Two offerings from Der Kampfflieger.

January 5, 2014

From another company called Der Kampfflieger, I have for you a British Dingo Scout Car and a German Panzer Jager I.  Both come in 1/72 scale so sizing does not need to be done.  Both models were easy to build but both had their problems.

The scout car is only about 1.25″ long.  That is problem enough!  Everything about the card was pretty straight forward.  There was one part of the fender that was printed on the wrong side.  Nothing that a touch of bleached bone paint couldn’t cure though.

The Panzer Jager I was easy except for the gun assembly.  I ended up building the gun barrel out of plastic and adding the muzzle break from a bit of toothpick.

Dingo Scout Car and Panzer Jager I.

Dingo Scout Car and Panzer Jager I.

Dingo Scout Car and Panzer Jager I Side.  The scout car wheels are on loose.  Notice the back wheel is slightly "off".  The axle went in crooked.  I am probably going to remove it and adjust.

Dingo Scout Car and Panzer Jager I Side. The scout car wheels are on loose. Notice the back wheel is slightly “off”. The axle went in crooked. I am probably going to remove it and adjust.

The inner works of the PZJgr-I.  The model was pretty easy to build but the gun was a pit of a pain.  I could not roll the barrels so I ended up getting two sizes of plastic rod from the local hobby shop.  1/16" is the top rod and something smaller is the bottom.  The gun is not exact but is close enough.  The bell at the end of the gun is cut from the end of a round toothpick.

The inner works of the PZJgr-I. The model was pretty easy to build but the gun was a pit of a pain. I could not roll the barrels so I ended up getting two sizes of plastic rod from the local hobby shop. 1/16″ is the top rod and something smaller is the bottom. The gun is not exact but is close enough. The bell at the end of the gun is cut from the end of a round toothpick.

Again, the models were quite inexpensive at about $3.00 each from E-card Models.  Print and build as many as you like!  The Dingo took about 2.5 hours to build but the PzJgr-I took something along the lines of 6.5 hours.  Good thing I don’t need to many of those!  As with any photography, some of the imperfections immediately showed up in the shots.  I assure you, the tanks look way better in person, especially from 3 feet away.

Panzer Jager I

Daimler Dingo Scout Car


1/72 Scale WW2 Vehicles in Paper

December 1, 2013

I’ve been experimenting with some World War 2 paper vehicles.  I have made several now and would like to show the results.  I’ve purchased so far from two companies and found one item free on the web.

From left to right: Matilda MkII, Universal Carrier, Stug III, Panzer III

From left to right: Matilda MkII, Universal Carrier, Stug III, Panzer III

First up is a diorama offering from Best Paper Models.  The item comes with a Matilda and a Panzer III.  These tanks were pretty easy to put together.  Simply adhering to some paper modeling “best practices” and you could get these together in about 4 hours each.  This includes, cutting, gluing and touch up painting.  The results are quite nice.  A side note, I felt that the colors were a little bright so I toned them down, making the Panzer III a bit more tan and the Matilda a bit more earthy.  The latter’s colors were clearly influenced by the Matilda at Bovington.  The gun barrels are supposed to be rolled paper.  I managed to roll the Panzer III gun barrel pretty easily.  The Matilda gun barrel is a simpler piece and should have been even easier to roll.  However, for some reason I could not roll the paper into a gun barrel for this model.  I used a toothpick instead.  The last thing I want to mention is that these models are actually 1/87th scale.  I pasted them into a PNG file.  The graphics are actually very high resolution.  I had to shrink the files to 28% size.

On a side note, I did look up measurements for the vehicles just to make sure they were close to scale.  I use www.wwiivehicles.com for most of my needs since the web site owner has done most of the research for me and even lists his sources.  All measurements varried but the Matilda II varied the most, especially with the length of the vehicle.  The difference between the smallest and largest measurement was something like 3 feet!

Matilda and Panzer III from the side.  Note the solid tracks.  No cutting out bogey wheels.  Just one solid foldable piece.

Matilda and Panzer III from the side. Note the solid tracks. No cutting out bogey wheels. Just one solid foldable piece.

The second purchase was from paper Tiger Armaments.  These vehicles are very nice.  The coloring is, perhaps, not quite as nice as those from Best paper Models in terms of texture and detail but a very good model never the less.  There are more details in parts, especially in the track area.  I was not up to the task of assembling the tracks a wheel at a time so I used the tracks from the PZIII from BPA.  I recolored them further to give them a near match to the PTA Stug.

Stug III with tracks from the BPA Panzer III.

Stug III with tracks from the BPA Panzer III.

The final model is a Universal Carrier from J. Friant and is available on his web page.  This was a pretty easy model to build.  There is a good bit of white space in the interior when you look down and at an angle into the drivers compartment.  This can be fixed with some appropriately colored paint.  The coloring scheme is very basic so it would be easy to re-skin it to anything you like before printing.

Universal carrier with the solid track option.  There is also a detailed track option similar to the PTA tanks.

Universal carrier with the solid track option. There is also a detailed track option similar to the PTA tanks.

Final Thoughts

Paper tanks can be slow to build.  I suspect that the process can be somewhat sped up by building multiple tanks.  I have not tried it yet though.  At 4 hours per tank, this is probably a bit slower than preparing some of the quick build plastic models for the game table.  The advantage is the cost.  You can purchase a tank image for $2 to $5 via the web and then build as many as you need.

Best Paper Models Matilda and Panzer III in North Africa

Paper Tiger Armaments Stug III

Universal Carrier from J. Friant


Someone brought a cave troll!

February 11, 2013

We turn now to some of the heavy hitters of Middle Earth, the Trolls.  These are all metal figures and are actually from the Westwind Dwarf Wars range.  Unlike the LotR Trolls from the movies, these are muscular and seem to be more wiry.

Dwarf Wars Unarmed Ice Trolls make a great looking LotR troll for 1/72 scale figures.

These Trolls are actually scaled for 28mm.  Once you get a handle on the rank and file, monsters are easy to fill in.  Sometimes, a 28mm monster works perfectly.

Trolls (rear)

Trolls (rear)

From left to right, Legolas, Gimli, Sam, Troll, Goblin.  They look about right with the Troll being about twice as tall as a man.

From left to right, Legolas, Gimli, Sam, Troll, Goblin. They look about right with the Troll being about twice as tall as a man.

Notes:

The Trolls were undercoated in black and painted Bronzed Flesh.  They were then washed with Wonder wash Dirty Dark Brown.  Then the skin was highlighted with Bronzed Flesh again and then Elf Flesh.  Like most of my bad guys, the eyes were painted Red.  The fur is painted Scorched Brown and highlighted with Beastial Brown.  I think I need to highlight the fur one more time…maybe with a lighter color.

The figures were bought from war Web as they have 20% off of all Westwind and Old Glory products.  You could gain even more savings if you bought into the old glory army.  $50 will get you 40% off all products at Old Glory products for 1 year.  I don’t so I went with the next best thing.  The cost of 4 figures is $12 so each figure is $3.  In a skirmish game, 4 trolls is plenty.  In an army game, maybe not so much.

Westwind Trolls


Now without further due…The Goblins of the Misty Mountains

February 11, 2013

Our next entry into the LotR 20mm realm is Goblins by Goblin Factory.  These were originally made to compliment other 28mm figures.  The Goblins are quite small so compared to a 28mm human, they work out well for that purpose.  However, they also look good as a full sized Orc next to a 1/72 scale humanoid.  This is fantastic news especially since Goblin factory has an extensive range of Goblins including Goblins on Wargs.

Goblin Factory Goblins come in like packs.  these are the Armored Spear Goblins.  They are what you would expect.  Goblins with spear and some with shield.  The one second from the right clutches his spear with 2 hands making an excellent candidate for a standard bearer.

Goblin Factory Goblins come in like packs. these are the Armored Spear Goblins. They are what you would expect. Goblins with spear and some with shield. The one second from the right clutches his spear with 2 hands making an excellent candidate for a standard bearer.

Spear Goblins (side)

Spear Goblins (side)

Spear Goblins (rear)

Spear Goblins (rear)

Sword Goblins also have six different poses.  The one with crossed swords would make a good commander.

Sword Goblins also have six different poses. The one with crossed swords would make a good commander.

Sword Goblins (side)

Sword Goblins (side)

Sword Goblins (rear)

Sword Goblins (rear)

Goblin Archers are unarmored.  They also come armored but I thought unarmored gave a better look for archers.

Goblin Archers are unarmored. They also come armored but I thought unarmored gave a better look for archers.

Goblin Archers (side)

Goblin Archers (side)

Goblin Archers (rear)

Goblin Archers (rear)

The Warg Riders are where the range really shines.  There are riders with axes, swords, spears or even bows.  Mine are 1 set of unarmored  spear and 1 set of command (3 per set).

The Warg Riders are where the range really shines. There are riders with axes, swords, spears or even bows. Mine are 1 set of unarmored axes and 1 set of command (3 per set).

Warg Riders (side)

Warg Riders (side)

Warg Riders (rear)

Warg Riders (rear)

The finally set of pictures is the Goblin Shaman pack.  3 different poses and, likely, power levels of Shamans come in this pack.  One is rather ordinary, carying abig stick and pointing.  The middle Shaman has a torch.  An adventurer perhaps.  The Shaman on the left is a bit bigger, hunched over and has a vulture or buzzard on his shoulder.

The finally set of pictures is the Goblin Shaman pack. 3 different poses and, likely, power levels of Shaman come in this pack. One is rather ordinary, carrying a big stick and pointing. The middle Shaman has a torch. An adventurer perhaps. The Shaman on the left is a bit bigger, hunched over and has a vulture or buzzard on his shoulder.

Goblin Shaman (side)

Goblin Shaman (side)

Goblin Shaman (rear)

Goblin Shaman (rear)

Notes:

These figures are metal.  They are some of the first 20mm figures I painted and the first Goblins I’ve painted in a long, long time.  The skin is like that of the Mordor Orcs. GW Bubonic Brown over Black and a wash of Snake Bite Leather.  Then lightly highlighted with Bleached Bone.  Tunics are mostly white and bleached bone as a wash.  Leather stuff is Snake Bite Leather again and Chestnut Ink as a wash.

These figures are all metal and, as you might guess, don’t come cheap.  The packs of 6 foot are about $7.50.  That puts us over $1 per figure.  Wargs and riders are about $8.50 per 3 figures.  They are very nice sculpts and the look is fantastic when painted up.  They are great for skirmish gaming.  Cost of this group is $17 for the Wargs, plus $15 for the melee, plus $7.50 for the archers and $4 for the Shaman.  $43.50 total.  A hefty some for 21 Infantry and 6 Warg Riders.  When you consider that GW plastic boxes are going for $30 these days (6 Plastic Wargs for $30!)  you realize that a comparable sized force in 28mm is $60.  Perhaps not quite the savings we had with the rebel Minis Orcs and Dark Alliance Orcs.  Should you wish to go another rout, Dark Alliance has just released 2 new sets of Warg Riders.

Goblin Factory Goblins

Dark Alliance Wargs These figures will probably cost about $15 for 12 figures.  They are not widely available yet.


The Fighting Uruk-Hai

February 9, 2013

I did a bit of photography today.   The second of the two major players is Saruman’s Uruk-Hai troops.  These are by Dark Alliance.  The box comes with 45 figures in 5 sprues.  There is a small issue with this setup.  Each sprue has a musician and a standard bearer.  This is not all bad however.  The standard bearer can be converted to a spearman by clipping away the standard and adding a spear of course.  as well, the extras can be used with Rebel Minis Bag o’ Orcs which have no musicians or standard bearers.

Uruk Hai (Front)

This is the 9 figures that come with 1 sprue of Uruk-Hai. There are several figures with shields, 1 that is shouting a battle cry, 1 with a standard and 1 drummer.

Uruk-Hai (side)

A side view of the figures.

Uruk-Hai (rear)

The one view you will rarely see from these guys on the battlefield.

Uruk-Hai regiment

The regiment deployed. 20 figures in all.

Notes

The skin of the figures was painted with GW Dark Flesh over a black base coat and highlighted with Vermin Brown.  The armor is Bolt Gun Metal dry brushed over black.  Boots and other leather bits are Snake Bite Leather with Chestnut ink washed over the brown.  The figures are made of medium consistency plastic.  they come with almost no flash but like all plastic figures, the mold lines have to be reduced.  I used a sharp blade to scrape the lines.  Several of the figures are very reminiscent of the LotR Uruk-Hai from the movie.  There is one figure in particular that holds the irregular rectangular shield on his left hand and several have the broad flat blades.

The figures cost $14.95 for a box of 45.  That means each figure is about 33 cents each.  When combined with the rebel minis Bag 0′ Orcs you can build my Mordor regiment (20) for about $17.50.  You can also build 2 regiments (18 each) for $6 each or a total of about $12.  So 3 regiments total would cost $29.50 for 56 figures.  Not bad at all.

Tracking down the manufacturer’s website is a problem.  They are for sale at Hobby Bunker.


Mordor Orcs (So I changed it up a bit!)

February 9, 2013

Last time I said I’d do the Goblins of the Misty Mountains.  Frankly though, it is easier to do the Mordor Orcs.  Fewer pictures and all.  Plus, the next instalment will be along really soon.  I promise! So here we go.  These Orcs are by rebel Minis.  They are the Bag o’ Orcs line.  originally, they were to be part of an extensive line of 20mm miniatures.  Probably, they were made with the budget conscious gamer in mind.  The orcs retail for $12.50 for a bag of 16 which puts them at about 78 cents each.  The sculpts are very good for their size and they come with very little flash or mold lines.

Mordor Orcs Front

This group comes with 16 Orcs in 8 different poses. There is one pose that there is only a single pose and another that is tripled.

Mordor Orcs (Side)

Side view of the same figures.

Mordor Orcs (Rear)

Rear View of the Orcs of Mordor.

Mordor Regiment

Regimental view. I goofed up the photo. I should have snapped it higher up so you could see the back three ranks.

Notes:

4 of the figures in the front are from the Dark Alliance Orc Set 1.  These are perfect for both Mordor Orcs and Uruk Hai.  I painted all figures as I did with the Goblins.  Using older GW paints I painted the skin bubonic brown over black undercoat.  I washed them with snake bite leather.  The armor is dry-brushed bolt gun metal over black.    Leather bits are snake bite leather and chestnut ink.  The Dark Alliance figures were added for a command element.  They are inexpensive figures but are really nice for the price.  more on these figures in my next installment.  The Uruk-Hai.

Figures by rebel Minis: Bag o’ Orcs

Quick comparison.  The Orcs themselves are metal and cost about 78 cents each.  Other companies make 28mm Orcs that start at $2 per figure and go up to $4 or even $5 per figure.  So these are not so cheap, BUT they are not $5 per figure either!


The Fellowship of the Ring in 1/72 scale

December 15, 2012

For those of you who are budget conscious, I will be posting the results of my quest to make Lord of the Rings characters and armies in 1/72 scale.  It has been a challenge so far, but with all of the new figures coming out, including some fine fantasy figures by Caesar Miniatures, the challenge is not impossible.  First up I have for you the Fellowship.

The fellowship arrayed.  Front Row: Merry, Sam, Frodo, Pippin Back Row: Boromir, Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas, Gimli

The Fellowship arrayed. Front Row: Merry, Sam, Frodo, Pippin Back Row: Boromir, Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas, Gimli

Merry and Sam.  Same is painted with similar colors as the Sam in the movie.

Merry and Sam. Same is painted with similar colors as the Sam in the movie.

merrysam2

Merry and Sam (rear)

frodopippin1

Frodo and Pippin. Frodo wore dark colors in the movie. The only thing missing on this figure is a cloak. Both Merry and Pippin have cloaks.

Frodo and Pippin (rear)

Frodo and Pippin (rear)

Gimli and Legolas are both painted similar to the movie characters.

Gimli and Legolas are both painted similar to the movie characters.  I was pondering if the Hobbits were too short or if Gimli is too tall.  I think mostly it’s Gimli.  he should be about 4 1/2 feet tall.  He should also be about a head taller than the Hobbits. He is considerably taller than that.  He looks to be about 5 feet compared to Legolas who should be quite tall as an Elf.  However, the Hobbits are a bit small as well.

Gimli and Legolas (reverse)

Gimli and Legolas (reverse)

Boromir and Aragorn are also very similar to the movie characters.  There was another character with a bow that could have been Aragorn as well.  I thought this one was better since he had a two-handed sword.

Boromir and Aragorn are also very similar to the movie characters. There was another character with a bow that could have been Aragorn as well. I thought this one was better since he had a two-handed sword.

Boromir and Aragorn (reverse)

Boromir and Aragorn (reverse)  Boromir’s shield actually comes from a set by MiniArt,  The Late Roman infantry box.  This set has extra shields both round and oval.

Gandalf the Gray.  This is an obvious knock-off of the movie Gandalf...as was the Legolas figure.  Not that I am complaining mind you!

Gandalf the Gray. This is an obvious knock-off of the movie Gandalf…as was the Legolas figure. Not that I am complaining mind you!

Gandlaf the Gray (reverse)

Gandalf the Gray (reverse)

Notes:

Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas, and Boromir all come from Caesar Miniatures Adventurers set.  Gimli comes from the Dwarves set.  No Dwarves are included with the Adventurers set at all.  The Hobbits are from Chariot Miniatures.  Assorted Hobbits with swords.  the set also comes with 2 Hobbits with shields.  These would work well as Merry and Pippin armed for battle with Rohan or Gondor.  The discription on Magister Militums website says some come with helmets.  Mine did not.  I got 8 figures.  2 of each pose.  I am not sure helmeted hobbits exist.

The cost of any Caesar Miniatures set is about $10.  The bag of metal Hobbits was about $5.  So for $25 I got the entire Fellowship, and enough Dwarves to make an entire Dwarven army.  But more on that later.  Note that the Caesar Adventurers set also comes with about 8 other poses.  Some Barbarians, a few female types, an armored warrior who would make a pretty good Prince Imrahil and the previously mentioned ranger with a bow who I plan to make Faramir.  To put this cost into perspective, you can find a box of metal Fellowship characters for about $22 on Amazon.  You almost certainly can get them on Ebay for a similar price.  However, you will have only 9 figures for your trouble.

Next up, the Orcs…er…Goblins of the Misty Mountains.


What color should I paint my Goblins?

March 17, 2012

Goblins are green right?  GW and others have asserted this notion over the years to the point of making it cliché.  The original Dungeons and Dragons (First Edition) says they are red, orange or yellow.  According to J.R.R. Tolkien, they are sallow, a sickly yellow.  On TMP, I asked this very question and folks there gave some great answers and even posted some wonderful examples.  The thread can be found here.

Here is the method I came up with.

  1. Clean your figures up as usual (remove flash etc) and prime with black primer.
  2. Use a base color of Bubonic Brown (All of the paints here are GW paint)
  3. Wash the figure with Vomit Brown. (I later used Snake Bite Leather as a wash because the Vomit Brown was too light and orange)
  4. Dry brush the figure with Bubonic Brown again.
  5. Dry brush the figure with Desert Yellow.
  6. Finally lightly dry brush the figure with Bleached Bone.
  7. Add other details as you see fit.

The recipe above is for the skin only.  The black gave the Bubonic Brown a green hue.  It does not look yellow-brown at all.  The desert yellow reinforces the green hue.  The bleached bone brings out the highlight.  If I did it again, I’d skip the Vomit Brown and just do the Snake Bite Leather wash at the end.  The wash ties all the colors together nicely.

Goblin Factory Swordsmen. They paint up nicely. The first item painted was actually the armor. The flesh was second and the fine detail last. Red eye, tongue and white teeth make these figures look pretty sinister. Very LotR.

Goblin Factory Archers. Similar in scheme to the Goblin Swordsmen. These figures had no armor so they were a bit easier to paint and painted up a little faster.

The Goblins are by Goblin Factory.  The web address is here.  I understand he is having web issues.  It is better to order via e-mail at this time.  GF usually attends HMGS East Conventions.

My goal here is to find as many 1/72 scale figures that are suitable for LotR skirmish gaming.  These make fine Orcs/Goblins in LotR.  There are even Goblins on Wargs!  So, the forces of evil are well represented.


1/72 Scale Painting Tutorial

December 9, 2009

INTRODUCTION

So you want to get into miniature gaming but you don’t want to spend a lot of money. Well, have I got a deal for you. That deal is 1/72 scale plastic miniatures. In recent years, with the escalating cost of metal, plastics have become more and more viable for wargame figures. Often called “true 25s”, these figures typically stand about 24mm tall from the sole of the foot to the top of the head. So why buy plastic figures?

  1. Very inexpensive. On the average, you could buy one 28mm figure ($1.50) or three 15mm figures (50 cents each) or seven to eight 1/72 scale figures (21 cents each).
  2. Better visual impact. 1/72 scale figures are larger and give a better feel for skirmish gaming. They are small enough to paint easily but still look great on the game table.

OK. So you are probably thinking that this is too good to be true. There must be a down side. There is.

  1. Plastic figures are hard to handle when it comes to assembly and prepping. These figures are usually made out of a kind of plastic called Polyethylene. Paint and glue just won’t stick to this kind of plastic. Fortunately, there are some special primers and glues that alleviate these problems.
  2. Choices can be limited. If we equate the 1/72 scale plastic figure industry to a life span, I would say it is an adolescent. There are lots of choices out there but some of the ranges are conspicuously missing. Only recently, for instance, has anyone bothered to make Fantasy Figures. Caesar Miniatures has a rather nice range now.
  3. Quantity of purchase. You have to purchase in somewhat sizable numbers. Boxes typically come with 48 infantry or 12 cavalry. Perfect for massed battle games but not so much for skirmish games.

So have I scared you off? If not, read on!

PREPPING AND TOOLS

This is my first serious foray into the world of 1/72 scale plastic figures. I have not painted these figures in a long time (perhaps since 1975!) and even then it was only to get the faces and belts painted on. Back then, we were always bummed about how our hard work would flake off after a few days. It was a very real problem with figures made of polyethylene plastic.

Today, there are several new tools and methods for getting around the problems associated with plastic figures. So before we begin the prepping process, lets discuss what tools to use and what tools not to use.

  1. Sprue cutter. You will need a sprue cutting to remove the figures from the sprues. I have a pair from Games Workshop. They are a little bit expensive at about $20 but they only need to be purchased once.
  2. Hobby Knife. Often called an X-acto knife, this item is nothing more than a surgeons scalpel. I use a straight triangle blade not a curved one. This is important. The narrow point is useful for getting into the hard to reach places of the figure. The knife will be used to remove the mold lines and excess flash.
  3. Primer. This is a special kind of paint that is used to prep a surface to receive regular paint. I use Valspar plastic primer. It is clear so I also use a white primer. Mine comes from Armory. There are plenty of brands to choose from. You only need regular primer it if your plastic primer is clear. Krylon also makes a white plastic primer. I could not find it in my area but you may have better luck.
  4. Plastic Glue. I found, in the United States, that the only plastic glue that can be used on Polyethylene plastic is Loctite All Plastic Super Glue. It is essentially a primer stick and a glue tube. You primer both surfaces to be glued ith the primer stick. Then you apply glue to one of the surfaces and hold together for 15 seconds. I’ve had good luck with this product.

You will not need a file. This is a common tool that is used on metal and even hard plastic figures. They are not good for the softer plastic figures though. Filing soft plastic figures will only shred the surface and cause more harm than good. It is best to avoid files.

Now it is time to prepare the figures to be painted.

First, I cut the figures off of the sprue. I’ll be painting one sprue of figures at a time so I don’t get bored from repetition.

Next the figure needs a bath. That’s right. Some hot soapy water is needed to remove the mold release agent. I soaked my figures for about an hour and then rinsed them under cold water for 5 minutes.

The figures need to have the mold lines and flash cut away. If you see any mold lines or flash, simply and gently scrape the lines off with the hobby knife.

Then I added a 20mm square base to each figure and glued on any shields that needed to be attached. The plastic glue does work equally well on metal surfaces with plastic.

Now I am ready to prime. I sprayed on the Valspar primer first making sure every surface was covered. This requires turning the figures on the sides to get underneath. After the Valspar primer dries, I prime again with Armory white primer. I let the figures dry overnight.

So far the primer and paint bends with the soft plastic and none of the paint cracks. The plastic primer is holding. So far so good.

PAINTING

Now that we have cleaned and primed the model, we are almost ready to paint!

Before we start, here are a couple of basics.

None of the painting techniques I do is really difficult. If things are not exactly perfect and straight, don’t worry. You are usually looking at a model from 3 feet away or more. You won’t notice the imperfections.

I will be using a base color, a shade color and a highlight color on all parts of the miniature.

Base colors are the general color of the object being painted. You need only cover the whole object with the base color. Pretty simple really.

The shade color is either a darker version of the base color or a premixed color from a paint system like GW, Vallejo, Foundry, Armory, Reaper or others. The idea is to paint the color into the folds of fabric or low points of the model to help bring out the detail.

The highlight color is the opposite of a shade color. It is lighter than the base color. The idea is to dry brush on or paint it on the high points of the folds and details. This will really make the detail “pop”.

For small objects like faces, I will usually paint the whole thing a shade color and build it up with a base color followed by a highlight color. For larger items such as cloaks or tunics, I will paint a base color first, then paint in the shade color and dry brush on the highlight color. If the highlight does not come out strong enough, I will the paint on the highlight (not dry brush) in small areas to make it even stronger.

Dry brushing is a technique where you dip a brush in a highlight color and wipe as much of it off as you can. Then you gently paint the high points of the object in question. I usually wipe the brush bristles by pulling them out of a paper towel over and over. I do this 10 times. That will remove most of the paint. Make sure you are using an old brush. I use a flat brush about 5-7mm wide for this technique.

Watering paints down helps with the flow. Sometimes, you might need a couple of coats to cover the area with thinned paint but usually the results are worth it.

Well…enough theory! Lets get painting!

First I will paint the face. I use GW paints. For the face I used Dwarf Flesh for the shade, Bronzed Flesh for the base color and Elf Flesh for the highlight. Given the small size of the model, I might have been better served using dark flesh for the base to bring out the detail of the face. Then I could have used Bronzed Flesh and Elf Flesh to do the raised surfaces.

Next I will do the tunic. As this is a Roman officer, the tunic should be Dark Red. I used Scab Red for the shadow, Red Gore for the base and Blood Red for the highlight. Why oh why does GW have to be so violent with their names?

For the cloak, I decided to make it a rather common color. I used Bubonic Brown for the base color. For the shadow I used Snake Bite leather. For the highlight I used Bleached Bone.

Now it is time to color the leggings and shield face. I used bleached bone and skull white for a highlight. I figured since they are such flat surfaces, no shade color is needed.

Next, I will do all the metal pieces. I used Chaos Black to blacken the metal and Bolt Gun Metal to make the iron pieces a dark silver color. I used Shining Gold to hit the frame of the Spangle Helm, the belt end and the hilt of the sword. I was careful to let some of the black show through to dark line the more regular edges of the equipment.

Finally, I used Snake Bite Leather for a base color of the shoes and Bubonic Brown for a highlight. Again, not so much in the way of detail here but I could use a line of Scorched Brown to liven up the belt.

At this point I have a completed figure. I added a couple of interesting features. First, I added a white stripe to the hem of the Officer’s tunic. It was a simple thing to do but adds some character. Next, I added a cross to his shield. Not just any cross but a form of the Chi-Rho, which is a Latin Christian cross, a popular shield device in the Roman military of the time. I used Blood Red, Chaos Black and Skull White. The black is painted on first giving the general shape of the device. I used the Skull White as a primer to paint red. This gives a nice bright shield device.

Now it is time to finish the base of the figure. I used medium strength dry wall compound (plaster) that I had left over from a home project…that’s still not done. I mixed some brown craft paint with the compound and spread it on the base. After the compound is dry, I painted the figure’s base the same brown color as I mixed in with the plaster. I then glued on some pea gravel and static grass using a little PVA glue.

Finally, I sealed the figure with Krylon Crystal Clear followed later by Krylon Matte Finish. Once this was dry, I dry brushed some Golden Yellow on the grass to make it a little less boring.

SOME LESSONS LEARNED

I am using 1/72 scale figures for two reasons. First, they are inexpensive. Each figure costs less than a 15mm figure by half or more. Second, the visual impact on the table is almost as nice as the more expensive 28mm counterparts. However, several things I do to paint 28mm figures just don’t translate well to 1/72 scale figures.

Highlighting and shading generally work with 1/72 scale figures but some of the smaller objects on the figure require a stronger/darker shade color. With the example figure in this article, the detail colors on the face just don’t pop out as well as they should. I might try experimenting with dark flesh as the shade instead.

There is a technique for quick shading with a product called magic wash. It is something that you can make yourself. The stock, depending on who you talk to, is made up of a small amount of Future floor polish and water. I mixed mine with 1 part Future to 4 parts water. Others will swear by a 1 to 1 ratio. Both seem to work well. Then you mix about 10-15 drops of stock to 1 drop of paint or ink. Then paint this over your figure and, hopefully, the ink will seep down into the details of the figure leaving the high points light. You can do this over a figure painted in only base colors with good results. I use this method on my 15mm armies when I want to get a lot of figures painted in a relatively short time. I paint a base color on all parts and finish it all off with a wash.

I have not tried this method on 1/72 scale figures as I don’t think there would be a lot of benefit. Plastic figures in this scale tend to have soft detail and the ink make not flow correctly into the cracks and crevices. I may experiment at some point but for right now, I will stick to highlighting and shading.

IN CONCLUSION

I have found that 1/72 scale figures are very easy to paint. With very little effort, I was able to paint a very inexpensive figure with a durable paint job. These figures will be a nice addition to any body’s gaming table. So if you are on a budget and want miniatures for your games, perhaps 1/72 scale figures are for you.

ABOUT OUR SUBJECT

According to Phil Barker, Romans of the Late Empire wore off-white tunics and trousers of undyed wool, usually brown, off-white or gray. This soldier is an officer. Barker believes officers should have red tunics, white trousers and mustard brown cloak. This officer is probably a line officer of some renown. He wears a spangle helm with gold fittings. This is a symbol of his wealth or a gift from the King whom he serves for heroic deeds. Barker also believes that the plume should be red. I thought that might make the figure look a bit boring so I left it white.

This figure is from HaT Industries Late Roman Medium Infantry set.


Song of Arthur and Merlin figures in 1/72 scale

April 30, 2009
Pictured here are my first sets of figures form Song of Arthur and Merlin.  The figures all have a good Dark Age Britain look.  The unarmored Roman infantry is by HaT.  The armored Roman infantry and the Germanic Warriors are both by MiniArt.  HaT clearly makes fine figures.  MiniArt has some molding issues and the detail is not as good as it could be.  All of the figures, otherwise, fit the semi-historical Arthurian legend pretty well.
These figures exceeded my expectations.  The detail is good and the quality is very nice.  Very little cleanup was required.

These figures exceeded my expectations. The detail is good and the quality is very nice. Very little clean-up was required.

These figures were ok.  The figures themselves are a bit larger than the HaT figures.  The detail is a little soft and there was a fair amount of cleanup to be done.  The look is really good.

These figures were OK. The figures themselves are a bit larger than the HaT figures. The detail is a little soft and there was a fair amount of clean-up to be done. The look is otherwise really good.

These figures match the size of the Germanic Warriors pretty well but the detail is pretty vague.  There was a large amount of cleanup to be done.

These figures match the size of the Germanic Warriors pretty well but the detail is pretty vague. There was a large amount of cleanup to be done.

Now that I have these figures, Newline Designs has announced that they will be producing a set of Late Roman figures and another of Goths in 1/72 scale.  As I am not completely satisfied with the MiniArt products, I will be looking at the Newline figures to see if they will work with HaT figures.


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