Friday, 28 March 2014

Dougie - Painting British Part 5- Varnish and Basing

Like some avenging angel, here to remind us what productivity looks like and how we all should be painting rather than writing poorly attempted witty comments on blogs, Dougie is back. And this time, he is here to finish stuff.....

This update will cover varnishing the figure and finished the bases. First off I always use 2 varnishes. The first coat is standard Humbrol gloss poly 35, this is a good protective coat for the paint and also helps unify the colours. The photo shows our figure having had his coat of Humbrol 35.

He then gets a coat of matt, now there’s a load of discussion on painting forums about matt varnish and which is best, I use Daler-Rowney Soluble Varnish Matt, and I’ve never had a problem, it dries dead flat, as below

The next 2 shots show the figure with the base finished, I’ve simply used Silflor 2 tone tufts Late Autumn in 4mm size, his glasses have also been re-glossed.

The last 2 show my first 4 man fireteam.

Lots more to follow!

Well. They are simply lovely. That camo has come up really well Dougie- Craig and I have been debating about whether it is a touch bright, but you know what, I quite like it. And it's actually making me wonder if I have made my Auzzies too dark. Well that, and reminding me that I really should buy the whole range of Empress British. Because when painted up like that, they are just awesome.

Any clues for us for what is next?

I really need to get back to painting....

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Pooch - Crye Multcam

So, while Dougie has been showing off his awesome painting skills creating a mammoth painting guide, I have been tinkering away at stuff. I ran out of Greenstuff, which has somewhat stymied my progress on the Quad bike riders, but I have remedied that, so they are progressing again.

While I had no Greenstuff, to keep myself entertained I have finished up my first figure in Crye Camo for the Australians.

Crye Camo should look a little bit like this...

Thanks camopedia!

Which if you put on a SAS soldier looks something like this...

And this is how it looks on my test figure. Dougie and all his talk about eyes made me want to give them a try, not sure I am totally convinced, we will see if they are there on my next few auzzies! While these aren't the best pics,they should give you a bit of an idea about what I am looking at for my Auzzies....

The test figure is the Willia Apiata model from Empress' Kickstarter. Now, I know there are many of you who just threw their shoes at your computer monitor for me painting up a NZ icon as an Auzzie, but there is a story.

In my researching the Auzzies in Afghanistan, one of the books I read was The Crossroads by Mark Donaldson VC. It was a very good book, and one which I highly recommend you pick up and have a read of. As for his VC, the story goes like...

The actions for which Donaldson's VC were awarded took place on 2 September 2008. Patrolling with Afghan and US forces, they were ambushed by a well-prepared and larger Taliban force. The ambush began with sustained machine gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire, causing several casualties. Donaldson deliberately exposed himself to fire from the Taliban fighters in order to draw their attention away from the casualties, allowing them to be moved to cover. When the patrol attempted to withdraw, the number of casualties was such that the unwounded personnel (including Donaldson) had to make their way on foot, beside their vehicles, as the casualties filled the vehicles. As they set off, it was realised that an Afghan interpreter attached to the patrol was wounded, and had not been loaded into the vehicles. Donaldson immediately crossed the 80 metres or so of open ground between the convoy and the interpreter, under heavy fire, and then carried him back to the vehicles where Donaldson administered first aid. The patrol eventually broke free of the ambush after two hours.

When asked about the incident, Donaldson commented: "I'm a soldier, I'm trained to fight ... it's instinct and it's natural. I just saw him there, I went over and got him, that was it." The events were first reported by the Australian press on 12 December 2008 following a briefing by Major General Tim McOwan on 11 December. At this stage Donaldson was identified only as "Trooper F". Donaldson then became the first recipient of the Victoria Cross for Australia on 16 January 2009; he was presented with the medal by the Governor-General at a ceremony in Government House, Canberra.

The official citation was published in a special edition of the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette of 20 January 2009 and states (in part) that the award was made for " ... most conspicuous acts of gallantry in action in a circumstance of great peril in Afghanistan, as part of the Special Operations Task Group during Operations SLIPPER, Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan." Seven days after the medal presentation, Donaldson lent his VC and other medals to the Australian War Memorial in an official ceremony. The medals were placed on display at the end of February 2009.

(direct quote from the most accurate of sources, wikipedia)

So, as for why my SASR miniature looks the way he does, well, this is the real Mark....

Which should explain it all!

Thanks for reading, let me know what you think of the Crye! I have the rest of the SASR patrol half done, as well as the Quad Bikes. So next update will have better pics, promise!


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Our 1st Taliban Green

So eBOB has been busying away in the man cave and come up with the first Skirmish Sangin Taliban and I have to say on behalf of myself and the gang we like what we see. Fingers crossed he manages to get the other three done for SALUTE.

So here for your delectation are a few pics.



I had an interesting email yesterday asking how now we have shut down the yahoo newsgroup,  can people start discussions and add After Action Reports (AARs) to the blog.

So fellow Sanginista’s its simple, you can send your questions and AARs to me and I’ll create the post for you.

So next time you play a game, see a great movie or YouTube video that you think might be cool to share, send me the details so I can share your cool ideas with the rest of the Sangin tribe.

I would also just like to say there is no truth to the rumour that the SALUTE copies of our Radio Dishdash books have been held up while been transported from here in Aotearoa (NZ) as they travel by truck through Afghanistan on there way to Blighty.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Dougie- Painting British Part 4- Badges/Boots/Weapons/Equipment

Dougie is back again, having given us all a couple of days to try his Multi-cam technique (I did, did you?). He returns to finish off the other elements of the model, guns, boots and badges. All things which if you get right, will really add a cool element to your figures.

First off I’ve painted the uniform badges; I’ve restricted this to jump wings and 3PARA DZ Patch. Here’s a photo of the actual kit, the jump wings are subdued and below them on the Velcro is the green 3PARA DZ patch

Here’s a close up of my version on the figure...

I’ve painted his boots starting with a base of VMC SS Cam Blk Brown 822, then brought the sand coloured boots up using the following colours from dark to light, VMC Cork Brown 843, VMC Tan Yellow 912 and VMC Dark Sand 847.

For modern weapons I’ve never been keen on using metallic colours, so I use a range of Greys running from VMC German Grey 995 to VMC Light Grey 990 and the shades in between.

I then finished off the helmet band, strap, gloves and radio earpiece and boom mike.

This is the front and back views below of the completed figure.

The next update we’ll be varnishing the figure and finishing the base.
Later, Dougie

Ray- French Equipment

Ray is back, looking at some of the French Equipment in Afghanistan

In this article I thought I’d take a look at the equipment currently in use by the 2nd REP and by the French army in general. I haven’t made this list exhaustive but simply picked out the items that seem unusual or have that distinctive French feel to them.

The obvious place to start is with the standard issue infantry assault rifle, the very distinctive looking FAMAS (Fusil d'Assaut de la Manufacture d'Armes de Saint-Étienne). If there is anything in his equipment that gives the French soldier a distinctive look then it has to be the FAMAS. Something that has grabbed my attention when studying the war in Afghanistan is how very similar all of the ISAF forces actually are (at least in appearance), however you only have to see someone carrying a FAMAS and he’s instantly recognisable as a French soldier. The rifle itself follows the Bullpup design with the magazine and action lying behind the trigger in line with the firers face. It was first adapted by the French army in 1978 and (with a few refinements and additions) has remained in service ever since. As assault rifles go it’s nothing startling (I reckon it's pretty startling!- Ed). It has its drawbacks but seems to be generally liked by the troops who use it and is affectionately known as “le clarion” (the bugle) by the Legionnaires.

When it comes to section support, there are two options used by the Foreign Legion: The standard FN Minimi – as used by many other ISAF forces and the AA NF1. Originally issued in 1952, the NF1 been on the way out since 2010 but is still in use with the Legion.

There are two options available to the French soldier when it comes to sniper rifles; The FR-F2 (a standard 7.62mm bolt action rifle) and the PGM Hecate heavy sniper rifle, a fearsome looking 12.7mm beast that would make a sizeable hole in anyone unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end.

Soldier of the 2nd REP carrying an AA NF1 in Mali and a 2nd REP soldier carrying a PGM Hecate

If the FAMAS gives a French soldier that certain “je ne sais quoi” then the LGI-F1 is another distinctly French take on light infantry support. It’s basically a light one man mortar (very similar to the Japanese knee mortar used in WW2). It uses a form of propulsion called FLY-K which basically reduces the muzzle flash and smoke discharge to a point where it is very difficult to detect and because it does not heat up, it is capable of very rapid rates of fire.

Legionnaire of the 2e REI using the LGI in Afghanistan

The Legion uses the fairly standard AT4 - one shot anti tank missile as its standard bunker buster in Afghanistan. Alongside that they also still use the older LRAC-F1 which is steadily being phased out.

Legionnaire firing LRAC-F1, compared to an AT4 CS

Anyway, that’s enough for the small stuff, now to get to the real “boys toys” and take a look at the vehicles currently in use by the Legion.

There are three light 4x4’s that the Legion either uses currently, or did use during its service in Afghanistan.
The Peugeot P4 is an unarmoured 4x4 that has been in use with the army since the mid 1980’s It’s slowly being replaced by the PVP (Petit Véhicule Protégé – Small protected vehicle) produced by Panhard. This is lightly armoured 4x4 The PVP has been in use with the Legion since 2012

Peugeot P4 and Panhard PVP

The third light recce vehicle is the VBL (Véhicule Blindé Léger – Light armoured vehicle). A useful little amphibious ATV, it’s been in use with the legion since the mid 1990’s and comes in a variety of guises with various weapons platforms and roles. It is currently in service with the reconnaissance units of the 1er REC and 2e REI.


When it comes to troop carriers the VAB (Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé – Armoured Vanguard Vehicle) has been the workhorse of the French army since the mid 70’s and is still going strong. It is slowly being replaced however by the more modern VBCI (Véhicule Blindé de Combat d’Infanterie – Infantry combat armoured vehicle). This 8x8 is produced by Nexter systems and Renault and is currently in service with units of the 2nd REI.


Finally the heavy support: This comes in the shape of the ERC-90 Sagaie, a 6 wheeled armoured reconnaissance vehicle mounting a 90mm gun and the AMX10. It’s bigger brother armed with a formidable 105mm gun. It’s main role is that of tank destroyer but it also fulfils a reconnaissance role. Both vehicles are currently in service with the 1er REC.(The AMX10 comes in a very close second in my "favourite wheeled vehicles with ridiculous guns competition", I just love the Stryker MGS too much-Ed)

ERC 90 and AMX10 RC

So that’s it, a brief look at what the Legion is using. In the next post, (god willing), I will take a look at the Eureka figures and see how they paint up. In the meantime, I’ve succumbed to the inevitable and ordered a VAB and a VBL from Gasoline. So if they arrive first I may even do a brief review of the kits.

En Avent mes enfant!

Well Ray you will be pleased to hear that the French have arrived, although there were a LOT of French vehicles in that article, are you preparing for an armoured incursion? Looking forward to seeing the Gasoline kits too, I have heard very, very good things about them. You will definitely need to do a review of them!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Model Dads review of Skirmish sangin

OK well I think its fairly obvious if you read this blog that you are a Skirmish Sangin fan. However, Model Dads has reviewed our beautiful product and we present it here for your delectation. They have made a few small mistakes but the tone is very supportive and its great to see they like the game.

Another reason I have posted the video here because if anybody is checking out the game this would be a good resource.

Its worth watching.

Dougie - Painting British Part 3- Multicam

I hope you are sitting down in a comfy chair, because Dougie's "How To" guide continues, this time tackling the MTP camo for his Paras. I'm sure everyone who is planning to paint any form of Multicam will find this useful, if only for the techniques he chooses!

Well here’s how I paint MultiCam. At each stage I’ve included front and back views of the figure.

These are the paints I have used...
VMC Medium Grey 987
VMC Buff 976
VMC English Uniform 921
VMC Golden Olive 857
VMC USA Uniform 922
VMC SS Cam Blk Brown 822
VMC Ivory 918
and finally Daler Rowney Acrylic Artists Ink Sepia 251.

It’s an 8 stage process so here goes!

Stage 1 is to paint the whole uniform, body armour and webbing/load carrying equipment in VMC Medium Grey 987. Leave a small amount of black showing at the clothing joins.

Stage 2 is to highlight this colour with VMC Buff 976 as below.

Stage 3 is to lay on the first camo colour, VMC English Uniform 921 in a horizontal pattern, as below

Stage 4 we add VMC Golden Olive 857, again in a horizontal pattern as below

Stage 5 we add smaller areas of VMC USA Uniform 922, as below

Stage 6 we add flecks/swirls of VMC SS Cam Blk Brown 822, as below

Stage 7 is to add flecks/swirls of VMC Ivory 918, as below

Stage 8 is the last stage in my MultiCam method, we use Daler Rowney Acrylic Artists Ink Sepia 251 and a fine brush to line out and edge all joins and uniform seams, as below

It is a bit time comsuming but I’m quite pleased with the result. Next update we’ll be adding uniform detail, so that’s the buckles, Velcro areas and badges/insignia.

Later, Dougie

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Craig - You can never have enough buildings!

Well hopefully you have all had a go at making some Afghan buildings for Skirmish Sangin - and fingers crossed, you may even have tried using the method I described in an earlier post. o keep you inspired here are a few images of some new buildings I have made.

As always they are based on MDF slightly rounded on the edges, painted on both sides to reduce warp. The paint I use is Resene Calico. Then I cover the whole building with a wash of Scorched Brown (any reddy dark brown is good) and Tamiya acrylic thinners - make sure this mix is very thin!!!! It is better to wash several times if need be than use too dark a wash. Some variation between buildings will occur and I think this helps to keep it natural. Here is the 'Boy with Goats' house:

  The happy couples house:

The Baddies hideout:

And a nice picture of the first building I did for the original post with some figures:

Craig W