Friday, October 14, 2016

Those Warlike Lads of Russia...

Hello again,
Just a quick one. As I mentioned before I have started playing Sharp Practice 2 for Napoleonic skirmish games. The rules are a lot of fun and that has got me motivated to get back to painting some Napoleonics.
These stoic chaps have been on my painting table for over a year sitting about 80% done. So I put in a couple of days to finally finish them off.

I give you the 1st battalion, New Ingermanland infantry regiment.


All the miniatures are Perry Miniatures plastics. They are lovely figures!

With this finished battalion I now have three complete battalions and a couple of artillery pieces and limbers completed. On the painting table I have another battalion at about 30% complete plus a unit of Russian Dragoons which I'm looking forward to painting.

I am still a long way off getting in a game of Black Powder with these chaps but Sharp Practice will keep me busy until then.

Oh after taking the photos I realized that I had attached the regiment flag upside down Doh!
Anyway I have spare flags so it was easily fixed.

Flags are by GMB designs by the way.


BTW if you're interested in the reasoning behind the title of this blog post check this out:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Ack! Ack! Ack! ( We come in Peace!)

We it has taken me nearly two years but I have finally got some paint on these Martians.

The Mantic Mars Attacks Martians are really nice miniatures that paint up very nicely however there are a couple of issues with them.

Firstly the Martians are made from a soft plastic type material that is called Restic (resin/plastic?)
This material is a bit of a pain to work with. Firstly when you look at the unpainted figure you may see bent rifles and warped bases which will not straighten no matter how much you try and bend them back. This is actually quite easy to fix.

You get two bowls of water, one holding boiling water and the other ice water. Using some pliers hold the figure in the boiling water for about 30 seconds. Then take it out of the water and using your fingers straighten rifles,bases etc. anything that is warped. The plastic has a memory in it and will easily bend back to the position it was in when originally injection moulded.
Then when satisfied with the final position (don't take too long) dunk the figure in ice water to set the plastic. You can do this several times until you are satisfied that everything is straight and in their original positions.

The next step in preparing the models for painting is removing the flash from the moulding process.
This was when the issues with restic material really stand out. Now generally with white metal figures or hard plastic i.e.. polystyrene, removing flash is a fairly straight forward process. Most of the flash can be removed by scraping the flash with the side of a scalpel blade. Any stubborn flash (particularly on metal) can be removed with a little filling using a small needle file.

Restic flash cannot be easily removed. You cannot scrap the flash off because the material tends to burr and not easily slide off. You also cant file the material as you end up with a rough finish.
The only way to remove the flash is to carefully slice it off with a scalpel blade. You have to be very careful to cut off the flash without cutting away part of the model. The scalpel blade must be really sharp to do this. Needless to say that this process can take a lot of time because the martians actually did have a fair amount of flash on then.

So after I had cursed and complained for an hour or so my miniatures were now straight and flash free and ready for undercoating. There appears to be some residual mould release coating on the miniature that can cause the undercoat not to adhere to the surface so you should clean the miniatures in warm soapy water with a gentle scrub of an old toothbrush.

Once dry I applied the undercoat. For this I used Vallejo undercoat medium applied with a brush.
I applied two coats and ended up with a nice grey base coated miniature. I almost never undercoat my miniatures in black anymore. Black obscures the detail and wrecks light colours. I used to use Black so I could get the black outline effect on my miniatures but I find that is easily achieved with a wash of Games Workshop Agrax Earthshade instead.

Below is the paints I used to paint my Martians. Most are Vallejo (excellent paints) with a couple of GW paints including the most important, the Agrax Earthshade wash which I use in about 99% of my painting these days.

The painting process was fairly straightforward. A nice neat straight paint job. No shading our highlights at all. Give the whole miniature a wash with Agrax Earthshade and when dry go back with the original colour and paint the highlights. Sometime I add just a little white to the base colour to give a final highlight.

Spray the whole figure with matt varnish spray  (I use Testors which is the best IMO) and then when it is dry you can attach the clear helmets. You will need to use PVA glue to attach the helmets. If you use styrene model glue or super glue you will fog up the helmets and ruin the effect.

Its time for you to die puny human!  Ack! Ack! Ack!!!