Sunday, January 31, 2016

"Growing Resistance" - New Enfilade Insurgents

Time to add some more shameless advertising for my own range of miniatures, after continous presentation of Elhiems great Soviet Range.

I´ve finally managed to invest some time into painting up some of my latest releases, a mix from the two new Insurgent sets.  Painted and put into a nice banner for my website.

If you´re interested in the minis click on the banner to go straight to the shop.
Beware though, the product pictures are not yet up to date as I need to paint the remaining three Insurgent figures - right now the product pics are looking rather ugly, but that is about to change very soon...

Saturday, January 30, 2016

"Push through!" - Soviet Infantry

This is the final post about Soviets in a while (unless I finish painting the Support Weapons or the vehicles) and actually, just more of the same.

Again, we see a mix of the two painting techniques - figures in the background and on the left are washed, the leader and the two men on the right are shaded without wash.

So, time for more background info:

I´ll be playing these Soviet forces in an attempt to get more playtesting for Regular vs. Regular engagements with Code Red, the modern ruleset that I am still working on.  Somehow playing Russians vs. USA does not feel as thrilling when set in modern times compared to a Cold War Setting.  Furthermore, I´ve long been invested in the setting emotionally (when starting Force on Force, I decided to play Afghanistan and not Cold War, but building up Cold War Forces was planned right from that time on, when I first re-entered wargaming in 2012) - and the British Units were already set up.

After finishing the infantry, more vehicles are required. I´ve already assembled some BTR-80 transports for my Motorized Infantry.

Apart from that, all I need to go hot is better terrain, especially some buildings for central Europe. I´ve seen some H0 railway model builds in action on another table I recently played on, and I think it´s a valid option to consider. They´re not 100% correctly sized, but they suit about right  - and with a slightly distorted ground-scale it could be a cheap way of building a nice table.

Friday, January 29, 2016

"Cease Fire" - Soviet Infantry

And we ´re back with more Soviet infantry!

Hope it doesn´t get boring?

By now you might wonder why there are so many rifleman but barely any support weapon.  Well...
Again, the available poses by Elhiem didn´t suit my taste. 
This time, I started sculpting some support weapons for real as the required investment was rather limited - I just need some RPKs, RPGs and Grenade Launchers, about 2 or 3 poses should to the job.

And the regular viewer should remember that I already posted pictures of these here a few months ago - in the meantime, the entire set was cast in metal and is ready to be painted - just didn´t finish them yet.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

"Spread out and fire at the barn!" - Soviet Infantry

Again returning to the main batch of Soviet Infantry.

I think I said all about the painting process of these, so today I´ll focus on the surrounding trivia about this force.

About a year ago I painted some British Cold War Infantry and some self-made East Germans, but somehow I don´t like my own figures anymore (they´re very early sculpting attempts and by now means compatible with my modern quality standards).

The growing discontent with these WarPac troops forced me to make a choice:  Resume playing with these,  pimping the forces or swapping for a different WarPac faction.
Option 1 was out due to the already mentioned discontent.
Option 2 would require either major investment (time and money) into sculpting new figures or purchasing new East Germans. Matt at Elhiem figures released some NVA troops last year, but they don´t suit my taste -  I can´t even tell you why.  It´s a mix of the helmets looking wrong and the fact that Matt has re-used the same dollies/poses one time to many on these guys.  I already have two lines with exactly the same poses  (Taliban + regular Insurgents)...   Combine these two and they are out of the picture. Sculpting also wasn´t an option as my priorites in 2015 did not include Cold War figures.
Though that does not mean that I´ll never sculpt my own NVA troops ;)

And Option 3 finally came along as an associate traded a small pack of Russians on very good terms for items that I didn´t need any more.  They formed the core of my new Soviet Forces  - and I just added some more.

That´s it for today!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

"Suppressive Fire!" - PKM Team

These were the latest addition to the Soviet forces, painted as the last batch after all the other infanrymen were finished.

On this team I tried to speed up the process somewhat and experimenting with a mix of painting shadows and washing. Instead of using pre-made washes, I mixed my own acrylic wash with the colors I needed and slapped them into the most recessed areas, carefully selecting the right color for the area i wanted to hit.
The more visible and "important" shadows are still hand-painted however, so these are hybrid figures, but finished within a single painting session  - and still looking good I think.

Next up: More infantry from the main batch.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

"Alfa - Advance!" - Soviet Assault Team

And here we go again:

On this picture we can re-examine the contrast between figures painted with different techiques. One the left, we have a single minis from the first batch (washed with oil) and three guys without washes.

On this picture, the contrast is less visible than in the command group.

Monday, January 25, 2016

"Initiate the Assault!" - Soviet Command Group

To demonstrate what I meant with the two different painting styles, here´s a side by side in the form of a Soviet command group.

The two figures on the right were in the first batch I painted using an oil wash over a basecoat-highlight. They are looking quite good, but applying the oil wash is always a bit of a mess, it stinks, needs a lot of time to dry and usually needs some cleanup afterwards.

The figure on the left is one of the later batches with shadows painted by hand. He´s missing the rugged, dirty look of his fellows, but the contrast is less stark on other pics, so I assume some of that is due to the lighting conditions.  You could probably invest some more time to improve the shading and give him a more realistic look.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Town Gossip

Hey folks,

I know it´s been a while since my last post and even longer since putting in content on a regular basis. I´ve not been idle in the last few months, but my output has been slightly reduced recently.

However, as I didn´t put anything here, there´s a batch of figures just waiting to be photographed and uploaded - and that´s exactly what I did this morning. So, I´m finally able to present to you the results of the last few months of irregular painting sessions throughout the next few days.

I´ll be starting today with a group of Elhiem Afghan Civilians, very nice minis and a pleasure to paint.

As I experimented with new techniques and painting styles, I found that the usual strategy of basecoating, washing and re-highlighting started to annoy me, no matter if the wash was oil wash or regular acrylic wash.

So I started manual shading, i.e. painting the shades with the brush instead, and I think I´ll stick to it. It gives so much more control over washes and allows me to use several hues of color on different parts of the minis. Some tutorials for traditional 2D-arts and some deeper understanding of color theory laid a solid foundation for these experiments - and I can only recommend the aspiring painters to delve into these topics, it will greatly enhance your painting!

My initial concern was that it might take too long to invest brushwork into hand-painting shadows. But after doing quite a large batch of figures without using any washes, I don´t think that´s true. The fact that you´re saving the entire step of re-applying the basecoat over your wash pretty much compensates for the time required to paint shadows.  Furthermore,  don´t have to wait for the wash to dry to continue working. 
It´s probably NOT an assembly-line technique for finishing an entire platoon in a day, but the end result looks much cleaner and better and you can finish even larger forces pretty quickly.

Throughout the next days, I´ll be showing you some Soviets, of which only 4 or 5 figures were painted with a wash before I switched to the other style. All of these were painted within a few painting sessions spread over about 2 weeks.

Stay tuned!