Well, not much to tell right now, but I want to let you know that I still live, at least. I keep flitting to and fro on a bunch of projects so I have nothing completed to show. Strangely a lot of the work has been done on various terrain pieces for very different subjects.
First, I painted five soviet houses from Pegasus, in three evenings or so. It was a rush job for the WW2 convention game I mentioned earlier. You know, the one which I painted these Panzer IV's for. The scenario depicted the vanguard of a german Panzer division racing towards Stalingrad, trying to take and hold a bridge in a russian village, while the soviets have lots of infantry but few AT weapon except for a smattering of PTRD rifles. The germans were supposed to have only panzer II's and III's but I painted the IV's up in case we didn't have enough light tanks. In the end the Panzer IV's sat on a table the whole day, but they did recieve a lot of attention and positive comments. I haven't had the time to photograph them, but the photo below is courtesy of Jocke who has some snaps and a very good AAR on his blog.
|The wooden houses and the ruined brick building were part of my speed-painting frenzy the week before the game.|
One problem with these houses is that I don't know feck about what style I should paint the houses in. The log houses seemed easy, they would be, like, wood coloured. And the hay roofs would be, hay coloured, duh! But one of the log houses had a plank roof, which I ended up painting in a light wood colour. I imagined the planks being a quite new addition, so they would be some fresh wood, perhaps oiled or varnished in some way, but not painted in a gaudy colour. I painted the planked house in the same way, but gave it light blue doors and window sills to add some colour to the otherwise quite drab and dreary village. Jocke had made some small patches of cabbage and other vegetables that added a bit of life to the scenery, a brilliant idea that I have to nick.
Secondly I have done some smaller terrain pieces for the desert LRDG project; a sandbag emplacement for an AA gun and about ten bases of barbed wire as well as a first aid post and a fuel dump. They are so far just basecoated with brown spray paint along with some 40k scenery from Games Workshop.
Most of my time has however been occupied with Dust Warfare. While I have not (yet) amassed enough figures to play a game I have been trawling the net for information and inspiration. One thing I realised I was lacking was suitable 28mm terrain. I have some 40k terrain and while sandbags, trenches and rubble piles look the part, the houses do have that skull-rich look of the future. I decided to try a couple of Dave Graffam's paper ruins. These are multi-skinned PDF files, which you print out and glue yourself. The ability to chose different styles and even building materials means that you can print out multiple copies of the same building and still have them look different. The downside is you have to have access to a colour printer and some heavy cardstock to print them on. I ordered the Sniper's Wall and World War ruins set 1.
|What saving throw did you say paper walls give?|
Speaking of inspiration for terrain and painting you can always watch some movies to get some feel to how things look. Be prepared though to apply your own knowledge and some common sense, since the movies do not always get it right. A prime example is A Bridge too Far, which is filmed on location in Holland and other places where the actual fighting took place. However, the famous Arnhem bridge is not located in Arnhem at all, instead all the Arnhem scenes are shot in the town of Deventer which has a similar bridge. Also 70's style traffic signs are visible in the film.
Another problem with movies is equipment. While most of the equipment can be reproduced or borrowed from collectors, there are just not that many german tanks and other vehicles still around. So the solution is to build your own, in A bridge too far a lot of the vehicles are mock-ups of land-rovers or modern tanks, like the Leopard I posing as a Panther.
A similar approach is made in the russian movie White Tiger. The advantage of filming war movies in Russia is the abundance of T34's still available. The german tanks (in this case the famous Tiger) have to be converted from T34's though, just like in hollywood movies.
The movie does look interesting though, and is more than suitable as inspiration for painting russian tanks and making eastern front terrain. Just don't believe anything about the tactics used, though, movies are particularly bad at showing correct tactics.
There's an interesting clip from the filming as well, which shows a T-34 mocked up as a Panzer IV. The paint job is highly inaccurate with brown stripes on top of a panzer grey basecoat, as all you treadheads out there know it should be dark yellow for a late war tank.
It does, however, have some great shots of russian mud and decrepit wooden houses, and a lovely old church!
Last, just for fun, here's a short clip where a T34 almost runs over the camera crew :-)