Sunday, April 30, 2017

Meet the Masons

Here are some finished images of the Masons team.  I don't know what any of the players are called, but I am sure that fans of the game know far better than me. :-)

Sorry that I didn't have any WIP images of the figures being painted... I have the article on how the bases were painted:  

It was requested that I stay with the traditional color scheme for these guys, which turned out to be pretty nice.

Again, not sure what everything is, but it was certainly different!

The view from above to show how the figures integrated with the base designs.  I could not resist putting the Masons symbol on the marble!

I have a few more guys for the team, including the goal post.  I will post those pictures next week!  Stay tuned...

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Reshaping the future

Something arrived the other day that really fascinated and amazed me.  Inside this box was a completely new experience!

Imagine a world where your miniatures arrive at your door completely ready for painting... this wonderful world now exists!!!

These 28mm (1/56 scale) vehicles are from Shapeways, which is a collection of 3D artists who print a huge variety of subjects and objects.  Of particular interest  were these amazing vehicles crafted by Mike Pennock, who goes by Arctic Skunk on the Shapeways site.

You can see page after page of his work here:

I started out with a few early war German kits, since they would go very nicely with what I already have.  There's a Marder, a Panzer I  and a Panzer II.  The material is the white plastic, which has a slight texture, as many other manufacturers.

What amazed me right off the bat was the strength of the material, and that it was all one piece!  And NO MOULD LINES AT ALL!!!

Yes indeed, nothing to assemble, nothing to file, chop glue, etc.  These are all right out of the baggies.

Basically you take them out of the package and start painting!

Now that is something I can definitely appreciate.  Usually these rarer kits (which Mike has focused on) tend to be available only as resin and metal kits.  While those are fine, you have to do a lot of prep work, and hope for a good cast.  Otherwise you are scalding yourself to bend parts, or gluing a metal barrel to yourself.

I could no believe how strong the material was, even though it was not heavy like resin.  Certainly not brittle either.  Resin and metal vehicles get quite heavy.

The turrets fit precisely in place.  There are options in many cases to have open hatches for tank commanders too!

Now for the tiny Panzer I.  This will really complete the early war German army, and look great with the rest of the armor.  Again, there was absolutely nothing to clean or file!  All the treads and drive wheels were perfect right out of the bag.

Another example of the turret.  I will also note that many of the vehicles come in other scales, such as 1/100 Flames of War.  That would be ideal for those times where you only need one vehicles to finish off a unit, etc.  

There are a  variety of scales, from 1/100 to 1/48.  As I mentioned before, these are 1/56 scale for Bolt Action.

Speaking of which, here is a comparison with a Bolt Action Panzer 38t from Warlord Games.  The scale seemed to match up perfectly.

The PZ 38t is nearly identical in size to the PZ II.  So, these will fit right into any Bolt Action army, with no need to worry about those scale issues.

Here are some more group shots that include a few infantry.  I am sorry that there is a quite a bit of color contrast between the two, but I wanted you to see the raw vehicles right out of the package, not primed grey.  That would have masked the original material, and made too many people think that they were classic resin.

Once more, here's the Panzer I on the left, and the Panzer II on the right for more size comparisons.  The PZ I was barely six feet tall, so I think it is just right. :)

This close up comparison of the Panzer II and 38t from Warlord Games gives you a better side to side view.  Keep in mind, there is no assembly, no mould lines, etc!  You can see how much more open the tracks and drive wheels are when it has all been printed, minus all of the resin bits that have to back fill such areas for casting purposes.

One more view.  There is an optional high detail material which can be selected if you are more of a scale modeler (there are plenty of 1/48 scale kits to choose from), and this white plastic choice is great for gaming purposes too.

If you are a Flames of War player, or a 20mm wargamer, there's a host of choices available to you to.  So be sure to check out the Arctic Skunk page on Shapeways!  

You will see me paint these vehicles in live facebook sessions, so stay tuned!!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Fire Support

Little Wars begins today!  I will be painting these Norwegian troops (28mm for Bolt Action) as well as the French Foreign Legion.  I enjoy painting both of these armies, since they are so different in appearance from the forces which I have been working on.

The Norwegians in particular have a unique look, even though the color is green.  

I know that for game purposes people tend to separate the machine gun team figures like this, but I enjoy creating these "mini dioramas" or vignettes.

The snow was done using the usual Secret Weapon Miniatures crushed glass technique.  This is very handy for creating a variety in the snow, such as a more melted look.  While other materials imitate fresh fallen snow very well, you can't have the range of partially melted to frozen solid!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

For Lease

This was a tricky sort of vehicle for me.  It was the first "American" vehicle that I have painted, but it was not a U.S. unit.  Rather, it is part of my buddie's British army.

That meant spending a lot of time researching the markings and insignia for British Shermans. I learned a great deal about the principles behind British markings.

The turret marking would designate it as a regular or command tank, and the number inside the shape is the number of the tank in that unit.

There were 4 basic shapes, and 4 different colors.  The numerical markings along the hull were devoid of the normal (USA) designation in caps.

The markings on the left and right of the hull would define the type of unit the vehicle was a part of.

I put the British roundel on the top of the turret, to let any passing Thunderbolt know not to strafe it or drop rockets on them!

As far as the painting goes, I was able to do a lot of fun subtle color changes with all of the greens. Some are warmer, or cooler, while others are more faded.  These limited palette exercises can be very instructional!

I know that some folks would get "bored" with an endless sea of green, but making that more interesting to look at is a lot of fun, and a great challenge.  It was also necessary to 'plan ahead', and make sure that I left myself plenty of room for the special weathering effects that were added later on.

This means keeping the colors lighter where I want to have strategically placed chipping and streaking.  The same goes for mud and dust effects, as well as the leaves, etc.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Snow in the East?

Here's another Snow Easterling for you.  It is always fun to paint figures in something that is not an 'official' color scheme, especially when that is completely the opposite of said scheme. :-)

I had a lot of fun with this, and it is very interesting to see how this exercise forces you to view that same figure you have painted so many times in an entirely new light!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Second Skin

You have already seen the review of the Rubicon Models Panzer 3 kit, and now it's time for the painted images!!  I thought it might be interesting to add this to my Hungarian army, with a camo scheme and identity markings that are different from what I have seen so many times.

It is also the first time that I have had a chance to paint one of the classic extra armor versions!

Those obviously create a lot of interesting weathering opportunities.  Lots of fun streaks, scratches, spatters and so on!  Here's a link to the live painting video on facebook:

I was able to put in lots of the dried leaves and dust, using the Green Stuff World leaf punch.

Here's part two:

Now for the really interesting part... the removable extra armor!  Yes, it all just snaps on, which means that you can completely change the look of the vehicle, or match your Bolt Action list!

A few more views show how that transforms completely.  Even better, they don't tear away at the paint when you remove them!

The 'regular' version, minus the extra armor.  I was able to do all the fun weathering on these sections of the vehicle too.

Here's a review of the original kit:

I used a variety of products on this, such as regular oil paints out of the tube, Wilder oil paints, and plenty of Mig AMMO products.

The first unit of the Hungarian army is ready for combat!!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Legion

The preparation for Little Wars is in full swing, and that means lots of French in sheepskin and anorac! I will be painting more of these figures in the Gorgon Studios booth, so come and see me there!

It is this weekend, at the Westin in Lombard, Illinois.

I really enjoy painting these figures, which are sculpted by the same artist from Artizan Designs.

Many more French Foreign legion on the way, as well as Norwegians for the Narvik campaign.