape to secure the parts together as they dried.

A few left over pieces of thicker insulation foam will form the spire and the dormers.  I used my cut out piece of roof foam to get the correct angles for cutting the lower spire.

On this would be placed a chunk of plastic tubing, left over from a roll of green stuff.  I cut and shaped a piece of thick foam to create the "onion dome", which was then sanded.  I will be putting some stucco like material on that surface to smooth it out prior to painting.

To add the extra roof line dimension seen in the reference pictures, I made a simple A frame roof piece to place over the doorway.  A few vertical strips of the thin foam would hold it in place.

I glued it in place, careful not to get any glue on the roof section.  Otherwise I would not be able to take that away for troop placement!  The added benefit of this decorative piece is that it would help to hold that large roof section where it belonged.

Again, the pieces are held in place as the glue dries with painter's tape, and I started to look for some ideal pieces of thick foam to make the dormers for either side of the main spire.

As before, I used my discarded roof line cut outs to gauge the angles needed to match the roof pitch.  The insert image shows the secondary cuts made to create a roof line for the dormer itself.  These should not be too huge.

Just as I did with the front decorative roof section, more of the hardboard was used to make slightly overhanging roofs for each dormer.

Once the dormers were in place, and the glue had a little time to set, I wanted to make some roof boards that would match one of the reference images, and a few of the actual buildings on the board.  This would take the form of long planks.  

Only one of our roofs had shingles on it, and doing the long boards would reduce the amount of time needed.  As usual, time is very scarce for these projects, and that is a frequent compromise.

The factors of playbility, strength, realism, time and cost all play into the development of these pieces.  Over time, I have been able to really maximize and minimize these 4 elements.

I will post the rest of the construction tomorrow, so stay tuned!