Monday, 29 May 2017

IRON MAIDEN: Painting The British

With the entire army assembled, the first step was to prime the models in Chieftian Green spray.

I’m taking a bit of a risk by having the infantry all glued down to their bases prior to painting, especially as I’ve never painted 15mm models before, but time is of the essence and rather than having to paint 34 Infantry models, I only have to paint 10 Infantry stands. 

It’s a subtle mind-trick but one I hope works. 

Now, my first attempt at painting the tanks didn’t quite go to plan; and neither did the second to be fair. I was trying to paint the Worn Rubber camo pattern by hand, which was proving tricky thanks to the hard edge lines of the Chieftain tank. No matter how careful I applied the brush-strokes, the edges knocked the bristles sideways making the pattern splotchy (it’s a word!).

So a quick trip to the nearest discount shop in town during lunch and I came back armed to the teeth with blu-tac.

For nearly two hours I carefully applied strips across the chasis, turrets and bodies of the choppers, while fully covering the gun barrels.

To save time, before I started on the “epic Tac’ing session of ‘16” I gave all the infantry a heavy wash of Ordnance Shade. I was going off-plan from the official paint guide but only temporarily. This would darken down the Chieftain Green, meaning that when I came to give all the infantry a drybrush of Maverick Khaki, it would instantly create deep shadow, which at 15mm scale can look very good.

With the wash done, I took all the vehicles outside on a spray board and gave them several thin blasts of black spray. As you can see, once dry and the blu-tac removed you’ve created instant camo patterning, without all the heartache of stubbed brushes and constant cursing.

I’ve also given the infantry the drybrush of Maverick Khaki and painted in the flesh using a darker tone from the Army Painter range. Again, this will create a deeper shadow when I apply European skin (at a later stage).

A point I want to quickly make is that I’m painting these as fast as I can to get them to what I call “gaming standard”. That is, there won’t be any fine detailing done or decals added at this stage. This is just to get the foundations down ready for a game. Once done, I can go back when I have more time and add those extra details. 

Here you can see a before/after shot of one of the Chieftains - the same techniques to paint the tanks applied to all the vehicles and I painted each section on all of them before doing the next. Remember, assembly-line thinking to get an entire army done in just a few days.

I followed the guide in the IRON MAIDEN book at this stage, completing each before moving on to the next. It took about 5 hours in total to do all the vehicles.

And above, there’s the Chieftains all finished to gaming standard with some weathering applied. Once I have time I’ll go back and bring out the detail you can see there by targeted washes of Ordnance Shade plus add the decals and some battle damage.

Thanks to a last minute change to the overall British Army list for our mega battle, the four Lynx choppers I’d built as TOW Helarm now needed to be changed back to transport Lynx. This meant cutting off the missile racks at the sides and changing the LHS canopy.

This took about 3 hours to do as I had to cut off the canopy, trim the edges so they were neat and then attach the new canopy making sure it matched and fitted flush. Despite the extra work at the last minute (these were completed the night before the event) I’m pretty happy with how they turned out - even the painting of the glass, which again is something I’ve never done before.

And let’s not forget the Mechanised Platoon. Some people prefer to paint their infantry as individual models before fixing them to the bases, but I found painting them attached helped speed up the process. I’ll certainly try again when I do my next army - (which is going to be a heavy Infantry based West German force).

You can't quite tell in the picture here, but I painted the camo pattern on the infantry models and it didn’t look too bad. The FV432 APC’s are all done as outlined above.

So all in all I’m pretty happy with how the army turned out - and all in nine days as well. For a first attempt at 15mm models I’m pleased with the overall look.

The army has now passed on to a friend as I'll be putting all the new skills I learned into painting and collecting a large Soviet force for Team Yankee with the imminent release of Red Thunder - but more of that in June/July.

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