Saturday 30 July 2022

Rifle Section Ready

I have mentioned before how I had found inspiration in the painting guide found on 'Moiterei's bunte Welt'.  Unfortunately this only dealt with the 'summer' uniform and although I was able to adapt it my needs, I had a sudden panic when dealing with the Telogreika padded jackets worn by some of my troops.  Fortunately, Nick very kindly came to my rescue and suggested a couple of colours and techniques to incorporate into what I was already doing.
After using a suitable 'earth' colour for the base everything was given a wash, something I always worry about.  I have used washes and glazes and understand the technique, but I always shudder at covering over a nicely painting miniature in this way.  In this case the purpose is simply to accentuate the depth between the padded sections, which then allows me to highlight the raised sections to sell the illusion.
All relatively straightforward stuff, but it helped tremendously having someone just guide me through those initial steps and choices for a colour palette.  The idea is to have recognisably Soviet troops for the tabletop as opposed to historically accurate ones and so my simplified style is working as well as I could have hoped. 
So with the addition of these four, I have my first completed Rifle section with Light Machine Gun support.  There is another of these to come, along with two Veteran Sub Machine Gun sections, but first I need to finish of the other half of the 'Green' Rifle section.  

Saturday 23 July 2022

Da Comrade!

 I have managed to safely negotiate the record breaking temperatures here in the United Kingdom by simply not doing very much!  I did try to keep the hobby momentum going with a few hours of painting first thing in the morning and last thing at night and, as a result, can share my latest efforts.  

These are my first test troops using the 'summer' uniform sprues from the 'Warlord Games' Siberian Veterans box.  As I mentioned before, I was initially a little disappointed with the contents of box, but by using these as my 'free' Green Rifle Section, I feel that I have justified the purchase. 

Painted using the guide from the wonderful, 'Moiterei's bunte Welt' although, I did simplify it somewhat as I knew I wouldn't be able to match Nick's exquisite brushwork.  Speaking of Nick, he was kind enough to share his thoughts on what colours would work for the Telogreika padded uniform so keen to give this a go next.  
So that's another ticked off my list, although still not varnished on final base work done yet. 

Sunday 17 July 2022

Wrap up warm!

 Progress this week hasn't been too bad, not a huge amount of miniatures painted but some important decisions made.  As always my biggest hurdle is deciding on a colour palette.  I have picked up a few reference books and the infoweb is awash with examples of 28mm Soviet Infantry, but it is if I need my hand holding and someone sayong, "put this colour on that part."  I am fine once I get started and happy to take a free and easy approach to historical accuracy, but those tentative first steps can be quite daunting.

The goal has been to achieve a level of competence that doesn't jar the eye too much, but is relatively quick to get the troops done.  I have drawn on the experiences of several gentlemen and fellow Bloggers, namely Dai (The Lost and the Damned and the Stunted), Sander (Modus Reg Magni Momenti) and Moitnerei (Moiterei's bunte Welt).  All have experience of putting together a similar force and so I was able to glean a few great ideas from them all and particularly this little gem, a 'Soviet Colour Guide!'
A few liberties have been taken, particularly with the colour of the ushanka fur hat, but ultimately I am pleased with the first half of my first section.  At this point they have not been varnished as I am not sure about insignia of uniforms, collar flashes for example?  If anyone has any thoughts then do please share.  As for the bases, I am thinking that they will ultimately have a snowy feel to them, but will be leaving that until I have more of the force assembled. 
These were from the 'Warlord Games' Soviet Infantry (Winter) box and I absolutely loved painting them.  Great fun to build and just the right amount of detail to keep me interested without becoming too difficult; being plastic they are also more forgiving when I drop them too!  There is a slight conversion using one of the arms from the Siberian Veterans box, but I ultimately I was a little disappointed with this purchase.  It is essentially a mix of winter and summer uniform sprues with a few metal heads.  That said, I am going to use the summer uniform sprues for the 'green' free section, progress for which is underway, see below, so not all is lost. 
Not quite sure what record breaking temperatures means for 'Awdry Towers', but I am hopeful to make a bit more progress next week, spurred on by my visual troop tracker! 

Saturday 9 July 2022

An East wind blows

Another academic year has drawn to a close in its usual frenatic way.  With so much crammed into a truncated second half of term, I failed to meet my June posting target.  I haven't the time nor the inclination to speak of it here apart from one small matter that has directly influenced this post.  In the closing weeks of the year, the school welcomes pupils from sur le continent to attend, what is in effect, a summer school.  They bring a certain exuberance and joie de vie that I tend to actively avoid as I proofread reports and lament on another year passed.  However this year, one young gentlemen turned out to be a wargamer with a particular penchant for 'Bolt Action'. I happened to mention my meagre efforts with the 'Castle', the boards, miniatures and vehicles still stashed around the school, and once unearthed, the young chap looked wide eyed upon the collection and uttered, 'we should play a game'.

One section of the castle board was duly wrestled from its hiding place and witnessed a brief encounter between the German and Soviet armies.  Fast, furious and hugely enjoyable, much credit has to go to the young monsieur for that not only did he show great patience at my constant questioning, but also explained the rules in a second language!* 

*I like to think I was instrumental in the broadening of his language skills.

It has been a lean year on the hobby front, but I have always enjoyed a summer project and the prospect of catching up with friends to roll some dice in anger.  I had 'loosely' planned to host a return to the 'Congo', but given my all too brief initiation into 'Bolt Action' have decided to embrace a whole new adventure, cue audible groans from regular readers!  Having already amassed some WWII German forces, I thought I would look to find some suitable opponents and so, without any further ado, my new summer project will be...

...a 1000 point Soviet Army for Bolt Action!

I have to confess that this came as a complete surprise to me, but I happened to be reading 'Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad' by William Craig and had enjoyed the spirit in which the Soviets had played in our little encounter that it seemed destined to be.  I am approaching this project with some trepidation as a mass of troops, all wearing the same colour uniforms, sounds so far out of my comfort zone to be ridiculous, but I have enjoyed writing lists and amassing the requisite troops already having first broken my piggy bank.  

My hope is to spend the summer sharing a series of 'Work in Progress' posts as I try and put the army together whilst taking the time to reconnect with the neglected community in our cozy corner of the 'Blogosphere'.

I have even created a new WWII sidebar button, using the artwork of Gordon C. Livingstone originally created for Ian Clark's, Commando issue 2751, 'Grant's Grudge', 1994.

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