First of all a big apology for not having written for a few weeks. I’ve been moving house and between that and work I’ve really not had a second. Normal service is now resumed and first up is a bit of painting.
A couple of months ago my gaming group decided to give Dust Tactics and or Dust Warfare a go. I duly ordered a starter box of the Allies to have the basics to learn the game. This box contains the rulebook, a couple of squads of infantry and a walker. I’ll look into the rules and the game system in a later blog and give a full review once we’ve had a couple of games.
The walker and infantry come pre-primed in a mid-green. The Infantry are relatively nicely sculpted miniatures but suffer from a couple of problems. First the mould lines are very obtrusive and in the worst possible places sometimes. Around heads, faces hands where any attempt to clean them up will result in damage to the mini. These lines are made even more challenging to remove thanks to the second problem with the Infantry: They appear to be made from a side product of the Gummy Bear industry. While not as bad as the old Airfix / HAT plastic. This stuff is fairly awful. The ankles are a little too flexible and many of the weapons are bent. I managed to straighten out the guns with hot water the way one would with resin but after a couple of hours they had reverted to their bent state. This is a real shame as the sculpts are really good.
Moving on to the walker,or in the case of the Allies, Pounder, is made of classic hard plastic and is a magnificent sculpt and cast. No problems with mould lines, just a light scrape and they were gone. Why oh why were the infantry not made from the same material?
I started by re-spraying a dark olive drab onto both the walker and infantry. Partly to ensure I had a little more control over the colour and partly to ensure a good base coat. I put the infantry to one side to come back to later and I then gently sprayed a lighter colour onto each panel and surface on the walker. This was done with the same Olive drab mixed with a little Ivory. I did a couple more successively lighter tones into the centre of the panels and concentrating more on the upper surfaces
I then searched around the bits box for a transfer of a US star and even put out and appeal on Twitter but to no avail. So I decided to just freehand the two stars on either side of the turret. Once this was done I was ready to start the process of weathering and shading. first up was to give the whole model a light gloss varnish to help the oil paints move better across the surface.
Once this was done I mixed up some black and Raw Umber oil paint with spirits into a thin wash and applied this to all the panel lines and around all the rivets on the model. This is done slowly and carefully and is quite a time consuming process, but well worth the effort. Any excess wash is lifted off with a clean brush or a cotton bud. This is then dried with a mini hair drier.
Next stage is to mix a dark grey brown tone which will be used to represent worn and chipped paint. This is applied with an old piece of ‘blister pack sponge’ to get a random pattern. It is applied carefully to edges of panels, sharp corners and any area that I felt would be more subjected to wear and tear. I then added a little more with a fine brush to areas that would have been difficult to reach with the sponge.
Once I done this I started adding some areas of streaking and fading paintwork. This was achieved by putting a few dots of burnt umber and raw umber on areas of the panelling and blending the colour back into the base coat. I also used white for this. This process adds a bit of interest to the surface of the vehicle.
I next mixed up a little light grey acrylic and using a fine brush I stippled this onto the extreme edges of the areas I had previously sponged. This has the effect of areas where the bare metal of the vehicle has been exposed. These areas are then stippled with ‘neat’ burnt sienna oil paint which is then sprayed with pure white spirit. This could just as easily be done with a regular brush and just flooding these areas with spirit. This process has the effect of dispersing and dissipating the raw umber. When this has dried a little it is dragged downwards with a clean flat brush which is constantly cleaned with a clean lint free rag. A few more of these dots of burnt sienna and raw umber are dotted onto areas where rust or oil streaking may occur.
At this point the metal parts of the model were picked out with Vallejo Rust, mixed in equal parts, with black metal. Over this were added several layers of raw umber, raw sienna and burnt umber oil washes.
Finally the gun barrels were brushed with black weathering powder and various greys, greens and dark brown powders were brushed over the lower areas of the model to tie it into the base. Weathering powders are probably best dealt with in more detail in a separate article which I will attempt to complete this week.
I still need to finish off little details like the searchlight and petrol can.
The finished model, so far.
Next article then will be a bit more of an in-depth blog on using weathering powders and a few more step by step examples of the oil paint work broken down a little more to study the process in more detail.
Thank you for reading and as always if you have any comments or questions please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Alternatively you can contact me directly on twitter
Don’t forget to check out some of the excellent blogs in the side panels and have a look at the Dice Bag Lady’s page for the best hand crafted dice bags in the verse. If you need a gaming table, look no further than the ridiculously good Bendyboards and of course for all your game and mini needs the mind bogglingly quick, efficient and helpful Element Games
Till next time