Wednesday, October 1, 2014

British paras, Varangian guard, Saxons, and Welsh!

The first part of this post is about letting greed get ahead of your good sense.  A friend had a squad of British paras, command, and heavy weapons for sale for $1.00 apiece.  I snapped them us.  They are from Warlord Games.  So I ordered 2 more squads to fill out a platoon.  Then I realized that I had to paint the d$#@%^d things.

I hate painting camouflage.  Really, really!  It doesn't let the sculpture of the figure show through.  But I "endeavoured to persevere.", and finished what I had originally purchased. Now a word about Warlord Games metal figures. I have both ECW and, now, paras.  When figures are cast, there is the sprue where the metal enters the mold.  Each figure has to have tiny air passages cut from the parts which protrude the most on the figure to the outer edge of the mold.  This is a standard practice.  It is also standard practice for the caster to remove them.  Not so with Warlord.  So you open the package to find hedgehogs bristling with air sprues to prick your fingers.  You clean them in bare metal, and then find more when you prime, and still a few when you paint.  They tend to wrap around the figure in such a way that they aren't visible.

Here is a photo of 3 of the paras.
And how I paint them.  After cleaning them up, I superglue them to, in this case, 7/8" washers.  Then I use Elmer's Woodworker Putty to blend the base and the washer together.  I prime them with the cheapest grey primer that Wal-Mart has.  Then I paint the skin tone. And here is my painting diary for the paras, in the order I apply the paints.
Pants: P3 Gun Corps Brown
Denison smock: base Americana Pebble, swatchs of P3 Gnarl's Green & Deca Ceramcoat (hereafter DC) Cinnamon, Cuff DC English Yew, snaps Reaper Uniform Brown.
Webbing: P3 Khaki, water bottle Plaid Nutmeg, gas mask bag, Reaper Yellow Olive with strap of P3 Bootstrap Brown. Entrenching tool handle GW Scorched Brown with Black metal parts.
Helmet: base color DC Black Green, net Reaper Troll Green, tabs DC Boston Fern & DC Spice Brown, chinstrap, Reaper Troll Green.
Boots: Black, gaiters Tan
Gun stock: GW Scorched Brown, metal Black.
Scarf: Reaper Troll Green. (Yes, I know it is also camo, but too little shows to bother.)
Grenades: DC Gamel Green.
I then give the whole thing a brown wash, and because I wasn't satisfied with definition, a thin black wash.
Once that is dry, I paint the eyes DC Ivory, and the irises whatever.
Sten metal parts & Bren muzzle: P3 Pig Iron.
The bases were painted Am. Pebble, and while still wet, dipped in flock.
Then the figures are dull-coated.  Arms in WWII had as little shine as possible, so I do the metal before dull coating.The white area behind the Sten gunner on the left is a tag put on every base to identify the figure.
You will note that I do no shading or highlighting. I block paint and rely on my brown wash.

And here are some more of my Corvus Miniatures that were traded to me in a bag of 108 figures.
First off, Varangian archers who I chose to paint in cloth padded gambesons.
And now, Saxon archers (bit of a grab bag in archers)
And, finally, Welsh archers.

  The bows are strung with a model railroading product intended for stringing telephone poles.  It's called EZ Line, and is a very thin elastic.  I was seduced into using it by Mike Bobe of Bobe's Hobby House in Pensacola, Florida.
 It comes in 2 thicknesses.  Mike suggests the thinner for 15mm and the thicker for larger figures.  It is glued to one end of the bow.  When that end is dry, gently stretch it to the other end and hold it while it dries.  It is extremely fiddly to use, but the end result is great.  The reason the Varangian archers are not strung is because their skirts were in the way of a smooth bow line.