Painting Table

This is one of a pair of General figures that come with the Perry plastic 28mm ACW Battle in a Box set.

This officer has been painted up as the union commander and looks rather nice to the Mk I eyeball, if a little stiffly posed, but as usual, flash lit digital photography has been a little unforgiving in this instance.

There are two poses available. I have chosen the ‘sword in hand’ option and will reserve the ‘binoculars in hand’ option for the Confederate commander.

The figure is MDF based and the large grass tuft was bought from Great Escape Games.

With the Perry 28mm ACW Battle in a Box project jacked up again, I decided to do the terrain elements, so battlefields at least take a step forward in look. Click on each picture to get a closer look.

The building has the chair as part of the kit, the barrel is added from elsewhere. The wood structure has plenty of texture, which makes dry brushing and washing a useful part of the final look. I decided to keep the footprint small rather than going with bigger basing, as the initial small footprint seems to be a significant benefit of this building for smaller tables. The building has presence without being too dominant.

The Snake fencing has been mounted onto 35mm wide thick plastic card. 35mm was chosen to reduce footprint, but it has the effect of elongating the fence, slightly reducing the zig-zag look. To my eye it still looks functionally good with the benefit of creating 6’ of fencing, rather than the suggested ‘just over 4 foot’. 

Balsa wood uprights have been added, together with some additional planking on the floor or leaning up against the fence to reduce the plastic look (thanks Matt Crump for the tip) and the floor has been fairly heavily textured, starting with an acrylic paste to kill the flat plastic card. They took a while to do with quite a lot of stages, but it has been worthwhile as blog reports will likely often show photographs of troops against these fences. The wood was given brown Vallejo primer, then acrylic Raw Umber, then acrylic Titanium Buff with a 1/3 mix of Raw Umber to dampen down the vibrancy, finally the wood was given a heavy wash. The base has various textures ranging from course sand to Warlord Games forrest floor basing and various flocks blended together. The thick grass clumps are from Great Escape Games.

While pushing this terrain across the painting tray, I also included four bases of Renedra cross and rail fencing that has been primed and waiting on painting sticks for simply ages. The stone work was built up a bit more with additional rail modellers ballast and course sand, mainly because the supplied stones do look quite plastic due to mould lines that are fiddly to remove. I like the final look and they add a different texture to the table, plus the more fencing the merrier it seems for ACW. The four sections came on two sprues for around £10 (though that was three years ago). I quite fancy having a stab at making some more, but might consider using barbecue bamboo skewers and heavy gravel, though perhaps at this stage, getting more Renedra sprues might be better for consistency.

ISU 152 from Pegaus

This is one of the Pegasus fast build kits from their 1/72 range. You get two models in a box and can make either the 152 or 122 (long gun) models.

The best think about fast build is that generally the running gear and tracks all come as single combined parts, that saves a lot of track wheels pinging off the table, across the room, never to be found again, not even by the hoover!

This is quite a straight forward paint job. Undercoat in black, cover in Russian Green and then dab on some watered down Vallejo German Field Grey, then a heavy dirty wash, followed by a VERY dry brush of brown earth. The tracks are a mix of gunmetal with brown. THe mud id plastic wood, earth brown, brown flock and one of the GW textured paints.

For just a bit of fun, the picture of the ISU 152 and another model (Armourfast Sd Kfz 251/c) are included in a ‘Fake News’ post over on the blog.

LINK (part of my Fake News series)

Explosion markers.

Some time ago, I saw these on another blog (sorry can’t remember the name of the blog) and decided to have a go myself. They took longer to do than I had anticipated, but the effect has been worthwhile.

Basically, three lengths of pipe cleaner are hot glued to a coin. Then again with the hot glue gun, clump foliage is applied to all of the exposed pipe cleaner. With PVA thinned ever so sligtly thinned with water, the solution is dabbed onto all of the foliage and left to dry. I had to do this three times to get a properly hardened surface.

Finally, spray paint black, dry brush grey and dab some red and yellow into the lower parts for a flame effect. Once done, the small amount of coin base that is still exposed can be dressed.

12mm Norman Heavy Cavalry from Kallistra.

Part of the 1066 project, these have been re-based to now go onto a single 80mm MDF base with a depth of 40mm, with a view to them being used with Kallistra’s 100mm hexes.

The cavalry line has been loosley positioned to give a sense of movement. This is also something of a compromise to give a visual effect without needing a second rank of cavalry, saving costs and painting time, something relative to this project as it will be needing 53 bases of vaious units to give the first battle.

These were primed with Hammerite’s Special Metals Primer, which is brown and so I suppose gives a good start to the horse flesh, though everything needed inking up to ensurethe hard to reach places were dark enough.

 Resin marsh tile.

I wish I could remember who I bought this off, but I got a pair of them at a wargame show and they are quite nicely sculpted and cleanly produced.

A new technique I tried was to paint the water area blue and then dab on Game workshop blue ink. This leaves a mottled look that is ideal for the subject.

The grass tufts had accidently been left on a window-sill for a few months and they had faded, especially the tips. However, in this setting they look ideal.

I picked up a second hand resin 'N Gauge' model of brick stables from a model rail shop and mounted it onto a cardboard cup coaster, then added a walled enclosure to the rear with two of the Pendraken corner pieces from their resin high wall set. 

A few dabs of Green Stuff helped fix joints and an application of GW's texture paint (Armageddon  Dunes - though this texture was probably too heavy for the piece, or I should have mixed it with some paint) to the interior courtyard and to the outer edges of the scenic, just helped enhance the rustic appearance. A bit of touching up, inking and dry brushing unified everything. Finally flocks were sparingly added.

It should give a good representation of a walled farm, adding some variety to my Quatre Bras battlefield. The 4" (100mm) coaster is a tight fit on my Kallistra hex terrain, but works as intended.

Total cost Building (second hand) -  (£5), half pack of walls (£1.50), coaster (free), texture, inks, paints and green stuff (lets go made and call that £1), so the little scenic cost around £7.50


Three 10mm resin buildings from Battlescale (dot com), painted up, but still on their handling blocks while they await a coat of mat varnish.

Click on the picture to see a bit more of the detail. My iPad camera is letting me down here, they look nicer in real life than this shot suggests.

The Russian Church model has plenty of presence, but has the advantages of a relatively small footprint. The cafe has a small notice board to the left. I made a small poster for the menu board, so that it looked like a chalked text and then printed it out on an inkjet printer. It just adds a bit of charm to what is already a charming building.

The models take paint very well, they are not primed, just block painted and inked. I have a few more buildings (and a very nice bridge) from this range, so feel quite motivated now to get the rest done.


Pendraken 10mm

Three more vehicle types have joined my mid war east front forces

Soviet BA 64 - BA-64 introduced March 42 and was machine gun armed. The B version was introduced in 1943, improvements included a wider wheel base (lower centre of gravity) to improve stability.

German Hetzer (JagdPanzer 38) - Successor to the Marder III, a sloped armour (60 degrees from the vertical), carried a reasonably powerful 75 mm gun, was mechanically reliable, small and easily concealed. In production from April 1944; about 2584 were built until the end of the war. First entered service in July 1944 with Army Group North Eastern Front.

Brummbär - The Sturmpanzer was a development of the Panzer IV tank designed housing a new gun, the 15 centimetres (5.9 in) Sturmhaubitze (StuH) 43 L/12 developed by Skoda. It fired the same shells as the 15 cm sIG 33 heavy infantry gun. Thirty-eight rounds, with separate propellant cartridges, could be carried.

Production of the first series of 60 vehicles began in April 1943 and it arrived in Central Russia on 10 June 1943 to prepare for the German attack on the Kursk salient. It also saw action at Anzio, Normandy, and was deployed in the Warsaw Uprising. Just over 300 vehicles were built.

Warlord 28mm Celtic Warriors from their Hail Caesar series. Just one of my ongoing experiments with 28mm, with motivation coming from the Sword and Spear rules. These have been based onto 80mm frontages with a depth of 60mm. I know some systems reserve 80mm for 15mm figures and use 120mm for 28mm, but if I am to get the Sword and Spear rules working on my small table, then smaller bases are the way to go and compromises are what they are.

As always, I have to say that I am not a painter, I just do this to I get figures onto the table, so I cannot do 28mm sculpting justice, but since I generally dislike painting, I was quite pleased at how much I enjoyed a leisurely paint, by just block painting, followed by a wash of Army Painter soft tone ink and then going back in to do do some highlights.

The base is textured with white artists modelling paste (Galleria by Newton and Winsor) darkened with a couple of drops of black acrylic paint to kill the white. This hides the edges of the figure bases, blending them into the ground. Once dry everything is heavily dry brushed, covered with PVA glue and then a collection of sands, flocks and bushes are added.

The shield water slide transfers come with the box of figures, but I had to cut mine up a bit to fit, which was disappointingly fiddly, but I mostly got there in the end.

The box has 40 figures, so 4 of these stands can be made up if I choose to go that way.


Latest batch of 10mm from Pendraken. It feels like I have had these hanging around for ages, so I put in some determined effort to get them done.

Back row is a Stug IIIg and Opel truck. Front row is the tough KV-1 and the Sd fz 222 armoured car.

I forgot to apply my acrylic clear coat (floor polish) before doing the heavy inking, so these have tuned out a bit darker than I would have liked. - though they look OK here.


I can't stop messing around with plastic 28's despite everything I have been doing being geared up for 10mm.

Painted to wargame standard, these paint up surprisingly quickly and I like their character. The digital shots show up some paint errors, but on the table these are none existent, but it does make me admire those who can paint to a standard that survives the scrutiny of digital photography.

The good thing about Perry plastic ACW is that the range is pretty much complete for my own generic needs ..... sounds like I am trying to talk myself into this!


German 88/56 flak used in the anti-tank role. This is a 10mm model from Pendraken, one of several Pendraken items picked up at the Phalanx wargame show.

I base all anti-tank guns with a wall or hedge feature simply to protect the gun barrel from bending from any accidents.

It is quite a big model, so the base is bigger than any of my 10mm tank bases (so far, I have JS II's to build yet). I had a slight problem putting it together, the two rods (no idea what they are called) that sit below the gun barel had to be tilted upwards with pliers to get them to go through the gun shield. But once done, it all mated fine.