One of my longest ongoing jobs has been the completion of the epic Projekt X. This massive chunk of plastic comes in it’s own boxed expansion and is some sort of horrific zombie mecha type beast. I’ve not read the background yet, so I am not quite sure on the exact details, but needless to say this bad boy would involve a mix of both armour and organic style painting. (Also it is possibly one of the heaviest miniatures I have ever held.)
Following a good soapy wash and drying the model was undercoated in black and then given a zenith highlight with a white spray. The armour panels were airbrushed up from a dark grey through two subsequent successive highlights using Vallejo Air paints.
The organic parts were painted with a Citadel contrast flesh. The ‘pustules’ all over the model were then painted white before an application of a contrast yellow and then a purple wash.
Prior to weathering I dug into my decals stash and found some suitable World War 2 German transfers from both some historical kits, but also a big pile of Dust Tactics sheets I had left over from stock when I ran the shop.
These were applied on top of a gloss varnish and once dry I used a sponge to apply chipping across the armour plates using a dark brown. Metal parts were then blocked out and I used dark grey contrast to shade these.
The faces were further highlighted in purples and fleshes to help them stand out, with various other bits such as cabling and the base being detailed and finished off. The whole lot was then topped off with a good once over of Testors Dullcote.
More recently I have also been working my way through some of the ‘minions’ in the set as well as some of the more ‘gribbly creatures’ that are included. For the latter I wanted a quick paint job so contrast was heavily used.
The slightly more human figures were painted in a slightly more traditional style using one of the best paint sets I have ever invested in – a German uniform set from Andrea Color I bought from a show about 5 years ago. Makes painting field grey a joy and useful across historicals as well as weird war and science fiction. (In fact I have recently been working on some Star Wars Imperial types and this set has come in very useful – more on that soon.)
I’ve still got plenty to finish off with Reichbusters and have not yet had a look at any of the hero models. For board game miniatures they are a real step up in terms of quality and a joy to paint, which I am sure I will still be doing for many months to come.
These were rescaled from the original files that were downloaded from Thingiverse. Designed to be printed at 1/100 (15mm) scale I blew these up to 1/48. I wanted a couple of pieces of ‘terrain’ to add to my UFO/V2 rocket base board and so went for something suitably ‘Weird War’. So here we have an E-100 (one of the so called ‘paper panzers’) and a slightly more realistic (in that it actually existed) Opel Maultier.
In the end these were both surplus to requirements for the game (I’d got more than enough terrain in the end and hadn’t realised just how big the E-100 would end up being).
I got some nice smooth prints from my Creality CR-10S which made preparation and painting a joy. Both models were basecoated in Dunkelgelb spray (from Plastic Solder Company) over a black undercoat.
The airbrush was used to add the dark green camo patches and weathering was achieved using a sponging technique. Decals were appropriated from my stash (they were applied following the base coat / camo, but prior to the weathering).
I’ve also recently been making a dent on the big pile of plastic miniatures I need to paint for Reichbusters. At about 35mm (maybe even 40mm) scale these also fit in very well with the 1/48 vehicle prints.
As an aside I am a big fan of using 1/48 vehicles for my standard wargaming with 28mm figures. I find the usual 1/56 vehicles (such as the Bolt Action and Rubicon ranges) while albeit nice models, just a little small in comparison to based 28mm miniatures. The bonus here is that I could use these vehicles with slightly larger figures, such as the Reichbusters ones, without having to worry too much.
Having done a couple of test pieces I chose a squad of ‘standard’ German troopers from the game to tackle first. These are lovely one piece miniatures, the sculpting and ‘hardness’ is good for boardgame pieces so I can see them being used extensively outside the actual game for more wide ranging tabletop adventures.
One of the disadvantages of course with board game minis (especially when considering troop types) is a lack of variety in poses. To work around this a bit for this squad I varied the colour scheme slightly. While keeping the basic field grey fatigues (for which I used an excellent multi-shade set from Andrea Colour) I varied things like the trenchcoats and boots by using different colours. This was mostly achieved using Citadel contrast paints (black, grey and various browns).
Unlike the test models which I had undercoated black I worked up from a white undercoat here (as I knew I wanted to use contrast to save some time).
Although these chaps did get a bit repetitive I really enjoyed painting them and as such I’ve picked a variety of different models from the game to paint up next. As the weather has been so good recently I have been doing a lot of undercoating outside and some of this lot have been done using my new favourite tool, Citadel Colour Wraith Bone spray.
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 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.
On Saturday March 14th I will be running a participation game of 7TV Pulp at Hammerhead. Karl from Crooked Dice kindly offered me some space on his stand to run a game and I have been preparing for this for a few weeks now.
Originally I was going to run a game based around the original core set of 7TV and make it a ‘spy-fi’ adventure. I had a hankering to build a secret base and although I started the project (and will finish it at some point), I soon switched my focus to doing something based on the lastest Pulp setting and rules.
Part of this change of plan was the amount of time I had available to prepare. The day job is kind of hectic at the moment, and so I didn’t want to bite off more than I could chew with respect to the table build. Also I’m aware that there are a few Pulp releases up coming and I wanted to help Karl promote the most up-to-date range.
To that end I looked at re-purposing the V2/flying saucer table I had taken to both the last Wargames Illustrated 7TV day and the recent event at Board in Brum. Other than some hybrid games using casts and cards from across the 7TV sets I had not played a game solely using the Pulp rules and was keen to try out some of the new profiles and features (such as peril cards).
So a couple of Sundays ago I went through a test game at our monthly Dales Wargames meeting. Playing against my friend Darren and his son, I wanted to use to game to get a handle on some of the new rules introduced in Pulp, check out the use of peril cards to enhance the episodes and check the table layout and casting.
Having never run a game at a show before I wanted to also make sure that I made setup and play as straightforward as possible for new players and to enable folk to easily drop in and out of play. I decided to this end to preset the placement of objectives and choose the defenders based on the ‘plot of the episode I was going to film’.
To that end, my bad guys (Stahl Mask and his evil sect of third reich fanatics) would be the defenders and my heroic adventuring archeologist and his team of allied misfits would be the attackers. I preset also the starting positions of the the majority of the figures, only allowing the players to place their spy models.
We played a straight ‘Battle’ episode from the Producers Guide but with the addition of the macguffin using one of the new Pulp macguffin cards. In this case, ‘The Ark of the Covenant’. We also used a peril card to enable two pieces of scenery to be secretly (by the defender) be marked as booby trapped.
The casts were set at 40 points each, but for narrative purposes I slightly bent the rules on one third extras for the heroes (they were under by a couple of ratings points). I hadn’t yet finished painting the majority of the extras for Stahl Mask’s lot, so ended up proxying in some ‘Moon Nazis’ in place of Jet Troopers and Lizard Men.
On the heroes side I used a mix of models, including some of the Crooked Dice releases for Pulp, as well as a really old Peter Cushing Dr.Who as my eccentric inventor (a Harlequin miniatures release from back in the day). In addition I added in a selection of other figures from Crooked Dice (including Danger 5) as well as some Artizan Designs and Statuesque miniatures. These covered most of the main archetypes I wanted to use from the Pulp profiles, including my spies, a Gadgeteer, a Soldier of Fortune and others.
The main man, my archeologist, was from the Cthulhu Death May Die board game by CMON. There are some excellent figures in here that fit the period, they are slightly larger than standard 28mm scale, but don’t look too out of place.
Talking of larger figures, on the bad guys side I proxied in a few figures including an SA officer from the Mantic Hellboy game. Now this fella was a bit too big – although I guess he could fit in in terms of being some sort of ‘super soldier’.
For those of you who are interested here is the make up of the casts in terms of the 7TV Pulp cards used:
The game itself flowed well, back and forth, with some epically bad dice rolling on both sides. The basic conceit of the episode was that as the third reich was falling and the red army closely in, our villain Stahl Mask is making a last ditch effort to escape with his collected treasures and weird technologies in his protoype flying saucer. Would he escape to the safety of the secret Antarctic base and then perhaps on to Luna, or would Professor Harrison Jones and his gang finally catch up with him put him to justice and save the sacred artefact?
We ended up making into the finale act of the episode with neither cast being axed, although Stahl Mask was mightly bruised and was lucky he had his mask as there was a bit of an ‘open the ark face melting incident’.
All in all I think the game is setup well for the upcoming shows. In addition to Hammerhead I’ll also be taking the game to Chillcon in Sheffield at the end of the month.
It was also good to get a proper game of 7TV Pulp in for the first time too. Although not a big fan of the newly introduced ‘one melee action’ per activation rule, I can see why this has been done as some of the new card special effects and star qualities key off this. Another comment was the brutality of the cliffhanger deck. These seemed to be weighted more towards bad stuff happening that the original 7TV countdown card deck, although that could of course been down the deck of cards we dealt on the day.
I also really liked the macguffin and peril cards. For the purposes of the show games I will probably only use the former, so there is not too much to remember, especially for new players.
Since the game at Dales I have managed to borrow some of the clubs scenery to flesh out the board and have also nearly finished painting some additional miniatures which will enable me to both tweak the casts slightly and just give me some more options……
I’d got to the point of having assembled the resin beast and through copies use of greenstuff and a bit of boiling water got the build to the point at which I was ready to get some paint down.
Initial undercoat using Modelmates White Primer
Basecoated using Plastic Soldier Panzer Grey
First off, I’d made a decision to go ‘German Weird World War’ rather than ‘Grimdark Future’ in terms of theme. However rather than go with the classic late war yellow / camo look of the immediate post war timelines of things like Dust and Konflikt 47, I decided to go with a more science fiction / modern camo look. Originally I was planning on using some splinter style camo templates from Anarchy Models, but upon inspection these looked a bit too small. In the end I decided on a light grey/dark grey angular camo pattern using masking tape to mark the pattern out. Using a Panzer Grey spray from Plastic Soldier Company over a white undercoat, the masking was applied and a light grey then applied (Humbrol).
Masking in progress
All over spray of Humbrol Grey
Once dry I tackled the tracks, using a Reaper Miniatures Charred Brown mixed with a few drops of Valejo Glaze Medium to help thin. This was then followed with a silver drybrush using Army Painter Plate Mail.
A dark brown (mixed with a couple of drops of glaze medium) was brushed onto the tracks, prior to a silver drybrush
I decided to tackle decals next (prior to weathering). Decals were sourced from my decals spares box. Most of these were Dust Tactics Axis decals.
Weathering was achieved by applying an all over brush on of Army Painter Quickshade Dark. Once dry chipping was applied using a bit of old sponge, first using a dark brown and then a silver, concentrating on the edges and areas that would be subject to the most wear. Finally (and as an experiment) I applied a bit of Modelmates engine oil around some of the grills and as vertical streaks on the side panels. Final steps were to dull down the Quickshade using an all over spray of Testors Dullcote.
All in all I pretty pleased with the outcome. I haven’t really got a game lined up for this, but I imagine this might be appearing in a ‘moon Nazis’ scenario in 7TV as a centrepiece or objective.
I’ve still got a couple more vehicles to finish off from the Kickstarter and the troops I’ve got are ear marked for Imperial Guard proxies for Kill Team (not a game I have tried yet, but something my gaming group is starting to get into).
I recently received my pledge rewards from the Empire of Men Kickstarter campaign by Archon Studio. The campaign was to fund production of a range of resin miniatures and vehicles, that although rules agnostic were clearly aimed at players of ‘grim dark’ games of the far future.
I was particularly attracted to this for the Weird World War look of some of the figures and vehicles. The background fluff for the setting is based around a Great War that never ended, and many of the vehicles on offer have a distinctly German feel to them.
Without a particular game system in mind and due to limited funds I went for a small selection of troops and a few vehicles; figuring that I would enjoy the modelling and also falling back on my usual approach of ‘it’ll probably work for 7TV‘ (a ‘Moon Reich’ perhaps?)
So what did I get? In addition to a handful of ‘stormtrooper’ troops I picked up the follow:
Reaper – a Horton style flying wing aircraft
Stalhratte Mk.1 – a super heavy tank that seems to draw it’s influences from the prototype World War II German Maus
Wolverine – a transport / medium tank option (probably the most 40k like of the lot)
First impressions on receiving delivery was that the casts were quite clean (particularly on the figures). The grey resin is lightweight and looked easy to work with. It looks and feels more like plastic, is soft (but not too soft) and not at all brittle.
The part count for the vehicles is quite low, meaning in particular for the Stahlratte there are some quite chunky pieces of resin. Once unboxed and gave the parts a good wash in hot soapy water to remove casting residue and make then easier to assemble.
Vehicle parts washed
Two Stormtrooper squads ready for assembly
So, I really couldn’t resist assembling the big fella first. All the parts seemed to come with peg joints and inserts, so theoretically it should be possible to do a dry fit before assembly. After an initial clean up primarily around the joints and edges to remove casting vents I attempted to ‘clip’ the Stahlratte together. It immediately became apparent that some of the parts were warped to some degree, so of course (as always when working with resin) having to boiling water to hand to soften and reshape was a must. Many of the issues were with the small peg joints so I found imersing these in water to make more malleable and ‘clipping’ together while still soft was the way to go. At this point I also decided to glue pieces in place as I got a good fit (using superglue and activator).
At this point things were beginning to take shape, but it was becoming apparent that a LOT of work would be needed to fill the gaps.
A generous application of green stuff and voila an almost completed Stahlratte Mk.1
Smoothing the turrent join
Filling a hole
Even more Greenstuff!
All that remained was tho straighten up some of the gun barrels and attached to the turret. I’ve decided to keep the turret and hull seperate for painting, so the pictures show one just delicately balanced on the other for the time being.
Hull and turret assembly
All in all I really enjoyed putting this together. It was more work than I originally expected when opening the box, but I think that is to be expected when working with resin (especially considering the budget price point). If anything I found the gap filling quite cathartic!