Showing posts with label WW2 Britain & Commonwealth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WW2 Britain & Commonwealth. Show all posts

28 June 2017

8th Army Uniform - 1/72 Scale Painting Guide


There was a time when I thought my Airfix sand-coloured plastic figures really looked the business with the exposed parts of the skin painted with good old Humbrol Matt Flesh - and of course to a 10 year-old kid they did.


And that kid still lives in my head, and even though various decades have passed since then, and even if I spend maybe a little more time painting my figures nowadays, I do still try and keep things as simple as possible,



Drybrush & Wash Technique

The figures below were all painted using a simple technique that brings out the detail well and allows you to finish off a large number of figures in a relatively short time.




I'll cover the preparation, basing and undercoating in a separate post in more detail, but the painting technique itself is straightforward and simple as follows.

  • Paint a large batch of figures in the base uniform colour. 
  • Once dry, give them a very heavy drybrush of a much lighter colour to highlight the raised uniform areas, straps, buckles, rucksacks, etc. 
  • Block paint flesh areas and weapons.
  • Finally finish off the whole batch with a wash to bring out the details. 


Acrylic Paints / Colours / Wash

Acrylic paints are the best for this job and I generally use colours from the Vallejo range.

For the 8th Army figures I've used the following.
  • Vallejo Khaki - base uniform colour
  • Vallejo Iraqui Sand - heavy drybrush.

There are various products on the market sold exclusively as "washes" or "dips", but I've found that - at least for me - the best option is to use a good quality artists' acrylic Raw Umber diluted with water to a consistency of milk. In this example I've used the following
  • Van Gogh Acrylic Raw Umber

You just need to squeeze out a half-thumbnail sized blob into a bottle top or similar recipient, mix in water to get the right consistency, and paint a generous dose onto each figure.

The wash will settle into the folds and crevices of the figures and once it has dried you'll see a very pleasing and subtle highlight and shadow effect.


Further Detailing



The 8th army uniform can range from sun-bleached sandy white to the darker hues of khaki brown and even green. This all depends on the issue of uniform, the amount of time exposed to the sun and elements, etc., so you might want your figures to have more variation.

You can use the same technique but paint in more detail before the final wash, and play around with variations on the straps, pouches, rucksacks, helmets, etc., using lighter browns, sand, other shades of khaki, greys, and so on.

Another option is to also try with different washes using deeper shades and / or consistencies of artists' acrylics.

If you want to certain figures to stand out, such as as officers or special units, or even whole squads, once the wash has dried you can further detail the figures by touching up certain areas, dark-line, highlight, etc., etc





Colour Guide

The illustration below is a guide based on Vallejo colours for painting 20mm British & Commonwealth WW2 8th Army figures.


One final note : Boots

The British wore black boots but if you've ever walked around, even for a very short time, in dry dusty terrain you'll already know that whatever colour your boots might have originally been, they will soon become the exact same colour of that same terrain,

For this reason I prefer to leave the boots in a dusty shade to try and match the flocked base.


There are plenty of options for painting the 8th Army and many of us have various preferences for colours and techniques so please feel free to add any comments.

22 March 2017

Bolt Action Wargame in 1/72 Scale

A few evenings back we had a game (and a few beers) at our mate Alex's place.

Carlos put the scenario together and acted as umpire. The rules used were Bolt Action by Warlord Games.

A WW2 skirmish encounter in a small village between British 8th Army squads versus Afrika Korps supported by a squad of Italian infantry.

A nice touch was in the middle of the game when a group of armed, and very angry, male inhabitants of the village entered into play, shooting at both the British and the Germans.

The objective was to capture and bring out alive a double-agent being held in a heavily fortified old colonial fort in the centre of the village.

The game was nicely balanced, we played it out twice - the Germans took the objective in the first game and the British the second time around.

Some pictures below from various turns during both the games

Brits enter the village



The 8th Army figures are mostly Airfix with a few Revell and Esci 8th Army mixed in.



Germans deploy, coming out to meet the desert rats







DAK are mostly Airfix with a few Revell, Esci and Matchbox figures.



Colonial fort in the centre of the village. Italeri North African House. Lovely sturdy and detailed kit, paints up really well.







Pegasus models "German Truck". One of Carlos' models, the passengers are seated Revell artillerymen with headswaps.



A large Italian squad takes up a defensive position on one of the roofs in the village. HäT and Esci/Italeri figures. The mortar team are from various sets with new heads.



In the midst of the battle, armed villagers attack both allied and axis forces.





The guy with the revolver is the Lawrence of Arabia figure from the Esci Muslim Warriors set. The rest of the figures are Airfix Arabs-Bedouins





Meanwhile the battle raged on
















04 December 2016

Matchbox British Infantry / British Commandos

Following on from the previous post, some more 1:76 scale British / Commonwealth figures, this time from Matchbox.

These are a mixture of figures from the British Infantry and British Commandos sets with a couple of conversions.

Three different figures based on the same charging pose. The original unaltered figure on the left.


The NCO figure with the beret wielding a Colt-45 pistol is from the British Infantry set. The running figure with the Thompson SMG is from the Commando set with a head-swap.


Two more figures from the British Infantry set- officer on the left wearing a leather jerkin, and on the right a figure that I’ve often used as a tank crewman.


A mix of figures below from the Commandos and Infantry sets.


Love this crazy guy – you can see he’s bawling in thick Glasgow accent “come on you f**kers, I’ll take you all on !”

In the Commando set you also get a German sentry who looks like he’s just been taken out by this guy. I must get around to paining up that sentry and get a picture of the two together….

This poor lad below is from the Anzac Infantry set.


Makes a good casualty marker for games.

And finally a picture of the whole family


The Matchbox sets have been around for a good number of years – and I remember painting figures from these sets with Humbrol enamels back when they first came out when I was a kid – but up until recently they were difficult to come by, but thankfully that changed very recently when Revell re-released the sets.

26 November 2016

Airfix British Commandos


Those over a certain age will recognise these figures – they’re from the Airfix 1st version 1-76 scale British Commandos set. In the picture above the two guys below have been given new heads with helmets. The radio operator has been given a beret made from epoxy.





Beautifully sculpted 2nd version 1:76 scale Airix British Commandos. The sculptor, Ron Cameron, was an artist who was able to capture the human form perfectly, decades before before computer assisted design ever existed.



The Bren gunner on the far right wearing a helmet is from the Airfix 2nd version 1:76 scale British infantry set.



I replaced the flimsy and bendy Bren that the figure was carrying for more sturdy one in a harder plastic taken from the Imex Korean War US Army set (yes, the set really does have Brens)



Below, from left to right, an Airfix 2nd version British infantry stretcher-bearer, 2nd from the left one of the new Airfix British infantry figures with a commando head, and the two figures in berets are old smallscale Hong Kong copies (quite bad copies I should add) of the Airfix 1/32 scale British paras, with their smocks painted to try and represent leather jerkins.

14 March 2015

Bolt Action in 1/72


A 1/72 scale "what if" scenario on the outskirts of Arnhem WW2.

Bolt Action rulset, umpired by my mate Carlos and gamed yesterday afternoon with the fellas from the Brazo de Nelson wargame group.

The scenario is basically two farms bordering the central road at the end of the table where an isolated group of British paras were tasked with stopping German reinforcements trying to get to Arnhem.

Turned out to be quite a balanced game, the Germans managed (but only just) to get some units through, but at a fairly heavy cost with a great many casualties, while the British suffered very few but were unable to stop the reinforcements from getting through.












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