Tuesday, 15 October 2019

US Tank Crew

The day job is proving relentless at the moment; nothing too onerous you understand, just the incessant reports, meetings and work scrutinies that it has been decreed must be completed before the half term break.  Unfortunately this has contrived to reduce the hobby time to a few precious hours on a Sunday morning.  I am, of course, grateful for that time, but I am starting to feel like I am letting the side down somewhat as James ploughs on, realising more and more of our idle conversations in freshly cut MDF!  
Looking for a quick win at the weekend, I happened across this set of miniatures.  Now I am not suggesting for one moment that teaching is akin to commanding a tank, but I did suddenly feel an affinity for these most beleaguered of troops, whose only option was to ‘button down’ and  plough on into the face of adversary. 
 These four are from 'Artizan Designs' and sold through the ever reliable 'North Star Military Figures'.  I have noticed over the years that my painting style has simplified.  I have stopped trying to paint eyes, to layer three colours or add numerous washes often giving as much time to one miniature as I would now give to whole unit; seemingly with little discernible difference!  I am attributing this change in style to my ever failing eyesight, but it could equally be my impatience to get the miniatures to the table.  This is certainly the case here, especially as James is racing ahead with all manner of structures that we are both looking forward to sharing with you in due course.
Given the aforementioned simplification of painting style, I found the the 'Artizan Designs' sculpts to be wonderfully forgiving.  I thoroughly enjoyed working on these, trying to find subtle variations in the greens to make them stand out; I was even brave enough to attempt the Divisional Insignia on some of them!  
On refection I probably should have attempted to give them a little bit more of a worn look, as these chaps look incredibly pristine given their recent action.  Six crewmen in total took part in the defence of the castle, five from ‘Besotted Jenny’, Commanded by Capt. John C. Lee Jnr. and  Commander of the ‘Boche Buster’, Harry J. Basse, Lee’s second in command and lifelong friend.
So with the addition of ‘Oddball’ I have five complete, just need to find a suitable Captain Lee!  I have a couple of possibles, one of which is winging its way to 'Awdry Towers' as I write this, but if anyone has any suggestions then do please let me know.


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61 comments:

  1. Great figure Michael :)

    I came to a similar conclusion during the last Challenge with my early war Aussies - I couldn't see any difference between the ones I'd done 3 or 4 layers of highlights on and those that just got 1 or 2.

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    1. I am glad it's not just me. I think as I started to paint miniatures for an actual game rather than just as part of a collection the penny dropped that I was simply spending far too much time on them.

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  2. They look great Micheal!

    As far as wanting to paint figures quicker and easier the older I get rings very true with me. I used to paint in many layers,black line everything and the paint eyes spending hours per figure getting the highlights just right....well those days are gone with most figures getting a maximum of shade, base, highlight or base, wash and some highlights and out the door. They key is painting neat and that's about all one needs to worry about and let the younger folks worry about the perfect tone.:-)

    Christopher

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    1. That sounds like good advice Christopher! I have always enjoyed the painting side of the hobby, but more recently this has been replaced by the planning and playing. That and my patience is not what it once was!

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  3. Super stuff Michael. The light olive greens give contrast not only to the figurine themselves but also between them and the tank.

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    1. Thank you. I was keen to keep the colours clear in the hope that this would give some contrast and so pleased with the results.

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  4. Those look absolutely fantastic Michael, great stuff - and with a simplified painting style no less! And I hear you on speaking about the failing eyesight, I was going to talk about that briefly in my next blog post or two 🙂

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    1. Thank you Ivor. In my case it is the widening gap between short sightedness and long sightedness. I need to get some vari-vocals, but at the moment juggling with two pairs of glasses.

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  5. Another step completed & thus another step closer to the end of the project! They still look great!

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  6. Beautiful work Michael the green has a very nice tone. Simple technique is my only option as I don’t have the patience to do better 🙃

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    1. Thank you Matt and a lack of patience definitely plays a part these days!

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  7. Lovely crew, well done Michael!

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  8. Having seen these figures in the flesh, I can confirm that they are every bit as wonderful as in the pictures.
    Good work Sir, I'm sure that it's experience and confidence in your methods which allow you to simplify without loss of fidelity.

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  9. A well sculpted figure has folds in the clothing that reflected light brings out. All most people are doing it treating the figure as if it was flat and therefore "improving" on the scult, very often turning it into a comic book rendition, just because its todays fashion in painting.
    You must remember when gloss varnish was all the rage!

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    1. Thank you and that is a very good point. I do enjoy the painting process, but sometimes the level of detail on new miniatures is such that I crave simpler fare.

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  10. The one Holding the pistol up next to the one with the tommygun. He Looks the spit of the now aged Roger Moore !

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    1. I did find a possible B, just not sure I can shoehorn him in at the moment.

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  12. These look great Michael, neat base layers can look effective in my opinion, and with so many figures to do for this venture on mass will look just as effective

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    1. I think you are absolutely right Dave, neatness and an even covering seem to get the job done these days.

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  13. They look brilliant mate. More than good enough for gaming with!

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    1. That's very sporting of you Millsy, just need to get a few more done now.

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  14. They may appear to be a little too clean, but they;re instantly recognisable as tankers.
    I hope the "en route" Captain is serviceable.

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    1. Thank you Joe, I just didn't have the heart to cover the freshly painted chaps in mud and grime! Hoping the Captain is a good fit, he should have arrived by the time I get home at the weekend.

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  15. What A "buncha" Tankers, Michael. :) Very nice variations of khaki. The leather jacketed Odd Ball is way cool too.

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    1. Thank you so much Dean, really pleased with the leather jacket, but again that was a base coat, wash and a little highlight.

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  16. And!!!The one Holding the Tommy gun in his Right Hand. I thought I´d seen someone like him and it´s been bugging me...it´s Sgt. Andrew Carter from Hogan´s Heroes (Larry Hovis)

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    1. Now I had to look that one up, but you're not wrong! How have I managed to miss Hogan's Heroes?

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  17. Nicely done - one step closer!

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    1. Thank you Frank, as you say and step closer.

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  18. Fine "art of the brush" in your painting, sir.

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  19. You can spot Artizan figures a mile off!

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  20. Artizan minis are always so well done. I personally am appreciating your more simple approach to painting on these. Nicely done.

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    1. Thank you Dai and like you I am favouring the Artizan sculpts, just ordered some more to act as the French prisoners.

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  21. You might have simplified your style but it's still excellent! Lovely work all round!
    Best Iain

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  22. They look great Michael. Nice clean paint jobs

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  23. Very effective. I wish someone would make bailed out British tank crew.

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    1. Now there is an idea for a set of miniatures and thank you.

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  24. Great tank crew Michael, even your "simple"[aintjob is way better than mine! As for teaching and riding a tank: you're right: for it to be even remotely comparable the tank should be fitted with a dozerblade and some calliope rocket launchers at least ;-)

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    1. You are far too modest Sander and great call on the dozerblade!

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  25. I wouldn‘t call it a simple pj but a very effective one! These fellows just look the part. Reminds me I need cracking on with a certain car...

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  26. Lovely work Michael and I agree, the Artizan figures are a joy to work on.

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    1. Thank you so much Curt, just picked up some more so expect more Artizan loveliness in due course.

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  27. Beautiful work, as usual. I love this project!

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    1. Thank you Mr. Mouse. Hopefully more to come soon.

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