|Diary of a Late War British Army Part 1
||[Aug. 23rd, 2006|07:30 pm]
Flames of War
|||||At the Painting Desk||]|
|||||Matt Bianco - Half a Minute||]|
The last week has been remarkably productive on the painting front as I've been able to really have a go at refurbishing some old models and figures I've had sitting around for a while waiting for the right time. With th realease of 2nd Edition and the upcoming late war focus, I've taken some brits out of storage.
Originally the late war brits were a real mix: twelve Cromwells, three Fireflies and a full platoon of infantry courtesy of Evan Allen; a troop of four M10C Achilles and a pair of Daimler Armoured cars from Ian Galley; a full troop of four 25 pdrs and Quads with attached observer and CO, four Churchill mark IVs, four Sexton SP25pdrs and assorted British softskin vehicles from Richard of Army Builder Flames of War file fame; and my collection of early all metal Bren carriers (most of which will end up as wrecks/part of terrain pieces) plus some OOP blister packs of Late War Brits that I picked up from a gaming store recently. The blister packs include a 3" Mortar platoon (2nd Ed makes mortars much more useful on the table), a full four Vickers MMG platoon (something again that 2nd edition really makes worth fielding), and another full rifle platoon.
I started off by painting the Vickers platoon. I hadn't painted infantry for ages, so I was more than a little hesitant, especially as I needed to match the style of the rifle platoon that Evan had already painted. It took two days for me to paint 15 figures and four MGs to a level I was happy with, particularly as they are almost indistinguishable from Evan's originals.
I needed a change after painting infantry so I returned to looking at vehicles. The towed 25pdrs were basedd and painted to a satisfactory quality for gaming purposes and if I wanted to do any touching up, it'd be a long and involved process. Instead I selected four Quad Tractors that really needed some refurbishment: they were painted significantly differently to my Cromwells and Fireflies, plus they needed some work on detailing.
Originally painted in Humbrol enamels, the panel lines and some of the definition were hidden or no longer survuived the rigours of handling. I chose to freehand or redo the panel lines and shadows with Vallejo black 950 and then blocked in the late war British Khaki Drab carefully using Vallejo Russian Uniform Green 924, which is the best match for Humbrol 159/Khaki drab I've found (it takes clear direct sunlight to tell the difference in shade). I also went over the stowage and general accessories with subtler shades of tans and greys. I put the main effort on painting the solid windows on the Quads using Lumpy's technique from the Battlefront Website (Link to come later) and I was pleasantly surprised with the results. I know I can and will do better with more practice but I also do realise that I need to buy some quality brushes before I attempt such fine work again at least if I want to achieve better more consistent results. I'll add pics later on, once I've managed to upload them.
Once I was generally satisfied with the look of the Quads (I've not weathered them yet as I think I'll be basing them when I do all my basing in one go to maintain a consistent theme) I put them aside and looked at something with guns to paint. The Cromwells, Fireflies and Ian G's Achilles were all consistently themed and stylistically matched anyway, so there was no point in adding a second troop just yet. I almost went for the Churchills, but I hadn't done enough research as yet and I was still thinking more along the lines of fielding a Cromwell based army rather than an Infantry based force.
So I chose the four Sextons. These are some of the earlier late war models, predating the release of Flames of War by at least a year and it shows. They're still very nice looking models but they did require some work before they would fit in with my other models. Again the original paintwork was done in enamel, but it was chalky and mismatched in places plus had been badly handled over time. The usla clean up with freehand blacklining and blocking colour ensued, but I left the crew as they were for now...they'll do the job at a pinch and the main vehicles look much better - complete with Unit and Divisional markings for the 13th RHA of the 11th Armoured Division. Again I'll probably base up the Sextons to hide the flaws that no paintjob can totally disguise (I hate trackwork) and they'll suit a bit more dioramic treatment.
The next units on the schedule are the Churchills and the remaining Infantry (rifle and 3" mortar platoon) - they're likely to take me the next two weeks at least given my distaste for painting infantry.