Commanders, a wargame digest


The Painting Table

15mm Windmill

This is a 15mm offering from Ironclad Miniatures, giving us a Russian windmill in resin.

It comes in 10 parts, 5 of which are the 4 sails and the union that they sit in.

It all goes together quite nicely, paints up well and has that reassuring weight that comes with resin.  

10mm Napoleonic artillery - Pendraken

French 4pdr’s from the French 1809 army pack.

I have based these onto the Kallistra 30mm x 40mm plastic bases and at first thought the base was perhaps too big, but with the figures added, it looks about right.

The army pack gives 3 guns and crews, so the frontage here is 90mm, though in actual gaming, I may well drop to a two model battery depending on the size and demands of the scenario,

These were primed grey, block painted, washed and then highlighted.

Peter Pig 15mm ACW artillery

Bought as a couple of sample bags (crew and guns sold separately) to have a go at painting them up and also to compare them with my Kallistra ACW 12mm Union artillery.

The figures were very clean, with just a couple of mould lines that needed a file passing over them and each base has a very small nub that needs paring or filing back.

Overall, I thought the figures had a good presence and character. I managed to get the gun onto a 30mm wide base by 40mm deep.

Harald Steptoesson

The free 28mm metal figure that comes with the Hail Caesar supplement ‘Shieldwall’ when bought directly from Warlord Games, is a nicely animated warrior for the Dark Age period.

Harald Steptoesson, for those who don’t know, is a humorous play on words, based around the 1960’s and ‘70’s UK sitcom, Steptoe and Son, about a rag-and-bone man outfit. The son’s name was Harold and the character duo were warmly adopted by a UK TV audiences.

As a limited production figure, I have given him his own base.

SU 122 from Pegasus

This is the 1/72 fast build from Pegasus, with two vehicles per box. The vehicle has the 122mm howitzer mated with the chassis of a T-34 tank.

It is a butt ugly machine, yet one of my favourite vehicles.

Here it is posing in front of a pre-painted resin building from Conflix.

Maxim HMG 28mm

Visiting the painting table, Warlord’s metal Soviet Maxim machine gun, with a two man crew and a junior officer directing their fire.

The blister pack comes with three figures and a five part machine gun that goes together very easily, plus a round 60mm plastic base.

The figures were given a hot soapy wash and primed with a Rustoleum (sp?) primer, block painted, washed with a slightly diluted Vallejo Umber wash and then minimal highlights were put back in. For the first time that I can recall, I have not put highlights at all into the face. I think the overall muted effects are in keeping with the subject.

Finally a short blast of matt varnish while on the painting sticks and then a second light coating once based, to secure the base material and add extra resilience to those parts of the figures that will get handled. I have tried to keep the base a bit ‘nondescript’ so that it can fit in with a variety of settings.  Good undercuts make the painting pretty straight forward and a ‘wargaming standard’ is easy to reach.

The only problem that I had was that the gunner’s hands did not align with the gun trigger. I should have done a dry fitting run, but I glued the gun to the base before priming. The elevation of the gun is perfect for the ammo belt feed, but not for the gunner to keep his knees and boots on the base AND hands on the piece. I have checked photo’s on the internet and other examples seem fine ..... so it must be me! Overall though, a nice piece.

Italeri plastic 1/72 fast build Tiger I kit.

These are fast build, with few parts and importantly, the track and the running gear come as single pieces, making these ideal fast builds for the wargamer.

The boxes come with two vehicles, which I find handy as I tend to only use vehicles in small groups.

They do come with decals, which cannot be said of all quick build offerings.

There is a bit of a fun post over on the blog based around this kit. LINK

10mm Pendraken U.S. WWII

I have just completed a starter 10mm U.S. 1944 army, configured for their latest Blitzkrieg Commander rules.

The infantry are on 40mm x 20mm bases and the support weapons on 20mm x 20mm bases. Vehicles are bases at either 20mm or 25mm wide as required.

These figures were all primed with the ‘brush on’ Hammerite Special Metals primer, which is highlighted over in the Accessories section (look down the left hand tabs). The Lorry can be open backed or given the canvas canopy, but the bulk / heft that the canvas top brings does add something to the final result.

There is a blogged article here showing how the army was painted. LINK

Building a redoubt

Recently buying some pre-formed rubber board planking for lining the walls of such things as trenches and entrenchments, I wanted a representative redoubt that would hold two artillery or infantry bases.

The main structure was built up around a balsa wood form and the floor was given a wooden planking look with good old coffee stirrers.

There is a construction post over on the blog. LINK

Perry 28mm plastic

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.

ISU 152 from Pegasus

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 thing 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 is 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)

A farm piece

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

Warlord 28mm plastic warriors

From their Hail Caesar series, this has been 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.