Commanders, a wargame digest

Commanders, a wargame digest


The Painting Desk

Epic Napoleonic Cuirassiers

Cuirassiers from the heavy cavalry sprue in Warlord Games Epic Napoleonic range.

They were straight forward to paint, using the artwork supplied on Warlord Games website for reference.

I have gone with an MDF base, deepened to 25mm (from 20mm) and shortened to 55mm (from 60mm). In the Epic system, a units has 3 - 4 bases, but I am going for two base units, so the four bases worth of cavalry supplied will eventually give me two cuirassier units.

These are primed black, dry brushed white and then block painted and finally given a was with Super Shader from Black Hat Miniatures. This shader is very thin and so tends to keep the napoleonic colours bright. It dries with a gloss, so needs a mat varnish. I had to go back in and restore a few highlights.

Overall, they look good, but I estimate painting time for the unit to be around four hours and I could do with bring that down a bit.

20mm sample figure

This is a figure from one of the 20mm bags from Tumbling Dice that I bought a couple of weeks ago.

I thought I would just run through a sample figure to see how it goes. The head and back pack were separate and had to be glued on. For the both I did the old trick of super gluing both surfaces and then bring them together with a very small ball of green stuff between the joint.

It worked very well. The figure was primed grey, block painted, washed and a few highlights applied. Then it was gloss varnished as I just assume this is a stronger varnish to protect the metal and them mat varnished.

Overall, I think once the figure takes its place in line of similar figures, it would look good. The process took an hour to do, but no doubt with batch painting, that would be brought down somewhat.

I am inclined to paint up a full base …. just to see!

WWII Era Soviet 82mm mortars

Pack number INS27 from the AB Miniatures 20mm range., gives us two 82mm mortars, each with three crew and some accessory ammo boxes.

The two part mortar goes nicely together as a good fit, secured by a small dab of super glue  and these examples have been set on a 50mm MDF round base.

These were primed grey (rattle can) and the main uniform colour is Vallejo Khaki.  I stepped back from the Super Shader product that I have been using and tried Agrax Earthshade instead, thinned with a little water, as that seems to complement the uniform colour nicely.

They have a hand brushed gloss varnish on them because they are metal, followed by Vallejo matt varnish. Now that they are based, they await a final blast of matt varnish from the airbrush, to dampen down any remaining gloss and to lock down the flock.

Panthers and Timecast scenery

Here are two of the now completed pack of six Panther tanks from Victrix. The kits go together well and of course decals are supplied.

These were airbrushed a primer ochre and then hand brushed with the green / ochre / brown camo, heavily inked and then lightly brushed with some pigments, with a blackish pigment sitting on the engine compartment.

To the eye, these look very effective, as always digital photography can be a bit cruel, too sharp and showing too much detail.

They are set up here with a latex field from Timecast and a row of their poplar trees, all perfectly suitable for the ‘Pinboard Wars’ setup.

The trees are seated with hot glue into holes drilled into a cut down tongue suppressor. Basing paste was added and then flocks and small tufts used to give a rough ground base.

The latex fields were washed in soapy water and simply painted with acrylic paint from artists tubes, just the cheaper student stuff. The paint adheres well.

Adding 85mm turrets

The Plastic Soldier Company T-34 kits come with both the 76mm and the 85mm guns, each in their own version of the appropriate turret.

I painted up the T-34’s as 76mm versions a few weeks ago (see image lower down), but decided before moving on to other vehicles, to get the 85mm turrets done as well.

The paint job is very basic using Vallejo colours. The vehicle was primed with Russian Green and after decals were added (not included in the kit), a mix of Russian Green and German Camo Beige was lightly sponged over the surface and wiped back a bit over the decals, so that they were ‘knocked back’, but not obliterated!

Finally a very fine pass of weathering powders smoothed out the variations.

40th Mississippi

The latest 28mm ACW regiment moves off the painting table. This Confederate unit has been flagged up as the 40th Mississippi, the distinctive flag originally sold by Redoubt Enterprises and I thought unusual as it is emblazoned with a tree!

This was a straight forward paint job and for the first time, I primed the figures with rattle can grey. I suppose I could have left the primer as the base coat for the uniform, but didn’t, instead putting ValIejo Light Grey over the hats, tunic and trousers.

The Vallejo was surprisingly close to the primer colour, but overall I felt that the extra painting added some subtle variables that the very consistent primer didn’t, which looked overly flat and so the final result looks a bit more painterly.

1/144 scale from Victrix

This is a Victrix 1/144 Panther, which I bought for my Pinboard Wars battles. You get 6 to a pack and though I have primed all 6, I thought I would just explore 1 to work out the best look for camo.

The transfer decals come with the kit and I am happy with the overall effect. This was just painted with brushes, ink washed and then knocked back a bit with some weathering powders. Everything was sealed with a spraying of mat varnish.

I think it looks okay, though the camera flash has not been particularly helpful here.

Dismounted Confederate Cavalry

These are metal Perry Miniatures. You get six to the box and a matching set of six have been done for the Union side.

These are based on 50mm pill bases, with terrain and scrub added to reflect the kind of cover that dismounted troops might seek.

1/72 Engine Shed

This is a plastic 7 part kit from Nightwing. It has been based and has track running from it so that it can join up to any track that is being used on the table.

Paving slabs have been added using thin card and steel pipes and a section of iron girder also dress the base.

The question was whether to glaze the windows or not. However, the insides of the windows do not lay flat and so glazing would not have looked right,not that there would be much left in a war zone!

A knocked out tram

Looking for a bit of street furniture for a city fight scenario with 1/72 figures, I sourced an HO/OO scale die cast model tram and set about 'ruining it!

There are just two things needed, one is to deconstruct the tram by adding damage and then to cover both the base and the tram with falling debris, to suggest the collapse of nearby buildings. The background building is actually a 15mm factory from Battlefront pre-paints.

There is a post over on the blog that explains the various stages of the build. LINK


1/72 Stug III’s from The Plastic Soldier Company.

Nice kits. It’s not really clear from this picture, but I have cut and bent one of the skirt panels back to show a bit of damage, other than that, these are ‘out of the box’ builds.

You don’t get decals with these sets and I can’t recall where I got these from, but they are just the ticket.

After painting, these were lightly sponged with watered down Vallejo German Beige WWII and then very lightly dry brushed. The completed vehicles have a Vallejo mat varnish.

Snake fencing for ACW

These are four 8” strips of snake fencing that have been built to match the existing six pieces and they are close enough that differences are not too noticeable.

The snaking has been kept unrealistically narrow, just to help the footprint on the games table. The base is balsa wood and the fencing structure is formed from BBQ skewers, with the rails whittled with a knife to get a rough cut look.

Epic scale commanders

On the left is Ulysses Grant (Union) and to the right Robert E. Lee, each with a standard bearer.

These are metals, so have been primed with black car primer and then gloss varnished before being mat varnished, for additional strength to the paintwork.

1/72 T-34 kit from PSC

Plastic Soldier Company sell these in boxes of three. What I particularly like about this kit is that you get two turrets. One for the 76mm gun (shown here) and the other for the 85mm turret and you can just swap them as needed.

You don’t get decals and I can’t remember where I got this lot from, but outside of that, the kits are very good and easy to assemble.

This was just undercoated in Vallejo Russian Green and then highlights, washes and some sponging applies to it.

New WotR Characters

The imaginations world of Piggy Longton get some new characters.

The pigs have been painted with a nod towards the Gloucester Old Spot, though this breed would not have existed at the time, with pigs having a much more boar like resemblance. I just prefer my pigs to look like …. Pigs!

The Bishop and his attendant I believe to be Gripping Beast figures, which I picked up from Colonel Bills. After doing some ‘robe’ research, this appears to be a fair approximation of the clothing that some reference images suggested.

In my imaginations, he has been previously known as Stephen the Fearless, before taking up his priestly duties, so we will see what falls out of that!

Yorkist arrival

A fellow blogger kindly donated me some figures. Firstly we have a professionally painted foot knight, wearing a tabard with King Edwards livery. Having found a Perry flag from my stash for Lord Cobham, then that is who our foot knight becomes.

Also donated was a raw metal mounted herald, which I thought would look rather nice on the base. It is the first time that I have mixed horse and foot and the horse does take up quite a bit of space on the 80mm base.

to make up for that, I dropped the die holder at the rear of the base so that another infantry figure could be added.

There are some pictures and commentary over on the blog re the painting of the unit, plus details of a handy small footprint bridge from Warlord Games. LINK.

Wars of the Roses gun.

This one by Perry Miniatures, 28mm in metal and based on a 60mm wide by 80mm deep base.

A 10mm die frame has been added to the front on the far side.

Handgunners Wars of the Roses.

Four 28mm figures from the Perry’s plastic Mercenaries box.

These are on a 80mm x 50mm base and set up as a skirmisher force. The base has had additional cover and rough ground added (some slate stone and broom bristles), just to differentiate the and their role from ‘line’ troops.

28mm Wars of the Roses

A bit of re-basing and some new figures added gives 3 new contingents to the 28mm Wars of the Roses Pocket Armies project.

Each unit is on a 80mm base, with Percy and Bayton going into the Lancastrian army and York’s contingent going to the Yorkists (obviously!).

A post has gone up over on the blog that describes these units a little more. LINK

1/72 Tiger II

This is one of a pair that come in the Pegasus fast build sets.

Proportions and angles look right, though track face details is generic and the model does not come with its own decals.

1/72 Pegasus 38(6)

One of the ‘fast built’ kits from Pegasus, that come with two vehicles to the box. 

A robust model that holds better with super glue rather than plastic cement.

As with all the vehicles in the range, track detail is representative and the kit does not come with decals. The ones used here are from the Plastic Soldier Company.