Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Shifting Sands Army Build- Part One

OK, so I was going to write these up as I built them before the event, but my move + procrastination meant I needed every moment for actual assembly and painting.  Though late, I'll be going over the process I used to construct my army.  Here's a link to the promising (but unfulfilled) first post.

The first platoon I put together and painted was my Grenadier Scout platoon.  These troops were to give my Stugbatterie the recon that is so neccessary in todays tournament environment.  They would also work in tandem with the StuH platoon vs. Gone to Ground infantry and gun teams.

Here are the dudes I selected for my platoon.  Many of them are from the awesome Sperrverband box and several others are from the LW Panzergrenadier set.  I wanted an assortment of poses but wanted to use the smaller Sperr models if possible.  Any duplicates were modified.  I also did a few head swaps.  The place the guys are in matters! Try to tell a story with the way the guys are positioned.  If an NCO is looking back, make sure someone behind him is lookingat him!  Don't try to crowd a bunch of guys onto a base, four is the most I use these days. Five is just way too squished looking.  
After making sure all of the mold lines are cleaned up, I prime with Tamiya light grey spray primer.  It's super fine and wont make your figs look too dark.  I then block paint all of the uniform, kit, etc.  I don't do any camouflage or super-detail stuff yet like collar piping, waffenfarbe, cap badges yet.
Next I use a somewhat thin black wash and, after dry, some light colored pigments.  After a dullcote spray I go back in and do a drybrush of the main colors for the uniforms, hands and faces, and any kit that needs it.  This builds a third layer of color on the models.  
Basing- This was the first time I used Vallejo's Brown Earth Paste and I was thuroughly impressed.  I use a small artists knife to spread it around the bases then add a few small rocks I picked up from a railroading store when I was in Osaka.
After it's dry I used a brown enamel wash from AK Interactive.  Once that's dry I trim up the edges and paint any camouflage and super-detail stuff.  Also I highlight the ground with a few different colors and paint the rocks.
I like to paint my base edges in an appropriate color.  For Heer troops I use Panzer Grey.  The small stuff like waffenfarbe and collar piping really can make your infantry stand out.  Also, Splinter Camouflage, once practiced, can look brilliant.
Grass work can be frustrating (and messy!).  I discovered Silfor tufts awile back and they're super nice.  I also had several types of static grass that I mixed to give me some different color and lengths throughout.  After the glue dries I use a pair of tweezers to pick out any stray bits of grass that don't sit naturally and trim the tufts if necessary.  A quick matte varnish spray and then some dry pigments on the patches of ground that still show around the grass and the Scouts are done.

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