I start off by washing the figures in warm soapy water, to remove any mould release agent, then rinse and dry them.
For 28mm infantry I standardise on 2p coins for the bases. I can then use them individually for games like SAGA or Lion Rampant, or on sabot trays for games like Dux Bellorum.
So once cut from the sprues and any mould lined removed with a scalpel and file the figures were stuck to their bases using a general-purpose adhesive, like Bostick.
Some of the figures have their left arms as part of the torso, others have them as separate pieces. I then assembled the figures using liquid polystyrene cement, except for the shields. I leave the shields off to make it easier to paint the left arm and chest. I do keep a shield handy to check the position of the left arm against the position of the right arm and spear during assembly.
I didn’t have quite enough heads with helmets for the 16 (I had previously used some on some unarmoured bodies) so a couple of the figures had bare heads from the Dark Ages Warriors box. The bases were then built up with Polyfilla.
I then undercoated the figures with grey car primer spray.
Most of the paints I use are Vallejo Model Colour, exceptions are mainly Army Painter (AP) washes and inks.
First off, I painted any areas of mail matt black, followed by dry-brushed Gunmetal Grey. Spear tips and helmets were painted the same colour. Next the faces, necks and hands were base coated Brown Sand.
Skin was the painted Medium Flesh Tone.
Now to start with the systematic randomisation of colours for the clothing. I arranged the figures into as near a rectangular formation as possible, in this case the 16 figures simply went into four ranks of four files.
I then painted the figure’s trousers by file:
Light Brown (A, E, I, M)
Chocolate Brown (B, F, J, N)
AP Dark Stone (C, G, K, O)
Basalt Grey (D, H, L, P)
Then the tunics by rank:
Grey Blue (A, B, C, D)
Deep Green (E, F, G, H)
Red (I, J, K, L)
Mahogany Brown (M, N, O, P)
If I had been painting lower status troops, I would have used the same colours overall for tunic and trousers, but added an additional colour to the tunic mix to avoid having the tunic and trousers the same colour on any individual figure.
Next were the leggings, in diagonal lines top left to bottom right
Buff (A, F, K, P)
Pale Sand (B, G, L, M)
Beige (C, H, I, N)
Deck Tan (D, E, J, O)
Next is the leatherwork. Belts, pouches and scabbard in diagonal lines from top right to bottom left, I used the same colours for the figure’s boots in a semi random order.
German Cam Black Brown. Belts etc: (A, H, K, N) Boots: (D, F, I, O)
All leggings and figures with Tan Yellow or Brown Sand hair was washed with AP Light Tone wash.
The bases were then finished with green basetex.
Having finished the figures, I moved on to the shields.
These were cleaned up in the same way as the figures, then undercoated black on the backs and white on the front. I use white on the fronts as I was going to use shield transfers rather than painting the designs.
I then drybrushed the back of the shields with Beige Brown and painted the shield bosses Gunmetal Grey while still on the sprues.
Little Big Men Studios decals have a hole for the shield boss already cut out, but the Battle Flag decals don’t, you have to cut those yourself.
I did have some issues with some of the LBMS decals, I couldn’t peel the plastic cover off to expose the self-adhesive surface. After ruining a few of the decals I ended up gluing them to the shield complete with the plastic layer using PVA glue. I haven’t had that problem before, so I wonder if it’s because these are fairly old, 3-4 years maybe? I didn’t have any problems with the Battle Flag decals.
Once the decals had dried, I painted the shield rims with Japanese Uniform to represent the leather edging. Once this was dry, I then cut the shields from the sprues, tidied up the edges with more Japanese Uniform.
The astute among you will notice there are 20 shields, but only 16 figures, the extras will be used as battlefield markers: Fatigue in SAGA, Battered in Lion Rampant, or Leadership Points in Dux Bellorum.
It’s never a good idea to glue painted articles together, paint to paint bonds aren’t strong, so I used a file to remove the paint from the contact points and then used liquid polystyrene cement to glue the shields in place.
The figures were then given a coat of spray matt varnish.
Here they are, 16 figures, making up 4 points of SAGA Hearthguard, a unit of Lion Rampant Sergeants with four figures left over or 2 units of Dux Bellorum Noble Shieldwall:
The guy on the left of the front rank has a painted shield (Green and Light Blue) from my stash of spare shields rather than one of the shields I did in this session.
So, that’s my method for painting irregulars in a systematic way.
We start this week with Tony having made painting progress on Mos Arun in 6mm. Looking forward to having this in a game.
Next up Marcus has been working on a 15mm GZG Moongrunt unit and Ral Parthia Battletech Rommel tanks. Marcus said “Nominally around 10mm I think, but perfect as heavy AFV’s in 6mm”.
Eric is up next with some conversion work he is doing on a potential Stargrave crew.
Eric explains the work being done “Old 40k Space Marine scouts with some head swaps. The guy with the yellow armour also has a right and left arm from a Mantic Forefather mini and his head is an old 40k daemon head with some reshaping”.
Stephen has created another unit for his Moslem army. This time some Hashishin.
And last for this week Andy continues work for the forestry commission with some rebasing.
A steady stream of activity from club members at the moment. I did wonder if it would slow down as people run out of projects, but no sign of that for now.
Above we have Stephen’s superb addition to a new Saga force in the shape of some Saracen cavalry.
Next up Tony has made progress on Mos Arun as it is now known.
Andy continues with his Medieval soldiers with the start of some mounted sergeants.
Andy has also decided to rebase some trees onto bigger bases.
Not last this time I’ve been putting hair nets on balls to make some progress on my Napoleonic Balloon Project.
And last but not least for this week, Marcus has asked if his discovery of some old Ground Zero Games 6mm tanks is worthy of a mention. it is but mainly because these are likely to end up adding to Marcus’ sci-fi version of What a Tanker!
And finally some robots, robo scouts from Critical Mass (now Ral Partha) and Alternative Armies (monkey).
Tony has made more progress on his 6mm sci-fi town, now with ground texture added.
John has finished his new crew for Kontraband (the doggy makes an appearance).
Andy has made more progress on his medieval sergeants, well he has actually finished these now as they were getting stuck in at the Medway Rapture Gaming & Creative Festival last weekend. I haven’t asked how they got on.
And finally for this week let’s end on a load of rubbish. I created a landfill rubbish tip from real rubbish around the house that I was not able to recycle.
So on that rubbish note, that’s another Work in Progress Wednesday in the can, we will see you next week for more tips (ok I’ll stop now).
Well this week got away from me. It galloped off in the distance before I had a chance to jump on.
Late it maybe, but here’s this weeks efforts from the club. Above is the star of the show, Tony’s contribution to our Stargrave scratchbuilt spaceship competition. This one is going to be tough to beat.
Next up Stephen has finally attained some scrub terrain features, often over looked is a bit of scrub, so well done Stephen.
Next up Andy has moved on from the Dark Ages (when did that actually end?) and is in the medieval period with some medieval sergeants.
Marcus has continued painting up 6mm tanks to go with the modification of the Two Fat Lardies rules ‘What a Tanker’ he has been working on.
And lastly (becoming a tradition now) my further efforts for a Napoleonic era balloon, I changed the net to something more in scale with the balloon.
Next week should be back on schedule with Work in Progress Wednesday actually being on Wednesday.
With the announcement of the release of Stargrave last year one of our members suggested that as a lockdown project those interested might like to kitbash or scratchbuild a shuttle or spaceship and paint up a 15mm crew for the game, with a target date of early 2021 when we hoped we might be able to resume meetings. The due date was of course extended.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
Actually, no, it was in the 1970’s in Rochester, I bought and made up an Airfix Space 1999 Eagle Transporter. Said model has followed me around various student lodgings, digs, flats and finally my current home.
So, I had a search in the loft and found the Eagle. It’s not had very much use, but at one point I completely repainted it into a non-cannon scheme.
I noticed that the thruster units were missing, I have a vague recollection that I removed them for the last repaint, and put them in a ziplock bag somewhere. Exactly where I don’t recall, hopefully they will turn up at some point.
Having found the model I decided I didn’t want to do a full strip and repaint, but I wasn’t that keen on the colour scheme I had used for the doors on the cargo pod or cockpit.
I decided to just touch up the grey and repaint the cargo pod and cockpit panels. I started off by giving the doors and the cockpit panels a couple of coats of Foundation White. Once dry I then repainted the doors and panels with Fluorescent Orange, with some black lining. The instrument panels at the top of the doors were painted Gunmetal Grey.
I also decided that the main engine nozzles need a touch-up, matt black inside and Gunmetal Grey outside. I also repainted the black panels on the cockpit section. I suspect my decision to use a grey and orange scheme may have been influenced by old Royal Navy SAR helicopters.
I had a rummage through my spare transfer box and found quite a few sheets from some Hasegawa 1:72nd scalexe UH-1D Helicopters I’d built for Vietnam games. This gave me a load of duplicate registration numbers, plus some Japanese Kanji characters. I gloss varnished the areas I to which I was going to place the transfers, added some 5-digit numbers to the front and sides, and larger two-digit numbers to the sides and top surfaces. I also added a Kanji block to the sides of the cargo pod, these actually read Rikujōjieitai or “Japan Ground Self Defence Force”. The reasons for adding some Kanji characters will become clearer later.
While I was working on the Eagle and posting WIP pictures on the MWS groups.io discussion page a debate arose about whether I should give the Eagle some weapons. There were arguments in favour and against, some of which were quite passionate.
I decided to try and have the best of both worlds, and make the guns detachable. Looking at the Eagle the spinal lattice work had gaps of approximately one inch. I thought I could make some inserts to fit this lattice to hold the guns.
I started by cutting some 25mm square sections of 5mm foamboard, then trimming about 2 mm off each edge of one of the cardboard faces and the underlying foam. This needs to be done carefully so as not to cut through the second face. This results in a roughly 21mm square “plug” with a 25mm square upper face. I made two of these.
I painted the guns Gunmetal grey and the body of the pack as close a match to the Eagle’s grey as I could mix. I then gave the guns a liberal coat of Army Painter Dark Tone wash.
These gun packs just push fit into the spinal lattice, the foam is flexible enough to deform as they fit into place and expand again to hold them solid. The separate twin turret just fits into a recess in the cockpit section.
Now onto the crew.
A while ago I was tempted by a couple of GZG figure packs that bore an uncanny resemblance to the cast of a certain 2000’s Sci Fi TV show and film. Shiny. So, these would become the crew of the Eagle.
I mounted these on some 16mm diameter washers, built up the bases with Polyfilla and undercoated them with grey primer.
I found a few pictures of the cast on the web and used those as inspiration for the colour scheme, or as close as I could get with the mostly Valljeo paints I had available. The bases were then finished off with basetex and the figures varnished.
Three of the cast had duplicate figures, either different clothing and / or weapons, so I painted the second version in slightly different colours so that they could be used as different characters if required.
The other six members of the crew only had a single casting each:
Oh, and the use of the Kanji script on the Eagle? In the TV show the characters speak a mixture of American English and Mandarin (the latter usually mild profanities) and the latter also appears in company names and logos, the Kanji decals were the closest I had to Mandarin.
I originally thought that the Airfix kit was 1:72nd scale, but if so, the crew would have to be contortionists to fit in the cockpit.
Off to Google. There’s quite a few websites dedicated to Space: 1999. I found one website that states that the Eagle is 76 feet (23.16m) long which, given the model length of 300mm nose to engine nozzles, would make the kit approximately 1:77th scale; another compares the Airfix kit to the different Eagle models used in the TV series, which were not necessarily consistent with each other.
This suggests that the Airfix model is likely to be closer to 1:96th scale. I could probably start some arguments if I started making pronouncements that 15mm = 1:100 scale (personally I reckon it’s closer to 1:120), but the bottom line is I think that the Eagle looks OK next to 15mm figures, and the crew could get into the cockpit without scraping their heads on the ceiling.
Wherever you have protagonists you need antagonists. As far as I could see GZG didn’t do any of the TV show’s “baddies”, the Alliance, so I went elsewhere.
Brigade models do some Uniformed Starship Crew and some Tank Crew in helmets. I got a pack of each. Unfortunately, the bases on these were too small to glue directly to the washers, so I had to cut some suitably sized cardboard fillers to bridge the gap. These figures got a generic mid grey uniform with some red and silver highlights here and there. Depending on your viewpoint these are the heroes of justice, or the lackeys of the oppressive state.
These chaps don’t have a ship of their own, but I do have a vehicle, a Brigade Javelot scout car, for them.
It might be a bit tight for all 8 of them in there, so I might need to get them more transport!