Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Painting progress and reconnoiterring the old boot

Well it seems that I made a bit of a boo-boo and the 30 strong mortar platoon of been grinding my way through is actually a fair bit less strong.  I checked the unit composition in the Cassino and Fortress Europe books today and my two-section mortar platoon blister pack has a total of 19 wee men.  The error stems from Garth and I proxying flames of war miniatures for moderns when we were having our first run through of the Force on Force rules.  Stupidly, I must have put the HQ blister and Mortar blister all back in the same bag.  I'm not particularly worried about it, and to be honest I feel like I've made a lot more progress with my painting now!  I wasn't intending to use the HQ blister as I have other miniatures for it.  It's also opened up the possibility of using the light mortars from the HQ blister as the third mortar section in my mortar platoon.  I'm in no hurry to use a third section yet, but the option is there (if you can comment on the appropriateness of using the light mortars in this way - they're slightly more slender - please do let me know).  

Once I've made the finishing touches to the 12 figures I started on the weekend it'll be time to move on to my first lot of basing.  I've obtained various shades of static grass (green, parched, dead/winter) and some medium basing grit of Gale Force 9 origins.  The next step will be to obtain some kind of filler to build up the bases with. If any of you kiwis have any product advice in this regard I would be very grateful!  The scheme that Garth has used for his bases so far (he's a fair bit ahead of me in painting) is a base of green ochre with a heavy dry-brush of the palest flesh tone on top.  Bearing in mind that this is for the Italian theatre, I'd also appreciate advice on base colour schemes or any sneaky tricks you've learned along the way!  Hopefully the basing that Garth has completed isn't too premature, given that we've yet to build our board.  I would like for my basing scheme to be consistent with his.

I'm going on a holiday to Vegas and Mexico in late October - early November so my funds will be fairly tied up until I get back.  I expect to have a fair bit of cash left over (with a couple of pay packets arriving with my bank while I'm away - the novelty of this pay thing really doesn't wear off!), so we're planning on making a start with our terrain board for Flames of War.  We've earmarked the following purchases:

  • A 6'x4' "Brown-Green" gaming mat from theterrainguy.  Described as a heavy duty flocked game mat, canvas based and rubber coated with permanent flocking embedded in the rubber.  I've read very good reviews of this product on TMP.  The "brown-green" option (picture below) should be suitable for a semi-arid Italy.  Alternatively we could go for the "Dryland" mat which is much more brown than green.  We will have a think about how arid Italy actually is, and go from there (an advantage being it might be usable for the Desert also).
The "Brown-Green" gaming mat
  • The Battlefield in a Box - River from Flames of War.  This box comes with 5x 30cm river sections, 2x 30cm river sections with fords, 1x wooden bridge and 1x stone bridge.  We should be able to get a hold of one at a price substantially lower than that on the Flames of War store.
Battlefield in a Box - Rivers
  • The Battlefield in a Box - Rural Roads from Flames of War.  This box comes with 6x road sections (I'm not entirely sure of the section lengths, Garth has this stuff noted down).  We may get two of these so as to get sufficient road sections for a 6'x4' board.
Battlefield in a Box - Rural Roads
  • The Battlefield in a Box - Italian Monastery from Gale Force 9.  This is reasonably priced and versatile, and we hope will provide a good objective on our gaming board!
Italian Monastery
  • Italian Buildings from Games of War.  These haven't been released yet, but going by the prices for other such products on their website, they will be very affordable!
  • Hills: for this we'll make our own out of some kind of polystyrene.  

And there we have it!  I think that these will make a pretty solid start to our gaming table.  Now, we could probably make many of these things ourselves, but as I have stated in an earlier post our aim is to have painted armies ready to go as soon as possible.  We're willing to fork out a bit of cash to get a playable table up and running in short order; I expect I'll be exhausted by the time I've finished painting the little men!

That said, we are very willing to take advice.  So if you have any product recommendations or comments as to how we could do things differently, please let us know!


  1. Basing is tricky. Everyone does it differently. I use Selleys Spakfilla Rapid as it's cheap, comes in a tub and doesn't crack when dry.

    My Commonwealth rifle platoon arrived today so should get my infantry painted up soon.

  2. Awesome, thanks Lintman! I'll pick up some of that and see how I go. Looking at those pictures of Garth's (I hadn't seen them before), I'm quite happy with that colour scheme for the basing.

    Maybe you will be able to help me with a question I've been turning over in my mind: what colour scheme should I be using for my guns/mortars for the Italian theatre? Is the usual way to go to paint them in the same schemes as the tanks? I'm keen to start painting my 25pdrs, but I really don't have much of an idea where to start!

  3. Kiwis in Italy should have a Khaki + Dark grey/black camo for their tanks. Their guns should be dark green like late war British.

    I used:
    Khaki + German Grey camo for the tanks.
    Russian Uniform for the guns (mortars and PIATS as well).

  4. Taken at the IWF worlds this year:

    I will update my Blog tonight with what I have painted for Conquest and what I still need to do with more in focus shots.

  5. Looking very cool, thanks LintMan. I appreciate the help with the guns/tanks, I think I'll get to work on one of the guns to break up the infantry tedium.

    That's some great painting by the way. I especially like the painting for Napoleonics on your blog.