Monday, August 22, 2016

Blitzkrieg Miniatures' M11/39 Tank

Another amazing AFV from Blitzkrieg Miniatures - the Italian M11/39 light tank. This model is spot-on as far as detail is concerned. I had to do very cleanup and some little additions (only adding the armored viewport on the right side and the tow hooks below the glacis plate). Details are sharp and crisp, with very little flash or excess resin. The MG turret hatch can be modeled open or closed and sits well in either position. I added a tank commander from the Warlord Italian Tank Crew pack.

As a departure from my normal single-color schemes for Italian tanks, I went with a hard-edged "dazzle" scheme of Testors Acryl Sandgelb (highlighted with VMC Dark Sand) and Testors Acryl Lichtgrun (highlighted with 50/50 Lichtgrun/White). I drybrushed the main colors in vertical strokes to mimic streaking from the weather. Rubber is Pavement washed with P3 Armor Wash and tracks are my usual Pavement, washed with Testors Acryl Rust, and drybrushed with GW Boltgun Metal. The mufflers are Dark Chocolate base with a wash of Testors Acryl Rust.

The tank commander is my custom "Telo Memetico" Blue, highlighted with Cool Blue, and washed with GW Asurmen Blue. Skintone is VMC Flat Flesh base, highlighted with VMC Basic Skintone, and then washed with GW Ogryn Flesh wash. Leather is VMC Red Leather base with VMC Orange Brown highlights, washed with Reaper Umber Shade.

The tank is weathered using pin dot oil weathering with some detail oil washes. Decals are Revell and GW. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Commission Work: 1/144 Il-2 Shturmovik

Following up with another commission piece for my previous work on the Flames of War Soviet Tankovy Company is this Battlefront 1/144 scale Il-2 Shturmovik. The client and I agreed on a scheme that would compliment the two-tone camouflage scheme of the tanks, while being suitably different. Oddly, as I was painting the underside of this model, the rear left stabilizer continually warped upward and I tried to solve this by both hot water immersion and clamping, which seemed to help a little. 

Upper surfaces are painted in a hard-edged two-tone camouflage of Burnt Umber and VMC German Camo Dark Green, with lower surfaces painted Reaper Ghost Grey. Bombs are Testors Acryl Green Drab, wingtips are Reaper High Density Candlelight Yellow and the nose is VGC Scarlet Red with a highlight of Flamenco Red. Windows are done via jewel effects of Admiral Blue, Cool Blue, and White flares. Panel lines are P3 Armor Wash and chipping is done using Testors Acryl Steel.

Decals are Battlefront.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Interwar/WW2 Kriegsmarine Infantry

For my first (non-vehicle) foray into German WW2 forces, I tried my hand at German Kriegsmarine. In addition to their naval operations, Kriegsmarine infantry units took part in land operations from Danzig, Narvik, the Channel Islands, to the final defense of Germany itself. This is the full line of Tsuba Miniatures' "Red Sailors" and they are absolutely beautiful miniatures, well worth the money. Though they are normally meant to portray the mutinous Reichsmarine units of the German Revolution following WW1, they are equally usable to portray interwar and WW2-era Kriegsmarine (as the uniform didn't change much with the transition). I also feel that their older weaponry (in particular the Mg08/15 LMG and Bergmann SMGs) is in keeping with the secondary status of the Navy within the Wehrmacht, especially after the abandonment of Plan Z to get them up to bar with the British Navy.

First, the plain nature of their uniforms is deceptive - navy blue is very difficult to paint properly. Highlights can often run "too blue" if mixed improperly and it's tough to achieve a proper balance between dark and medium blue hues. For these, I mixed a custom batch of paint consisting of Admiral Blue, Fenris Grey, and Pewter Grey. Highlights were done using successively lighter tones of Admiral Blue/Pewter Grey, and finally Admiral Blue/White. I then toned the transitions between highlights down with a wash of GW Asurman Blue and P3 Armor Wash. Collar tabs are Cool Blue and buttons (as well as sword hilts) are Reaper High Density Candlelight Yellow (an amazing paint!).

Enlisted men are denoted by their white caps and some men have white scarves. This was a base of Cool Grey; then washed with Secret Weapon Cool Grey wash, highlighted with Cool Grey, Reaper Ghost Grey, and finally pure White. I tried my damnedest to replicate the embroidered "Kriegsmarine" lettering on each cap brim with squiggles of Reaper High Density Candlelight Yellow.

The light mortar is scratchbuilt to resemble a Leichte Granatwerfer 36. It and the ammo boxes are VMC Violet Brown, highlighted with Reaper Worn Olive. Gunmetal is Pavement, with highlights of Pewter Grey and Cool Grey, then washed with P3 Armor Wash. Wood furniture is Brown Umber, woodgrain in Khaki, then washed with Reaper Umber Wash.

The awesome KM flag was done by my friend at Dzign House Graphics!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Syrian Insurgent Militia

These miniatures are a group of Insurgents/Rebel Militia from the current war in Syria. The miniatures themselves are from Empress in their Modern line and they are extremely well-detailed, to the point where it was slightly more difficult than normal to finish and paint them. The best part is, while each one is slightly unique, once painted they all meld together into a coherent group and I can't wait to get them on the table.

Unlike my normal posts, I won't go into extreme detail into how I painted every one of them, since each is painted slightly different. I did paint many of them in darker skin-tones. Light skin tones consist of VMC Orange-Brown base, VMC Medium Flesh midtone, VMC Flat Flesh highlight and GW Ogryn Flesh wash. Dark skin tones consist of Burnt Umber/Territorial Beige base, Territorial Beige midtone, and Beige highlight with GW Ogryn Flesh wash. All members also carry the same color tactical harnesses as well - Reaper Olive Drab base, Reaper Worn Olive midtone, and Reaper Worn Olive/White highlights. 

There is a mix of civilian clothing and camouflage styles as well. Camopedia was a huge help with the camouflage here - there is a mix of blue Security Force "woodland", Chocolate Chip desert, US desert tricolor, and Iranian woodland patterns.

The bases are done using premixed vinyl spackling, sand mix, and bitz box scraps. The dirty sand color is achieved using Territorial Beige base, Khaki midtone, and VMC Dark Sand highlight with a Secret Weapon Sewer Water Wash (love this color!). Rust effects are Chocolate Brown base, VMC Red Leather midtone, and Reaper Fiery Orange highlights.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Panzerkampfwagen 39H 735(f)

Another light tank I've been working on for my planned WW2 Germans, this is the Panzer 39H 735(f). This model originally started as the Neucraft Model's Hotchkiss H-39 and I want to take a moment to say that this is, by far, the nicest 1/56 scale model I've worked with to date. It comes in primary pieces - turret, body, and track/wheel assembly with separate pieces for the muffler, rear turret hatch, towing hooks, optional anti-ditching rail assembly, spare wheel, and a choice of either short or long main guns. All pieces are crisp, very well cast, and go together flawlessly. So flawlessly, I was able to leave the track assemblies off through assembly, painting, and weathering and simply popped them on once everything was glue necessary!

To make this model into the beutepanzer 39H, I removed the turret dome with a dremel and scratchbuilt a new German-style cupola from plasticard. I also scratchbuilt the stowage bin over the anti-ditching rail. The only flaw in this kit is that the anti-ditching rail is missing the two horizontal stabilizer bars on either side, which I added with plasticard rod. I also added some stowage, a tow chain (it looks over-sized because this tank is TINY - most 28mm figures will stand at the same height as the top of the turret), and a (probably ahistorical) jerry can.

I primed in Krylon Rust Red with White zenithal highlights, then airbrushed with Testors Acryl Panzer Schwarz Grau. The basecoat was then given a lightened drybrush in vertical strokes to simulate wear and staining from sun and rain. Worn items are my usual Pavement base color, Testors Acryl Rust wash, and GW Boltgun Metal highlight. Wood is Territorial Beige, Beige midtone, and Reaper Golden Blonde highlight. Bags are Territorial Biege and VMC Red Leather with a heavy wash of Secret Weapon Sewer Water. Wehrmacht helmet is VMC Green-Grey.

Decals are I-94 and Rubicon. I then sprayed with Kylon Flat and used pin dot oil washes overall for weathering, then detail oil washes for shadows and mud buildup. Finally, I weathered it with dry pigments.