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Friday, 30 January 2015

SS Saturday?

I got to work finally on some of the SS models that I aquired.   Here is a series of photos of the first squad completed.  It's a squad consisting of a NCO with Assault Rifle, 8 rifles, and a MG42.

Then we have the Jagdpanzer 38 (t) Hetzer

The 3D Printed 6RAD from Shapeways

And finally the SdKfz 251/10

Until Next time, and a hopefully some more squads done!

Monday, 26 January 2015

The first 500 points done!

That's right ladies and gents, the first 500 points of my Burma army is complete! I've recently finished off the Lietenant, Forward Observer, sniper and MMG teams.

As you can see the army is coming along nicely, and I'm really pleased with the way the jungle plants are tying the force together. 
So, what's planned for the next 500 points? Well, that would be telling wouldn't it!
Needless to say it will involve a fair few crazy kukri wielding Gurkhas, a couple more Chindits, and an M3 Lee amongst others.

I will of course keep you undated as to the progress of the army, and you can always read more on my  Face Book blog, www.facebook.com/jezspaintingblog 
If you have any questions or comments then feel free to ask away in the comments. Enjoy!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Ace in the hole! US Marine Sherman

Hi Everyone, my latest piece is a USMC Sherman named Colorado, and is based on a vehicle that fought in the Battle of Tarawa, and today I'll talk a little bit of history, and how I built the model. 

For this build I had to make a few compromises, as no one makes the M4A2 variant used by the Marines (To my knowledge), and due to time constraints I was restricted in how much work I could do to modify an existing kit. As such I decided to use Warlords plastic M4 model, and remove the applique armour, partly as it was simple, and partly because it was a good excuse to add the plastic Sherman to my collection!

I picked Colorado as my subject as she had a particularly interesting history, landing on Red Beach 3 at Tarawa she was hit by an Anti Tank gun, but continued to operate, and even caught fire at one point. Never the less, she continued to function and by the end of the first day was the only functional tank of the 4 vehicles in 3rd platoon. More info about the Battle of Tarawa and the Shermans that took part can be read here at Tarawa on the web

The kit couldn't be simpler to build, and I left the .50 cal machine gun off as the real vehicle didn't carry one, and also added an  aerial from jewelers wire. 

I've left the hatches open as at some stage I'll have a commander peeking out. I completely assembled the model prior to painting, however left off the tracks and suspension until after painting was done. 

 To remove the armour plates on the sides of the hull and turret I used a fine razor saw to carefully trim them away, then sanded the area smooth with increasingly fine grades of sandpaper.

 To paint Colorado I first gave an overall coat of grey auto primer then left the model to dry for 24 hours. Once the primer had hardened I sprayed Vallejo 896 Extra Dark Green into all the areas of shadow and recess. After this I then sprayed 887 Brown Violet over the entire tank. On top of this I sprayed 886 Green Grey over the upper areas of armour plate, and also all the upper surfaces. I then mixed increasing amounts of white paint into the green grey and misted these onto the upper areas of plates and details to really make them stand out.

After giving the model a couple of hours to dry I Mixed up a glaze with Pledge multisurface floor wax and brown violet and misted this lightly onto the tank to tone down the highlights and key all the colours in. The model was again put aside to dry for a few hours.

At this stage I used a sponge dipped in some gun metal paint to apply chipping to areas of wear and tear, and painted the elephant logo and name of the vehicle on the side of the hull. Despite the pounding Colorado received the photo's don't show an massive amount of wear and tear, surprisingly, so I kept mine relatively clean, just a bit dirty and chipped. 

The tank was now ready for weathering, so I applied some very thin Burnt Umber Oil Paint into the recesses of the tank, and the next day used Vallejo 217 Desert Sand texture paint to add the dirt and grime, by painting it on fairly thickly then quickly whiping it away again to leave streaks of dirt on the areas of most wear. At this stage the tank was done!

As always more of my work can be seen here at Volley Fire Painting. Next time I'll aim to get my next squad done, and I'll talk about my squad weapons selections! 

Monday, 12 January 2015

Boot Camp, getting your army painted.

Hi Everyone, following my piece on assembling plastic figures here I'm now here to let you know how I paint my Marines, assisted by the second squad of my force. I didn't take step by step photo's due to time constraints, however I've broken down the instructions so that they are hopefully easy to follow!


I use Grey Automotive primer for all of my models. Others are available but in terms of resilience of finish and reaction to the following layers you can't beat it. There are many types available but I use one from a company called  SuperDec from my local hardware shop, and costs around £4 a can. 
 I find black or white primers create too much of a colour contrast  and can have an impact on the paints being used over the top, whilst grey is a balanced neutral base. 

Step 1
Ok, after priming your figure and leaving it 24 hours to dry, I now paint on all the base colours of the figure. For my Marines I use the following Vallejo paints. Green Grey for the Uniforms, Middlestone for the helmet covers and webbing, Mahogany for the boots and weapon stocks, and Brown Violet for things like Grenades, uncovered helmets and entrenching tool handles. I use Vallejo Medium Flesh tone for the skin. and Gunmetal for the metallic parts of the weapons.

Step 2 
Now that you've blocked in all the colours give the figure a coat of Army Painter Strong Tone Ink all over, apart from the skin. For the areas of skin I paint them with Army Painter Purple Ink.

                                    Step 3
After leaving the figure to fully dry, which can take several hours, go back over the figure with the colours used in stage 1, but restrict those tones to painting them on the raised areas, leaving the shade in the recesses. I'd also recommend not going back over the metallic areas again, as we will be making that almost black ultimately.  

                                          Step 4
Once you have done the base layers again mix in some white until you are happy with the contrast, I won't give ratio's or percentages as everyone's tastes are different and I tend not to be too precise about this anyway. Paint this over the highlight areas, but in smaller patches than you did with the base tones, the effect you are going for is to create a set of graduated highlights up to a very pale tone, by mixing increasing amounts of white paint in, and painting smaller areas of highlight. 

Step 5
Now you have the figure higlighted you can either stop here and go onto basing, or if you prefer use more inks and glazes to really bring the figure to life. At this stage I paint the flesh tones with a slightly watered down purple ink again, and use a paint Army Painter Green Ink  over the uniforms.
I also paint Soft Tone Ink over the webbing, boots and Helmet Cover, and Dark Tone Ink over the metallic parts of the weapons. One this is done leave the figure to dry again.

Step 6

Now that you have re-inked your figure you can go back over the very highest points of the highlights with your final highlight tone and this will make the figure really pop as you look at it. You only need to do the tiniest of points of highlight for this to work.


Step 7
At this stage I paint the camo pattern onto the helmet covers using Vallejo Yellow Olive and Flat Earth, and also do the eyes by painting them with the highest level of skin highlight, and then putting a dot of transparent blue paint in them. You can quite happily skip this step though as eye's can ruin a figure in my opinion if they are too large or visible.

Step 8

You can now base your figure! I'll talk about how I do my basing in a later article when I put my weapons teams together, but for now check out Jez's basing article.


Hope this helps, and you can contact me either here or through my work Facebook at Volley Fire Painting. You can also check out my reviews of new products on my other blog here

Brian's Late Start

Hello everyone, this is Brian, sorry I have not posted anything to the Blog as it was the holidays and everything, my kids made out like bandits, I got some socks and shirts.... but I digress.

My army is a bit different then the other's that are posting here.  Since I really have vast array of models from all nationality, I thought, why don't I help a budding player in my area and get his army completed.  So without further adieu, I would like to introduce you to the Waffen SS Army I am painting for my friend Sam Liebert.

Same sent me a mystery box chock full of infantry and vehicles.  I apologize for the dark pictures, but my office/hobby room is being used for storage that I am soon going to rectify.

First off we have Sam's Infantry.  There are about 50'ish soldiers, including a mortar, MMG team, and sniper team.  There is also a FT team in there and a mix mash of K-98 rifles, MP40's and STG44's.  The miniatures are a mix of Warlord Games Waffen SS and BlackTreeDesign Waffen SS.

Notice a few of them came off their base washers in transit, but that is to be expected after the long trip.

Next came the vehicles.  Sam gave me a Warlord Resin JgPz38t AKA the Hetzer.  The Barrel having taken damage in route of shipping, again, as expected.

Another vehicle that he included was the SdKfz 251/10.

Finally was a Early War 6RAD that he won in a tournament as best Axis General with a Donor army when he first got into the game.   Rough looking, I hope it comes out in the painting.

I shall now delve in and update my part of the Blog.  Keep your heads down.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

The Burmese Army nears it's first 500 points!

That's right everyone, the paint train has kept on trundling along and in the spare moments between Christmas, New Year and work I have virtually finished the first 500 points. Just an officer, FOO, sniper and MMG team to go!
So what have you got done then I hear you ask? Well I'll show you...
In this picture is the army so far. It now consists of the section I had completed before, and two more small sections which I can merge into one if I need to. There is also a section of 10 Chindits armed with rifles and a Bren should I wish to field it. 

The British Indian sections are painted in the same method as before, English Uniform base coat, Khaki webbing, turbans and back packs, black boots and green blanket rolls. 
These were washed in Army Painter Stong Tone and then highlighted with the original base colour, then done again with Skeleton Bone added to the highlight mix. 

The Chindits were done slightly differently as they wore green uniforms. 
The main colour was US Dark Green, with khaki webbing and backpacks, black boots and a mix of English Uniform and  Orange Brown were used for their slouch hats. 
This was agin all washed in  Army Painter Strong Tone and highlighted in the same way as the Indian sections. 
So, there you have it. I will post some more when I've finished the 509 points, and I may even post up a battle report too 
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below, and until the next time, enjoy

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Schnell, Schnell, Normandie!

Hey Guys,

Jamie here; and this is the beginnings of my 1st SS army! I think Andy and Jez really set the BAR (see what I did there,)  high for me and Brian this week: so be sure to check out their posts if you haven't already.

I thought I'd use my first post to take you through  the inspiration for the army, how I went about deciding upon a list and finally show my first unit. The first, and always most important, aspect of an army I look for is theme. I am not a power gamer, and the rich history of WW2 is what really gets me passionate about a project. I wanted to do a unique army that perhaps we do not see much of on the table. Warlord and Italeri were kind enough to oblige me with a theme with the recent release of the plastic Puma. This beautiful piece of kit was used by only a small number of units in Normandy, which is my primary interest after studying it at University. As I wanted to paint figures that would both push my skills and be fun; I decided on the recon regiment of the 1st SS.

So with this in mind I quickly opened my Armies of Germany and set about creating a list I thought would be both thematic and fun to paint. You can view it here! I've already mentioned that I prefer painting AFVs so everything in my army has space within a transport; and I couldn't resist adding a kubelwagen to really give it that recce feel. I made one unit within my army pioneers due to my research indicating there would be elements of a pioneer company within the reece regiment, and also because I didn't want my themed army to be totally useless on the table! Smaller units mean my short attention span shouldn't be too stretched. The next thing was ordering my army, I went directly to Warlord due to their high level of customer service, as well as quick dispatch time! A couple of days later I had the following (quite scary for a slow painter like me) piles of resin, lead and plastic waiting for me! There's a few spares in there incase I mess up, as well for if I expand later on.

And here is my first; humble, contribution to the blog. It's the unit of five guys with panzerfausts painted in a mixture of camo. There are two duplicates within the squad, however by painting them different camo, basing them different and also taking advantage of the warlord figure head system I think I have evaded my squad looking like something out of the clone wars. This unit is in my list for one simple reason: tank hunting. My main afv only has a medium AT gun, so I am hoping 4 panzerfausts will equal the playing the field. I see them as half of a squad, with the other half being my Assault Rifle unit.

I'm really bad at taking photographs so I am sorry about the poor quality. I have a new camera on the way which will hopefully help with this. I will also be able to take some video show cases of each squad; but this will wait until I have something more substantial to show. These guys have been abit of a learning experience for me. I have been forced to accept that for a force it is better to concentrate on units rather than individual figures; in the immortal words of fellow beardy, Andy Volleyfire;

"Dude you're painting a force stop worrying about minor things, stop stripping figures."

                                                  And from Jez;
"Dude you have a deadline, stick to it, no excuses."

As I scrambled about for stripper, and also an extension. I also have some wisdom of my own to share; I have recently taken to using cellulose thinners to stop metal figures. Do not ever do this on resin and plastic! I now have a melted kubelwagen, as I learnt this lesson the hard way. I have really enjoyed painting this unit though, and experimenting with bases; also I have found mixing colors individually for each figure means that each figure has slightly different shades. I like this; as it it shows different ages on the uniform. As the 1st SS in Normandy were a mixture of new recruits and veterans from the eastern front.I am also enjoying mixing camos to really capture the look and feel of an SS unit in battle.

My next installment for this SS force will be in a fortnight; I hope to have a couple of more interesting things to show you then. Maybe a hanomag, Definitely some some more SS infantry. But with me, who knows? Hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year!