Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Red Army World War 2 Support Weapons

Following on from the rifle and sub machine-gun squads, here are some images of the new 28mm WW2 Soviet support weapons and teams that I recently finished sculpting for Eureka Miniatures. 

First up is the PTRD 1941 anti-tank rifle with two-man crew. With a calibre of 14.5mm, the PTRD was a single shot bolt action weapon which was very widely distributed in the Red Army. 

Next is the classic Maxim PM 1910 machine-gun also with two-man crew. Carried along on it's Sokolov wheeled mount and easily recognisable with it's fluted water jacket.

And finally there is the M1940 50mm mortar. This was one of a few different light mortar designs issued to infantry units of the Red Army. 

...and here are all three teams together, plus a couple of the arcane reference books that came in handy while researching this project. I mean, what library would be complete without a copy of Know Your Antitank Rifles?

I'm on a bit of a roll with this whole WW2 Russian thing so you folks can expect this range to expand. I also have more post-2000 figures in the works too, and maybe even some scale modelling posts coming up.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Red Army World War 2 in 28mm - Eureka Miniatures

When Nic Robson asked if I was interested in sculpting a range of World War 2 Soviet troops to coincide with the Stalingrad mega-game that Mike Parker of Battlefield Accessories was putting on at Cancon, I jumped at the chance.

The sculpting and production of these four sets was unfortunately delayed (partly because I had to fight off a nasty man-flu at the end of last year) and in the end only a few squads of these miniatures made it onto the table at Cancon. 

The game was a total blast and I was asked to step in as over-all Russian commander at the last minute. Despite my complete ignorance of the Chain of Command rule system I managed to organise the assets and players on the Soviet side and pretend that I knew what I was doing.

Here's an excellent AAR, and below a flyover of the crazy tables that the Battlefield Accessories guys put together. The buildings themselves are fantastic and the impact of the whole setup was impressive to say the least!

The below photos show a set each of the sub machine-gun squad (8 men) and the rifle squad (11 men). Both sets are available wearing either steel helmet or the pilotka sidecap. These are the display figures that I painted for the Eureka stand at Salute. All four sets are slated for release on the Eureka Miniatures website soon.

    Mortars, Maxims and anti-tank rifles are in the works too.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

28mm USMC EOD, .50 cal and Scout Sniper teams.

I finished sculpting these sets and they should be available on the Eureka Miniatures and Eureka USA webstores in the near future.

Readers in the UK who are attending Salute can pick up some pre-production sets this weekend, where the below painted examples will be displayed.

A couple of M32 grenadiers have also been added to the range. Masters of the M32 grenadiers and the .50 cal HMG team are included in the below photos. 

                                  K-9 team, EOD droid and technician, technician in blast suit.

 Sniper team between the M240 and SMAW teams already in the Eureka catalogue

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Painting tutorial - Smelly and Old-Fashioned

A while ago I was asked if I would detail my technique for painting skin areas on miniatures and so below I present photos and captions that will illuminate my deepest painting secrets.
The examples are mostly Eureka Miniatures Iraqi civilians in 28mm.

Before we begin it's worth mentioning that this technique is something that has slowly evolved and that I find produces the easiest and most pleasing results for me personally. If you're not averse to using enamels then by all means give it a try.

Humbrol enamel paints, being 34 Matt White, 60 Matt Scarlet, 61 Matt Flesh, and 62 Matt Leather. Burnt Umber artist's oil paint. Dulux Quick Dry metal primer. You will also need some thinners (turpentine) both for thinning paint and washing brushes.

After undercoating, apply the base colour for the flesh areas. I'll call the three basic skin tones "light", "medium" and "dark". Base colours from L to R : Light skinned female 34 White + 61 Flesh. Light skinned male 61 Flesh. Medium skinned male 61 Flesh + 62 Leather. Dark skinned male, 62 Leather.
I usually apply two thin coats. The second coat must be fully cured before the next step. 

 Squeeze a small amount of the Burnt Umber oil paint onto a piece of cardboard, and let it sit for 5 -10 minutes. This will drain some of the oil out, allowing the paint to dry more quickly and with more of a matt finish.  For shading a light skinned figure, mix the Burnt Umber with some 62 Leather and thin with turpentine. Using the thinned mixture, block in the  areas where the shadows will be. You don't need to be too neat.

Now this is the fun bit. Moisten a clean, fine brush with a small amount of turpentine. Dab most of the turpentine off. Using the tip of the bush, feather and soften the shadow tone, fading it into the base tone. You only need a small amount of turps on the brush, and wash the brush in turps after feathering every small area. In the above photo you'll see the result of this feathering. If you remove too much of the shadow tone you can apply a little more and until you're happy with the amount of contrast.

So just to repeat what the technique is, the above photo shows the shadow areas blocked in with the mixture (burnt umber oil paint + Humbrol 62 leather)

                        ... and here the shadow colour has been feathered into the base colour.

The same approach is used on darker skin tones, only the shadow tone is pretty much just thinned burnt umber oil paint. Block in the shadow areas

                                  ... then feather the edges to get rid of the hard demarcation.

After the skin areas are done my next step is to line in all the overlapping bits of clothing and also put a black line between cloth and skin areas, being careful not to get any black on the skin bits. I use a black acrylic for this. Obviously if you use a black undercoat you won't need this step, but I generally use a grey undercoat because it causes fewer hassles when using bright colours later on.

I forgot to add that there are some small touches needed to complete the face and hands.  A little pink (61 Flesh + a tiny bit of 60 Scarlett) applied to the lower lip and cheeks. Miniatures of both males and females will benefit from this, though it really is crucial for female miniatures. Feather the edges of the pink on the cheeks to get a soft effect.
Some thin Burnt Umber lines between the fingers are added too. 

And there you have it!  Now the clothing areas can be blocked in, then shading started. I use acrylics for the clothing and equipment, with different tones being built up in a number of glazes.

I hope this tutorial will be useful to anyone thinking of moving back in time to use oils and enamels. The longer drying time makes these paints pretty forgiving and speaking personally more fun for some jobs. Remember to work in a well-ventilated area when using oils, turps and enamels.