Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Another Kickstarter on the List - Basius 2

I try not to get involved into to many Kickstarters, but good ones keep popping up. This one really has peaked my interest, mostly because of all the bases I need for my WWI Marines and the Amazons that will becoming from Crocodile Games sometimes soon. Now this is their second kickstarter for this product and I passed the first time, the shipping put it out of reach last time and I have regretted having to pass on it. This version is considerably improved so its high on my list of ones I want to jump in on.

Essentially these allow you to apply green stuff or milliput or a similar substance to a base and then press it into the "plate" and instantly create base texture. The "plates" are big so you could get a lot of original bases for a unit that are still similar enough to keep the unit looking like a unit.

I haven't committed yet but I think this one is worth looking at: Basius 2

This plate is double sided and measures 7"x7" with 6"x6" of usable surface area.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Kickstarter Loot! Bombshell Miniatures Counterblast

Another Kickstarter finally delivered, although to be fair they were only a month late which is practically on time in Kickstarter terms. They were held up by the plastic dome helmets that were produced in China, anybody that didn't have helmets in the order were probably delivered on time. 

Great minis and I have been eagerly waiting this bunch. I included one of the original miniatures from the line, Sally Starfield. She is one of the miniatures I have picked out for the competition at ReaperCon in April 2015. I wanted to start on a non-Reaper miniature for this just to kind of work up my skills. I have set some pretty lofty goals for the competition this time around.

Mostly I'm just looking forward to painting these.

Package in the mailbox!

Is there really anything in here?

Science Officer Helen Salinger

Lancer Sniper

Skip Westmoreland and Sally Starfield

Clear Domed helmets right out of pulp science fiction plus helmet rings

The Lancer Faction

Sweet stuff to paint!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

USMC 4th Platoon - Finished!

Wrapped up the 4th platoon tonight. Admittedly I was down to the easy stuff, a couple helmet touchups, a few grass tufts and then a coat of Krylon Matt. I think I need a bit of a break from the Marines. 45 Minis in three weeks is a pretty good pace.

4th Platoon in mixed uniforms

Great War Miniature

Great War Miniature

Great War Miniature

Brigade Games Marine

Great War Miniature

Great War Miniature

Brigade Games Marine

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

USMC 4th Platoon - Almost Done!

I went as far as I could with 4th Platoon tonight. Bases are finished except for the grass. I like to let the water dry before I apply the grass tufts. After that its just time for touchups and another 15 Marines join the force. I'm really liking the look of these Secret Weapon bases. I went for a charred, dead wood look to them and I think they are looking sharp.

Started the stumps off with Reaper Master Series Walnut Brown. I don't leave the house without this color.

They really stand out against the lighter brown soil I went with.

Stumps are finished and Blackened Brown applied as the outer finish. This is another Reaper MSP that I don't leave home without. Similar to Vallejo Model Colour German SS Camo Brown (I don't know the number off the top of my head, sorry).

Monday, September 22, 2014

USMC 4th Platoon

I did get a significant amount of work done on my Marines over the weekend. I was able to sit down and paint most of Sunday afternoon and evening. No post from Sunday as I didn't have any computer access, thank you Century Link. I also was able to spend some time on them this evening. If things go well I should be able to finish off 4th Platoon tomorrow.  I want to follow this up with some of the heavy weapons; MGs and Mortars. I may need to take a break though 45 minis in three weeks is a pretty good clip.

Started off with skin tones

I managed to punch through most of the uniform on Sunday and started working details tonight

4th platoon is another mixed uniform group, featuring Army colored jackets and Marine Corps Forest Green pants. I managed to get a lot of minis in the overcoats in this group.

Getting the first coat of paint on the bases. These are from Secret Weapon Miniatures, if I use them again I'm going to paint them first. They are pretty difficult to paint working around the minis. Although some soil color on the boots and pants will help everything blend in.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Painting a WWI US Marine

Some of this I talked about in my post almost two weeks ago; WWI USMC Weekend Work New Uniform Color. So there is some repeat information here.

The US Marines made up only a small portion of the AEF that deployed to Europe in 1917. The 5th and 6th Marine regiments along with the 6th MG Battalion made up the 4th Brigade of the US 2nd Division. The Marines entered the fray in their P1912/1917 “Forest Green” uniforms. These are very similar to the US Army uniform from the period differing primarily in the style of the pockets and of course the buttons all had the EGA symbol on them. Pershing refused to allow Marine replacement uniforms to complicate the already difficult logistics situation so the Marines were issued with US Army uniforms when they needed new ones (and not necessarily the whole uniform, sometimes just the pants sometimes just the shirt). He actually ordered the Marines to completely switch to the US Army uniform but based on the accounts I have read I don't think this actually happened. Essentially veteran Marines ended up completely clothed in Army uniforms by the end of the war.  However, Marine replacements continued to be sent over in their Forest Green uniforms creating a very rag tag look to the Marine regiments.

One of the objections that Pershing and the US Army had to the Marine uniform was how similar in color it was to the German Feldgrau uniform. My first attempt to represent this was with Vallejo Olive Grey and Feldgrau, mixed at 1:1 for the base coat then highlighting and shading from there. This gives a reasonable representation and in reality there probably were Marine uniforms close to this color. Quality control is not high on the list at this time and there was a fairly wide variation in uniform colors. But I really wanted a color a lot closer to the way the uniform is described. Kristopher Battles, a US Marine combat illustrator had taken a number of color pictures of Marines wearing WWI uniforms for some sketches he wanted to do and these were published on his blog. One of the two uniforms featured is pretty much spot on to the color I wanted to use.
I'm going for the uniform on the right, but with the helmet color on the left. The uniform on the left looks very brown, but in some of the photos in the fields it looks very green.

I experimented with some color mixing on my own but I couldn't quite get what I was looking for. I reached out to my friend Anne Foerster and asked if she was willing to take up the challenge. Getting a yes answer I sent over the pictures and she responded in less than 15 minutes with a series of colors to try. Being head of the Reaper paint department these were, of course, Reaper paints and since I had them in hand I gave it a try. She pretty much knocked it out of the park on the first try. There are two variations both of which occur in the shade coloring. At this point I can't really tell the difference although when the light is right Uniform 1 does appear a bit more brown. Here is what I’m working with:

P1912/1917 Uniform, Variant 1                                    P1912/1917 Uniform, Variant 2
Reaper MSP 9064 Brown Liner                                    Reaper MSP 9065 Grey Liner
Reaper MSP 9082 Jungle Moss                                   Reaper MSP 9082 Jungle Moss
Reaper HD 29834 Field Grey                                       Reaper HD 29834 Field Grey
Reaper MSP 9090 Misty Grey                                      Reaper MSP 9090 Misty Grey

I usually work from my shade color up. For Variant 1 I mix the Brown Liner 1:1 with the Jungle Moss, this gives the shadows a browner look. For Variant 2 I substitute the Brown Liner for the Grey Liner, this gives a blacker shadow. Seriously use what ever you have on hand the difference is not great enough to see unless the light is right and you know what you are looking for. If I was going to pick one to work with all the time I would go with Variant 1 primarily based on the various pictures of Marine uniforms that I can find on the web. Most of these uniforms tend to have a bit of a brown cast to them. I do like the new variants better they come a lot closer to looking like our right hand uniform.

Here are the variants
There are four uniform color variations here. The difference is a bit more apparent here Uniform 2 does seem to be a bit darker than Uniform 1 in the group photo. From left to right; 2012 Vallejo Version, 2014 Vallejo Version, Variant 1, Variant 2, Variant 2 in mixed uniform.

The is the original done in 2012. I used the Vallejo Olive Grey and Field Grey as my base coat. These I worked up and down rather than from my more usual working from dark up.

This is one I did when I decided to post on the LAF for the Great War Paint Club. Its still Vallejo Olive Grey and Field Grey but its a bit greener. I used Vallejo Olive Drab as my shade color

Here is our Uniform Variation 1 using Brown Liner and Jungle Moss as the shade and working up.

Here is Uniform Variation 2 using Grey Liner and Jungle Moss as the shade and working up.

This is a mixed uniform but uses the Uniform 2 base.

My steps are as follows:
Step 1    Brown Liner 1:1 w/ Jungle Moss
Step 2    Jungle Moss
Step 3    Jungle Moss 1:1 w/ Field Grey
Step 4    Field Grey
Step 5    Field Grey w/ Misty Grey as desired for highlighting. I have found that a 1:1 with these two is about the highest highlight you should use. A little Misty Grey goes a long way!

Belts and such can be various shades of drab and khaki as desired to suit you, some of the belts I have seen have quite a bit of green in them so really if you have a combination you like I would continue to use it

My Skin tones tend to go through a lot of changes but I’m quite happy with the current one:
Step 1    Reaper HD 29821 Sunburn
Step 2    Reaper MSP 9259 Bronze Shadow
Step 3    Reaper MSP 9260 Bronze Skin
Step 4    Reaper MSP 9261 Bronze Highlight

Those are quick and dirty steps and quite frequently I use 1:1 mixes between the different colors as I work my way up from the shadow to the highlight. To ease transitions I will glaze things back with Sunburn. Although for a dirtier look I have used Reaper HD 29849 Umber Brown (and this color is not yet released, it is part of the Reaper BONES II Kickstarter, sold my soul for this one) as a glaze instead.

I have also found the FOW Brown Shade 200 (this is a re-branded Vallejo product, it might be one of their washes) to be quite useful for a quick wash across anything that would benefit from a little depth, in particular anything done in the drab US Army colors.

But for those of you who want to know everything these are the colors I’m using for the various bits (I don’t necessarily stick to this all the time, variation is a good thing):

Belts, pouches, backpacks and dusters
Vallejo Green Brown (879/114) or US Field Drab
FOW Brown Shade 200
Reaper MSP Green Ochre 9128 + a bit of whatever I used as my shade
Now to get some variation so everything doesn’t blend together to much this where things deviate

Reaper MSP Green Ochre 9128 2:1 Reaper MSP Faded Khaki 9129

Belts, pouches and backpacks.
Reaper MSP Tanned leather 9031
Reaper MSP Tanned leather 9031 1:1 with Reaper MSP Khaki Highlight 9123

Reaper MSP Uniform Brown 9127
FOW Brown Shade 200
Vallejo Green Brown (879/114) + a bit of Reaper HD Field Green 29834

Reaper MSP Muddy Soil 9244
Reaper MSP Basic Dirt 9245
FOW Brown Shade 200
Reaper MSP Brown Sand

Reaper MSP Harvest Brown 9200 + a bit of Reaper MSP Ruddy Leather 9109
FOW Brown Shade 200
Reaper MSP Harvest Brown 9200

Helmet Strap
Reaper MSP Ruddy Leather 9109

Reaper MSP Jungle Moss 9082
FOW Brown Shade 200
Reaper HD Field Green 29834 2:1 Reaper MSP Jungle Moss 9082
Glaze with Vallejo Olive Drab 889/

I think that’s it!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Another USMC WWI Wednesday - Finishing 3rd Platoon

I know this has gotten strung out a bit so I finished up the 3rd Platoon tonight. Tonight's work consisted of catching some of those little details that sometimes get forgotten at the end like buttons and buckles and the hoses for the respirators. This kind of work just seems to take forever! But I finished the details up and then applied the grass tufts to the bases. After that little step I dismounted them from the bottle caps (and immediately mounted 4th Platoon on those caps). I grabbed 1st and 2nd Platoon and got everything ready for a quick flat coat. When I sealed 1st Platoon, over a year ago, they came out a bit shiny. Since I was going to be sealing I grabbed them, dusted them off and put them in the lineup. So now I have 48 finished Marines all sealed and ready to go. Once 4th Platoon is finished I'll move on to the support weapons.

Here's tonight's work:
Here you can see the instant water after its dried. Has a really nice "wet" look to it.

3rd Platoon all "tufted" up

A Bomber

Rifle Grenadier

Rifle Grenadier


Rifleman, will get some NCO stripes later


Sho-Sho Ammo Carrier (for the French Chauchat Automatic Rifle)

Sho-Sho Gunner (This is the Brigade Games version. Its grossly out of proportion, the The Great War Miniatures version is much better)

4th Platoon, mounted up and ready for some paint.