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Together we stand

Together we stand

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Project Blog by bluehealer

Recommendations: 105

About the Project

In part inspired by #lockdownleisureleague, in part by the discussion on XLBS regarding time periods we want to play, this is my first foray into historical and in particular the North African WW2 campaign.

This Project is Active

Let the paint flow!

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
1 Comment
  1. So after finally deciding I should stop wasting time mucking around on the internet, time to actually start laying some paint down!

First step was priming with GW Zandri dust.

This was then followed up my two tips I originally picked up from the OTT team

  1. Zenithal highlighting
  2. The power of using acrylic inks (thanks Gerr)
Under coat of zandri dust.Under coat of zandri dust.
White ink zenithWhite ink zenith

I have a love hate relationship with airbrushing. I bought one due to having one too many priming issues…..however I haven’t used it for that purpose here.

At times it seems like a miracle tool, at other times a nightmare of clogs, overspray and “splatter” ruining a paint job.

I did plan to try and go on a face to face lesson/workshop this year but COVID put pay to that. (I think the issues are my end of the trigger!)

However with 40 odd figures to paint I think getting a base coat down of the uniform colour would help. After cursing myself about not properly cleaning my airbrush after its last outing (lesson learned!) I home brewed an airbrush friendly version of Iraqi sand.

Another youtube “top tip” was using shot glasses to thin your paint….consistency is key and getting right before it goes into the airbrush is much easier this way. Thanks internet!

Your aiming for it to look like Your aiming for it to look like "milk" and a swirling action will highlight if it's too thick (that equates to airbrush night mares)
Iraqi sand over 40 miniatures....saved a tonne of time this way.Iraqi sand over 40 miniatures....saved a tonne of time this way.
Base coat coloursBase coat colours

Base coats went down using the following

Iraqi sand (V) for touch ups.

Abaddon black (GW) for boots and gun metal

Corvus black (GW)  for beard

Chocolate brown (V) for gun stock

Rakarth flesh (GW) for webbing.

English uniform (V) for water bottle and “coat” in backpack

Idrian flesh (P3) for skin

Khaki (V) for socks

The skin then got a layer of P3 brown ink, where as the uniform webbing,socks and gun got a dose of agrax earth shade.

Some highlights to the uniform with first

Iraqi sand (V) and then Ushanti bone (GW) were then in order.

The skin was highlighted with first another layer of Idrian flesh (P3) and then Khardic flesh (P3)

The webbing was hit with some rakarth flesh again and then some white Ink was added to it to make it a touch lighter.

I added some flat earth (V) to the gun stock (not sure of this was a good move) and then some leadbelcher (GW) to the metallic bits of the gun (just a tad…not too much)

The beard was highlighted with some adminstrarum grey (GW) and some celstra grey (GW).

With that I glued it to a base and called the test model done.

Paint scheme research. Ethnic skin tones.

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
No Comments

The next challenge was to work out how to paint non caucasian skin tones.

Again to the internet……and in the first instance to the OTT discord channel.

They pointed me to the the first video discussing paint from P3

 

 

Idrian flesh seems to be a key component…

The next video I found on painting ethnic skin tones also swore by it.

Seems like it works well in conjunction with one of P3s inks…..looks like ill be buying merch again (sadly not from OTT….sorry guys)

Paint scheme research: 8th army uniforms

Tutoring 2
Skill 2
Idea 3
No Comments

Next step was to try and work out how best to tackle painting.

A can of Zandri dust seemed the obvious first step as a primer, as I’d already used that on the bases….but what next? As always when faced with a question ……to the internet!

Colour photography was in its infancy in WW2 so most reference photos are in black and white……not the most useful when trying to pick colours.

There are some peope now going back and converting these black and white photos into vibrant technicolor through witch craft and wizardry.

Not sure of the accuracy but still I think a useful reference

Paint scheme research: 8th army uniforms
Paint scheme research: 8th army uniforms
Paint scheme research: 8th army uniforms

The other resource I have to hand is the rather fabulous FoW “Colours of war book. I know its designed for smaller scale figures, but it is amazing! It covers all sorts of modeling and painting techniques, and then has really in depth paint schemes for ww2 and ww3 armies complete with colour lists.

For those bemused with unit markings/logos/insignia it also covers how and where to apply decals that might come with your kit.

I got a copy from some guys in Northern Ireland who run a really good webstore (#buymerch)

https://store.ontabletop.com/product/colours-of-war/

There is also a handy “preview” of the content here.

 

You tube also turned up a few painting guides. The above is great and also for me made me go….dont worry 100% about using the “right” colour, and feeling free to mix and match paint ranges.

Finally there are some painting guide on the internet.

They are only a google away but for completeness the ones I found most handy were here.

https://www.valhallagames.net/index.php/downloads/download/6-paint-guides/13-british-infantry-8th-army

http://www.artizandesigns.com/guides/British8thArmyWW2.pdf

Assembling an Empire

Tutoring 2
Skill 2
Idea 3
No Comments

In between waiting for various stages of the bases paint jobs to dry it was onto building the models.

New glue (more on that later), clippers and a nail file (caution your wife may give you strangle looks when mannicure equipment suddenly starts being posted through your door)New glue (more on that later), clippers and a nail file (caution your wife may give you strangle looks when mannicure equipment suddenly starts being posted through your door)

This is the first time I’ve assembled anything from warlord.

The detail is great and there is lots of variety available in terms of heads and equipment.

I must confess that Ive probably been spoiled by using GW plastics in the main.

There was a lot more clean up required hence the nail file (much better than a metal file on soft plastics IMHO) but the main issue I had was with the position of the mold lines.

They run down the middle of the figures and are often over some fine detail making getting rid of them at times tricky or impossible without taking out detail.

Say what you like about GW prices but sometimes you pay for what you get.

The instructions for the plastic bren carriers are also now very old school when compared to what GW will provide and the best order in which to attach things tool a bit of trial and error.

Assembling an Empire

Again I would recommend using child labour.

My eldest is now up to weilding some clippers in anger. Seemed to keep him happy, and more importantly……start them young!

Id run out of my normal plastic cement so got some Tamiya clear plastic cement via a well known online supplier.

Now this seems to be considered the bees knees by some but I struggled slightly with it.

Might be the plastic might be the glue, might be me…who knows. The contactg time to set seems a bit longer to what im used too.

Main issue was the F%$£” backpacks. Think this is a design issue with the contact between the backpack and the models back being quite small…..they kept coming off and resulted in surges of blood pressure.

Confession time: Ive never played bolt action so I’ve gone with the rule of cool with weapon load outs. 10 man squads with 1 SMG and 1 LMG seemed about right…..who knows?

Assembling an Empire

The officer I equipped with a trusty Webley revolver.

The sprue comes with a pistol holster but due to a magazine pouch it didnt fit well onto the belt, so some clipping/carving action was required.

Finished assembly. Finished assembly.
Arranaged by 10 man squad. 1 sikh head option, 1 punjabi head option, 1 tin hat option then some random mortars and officer escorts.Arranaged by 10 man squad. 1 sikh head option, 1 punjabi head option, 1 tin hat option then some random mortars and officer escorts.

The circular warlord bases come on a sprue. Rather than cut them all out I’ve kept them in strips of 5 and mounted the miniatures using “blue tak” to make priming in batches easier.

I’m going to cover the assembly of the metal artillery pieces, a 6pdr and 25pdr field gun later.

They too caused some premature ageing but thats another story.

Assembling an Empire

Tutoring 3
Skill 3
Idea 3
No Comments

In between waiting for various stages of the bases paint jobs to dry it was onto building the models.

New glue (more on that later), clippers and a nail file (caution your wife may give you strangle looks when mannicure equipment suddenly starts being posted through your door)New glue (more on that later), clippers and a nail file (caution your wife may give you strangle looks when mannicure equipment suddenly starts being posted through your door)

This is the first time I’ve assembled anything from warlord.

The detail is great and there is lots of variety available in terms of heads and equipment.

I must confess that Ive probably been spoiled by using GW plastics in the main.

There was a lot more clean up required hence the nail file (much better than a metal file on soft plastics IMHO) but the main issue I had was with the position of the mold lines.

They run down the middle of the figures and are often over some fine detail making getting rid of them at times tricky or impossible without taking out detail.

Say what you like about GW prices but sometimes you pay for what you get.

The instructions for the plastic bren carriers are also now very old school when compared to what GW will provide and the best order in which to attach things tool a bit of trial and error.

Assembling an Empire

Again I would recommend using child labour.

My eldest is now up to weilding some clippers in anger. Seemed to keep him happy, and more importantly……start them young!

Id run out of my normal plastic cement so got some Tamiya clear plastic cement via a well known online supplier.

Now this seems to be considered the bees knees by some but I struggled slightly with it.

Might be the plastic might be the glue, might be me…who knows. The contactg time to set seems a bit longer to what im used too.

Main issue was the F%$£” backpacks. Think this is a design issue with the contact between the backpack and the models back being quite small…..they kept coming off and resulted in surges of blood pressure.

Confession time: Ive never played bolt action so I’ve gone with the rule of cool with weapon load outs. 10 man squads with 1 SMG and 1 LMG seemed about right…..who knows?

Assembling an Empire

The officer I equipped with a trusty Webly revolver.

The sprue comes with a pistol holster but due to a magazine pouch it didnt fit well onto the belt, so some clipping/carving action was required.

Finished assembly. Finished assembly.
Arranaged by 10 man squad. 1 sikh head option, 1 punjabi head option, 1 tin hat option then some random mortars and officer escorts.Arranaged by 10 man squad. 1 sikh head option, 1 punjabi head option, 1 tin hat option then some random mortars and officer escorts.

The circular warlord bases come on a sprue. Rather than cut them all out I’ve kept them in strips of 5 and mounted the miniatures using “blue tak” to make priming in batches easier.

I’m going to cover the assembly of the metal artillery pieces, a 6pdr and 25pdr field gun later.

They too caused some premature ageing but thats another story.

Turning oreos into desert....

Tutoring 5
Skill 4
Idea 5
No Comments

Next step is to try and turn these into something that represents arid landscape rather than something a dodgy builder has drilled out of your wall.

First step was to hit them with a primer, namely GWs zandri dust

Following a prodigious dose of primer, time to try out a technique picked up from youtube during lockdown one.

Based on the video tutorial I used these to make up my own batch of Based on the video tutorial I used these to make up my own batch of "indestructowash". It might seem a bit expensive to invest in ink and medium but in the long run this is WAY cheaper than some off the shelf wash. Apologies but this image wont seem to embed in its intended orientation. Just tilt your head!
The finished product. Mental note....dont have a cup of tea or coffee near by when using it.The finished product. Mental note....dont have a cup of tea or coffee near by when using it.

Employing a set of tweezers the bases took a quick dip and were left to dry.

TOP TIP: Leave them to dry on something like a piece of plastic. AS theyve been dipped in something containing PVA they will want to stick to what ever you place them on. Paper or cardboard are a recipe for having to spend time peeling that off from the bottom…..learnt that the hard way

Turning oreos into desert....

Now the bases are well and truly solid they received a liberal dry brush of first vallejo dark sand, which brightened them up, but they weren’t quite sandy enough so they then got a dose of ushanti bone from GW.

The whole dipping and dry brushing is a lot quicker and easier without a figure attached. I’m planning to add them later once they are painted

And with that I’m calling them done for now.

I will probably come back to them later for some foliage and other details but I think they actually look good enough for table top standard for now

It's all about that base....

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
No Comments

To quote  the OTT team….”bases and faces” are key to a nice looking army.

The starter came with 25mm warped bases, but again following advice from Warzan himself, miniatures need “heft” and a metal base equates to magnetic storage solutions….

2ps were order of the day but with COVID causing everyone to be cashless I was struggling to source any. Time for plan b!

So some you tube action suggested our American cousins often use “fender washers” (I think they mean bumper washers for those that speak the Queens English!) for miniature basing.

With a dearth of metal circle dials that display the Queens face on the horizon it’s time to see if these colonials are onto something.

Although in assured these washers are zink plated, to minimise the risk of them rusting and ruining someone’s nice gaming table a liberal coat of primer to seal the washers was first job of the day

Evil Polo mints!Evil Polo mints!

Next step was to seal up the holes. An empty bottle of soft drink kindly laid down its life to provide some bits of plastic and super glue did the rest.

Next it was time to make some Oreos!

Slathering some wall filler onto the bases provided some texture. Madness I hear you cry.....but wait there is a reason!Slathering some wall filler onto the bases provided some texture. Madness I hear you cry.....but wait there is a reason!
It's all about that base....
Metal figures  tend to have a small metal Metal figures tend to have a small metal "puddle" foot print as seen here
With a layer of wall filler, the With a layer of wall filler, the "puddles" of metal on the miniatures bases stand out less  and also provide some texture...but you can never have enough.
As you can never have too much texture, next to slather on some of this from GW. For extra randomness I recommend employing your 5 year old child to help As you can never have too much texture, next to slather on some of this from GW. For extra randomness I recommend employing your 5 year old child to help
First stage of the project done, next onto painting them upFirst stage of the project done, next onto painting them up

Buy Merch!

Tutoring 2
Skill 2
Idea 3
1 Comment

Who knew the constant reminders from OTT to “buy merch” might make me click onto their website when looking for hobby goodness to get this project off the ground.

Warlords bolt action range does an 8th army starter set, which represents great value for money and even more so when its discounted by your favourite Northern Irish hobby retailer.

Arrived promptly with the mandatory love hearts, as per usual.

First impressions were “wow” thats a lot of stuff. This starter offers an insane amount of miniatures. There is a lot of building and painting ahead!

Inspiration and background

Tutoring 2
Skill 2
Idea 4
No Comments

Having sat and listened to the XLBS chat regarding periods of history that they would like personally to build an army for, I decided to take my first steps into the world of historical gaming.

I’ve always been fascinated by World War II but in particular the conflict in North Africa. Its often overlooked in comparison to the European fronts, but this was for the majority of the war the main theatre for commonwealth troops.

It truly was a “World War” with troops from Britain, Australia, New Zealand, France, Poland, Czechoslovakia India, Nepal, Canada and Greece allied against those from Germany, Italy, Vichy France and its colonies on the other.

As well as a myriad of options for a rich variety of troops, its also a great period for a variety of landscapes. Terrain varies massively across North Africa from Desert to Mountain, to coast line. It all makes for an abundance of options for a wargamer!

One of the best books I’ve read on this aspect of the war comes in the form of “Together we stand” by James Holland, well worth a read for those who haven’t picked it up.

The other theme I enjoy is the concept of man verses the desert, not just soldier verses soldier. This probably stems from films such as Ice cold in Alex and Sahara and both also touch on the multinational nature of the conflict

The red eagle

Tutoring 2
Skill 2
Idea 4
No Comments

One of the things I wanted to portray was the multi-national nature of the troops fighting during this period.

In choosing how to portray this on the table top and trying to “theme” my army I’ve decided to try and base my force on the 4th Indian Division.

This particular group of troops were involved in many of the decisive moments fought by Commonwealth troops from 1940-1945

From Operation Compass, the conflict in East Africa, Cyprus, Tobruk, both battles of El-Alamein, and then onto Italy and Monte Casino, they give numerous options for getting your models onto the table.

I’m going 28mm so that also opens up weird war II in the guise of Konflikt 47 too!

Always a fan of getting as much bang from your buck as possible.

This division had a mixture of troops from around the Commonwealth, not just “India” giving scope for throwing in a wide range of models.

Of note not all “Indian” troops are Sikhs in turbans, something I’m keen to get across on the gaming table…..even if it does upset some historical “sticklers”