24 November 2015

US Infantry Woodland BDU (Simplistic) Tutorial

I probably should have posted this like a year ago, but last night I had to search my office/painting room, looking for the peice of paper where I had written down the paints I use to paint Woodland cam on US Cold War infantry.

Being a careful chap I had bought a note book where I was supposed to write all this down - but of course I forgot too...  Part of the idea of this blog was also to be able to record how I had done something - in case I needed to replicate it several years down the track.  Except in cases like this one where I had not gotten around to it...

So... I found the peice of paper (which I'm sure would surprise my wife - but she never reads this blog) and wrote it all down in my note book, promising myself I would put it up on the blog asap.  So here we are!

First aim - the aim is to make something that vaguely (on a 20mm figure) resembles this:

or these:

Step 1
I started off undercoating the figures with a matt black spray can. 

Step 2
Then I used another can of Tamiya spray - in what I considered to be a close enough green to VMC Reflective Green (and sorry I can't remember that so you'll have to work that out for yourselves) and gave the whole figure a green base coat.

Step 3
I then washed the whole figure with a Vallejo Black wash

Step 4
Drybrush the figure in either VMC Reflective Green or VMC Olive Green - which ever grabs you best

Step 5
Paint the boots and guns black

Step 6
Looking at the webbing straps, pouches, water bottle and NBC bag, choose some of them to paint with VMC Russian Uniform.  This is to represent bits of webbing that haven't yet been replaced by webbing with the Woodland Cam.  The more you do the less you'll have to apply cam too!

At this point the figure should look like this:

In the second pic you should be able to see some of the webbing standing out in the Russian Uniform.

Now you are ready to start on the cam patterns.  I find it much easier to do with some reference pics, or previously painted figures nearby so you can get the next stages at least kind of looking right.

Step 7
Add fairly large swirls of VMC German Cam Beige Brown.  Something like this:

On the second pic here you can see some of the large pouch has been painted in the first cam pattern, while the water bottle and the pouch opposite are in the Russian Uniform colour.

Step 8
Add splotches of VMC Cam Medium Brown, in between and connecting to the Cam Beige Brown.  To look like this:

This is perhaps the hardest step, as the cam pattern needs to "lock into" the previous cam colour, so it can't be done slap dash.

Step 9
Almost done.  Now add thin black lines to the cam pattern.  Like this:

Again, this needs to be pretty neat and not 100% random.  I find that for the best look, and to make the cam pop, the thin black lines should largely go between the first two cam colours.

Now you can move onto faces, weapon highlights etc and you're done.  Final result should be this:

I've shown those two pics previously - but they are the finished troops used in the tutorial.

That's it for the day - it's fairly simplistic I know, and I'm sure you can find more accurate tutorials out there, but I'm very happy with the result.



23 November 2015

S&S Models - M106 - Work-in-Progress Part 1

I've been rather busy later - all my hobby time has been consumed by either flogging some of my (very) old stuff on ebay, or avoiding my painting desk because it's been so ridiculously hot.

So as I set up my new and definitely not improved photo "booth" last night (again for ebay) I thought I'd sneak in a look at another pair of vehicles I'm getting close to finishing.

I'm embarassed (but not surprised) to see that I started these in August 2011 here and they are still not finished!  I struggled for a long time trying to get the "right" MERDC colours, and then decided to change to crew to use the Elhiem US mortar crew.

Anyway - here's where they are up to:

I'm basically happy with the MERDC - at least I think it looks pretty good on the table top.  I still have a couple of air bubble holes to fill in, to add the .50cal mount and the HMG itself, plus some weathering before the vehicles are complete.

I had to make some slight alterations to the Elhiem figures which are about 1/2 finished:

Terrible photo, but as they are not the finished product - I'm not too bothered right now.

So hopefully these will be finished this week and I can move onto something else!

That's it for now



S&S Models FV712 Fox CRV(W) Armoured Car W-I-P Part 2

World's shortest blog update!

I've managed to spray the Fox white...

Unfortunately all this photo has done is show me that I've still missed a few air bubble holes - so more green stuff required - so not that start I was looking for.



01 November 2015

S&S Models FV712 Fox CRV(W) Armoured Car W-I-P Part 1

Well I've actually been really busy with a bunch of different modelling projects which means nothing is really finished so not much to show for all the work - at least on this blog...

So I thought I'd show you a set of Work In Progress shots of my Fox Armoured Car.  My apologies for the not great photos, but would you beleive it my carefully prepared hiding place (behind a book shelf) for my large blue cardboard peice I use for all my background has literally disappeared behind the book case and I can't get it out!

This Fox will be part of my small Berlin Infantry Brigade force and the aim is to paint in in the crazy urban scheme seen here:

I decided no cam nets (to cover up mistakes) - just a few bits of stowage max.

So on with the photos:

I was able to use all the viewing blocks from a spare Airfix Scorpion turret to make them a bit more distinct, and other bits and bobs (such as the front lights) came from other kits.

Still not 100% finished - but perhaps 99% - and then I ran out of white spray paint so can't progress it yet anyway.

I think I've worked out the order to paint it in.  I'll be using tape and sprays to try and get nice squares of all the different colours.



22 October 2015

WOT!!! NO TANKS?? Another AAR

Today I got to play a very fast game with a good mate - time was a little constrained so we went through things quite quickly and the game ran very smoothly.

Game Premise
In the last game we tried a little bit of everything.  While it all worked fine, neither of us were prepared for the number of Jets & Attack Helicopters that turned up in the game.  As a result I re-jigged the number of helo and close support aircraft counters in the pot.

For today's game we would concentrate on infantry.  An American M113 mounted mech platoon, supported by a couple of M901 ITVs, a M163, a M106 battery, a FIST-V, a TOW mounted on a HMMWV and a .50cal on another HMMWV have pulled into a small rural area during the night.  They have been tasked with defending the area from what is expected to be a secondary attack.  No tanks are available to support them.  The Mech Platoon leader, a lowly Lieutenant is the only officer.  They have not had time or engineering support to dig in proper defences.

On the other side of the hill, a Soviet Motor Rifle Company has been charged with an attack through this sector.  Apart from his own 10 BMP-1s (3 of which have been upgraded to BMP-1Ps) he has a heavy ADA element, with a ZSU-23-4, a SA-13 and another BMP with 2 SA-7 teams.  He also has a 120mm heavy mortar battery, towed by 2 MTLBs.  He has not been provided with any tank support.

Although we didn't really pay any attention to points the US had about a 475 point force against the Soviet 520 point force.  The Battle Ratings were 32 (US) and 44 (Soviet)

As things happened pretty quickly, no photos were taken  of the layout - but you'll get the idea from the pics below.

The Soviet's were the attackers (obviously) and we loosely based the game on the Battlegroup "Defence Line" mission.  The US was defending three objectives and has chosen to leave all his troops in his M113s.  The M901s have been set up on Ambush Fire (and also have the "Ambusher" special rule which makes them harder to spot when they fire from cover).

A small prepartory bombardment saw 2 M113s and a M106 pinned at the beginning of the game.

The Soviets use their "Battle Drill" special rule to rapidly push onto the table.

This is the Soviet right flank, with the Company Commander's BMP top of shot.  The MTLB's deployed their mortar teams in the centre.

They had a woeful time - pinning a couple of units the whole game.

The left flank immediately ran into trouble - dashing up the one country road - into the sights of one of the waiting M901s.

The other BMP platoon is top of shot sheltering behind some woods.

The American left flank looked like this:

While their right had all the pinned units:

The remaining pinned M113:

With a rush of blood to his head and the words "Attack is the best form of defence" rumbling between his ears the US forces go onto the attack.

and a long range Dragon shot takes out another BMP-1

But Soviet revenge is swift and the ill-judged attack on the Soviets left flanks stalls

Now the Soviet right flank gets in on the action

The height of the battle!

More from the Soviet left flank:

The US FIST-V withdraw back towards the centre of the table:

while the Platoon Leader, also attempts to hold the table centre - a little closer to the action

And finally a shot of the Soviet high water mark before time defeated both of us.  You can just see a dead ITV in the shot:

Final thoughts
It was a great game, with  the Soviets losing by 3 BR points in the end.  They had their Battle rating reduced by 30 points, while the jammy Yanks had only lost 15 points - which sounds like a bit of a drubbing, but when you look at the starting BR was much closer.

The Americans drew a helo chit, which never turned up and a aircraft chit which drew an A-10 in the final turn.  Fortunately the ZSU-23-4 was the one bit of ADA the Soviets had managed to get on Ambush Fire and it beat off the only air attack in the game.

The Soviets drew an EW chit during the game and used it to halve the US orders in the next turn, which turned out to be the best orders roll for the Americans - with 12 - being reduced to just 6 orders.  One turn the Soviets rolled snake-eyes for orders - so all in all it was a low order game - which actually makes it more fun in my opinion.

All in all we both enjoyed a tank free game!

Oh yeah - and my M113 platoon had its first game and you can even see my first (not quite finished) MERDC AFVs on the table-top.  More on them soon I hope.



15 October 2015

ACE Models BMP-Ksh Update

Way back here in November 2010 I completed a bunch of Soviet vehicles including an ACE Models BMP-Ksh.  As you can see from this picture (taken at the time) I placed the main antennae (on the front of the turret) in a upright position.  (Third from the left)

My plan was the try and find a kneeling Soviet figure which I could place on the top of the BMP to look as though he was winding the antennae up (or down).

Of course I never got around to that....

A few weeks back (in a moment of complete stupidity) when I was transporting some Soviet vehicles down stairs for a game, for some reason I decided that the upright antennae was lower than the side of the box I was carrying everthing in, and closed the quite heavy (for a plastic antennae anyway) lid, breaking the antennae into three peices.

I was not a happy camper...

So in the days after the game I decided to rebuild the antennae, lower it into its travelling position, and cover the end of the antennae in a tarp.  Rather than try and glue it all back together, I used plastic rod, some peices of the orginal antennae, plastic tubing, wire and green stuff to remake it anew.

Here's the end result:

All-in-all I'm happy with the result.



12 October 2015

S&S PT-76 - Platoon Commander

Back in August, I built a couple of S&S PT-76's - Here - to go with my PST Models PT-76 which I first showed here back in January.

So I decided not to add decals to the S&S models - particularly Naval Infantry flags - so they could be used for Category 2 style Soviets or 1970s games etc or as units from a WARPAC force.  And I decided I needed a Platoon Comander vehicle which would look different enough to the other two PT-76s to be easily noticed on the tabletop.

My standard way of doing that is to add commander figures - so that's what I decided to do to this PT-76.

This meant it needed a bit of radical surgery as the commanders hatch on the PT-76 is a rather massive one.

Like that one above from Wikipedia.

I forgot to take any work-in-progress photos - so here is the finished model:

So the crew are Liberation Miniatures, the tank has had some T-34 fuel barrels added, plus shovels, lamps, hooks and antennae from the bits box.

That's it for now.