I recently got a rather large box in the post all the way from France. Inside, my Reichbusters Kickstarter pledge rewards. I am a bit of a sucker for Weird War settings and games and from what I saw when the campaign was running, the game looked right up my street too.
However it was really the miniatures I was after. I fully intend to play the game, but like many things in my collection the thought ‘I could always use this for 7TV‘ is never far from my mind.
Now, there are a LOT of figures here. The scale is somewhat larger than standard 28mm and probably sits somewhere between 35 and 40mm. Fine on there own in any game, but might look a little odd alongside other parts of my collection. Where this isn’t really a problem is with the ones that immediately caught my attention when opening the boxes for the first time. The ‘Vrill Panzers’ – basically big stompy (piloted) robots.
There are two of these in the set of boxes I received, they are (like all the miniatures) one piece casts in a very hard PVC style material. Absolutely no sign of warping or bending weapon syndrome from what I have seen so far. The Vrill Panzers are chunky, really nicely detailed and heavy; however they are by no means the biggest models in the set (more on that later).
So in terms of getting the Vrill Panzers painted up I thought I would go for a ‘late war’ dunkelgelb, by really weather it up. With there being two in the set I could afford to experiment a bit on this first one.
First step was a wash in warm soapy water. This is something I never used to do on any models, but now religiously do whether I am painting PVC, hard plastic, resin or metal.
Once dry I undercoated with a can of black primer and followed this with a base coat of dunkelgelb (from Plastic Soldier Company – again in a can).
Once dry I applied decals. There were none provided with the game, but I have a huge stash of World War II and Dust Tactics decal sheets that I have amassed over time, so I had plenty of choice. My usual approach, which I used here, is to paint the area I am going to apply the waterslide decal to with gloss varnish first. Once dry I applied the decal itself and again let it dry before another coat of gloss. I placed a few markings strategically then moved on to the weathering.
The first stage was to stipple using an old bit of sponge both dark brown and then silver across the most worn areas of the model. Next it was time to dirty it all up. My plan here was to paint on Army Painter Quickshade Dark Tone. I have had some success in the past with a fairly light coat of this brushed on to models. It leaves them very shiny, but protected and I always apply matt varnish as the final step in these cases.
The problem I hit here was my can of Quickshade was quite old and hadn’t been sealed properly the last time I used it. As such I had to remove a thick skin from the surface of the shade within the tin before application to the model. This is where the alarm bells should have run, however I proceeded to ‘slap in on’. It was at this stage I noticed how thick and gloopy it was. I stirred it up as usual but once applied it became obvius that something was wrong. Rather than apply the subtle shading I was after, and rather than immediately receeding into the contours and crevises of the model it just sat there like some vile dark slime.
Through excessive mopping up with a brush I was able to dave things to some degree, but the weathering has ended up being much, much heavier than I intended. Once the matt varnish (Testors Dullcote) was applied things looked a lot better, although I had made some of the decals rather difficult to make out.
The final weathering stage was to add some rust (it seemed apt with how heavy beat up the mech now looked). I drybrushed on some Citadel Dry Ryza Rust and in the end I think this turned out OK.
The base was in part basecoated in silver and then painted over with Citadel Basilicanum Grey (a contrast paint, this is my new favourite way of painting a gun metal effect). All the bases in the game have a metal gantry / walkway look to them, so this fitted quite well especially when finished up with some more drybrushed rust. The areas that looked more stone like were done in greys.
All in all I think I managed to rescue it. Apart from the Quickshade incident it was an enjoyable model to paint. As I have another one in reserve I might go with a different, cleaner, more fresh of the production line look.
In addition to the Vrill Panzer I also painted a couple of the ‘troop’ models from the game to test out some colours and techniques.
I’ve also started on the monstrous Projekt X mech. Remember when I said the Vrill Panzers weren’t the biggest model, well this fella is truly gigantic (and actually quite difficult to lift). He is still work in progress and I’ll cover this in another article.