So Armies of Afghanistan is in full swing, we have heard from all of the guys taking part and it seems that poor Alex McE is the only one representing the side of the Insurgents. ISAF must have massed some serious force in our Area of Operations!
Now with the first post out of the way, I am really keen to get cracking into my Australians. But I have one major problem. I am waiting on Empress to send their kickstarter miniatures! They have said that they will do it in January, which is fast running out! They have put up pictures of the diggers, but that is only making the waiting worse.
What am I to do to entertain myself?
Well, as it turned out the solution was a random idea from Colin. I am pretty sure he was trawling the internet looking for modern forces which use the Steyr and came across this flickr site.
Which has awesome pictures like this...
Showing an Irish Soldier, armed with a Steyr and wearing gorgeous sky blue body armour, ready for UN duty. Naturally, the combination of an interesting camo scheme, and ridiculous sky blue piqued my interest, so I set to work on making me some Irish (I thought they were for me - Colin).
Step One was to get some of the Kiwi miniatures I had lying around. I had an odds and sods collection of spare kiwis lying around, miniatures which I have been meaning to do something with. Actually, I think I was meant to do a "how to paint kiwis" article using them. Oops, sorry Colin! (Slacker! - Colin)
I also had a scrounge around and found some of the spare British heads which I had from the lovely Empress British models. Conveniently they provide extra heads in their packs, a fact I was very keen to put into use!
Step Two is to behead the poor Kiwi soldier, then to attach the British head in it's place. I used some Army Painter green stuff when I did it, to make sure of a strong bond, but also did a touch of sculpting to neaten up the join and make sure the heads didn't look odd.
One thing I was pleasantly happy with at this stage was that the Empress heads didn't look out of scale at all, which is a really lucky thing, given I gave it no thought before I started cutting!
Step Three is to shave off the circle emblem on the soldier's left arm with a sharp knife. While great to paint a kiwi on it, that ain't going to work for an Irishman!
Once it is shaved off, I roll a think shape of greenstuff and put it on the arm, deliberatly choosing a larger piece of greenstuff than I will need. I then cut the rectangle I need to sort it out, making sure to cut whole sides off, otherwise you run the risk of the whole thing peeling off. A nice sharp scalpel will help here too, that way you are removing the risk of the green stuff getting misshapen.
I use water on my tools when sculpting with greenstuff, a small amount just stops the greenstuff sticking to the tool, rather than to the miniature. As always with this stuff, take your time. Luckily green stuff takes a while to dry, so you can get away with doing a bit of moulding on it.
Step Four is to paint it!
I undercoated the model using Nuln Oil from GW. Generally, I undercoat using a matt black spray paint, but mine ran out, and I was too cheap to buy a new one. (not saying a word - Colin) Hence, Nuln Oil. Was it better? Unsure, but it did the job. I also used the undercoat as an opportunity to see where my green stuffing was a bit suspect.
In terms of the camoflauge uniform, I used a bit of a layering technique.
- Undercoat the uniform in Vallejo Luftwaffe Camo Green
- Then add some squiggles (technical term) of Vallejo German Camo Medium Brown
- Then add some squiggles (still a technical term) of Vallejo Green Grey
- Then add some squiggles (has to be a technical term, I have said it 3 times) of German Grey
The goal with the squiggles is to break up the colours- you don't want too much of any one shining through. Naturally you are going to pick up on the Green Grey the most as it is the lightest colour, so be careful not to go overboard.
In terms of the UN Sky Blue, I use an old GW paint colour, Ice Blue. It was the last thing I painted on the model, and I was careful to get it right. Paint the helmet and body armour (not pouches etc) with the blue colour. I then gave the blue an ink of Nuln Oil. This will darken it up and shade the colour. This is especially important with the helmets of the British with all those holes from the netting. To finish it off I use a small brush with a very small amount of paint and go over the armour and helmet again with Ice Blue.
The goal is to get the UN blue to stand out, but not to have it so it looks unrealistic (just ridiculous).
Am I mad? Well, this is the finished result, you make up your own mind!(A thing of beauty - Colin)
Honestly, I am really impressed with how good these look. So impressed, that I am going to make more! I am getting the rest of the Kiwis off Colin (He's like the budgie... cheap - Colin), plus scrounging around to get the extra British helmeted heads I need. Plus I suppose they need a ride to drive around in?
At any rate, you haven't seen the last of the Irish!
What to do when you are bored Part II will come soon if those Auzzies don't arrive! (I hope they don't I love what he has done - Colin)