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.

09 October 2016

Speedpainting Esci Zulus - some progress on the horde of figures

This is definitely a quantity over quality job, and speed is of the essence, so I'm hoping to finish them all off and be ready for basing sometime at the end of the week.

I'll also give a runthrough here on the technique I'm using to speedpaint the figures. It works (well, at least for me) on painting very dark / black skin tones.

First step is to give a heavy basecoat of tough black-gloss enamel paint.



This is followed by a very heavy drybrush to bring out detail and highlight the raised surfaces.



I then prepare a wash using water based artists acrylics. The acrylics will bring out the shadows and highlights on the black skins.



I use Van Gogh which are excellent consistent quality and work really well. I used a mixture of Raw Umber and Burnt Sienna.



Mix the two until you get a thick but creamy consistency ... and yes, it does look like something disgusting that the the dog just dropped.



Finally add a little black to dip into for some slight shading when you paint the wash onto the figures, and the next day when they are dry you should have figures that look something like this.



You can then just paint up the details.



So I'm now about halfway there, most of the figures in progress are in the picture below.



Once I've got them based I'll add a final update on the Zulus and in the near future some pictures of them in action in the upcoming game.

03 October 2016

Zulus, thousands of 'em - New Spears and Shields

Not thousands, but well over a hundred and fifty of 'em.

Old Esci Zulus, from four separate sets that are at least 15 years old, maybe even older.

They were all given to me many years ago by my mate Carlos, and they've been lounging in different boxes full of mixed figures since then

Well with a game coming up organised by Carlos, I remembered I had these Zulus he gave me and promised to paint them up. When I dug them out of their box I aslo discovered that the majorty of the shields and spears have nearly all been lost over the years - victims of multiple transfers to and from different boxes, maybe lost in the bottom of another box, or perhaps even a landfil somewhere, victims of a past clearout of trash.

So with 150+ Zulus and only 20 odd shields and spears, what do you do when you've promised to have them ready for the game ? No choice but to improvise and make your own.



The shields were made from rugged card that were cut into oblong shapes. I made a shield shape similar in size to the original shield printed multiple copies onto the back of the rugged card.

A broom with some nice thick stiff plastic bristles was the spear donor.



Some flat-nosed pliers were used to squash the end of the plastic and a sharp knife to make the spear point.

And I'm quite pleased with the way the spears turned out.



So the next step, paint them all up.
Come back soon, more pics to follow.