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"Recent 6mm Work -- Show us your stuff!" Topic


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Mark 131 Dec 2019 5:44 p.m. PST

Been more than a little while since I posted any pics of my work. And so I shall …

But I would also invite others to post in this thread. Maybe we can get an ongoing picture thread of tastey eye candy.

It took Photobucket a few years to convince me they don't want me as a member, but they finally did. Then it took me a while to choose a new photo hosting site, and get myself set up. But I have.

And in addition, I had to do some modelling work worth showing. And now I have. Or at least I've done some modelling work. Worth showing, or not, is still to be decided.

In any case, here is a platoon of GHQ's lovely Pershing tanks. I actually bought these from Troy Ritter, an occasional contributor to this fine site who used to be an ubermeister of 6mm wonderfulness back in the days of yore. After many extraordinary postings on other fora that taught me many things, he left our scale for larger scale work, and I bought out some of his un-painted inventory.

(An un-painted inventory that then sat idle in my garage for mumble-mumble years.)

So without further ado, my newly completed garage-aged Pershings (and friends…):


The platoon. Getting good focus is a challenge I have not yet fully mastered, so this first one is a bit fuzzed. But there are some better ones to come.

They are pictured in a photo box that is not yet complete. So please don't infer too much from their setting.


The platoon leader's tank.

I had high hopes for this pic. But alas, while the tank comes through reasonably well, the TC in the hatch is still not quite as sharp as I might like. I was quite pleased with the way he came out -- but at this level you can hardly see how much he looks like Brad Pitt….


This pic came out pretty clear. In the past I used rolled clay for my tarps (and stuff). This is the first time I've tried aluminum foil. It's a bit harder to paint (got to put several coats on it to make sure it is fully covered), but I really like the texture when it's done.


This view gives a sense of the variety of materials I've stacked on the engine decks. Not too much clutter -- just enough to give a bit of individual character to the tanks.

You also get a first look at some of the other "friendlies" that I also painted up at the same time.


Here is the whole platoon again, this time in better focus.

And the friendlies are revealed more fully. A mortar platoon with CO stand, and two .50cal HMGs on AA mounts in gun pits. These figures are from H&R. They are the support for a full company of US Infantry I had recently completed. They are not the focus of this posting, but they were on the workboard at the same time, so wound up in the pics.

Hope you enjoy.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Mark 101 Jan 2020 8:21 p.m. PST

And now for a closer look at the US Infantry support units.

Also included are some terrain pieces that were on the workboard at the same time that these guys got done.


Here is the Battalion's 81mm Mortar Platoon. The Platoon CO team, with a radio, is at the front.

These are all H&R figures. I use US Pennies as bases for my infantry. They are cheap and plentiful -- just makes cents to me.

Here is the unit MOP, covering behind a damaged wall near a ruined house. The MOP team was kit-bashed from one of the H&R 60mm mortar teams. In both cases I have made antennae for the radios from a nylon hairbrush. I'm wondering if that choice produced an antenna which is too thick. At least it's reasonably robust.

The wall is made by slicing thin strips off of a sheet of cork, and gluing it down to a stirring stick from my local coffee house. The stick has been painted an earth color, and flocked. The cork wall has been dry-brushed and washed three or four times. Model RR talus was added around the break in the wall for dislocated stones.


Here is an overhead view of the same set-up. The MOP has placed himself with the Battalions' two .50cal AAMG teams. I don't know anyone but H&R that gives such a great selection of poses in their infantry sets, including these AAMGs. Their gun pits are again on Pennies, with some layering of acrylic medium gel to form a pit ring, and sandbags made from air-drying clay.

The burned down house is just a scratch build of some cut up styrene sheets, some model RR talus, and a bit of a balsa rod with a square cross-section for the chimney.


Here two M1917 MGs have taken up positions near a rocky outcropping. Again, I don't think anyone but H&R offers this gun for US forces in 6mm.


Here's a closer look at one of the M1917 MGs. They are casted with a water can on the ground near the front. H&R infantry, at least these older figures (originally from the early- to mid-1990s, I think) don't have all of the crisp details of some newer stuff. But the poses, the choice of weapons, and the combinations you get in the packs are still the best. And they are reasonably robust, so they are quite practical for the wargaming table.

The stones in the outcrop are almost all made from air drying clay, with many washes and dry-brushes applied.

I guess that's enough for now.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2020 10:09 a.m. PST

They are really good Mark, lots of good inspiration for my own set-up.

captaincold6916 Jan 2020 8:07 a.m. PST

This makes me sad that I don't have the table space for setting up my game :(

Nice work Mark

Mark 116 Jan 2020 1:52 p.m. PST

This makes me sad that I don't have the table space for setting up my game

The '08 downturn hit me particularly hard. By 2010 I had to "downsize" our living situation. I have not had the room to set up a game since.

But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy my hobby. Gaming can take place at other venues (game club, hobby shops, gaming cons) and one of the GREAT advantages of 6mm scale is that I can store armies that probably exceed 2,000 vehicles, guns and infantry stands in 3 Craftsman tool boxes. So even if I don't have room to set up a game, or when for any other reason I don't get to set up games, I can still continue enjoying my hobby by collecting new units, or upgrading old units to my newer standards of modelling.

Last week I started refurbishing and rebasing some French infantry figures I painted up in the late 1980s / early 1990s. Inspired by the work others have shown (in larger scales) on this fine site, I have decided to add some motorcycle-mounted Dragon Portees to my French WW2 forces, with both M/C sidecar combinations for moving around the battleboard, as well as infantry stands to reflect the dismounts for combat.

It's one advantage of a smaller scale. A bit of table space and I've got enough room to hobbify to my heart's delight.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2020 6:38 p.m. PST

I second the 6mm too. For me, it just gives a better rendition of an open and maneuvering battlefield, especially on a 12-foot table. I use 1" = 25m which gives a more realistic scale with 6mm models. The larger stuff like 28mm is great for what I call the "Last Hundred Yards" close assaults, infantry firefights with SMG and grenades, etc. There is a sweet spot for all scales.

I don't base my 6mm so it looks even more realistic.

Wolfhag

amarcelo16 Feb 2020 5:33 p.m. PST

My 3d modeled and 3d printed Stalingrad Grain Elevator

picture

Mark 109 Mar 2020 11:03 p.m. PST

Amarcelo that grain elevator is magnificent …
and LARGE! Yikes that is a BIG 6mm object!

Please share more images if you get it painted up. I wager it will be even more magnificent!

Oh, and … got any other 6mm toys? It seems unlikely to me that this would have been your first project.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Mark 109 Mar 2020 11:25 p.m. PST

And now for some more. Here are some French motorcycle troops I just finished. I was inspired by some other work shown here on TMP that was done in larger scales.


Here is a platoon of motorcycles. I used GHQ German Motorcycles+Sidecar models. Half of them had their MG34s clipped off, as there was only one LMG per squad. Even with the LMGs in place I added magazines to the top of the MG34s to give us something a bit more like a French FM24/29.


Going into the project I was thinking I would have to file down some helmet flanges. But this appears to be one of GHQ's older molds, and I didn't see enough detail in the helmets to worry about.

As I have mentioned, I generally put four infantry figures on a base to indicate a standard squad. So I figures two motorcycle+sidecar combo's would give me 4 figures, and so a standard squad when mounted.


Then two figures would equal a smaller team. This is what I usually use for command elements. So here is my platoon commander motorcycle+sidecar.


I also clipped the figures off of a few bikes, so that I could have a marker for where the motorcycles were parked for when the Dragons dismount.


Here the platoon has dismounted. The figures are older H&R French infantry. My French WW2 infantry force was done with H&R figures twenty-some years ago. I've always had a box labeled "Extra French Infantry". Well I just took a few of them out, un-based them, upgraded their painting, re-based them, and voila! I have some Dragons.

As I've said before, the variety of poses with the H&R infantry is just great. Here I have riflemen advancing at port-arms, riflemen with grenade launchers, LMG gunners advancing with guns at the hip, and a combat leader pointing the way.


And he better be pointing the way to some cover, because I also finished up a couple of Italian Macchi C.202 Folgore fighters for my Italians in Tunisia (where my French force often fights) and Sicily (where my Americans may venture some day).


Again they are H&R. I've had them in my "to be painted" box for I don't know how long. These are some really nice models. I have many H&R aircraft, and I am generally very happy with them, but I think these are among the best.

The stands are also new for me. I saw something similar in one of the posts here -- I think it was a game AAR. In any case I'm never above borrowing (obsconding?) a good idea. Just a bent large sized paperclip, with some low visibility earth tones on the bottom and light/medium gray above.

Not the most stable stands on earth. I don't think they'll do for twin-engined bombers or transports, unless perhaps I get some larger paper clips. But they are low visibility, and low space footprint on the table below. So I think they may work out quite well for my gaming.

Well, that's enough for now. Next up with be some of the newer stuff I've received from my latest order of H&R goodies.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP10 Mar 2020 7:21 a.m. PST

Fun thread – keep it coming!

Mark 110 Mar 2020 7:38 p.m. PST

Since I mentioned the new paperclip-based airplane flight stands, I thought I might provide some context for my remarks.

Or perhaps that is just an excuse for some wholly gratuitous postings of some pics.

Either way… the following are most decidedly NOT recent. Rather old materials, in fact. Not one is less than 10 years old, and some MUCH older than that.


This shows my prior approach to flight bases. These are disposable sanding disks I found at the auto parts store. A bit of paint and flock, and a wire heated and poked into the center, and they make VERY nice and stable flight stands.

The problem is that they also have a large footprint on the game table. And one does not always have that much empty space on the table where the plane is supposed to go.

Oh and BTW the planes are my scratch-built La-5s. I made these in the late 1970s, before aircraft were generally available at this scale. (See, I TOLD you this was not recent work!).


As an illustration of how stable my old stands were, this is a C-47 from a UK vendor on one of my old flight stands. This is a heavy chunk of metal -- not hollowed spaces at all. (And probably about 18 years old in my ready forces box -- don't think the ol' Gooney Bird has seen a game table yet.).


Stable mates for my Folgores will be my Macchi C.200 Saettas. These were also painted up about 15 or 18 years ago. They still stand up to examination well enough. Pretty nice looking birds, I think.

OK, that's enough for now. Back to some painting.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Mark 120 Mar 2020 8:56 p.m. PST

Well I went back to painting, and now there's more to show.

I said:

Next up with be some of the newer stuff I've received from my latest order of H&R goodies.

This stuff is indeed from my latest order of H&R goodies. And so, for me, it's quite new stuff.

But it's rather old stuff in terms of it's time in the H&R catalog. These are goodies I've been looking at for many years, and only just got around to buying.

My new French AM50 "White-Laffly" armored cars…


Gotta love this piece of French kit. An MG, and a 37mm gun, sticking out of opposite ends of the turret. Which one you gonna face towards the potential threat? Choose wisely…

They did see some limited service in the Battle of France in 1940. But mostly they had already been replaced by the much more modern Panhard AMD-178s, and so had been shipped to the Colonies. That's what drives my interest in them.

My challenge was that photos I found of AM50s in Tunisia, my primary area of interest for these babies, tend to be black-and-white.


Fortunately I was able to find some color plates. In this case, an AM50 based at Port Lyautey, Morocco, during the inter-war period. Close enough, it will have to do. And … I do on occasion pit my US forces against my French in Torch scenarios, so maybe even better than making do.


So here is my color scheme. I went full on after the Moroccan paint job, including the air recognition roundels.


The models themselves are not the best. The side hull bulges should be rounded, not square as on the model,as it was a widening to accommodate the large turret ring.

The MGs on the castings were not particularly good. Thin and flimsy (well, what MGs aren't at this scale?), but also too short. The MG barrel needs to be longer than the short 37mm gun's barrel, or the danged thing just doesn't look right. So they got clipped off and replaced with bits of plastic rod (from those tag holders that come on new clothes -- been saving 'em up for years).

And it should be cast with headlights jutting out from the sides of the armored radiator. They just aren't there on the castings. So I had to paint them as if they were built in to the armored radiator mounting.

But in any case, I am delighted to have them, and did my best to make them look good for the battleboard.


I put a commander in the hatch of one. This was a left-over bit after I did my motorcycles (see posting above) -- the upper portion of a rider who was clipped off to make the empty parked motorcycles.


I've done a few Tunisian scenarios over the years, so there is at least some reasonable chance these puppies will see a game board. Sometime …


I also ordered a few French trucks in the same shipment. So no real added burden to have them on the workbench at the same time. It's pretty much the same colors, just in different places and proportions.

Two Renault medium trucks (AGR 3.5t is my guess), and two light trucks (15CVs is my guess).


I often take one truck out of a set to paint up as a civilian vehicle. Renault trucks were reasonably common across Europe in the civilian market, so I did one of the 15CVs. I understand they were fairly popular urban commercial delivery trucks.


Closing pics of some AM50s of the 4e RCA in Tunisia. The RCAs (Regiments Chasseures d'Afrique -- African Cavalry Regiments) were mostly motorized by the time the war broke out, operating armored cars and motorcycles, with light trucks for support weapons.


I'm feeling pretty good about how my Tunisian French force is shaping up.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Charles the Modeller21 Mar 2020 2:07 a.m. PST

Great work Mark!
I've been working on a Brécourt manor model, at the moment I have completed the basic layout but have also got the guns painted. Pics below of the 105mm guns. I'll show crews, German defenders and the US 506PIR once painted.

picture

picture

picture

picture

picture

More info on the build at my blog allhellletloose.co.uk
Stay safe
CtM

Mark 121 Mar 2020 2:22 p.m. PST

Well now, that is 6mm modelling at an entirely different level!

Beautiful stuff, Charles. Quite inspiring!

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

captaincold6924 Mar 2020 5:24 p.m. PST

Mark…your last post, top 4 pics…can you tell me about that mat? Bought? Made? It's perfect for my upcoming North Africa battles.

Thanks

Mark 126 Mar 2020 1:44 p.m. PST

cc69:

Sorry to disappoint, but that is not a mat.

You might note in my first post in the thread, where I said of my Pershing tanks: "They are pictured in a photo box that is not yet complete."

Well, the French motorcyclists are also pictured in that same box, although it is now much further along the path to completion.

I basically wanted a semi-permanent setting to photograph my work. So I took a box that was on the road to the recycling bin -- a box that had held a case of drinks when it came into my house -- and set it up as a small "stage" for showing my work. I sliced away one side, spray painted the interior olive green on one side, earth tan on the other. There's also sky blue and puffy white clouds on the back panel, but they don't show up in any of the pictures. I then put some foam packing, spray painted forest green, around the edges to simulate (poorly) some depth of forests. I then added some flocking. I guess I was thinking that the background elements (foam forest, painted hills, sky and clouds) would be out of focus behind my models, but my phone's camera, despite having some difficulty focusing on the foreground subject, seems to have no difficulty at all keeping the background in reasonable focus. So I added some model RR shrubbery around the base of the foam packing trees, and even some grape stems to try to put some tree trunks into the otherwise disappointing foam trees. But alas, the background is still unusable, and so I just try to angle my images not to show it.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Mark 112 Apr 2020 7:25 p.m. PST

Here are a few more pics from my recent 6mm work.

First, in my prior pics I included one pic of a Renault light truck that I had done up as a civi vehicle.


Here it is among other WW2 era civilian vehicles I have in my collection. Most are based on Russian GAZ-AA truckes, which were originally license-built versions of the Ford Model AA truck (the truck based on the Model A sedan). Ford licensed his design to several foreign manufacturers in the 1920s and early 30s, so it was a reasonably common light truck in Europe.

Behind it is a recent bit of scratch-built industrial scenery. In the front of the background is a stand I made from three of those little desiccant tubs that come in pill bottles. I added a ladder cut from window screening, and some various bits of pipe and timber to give some form of storage / distillery tanks. Behind that is a taller set of storage tanks that I made many years ago from cardboard tubing. More on that in a later posting.


Here are my WW2 era and post-war era civilian vehicles ready to be put back away again (now with one newcomer to the collection). There are a few actual civilian vehicles that I have bought, but most are just military trucks or jeeps that have been painted or kit-bashed into civilian something-or-others. I still have a French staff car somewhere that I was planning to paint up as a civilian vehicle, but I don't know where it is among all the items in my "to be painted" bin.


A repeat of my French motorcycle troops, only because after looking in to the TOEs of the French units, I found that the motorcycle platoons only typically had 2 squads, and that the companies were typically 2 platoons. As I had painted up 3 squads, it turned out all I needed was one more squad and two more command stands (and a 60mm mortar team) to get from a too-big platoon to a standard-sized company. So I expanded up to the company.


Took a few more mounted stands as well. Worked out exactly right -- not one motorcycle to spare, but I have the full company now mounted and dismounted.

Now for some new stuff.


These are new trucks I got in my recent order from H&R. I am VERY impressed.

The Dovunque-Viberti radio truck in the front was, I think, one of the first new designs offered by Armstrong Miniatures. I have had my eye on it for some time (yikes I am slow to buy new stuff!). Now that Armstrong has joined forces as part of H&R, I believe most of the new models are his work. And impressive it is.

The trucks that follow the radio truck are Ceirano medium trucks from the Italian line. These are really beautiful models.


I think they are really among the top tier of models at this scale. Detailed, crisply molded. Really nice.


Here is one of the new H&R Ceirano trucks next to one of the older H&R Renault trucks.

With the older H&R models I typically feel I am painting above the level of the model to bring them up to the level I want for my forces.


But with the newer H&R models I think I will be trying to bring my painting skills up to the level that the models deserve.


Here I have placed the new H&R truck in among his stable-mates in my Italian force: led by a GHQ Dovunque 3t truck, and followed by a GHQ Lancia 3RO heavy truck.

I've always kind of thought of 6mm suppliers in terms of tiers -- the first tier for me has always been GHQ and C-in-C. These have historically been the best models, always a win. The second tier have been H&R and Scotia. In these cases the models were more often adequate, although for a few of the individual models that might be a generous terms.

Then there are third tier vendors that I generally don't use.

Now that may have to change. If the other new H&R models are as nice as these trucks, I am going to have to start thinking of H&R as one of the first tier of vendors. Because these are almost indistinguishable from the other first tier vendors in terms of detail and crispness.

Yeah, they're only trucks. But hey, even trucks can add to the visual appeal of a game.

I am impressed.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Valderian13 Apr 2020 3:07 a.m. PST

@Mk 1 congrats for this impressive work and totally agree on the use of trucks, but also for objectives in a wargame! Also mix-and-match miniatures from different producers is the way to go also for me. Have you tried Butler's Printed Models and Scotia Grendel?
@amarcelo you have the skills! 3d printing makes all our dreams come true, no longer asking/hoping for some big producer to do it
@Charles the Modeller your work is also an inspiration for me

Mark 109 May 2020 1:43 p.m. PST

I showed my civilian vehicles a few posts back, as I added one Renault truck from my recent purchase.

That got me into my civilian stuff, and led me to do a bit of a touch-up on my civilian figures. So here they are…


I based them in twos for the most part. That allows me to show small groups (in the rules I use, 2 on a stand indicates anywhere from 2 to 5 figures).

I originally made my civilians just by choosing some older un-used infantry figures from the extras bin. Mostly they are the 1970s era Skytrex 1/300 stuff, which was not really good enough for me to continue buying them once other 6mm infantry started to become available.

My refub consisted mostly just of touching up the paint, and doing a bit of work on the cardstock bases.


I have one pair if figures with yellow hard-hats to indicate construction crews. These might accompany my civilian bulldozer or commercial trucks. (Don't really know if WW2 era European construction workers actually HAD hardhats, but I have also used these as modern figures over the years). There is also a pair in navy blues (looks almost black in the picture) to represent police officers, a reasonable presence in many scenarios with civilians. The rest are just in a variety of civilian colored clothing.

There is one new figure I added -- a cameraman in a white shirt (the only single on a stand), made from a modern MANPAD figure with the front and back of his launcher clipped off.

And there is a one-horse farm cart. This was a scratch-build, made with wheels that are the turntables of two British field guns, a balsa wagon body with plastic / glue bits stacked on it, a wagoneer from a GHQ seated infantry set, two plastic runners from clothing tags, and a horse taken from a C-in-C wagon set (it comes with 4 wagons, with enough horses for 2 x 2-horse and 2x 4-horse set-ups, but I have never done more than 2 horses per wagon, leaving a few extras).


As with many of my pics, there are often some structures on the workbench at the same time, and they wind up in my pics as backgrounds. In this case there were two identical timbered houses that I painted up differently (and placed doors and a couple windows differently) in an effort to let me place them on a table together without them being obviously identical. The industrial tanks have been shown before, although the 3 tall tanks / silos underwent a refurb from their original state as built some 30 years ago. Also the steel girder bridge -- a scratchbuild of simple cut cardstock was also a refurb, as it had been somewhat crushed over the years and was falling apart, in addition to not being quite as nicely painted as I might want.

Next up, some of the new H&R Italian infantry.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Mark 109 May 2020 3:00 p.m. PST

My recent H&R purchase was largely driven by my need to get a few more Italian LMGs.


The Italian platoon structure was different from most other major WW2 combatants. They did not have 3 x 8-12 man squads per platoon, with an LMG in each squad. Instead they had 2 x 18 man squads per platoon, with each squad having a 9 man rifle section and two 4 man LMG sections (or if you prefer, a 9 man rifle section and a 9 man section with 2 LMGs).

In either case, I was not able to get enough LMGs when I build my Italian force from GHQ individual infantry figures back in about 2002-2004. I tried grabbing every prone gunner figure I could in my extras bin, but was not satisfied with the look. So I've always had a desire for some extra Italian LMG teams, and when I read that H&R had new Italian figures I thought I would give them a try, with fingers crossed that they would be more compatible with GHQ than the random prone gunners from my extras bin.

Boy, did H&R come through on THAT! OK, caveats apply -- this is going to sound a bit like cheer-leading or something. But I am VERY impressed by the new H&R infantry figures!

First, some end results. Then some closer looks at some figures during the work-in-process.


Here is a side-by-side of the new H&R (left) and GHQ (right). An excuse for the GHQ -- the loader is NOT a current GHQ individual infantry Italian figure. The loader was from the extras bin, and I think (from how slight-of-build it is) might have been an older C-in-C US Infantry figure. But maybe it's not an excuse, because GHQ doesn't PROVIDE loaders for their Italian LMG gunners, and of course the Breda M30 LMG was a full-up b!tch to load (with a built-in 20-round box magazine that hinged forward and had to be feed with 5-round stripper clips) and so needed a loader perhaps more than any other LMG of WW2.

Also, the GHQ LMGs were too long. The Breda M30 was a relatively short gun, with only an 18-inch barrel. I clipped off the ends of the GHQ guns to try to improve the appearance, but even so they appear too long. The H&R guns, on the other hand, really give the compact, boxy appearance of the Breda LMG.


Here is an Italian ATR team. I place it right after the LMGs to show how visually distinct they are from each other. In this case, I think that maybe H&R could have made the gun a bit longer, but still it is easily identifiable as a Fucile Controcarro 35(p), the Italian designation for the Polish Maroczek anti-tank rifle, of which they bought about 800 from the Germans' captured weapons stock after the the conquest of Poland. It can be ID'd due to the un-encumbered barrel (no top gas-tap piston as on a Solothurn ATR), the bipod about half-way along the length of the gun (no wheeled or sledged mount as on a Solothurn ATR), and the muzzle brake (distinguishing it from any non-ATR weapon).

Now for a closer look…


I bought a bit of a variety of figures to get a fuller appreciation of the new H&R stuff. Here we see kneeling gun crews on the workbench. I have used a lot of older H&R kneeling gun crews… but these new ones -- WOW are they nice! I mean, really really nice figures.


I also bought some Italian combat engineering figures. Here we see engineers with minesweeping equipment, and a kneeling figure with a satchel charge.

Again -- WOW are they nice! Being able to clearly distinguish the headgear and earphones is really impressive at this scale.


Here we see the kneeling gun crews in action. I keep my guns and crews separate -- the crews are based, and the guns are set on the base as needed. In this case, I bought some of the new H&R Italian 65mm infantry guns. The guns in themselves are really nice, and quite a find!


I also bought a couple of Italian 75mm Mountain Howitzers. Here they are, on the same crew stands. This was also used as an infantry gun by some formations, although not as often seen as the 65mm Infantry Gun (which also started as a mountain howitzer, before being replaced by the 75mm).

These two cases illustrate one of the advantages I find in keeping the crews separate from the guns -- I would typically not use both guns in any one game, so I need only half the number of crews. I similarly have 8 standing gun crews, with both 2 x 4-gun battleries of 100mm Howitzers and 1 x 6-gun battery of 75mm Field Guns available for my Italian artillery force. The other advantage, of course, is that some rules (like the rules I currently prefer to play) adjudicate the destruction of the gun separately from the wounding/killing of the gun crew. If needed, I could see deploying these kneeling crews as artillery crews, to give me capacity to deploy both my 6-gun 75mm Field Gun battery and one of my 4-gun 100mm Howitzer batteries at the same time.


A propos all the artillery, here is a command/HQ squad. In this case my thinking is to use it as an artillery command post, although it could serve as almost any HQ. The figures are again from the H&R Italian infantry, in this case the command set. There are two officers (one with helmet, one with hat), and a radio operator with the distinctive Italian field radio with hoop antenna. Very nice!


I built a table with a bit of plastic sheet on top of two of the H&R barrels (I bought various vehicle extra sets like barrels, spare wheels, and tarps/packs to add to and around various of my vehicles). The map is a painted bit of aluminum foil (chosen because it drapes off the edge of the table nicely).


Here you see one of the satchel charge figures based with two GHQ Italian SMG gunners. I use 3 figures per stand to indicate a full-sized special purpose squad. The 3 figures lets me see easily on the game table that this is not a standard infantry squad. Then the figures on the stand tell me it is a squad of combat engineers with satchel charge.


Here are the combat engineers in full assault mode. I now have 2 M35 Flame Thrower teams (two man stands in the back of the engineers), and 4 squads with satchel charges (3-man stands), shown also with an LMG in support.

The riflemen figures based with the H&R figures with the satchel charges are GHQ. The rifleman figures based with the flame throwers are H&R.


And here we see my full company of Italian infantry. Mostly based on GHQ's individual infantry, but with some of the LMGs now from H&R, and while the company command squad is GHQ, the radio team is H&R. The figures mix very well, and they all reach the same level of quality in terms of modelling and castings. At least in my book.

As I said, I am very impressed by the new H&R infantry.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Mark 109 May 2020 3:28 p.m. PST

Since I yammered on so much about the kneeling gun crews, I thought I might give a bit more background to how I came to my approach. In the process I also get to show-off another refurb project I have just finished.


This is the "before" shot. Yuck. Just yuck. This is what my US Army ATGs looked like up until this week. I mean, look at the top of this thread, see my mortars and AAMGs and all, and imagine this US 57mm ATG on the same table. Yuck.

This was the result of adopting rules that adjudicate combat damage to guns separately from damage to the crews. I based the guns, and then tried to base the crews in a way that could be mounted on the gun bases.

But these were also done at a time when my standards of modelling for my 6mm force were not so high.

Still, yuck.

So in the refurb, I de-mounted both guns and crews. I repainted the crews, re-based the crews, and touched-up the guns just a bit (the paint wasn't so bad on the guns).


Here are my US 57mm ATGs now. I used only 3 of the 4 crew figures per stand, so a few go back into the extras bin. But I think it's a much nicer appearance.

The crews are old H&R kneeling gun crews. The guns are C-in-C US 57mm M1 ATGs (or British 6-pdrs, same model). The C-in-C guns are very fragile, so removing them from their bases (and even keeping and handling them un-based over time) can be a bit tricky.


The same crew stands can be used for my US 3-inch and my US 37mm ATGs as well. In this case the guns are older H&R models. Much more robust, but not as nice as the C-in-C models. I can imagine how nice a newer H&R ATG might be, based on the Italian infantry guns above….

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Charles the Modeller11 May 2020 12:24 p.m. PST

Mark that's beautiful stuff! The H&R stuff has come on enormously since I first bought them in the early 90's. Your painting skills are top notch.

I've also been busy and have now all but completed the board and figures for Brecourt Manor. There are more pictures at my blog allhellletloose.co.uk but here is a taster.

picture

Mark 111 May 2020 5:58 p.m. PST

Superb work, Charles.

I have followed your progress on your blog. The many pics there are a real treat for the eyes. The modelling of the whole battlefield is just extraordinary.

I noted your comments/approach to basing your 6mm figures. I have stressed over how to present trenches and infantry in trenches in my games. My hope is to find ways to do that without changing how the figures are based, as the rules I use depend on squad-level basing.

I've tried putting figures on rectangular bases 4 figures wide, but only 1 figure deep, thinking some day that I might build trenches for them. They wouldn't have to be such wide trenches, but they would need to be straight, at least for each squad's position in the trench. But alas, the "all in a line" infantry look too much like they are on parade for my tastes.

A couple years ago I scratch-built a platoon-sized trench position for my current basing … squads and infantry weapons on pennies. Maybe I should take a couple pics of it some day and get some feedback on it. It's never yet seen a game table, but who knows, maybe some day…

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Charles the Modeller12 May 2020 1:16 a.m. PST

Hi Mark, really appreciate the feedback, thank you!

The basing is the crux of it. The Brécourt game is also unit based so it was quite a quandary. I got plenty of eyebrows raised when I told my gaming group what I was doing! I have played 3 run throughs so far and they are fiddly but it's manageable because of the small number of figures involved and the fact the Germans are quite static. I wouldn't recommend this for any other type of game!

I know some figure manufacturers do troops in trenches for the 1st world war but I've not seen anything comparable for WW2.

I normally base units on a 30mmx25mm base. That could be big enough maybe to build a trench section or some foxholes. Please do post pics of your stuff, it's always high quality and even if it doesn't work for you, or me it might for someone else or spark ideas that might.

Thank you for starting and maintaining this thread!

CtM

guilhemdelyon12 May 2020 2:16 p.m. PST

Excellent work…

Mark 115 May 2020 7:49 p.m. PST

The basing is the crux of it. … I know some figure manufacturers do troops in trenches for the 1st world war but I've not seen anything comparable for WW2.

Yep. The basing is the challenge. And I'm just not likely to build a second version of squad stands in trenches and foxholes.

Please do post pics of your stuff, it's always high quality …

Well, let's see if I can disprove THAT hypothesis (as if I haven't already!).

…and even if it doesn't work for you, or me it might for someone else or spark ideas that might.

That's a compelling enough reason for me. My own skills have advanced by leaps and bounds since I started participating in online fora related to micro-scale wargaming, as can be seen in the progression of the materials in some of my pictures.

And so I shall explore the progression of my trenchworks.

As a lovely young Austrian nanny once said: "Let's start from the very beginning. That's a very good place to start."

I had come to this point through a bit of a mind exercise. I have seen infantry emplacements (claimed to be fox holes?!?) that are large enough to hold a stand of figures. I don't find them very visually appealing. They are really large. With some exaggeration in the ground scale vs. figure scale we are talking about foxholes and trenches that a) just don't look right, and b) are 25-50m wide in game ground-scale. I just can't get with that.

So … I tried basing some of my infantry (my 1940 French force) on rectangular bases about 20mm wide by ~7mm deep. My idea was that with bases that were not very deep, I could make trenches with straight sections about 8 or 9mm wide, and my infantry could drop right in. I never made trenches, though, as I didn't much like the parade-ground appearance of the troops and didn't use that basing scheme on any other infantry of my forces.

So my next idea was to make trenches that looked like trenches, and then just place the stands on top of them like I do with other terrain.


My first attempt at trenches was done with plasticene modelling clay. You know the type -- you shape it, you bake it, and then you go buy a new toaster oven because your wife tells you she is NEVER going to prepare food in THAT one again.

I just rolled out the plasticene, flattened it, and cut trenches into it in a pattern I had seen in various diagrams. Once baked, I painted it. This was before I learned anything about flocking. In the pic, shown here on the gaming table some 15 – 18 years ago, you see a trench occupied by my Italian infantry, which was the first force I actually did using my current techniques.

The trenches themselves were not very attractive.


My next effort used actual clay, not plasticene. I use self-trying clay, so no baking involved. Roll it out, flatten it, carve in the trenches, give it a day or two, paint it, flock it, and done. I tossed the originals, made a couple of these, and they've sat in my box ever since. Never been on a wargaming table.


I tried some commercially made trenches too.

But it is still a "put the figures on top of it" kind of deal. And I'm just not excited about that.


My next effort was for gun emplacements. Self-drying clay worked here. This time I tried some sandbags too. I figures the whole "hole is too big" problem could be dodged with gun emplacements, as they are typically big enough for the gun, the crew, and some working space, so we expect to see something kind of large.

I consider this starting to get to the point of being serviceable. I even made a mould and casted a few.

This pic is from game-time use, with my Italian 100mm howitzers. Some wargaming buddies liked them a lot, so I wound up giving a couple away, but I still have two.


My sandbag-making skills have since advanced. Now I use Mexican Clay, which is not only self-drying but also shrinks, making it ideal for my purpose. I have learned to mash the sandbags flat, so they look less like man-sized vitamin tablets and more like sandbags. My first foray was to make a Russian AAMG gun pit, which turned out pretty well. I've used that technique a few times now, as you may note with my US Army force in the early posts in this thread.

One side skill that also developed during this time was the painting of the hole in gun pits. I found that putting a color gradient in, rather than just a single dominant earth tone, made it look like the pit was dug deeper than it was.

OK, now I put that into my mix and re-thought my trenches.

What I want is something that looks like a trench when it's not occupied, yet holds my infantry stands as I base them (on pennies now). Maybe that optical illusion of the color gradient can help.

And here is my most recent effort:


I rolled out the self-drying clay, flattened it, and then mashed pennies into it in the places I expected infantry or support gun positions. Those pennies were then removed, and a trenchline was cut around the fronts of the penny-positions. Once dried, it was painted earth tone, and then the trenches were painted with a darkening color gradient. Then the hole thing, except the trench line (and the forward lip of the trench), was flocked.

I rather like the result.


The infantry and support stands just drop right in.

I can still see doing a bit more improvement. Some sandbags might be nice. But I think the basic scheme may be a winner.


I've done something pretty similar for artillery positions. At this point I've only made two 2-gun positions, though. Should probably add some ammo crates in the shared magazine area. Might also try making a larger 4 or 6 gun battery position some time.


I tried making a few squad-sized bits of trenchworks. The color gradient does give them a visual sense of depth, but for single-squad sized stands I didn't really have enough room to raise up the ground in front very much.


So when they are occupied, well, they are not fully convincing as trenches.

Oh well, was worth a shot.

Besides, there really isn't much justification for squad-level entrenchments. I mean, historically, it's really more like 1-3 man fire holes, or trenches for a platoon or more. There isn't much in-between.

Maybe I could paint it up as two foxholes, even though it fits a whole squad stand. Still thinking about that one.

Inspired by the Brerecourt set-up, I have just recently tried my hand at some planking too.


In this case I cut some styrene sheet for the floor, and scored it with an x-acto knife to make it look like boards. I used cut dry spaghetti fragments for the logs for the wall. Cheap and cheerful, and when you paint and dry-brush them they have enough texture to come out with a kind of rough wood look.

But alas the color gradient doesn't look as convincing, as there is a log wall on one side and not the other.


Still it looks like a decent enough HQ dug-out. So I'm not too disappointed.

And maybe I should try adding log walls, and maybe even floor planking, to my next gun position. That could be a pretty straight-forward process.

So that's my trench works. Comments and ideas welcome.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

mirrorbird16 May 2020 10:29 a.m. PST

I just got into 6mm, and quite excited about it. I painted my first miniatures which are Polish cavalry from Scotia Grendel. Pretty nice sculpts. However they were painted at night with very dim light so I barely saw what I was doing. Bought a new lamp from IKEA especially for this, so now I can at least discern the different colours on the model.

Can't seem to take decent photos of anything though.

picture

Mark 116 May 2020 12:13 p.m. PST

mirrorbird:

Nice looking lancers! I too struggle to get good pics. I think anyone at this scale who does not have a digital SLR camera with macro lense does.

(I know all of that not because I know much of anything about cameras, but because I used to game with a guy who took amazing game-time pics. Like the one of my first trenches at the top of my last post -- look at the clarity of that pic! And that was what he used. Me? I just use my phone.)

Anyway, photobabble said, what I can see already from the pic you've posted is that you have some variety in horse colors, you have painted in some of the nice details of reins and saddlery, and you even have banners streaming from the lances. That's a lot of good stuff for 6mm WW2 figures -- a lot of the gamers out there just spray paint 'em and go with monochrome blobs. I really appreciate nice looking figures for my game-time delight.

I've heard it said many times that all the detail isn't visible from 3 feet away on the game table. And to a point that's true. But … they aren't 3 feet away every time I pick them up to move them, or get down to measure a shot, or check line-of-site around a building. And if the figures look nice, and the structures and terrain looks nice, I get an extra jolt of delight every time I do any of those things. And if they are my figures that look nice, I get an extra jolt of delight every time the other players pick a piece up and examine it before they place it, move it, remove it, or whatever.

Isn't that why we game with miniatures in the first place? I mean, it's not like no one knows how to game with cardboard squares on hex-grid maps. It is the miniatures themselves that hook us into gaming with miniatures.

I remember a game, many (many!) years ago, when gaming with other gamers was still kind of new and unusual for me (when I started gaming in school I had to bring other people into the hobby -- it wasn't until after college that I started to meet people who were already miniatures gamers, and many of them had a lot more experience than I did with miniatures.) I was pushing some tanks on a game buddy's wargaming boards. It was my first time playing on actual purpose-built 6mm game boards, with formed and painted and flocked terrain. And I was just amazed at how cool it was to see this tank going down this road sided by a hedge, with trees and hills in the background. It was just such a rich experience -- so far beyond Panzerblitz with models…

Anyway, enough preaching to the choir … I said all of that to give some context to my appreciation of your figures. Keep going, mirrorbird!

You mention your lamp and lighting. I will second the idea that good lighting helps A LOT! Really, if the lighting is good, it is so much easier to see what you are doing. You'll suffer less eye fatigue, and paint better, and enjoy the whole process more.

For myself, I have a table-top magnifier lamp.


It has a 3 inch magnifying lens with an embedded 3/4 inch higher magnification lens, with a circular flourescent tube around the lens, all on an articulated arm with a weighted base.

I used to have a 4-inch magnifier lamp, but that was so big it needed to be mounted to the workbench, which meant I could only use it in the garage. This table-top lamp is just the best, at least for me. Available at about any office supply store or hardware store. One of the best hobby tools I have ever bought.

Your tankage may vary.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)
This thing makes a huge difference in my painting, and my enjoyment of the painting process.

mirrorbird16 May 2020 12:31 p.m. PST

Mk 1:

Yes I saw your trenches when I scrolled through the page, and decided in the back of my mind that I would steal the idea of having "slots" like that in my terrain for soldiers to stand in. Not sure exactly for what but it's a good idea.

I have considered getting a proper camera. In fact, I never had a smartphone in my entire life until about two years ago, when I realised it would be useful to have mobile Internet access and a camera. I considered just getting a decent camera but unfortunately opted for a smartphone. It's mostly a distraction, but Maps is a useful app. So now I'm back to thinking about a camera, I would like to put nice photos of miniatures (I also do other scales) on my website.

When I painted the lancers, I knew what paint I was using (because it was on the palette) but on the miniature it all looked grey and the same colour. It wasn't until I looked at them under stronger lighting that I could discern the uniform, saddle, etc. I've realised that I need to use much stronger and more vibrant colours, and that I should prime in a near-white grey. Also the paints should probably be thick unless I want to paint multiple layers, I think it's ok at this scale to use thicker paint.

I bought a 4000 kelvin LED lightbulb as well, that's closer to daylight. Supposedly the usual 2700-ish kelvin light will make your blue look greenish etc. Never thought about that. As a boy I sat in the pitch dark of my room, with a desk lamp shoved up to my figure at a distance of about 20 cm, and even then I guess the colours were all wrong. I try to go for colourful figures (hence the flags on the lances) because otherwise you just can't see anything! Maybe it's time to paint like they used to paint Warhammer in the 80s/90s.

I guess in real life soldiers did/ do wear essentially camouflage, so if they blend in with their bases, that is realistic. Not as much fun too look at though.

I like your lens, I used to have that as well when I was younger. I can't remember why, but I didn't like it. I think it was too wobbly.

What is that thing in the lens?

Also about painting in detail, I get that gamers just spray and then maybe wash. For me it's mostly about painting, I don't expect to ever find anyone in my city who wants to play 6mm. Perhaps if I paint an awesome army I could win them over, but until then I just paint it for me to look at.

mirrorbird16 May 2020 12:33 p.m. PST

Mk 1:

Also, what do you use for bases? Washers? That is what I opted for. Still not sure whether or not I should base my tanks. I was worried they'd look small next to based infantry, but looking from above it seems like they won't. I'd prefer unbased I think, though the example photos on the Heroics & Ros website have really nice bases.

picture

Mark 116 May 2020 2:31 p.m. PST

mirrorbird:

If you do go for a digital camera, I strongly suggest you look for one with "macro lens" as a feature. Doesn't have to be an attachment, in the digital world it can just be a mode you select. But that's what lets you focus the camera on something that is 2 inches away from the lens, with all the background out of focus and blurred. It really makes for some compelling pictures.

As to colors, etc. … I prime first with white. I use cheap-and-cheerful automotive spray primer -- Krylon brand. Works just fine, goes on very thin and even, never seems to hide or wash-out fine details, and gives great adhesion for my subsequent layers of paint. Also, the white base tends to affect the paints layered over it just a bit, adding a little bit of lightening to darker colors for an easy way to implement "scale effect", which many hobbyists at this scale do by deliberately adding white or yellow to lighten their other paints. It also provides a bit of highlighting, as edges and protrusions wind up showing through the undercoat just a bit more.

I sometimes spray paint a base coat -- particularly for some of my vehicles. Almost never for infantry. I use Testor's Model Masters spray paints.

All my other painting is done by brush. I have never tried an air-brush. I use acrylic hobby paints. My prior favorite line was Poly-S. But they are gone now. For the past few years I have been buying Vallejo acrylics. But I still have a large set of old Poly-S bottles that are used about as often.

For example my Italian infantry figures above were primed white, then base-coated with Poly-S Italian Uniform Green. My US infantry at the top were primed white, then painted with a variety of Vallejo paints (bottom half / trousers base-coated in US Field Drab, top half/ jackets in Khaki). The Pershing tanks at the very top were primed in white, then spray painted Testor's Model Master Olive Green, then detailed with acrylics.

I generally don't base my vehicles. I base them only really when they are too small to be practical in loose form (like motorcycles), or a base is needed to keep bits together (like horse-and-wagon combos).

For infantry bases I mostly us U.S. Pennies. They are about 19mm in diameter -- a perfect fit for about 4 or 5 figures. They are reasonably cheap (I get 100 for about $1 USD!), and always available. They are heavy, giving some protection to the figures mounted on them at game time. They work best if primed or sprayed with enamels before base-coating.

I have sometimes used smaller Euro Cent coins for smaller two-figure command stands. If you look at my Italians above, you will see the difference is size for the command stands.

I have some cavalry that I have based on U.S. nickels. They needed more room to fit 4 horses per base than pennies would allow. But they cost 5x as much! Oh well.

For my base color I use craft store cheap acrylic paint in a color called "mushroom". It gives a sort of medium grayish brown. Less yellow than tans, less red than most hobby browns. It's quite a dull color, which I like for dirt.

For the basing process I use Acrylic Gel Medium. I learned this technique from a fellow who occasionally posts to this forum, but more frequently to the GHQ Forums. He developed this for his ACW 10mm figures. The gel medium is basically un-tinted acrylic … it is the carrier for acrylic paint before the tint is added. It is often sold as a household glue, but can be found by the tub in crafts stores. I put a glob on my pallet, add a few drops of my earth tone paint, mix it up, and wind up with something that has the consistency and color of chocolate pudding. I blob this on the penny, mush it around a bit, and then sink the figures into it. Then a few moments are spent with a brush pushing the gel all the way up to and even over the edges of the molded-on bases of the figures. Then into a container to be flocked -- first a couple stones (model RR talus), then a shrub or two (model RR shrubbery), then a bit of yellow flock, then a lot of green flock. Then on to the next.

The gel medium acts as earth tone paint, ground texture, and adhesive agent for the figures and the flocking all at once.

You can see some of the process and w-i-p on another thread I put up a while ago as I did a company of US Army infantry: TMP link

The figures in the posts near the top of this thread were done as support units for that force.

Unfortunately the good folks at Photobucket used that thread largely to convince me that they don't want me as a member anymore. So the pics are kind of hashed up. I can re-post any here from my new hosting site ImgBB, if you are interested.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

mirrorbird16 May 2020 3:56 p.m. PST

Mk 1:

Oh man, now I really regret throwing away my Swedish 1-crowns (10 cents) and 50-öre (5 cents). I went and bought washers (by weight) and it was a bit -- not expensive, but it should be almost free. Swedish 1-crown was 20mm (which is the washer I bought) and the other one was about 18mm. I got rid of them when they were discontinued years ago. I considered using some other coins but I don't have enough of any 1 coin.

I used a 30mm washer for my Polish cavalry just now. I felt like I wanted more distance between the models and a bit more ground around them to base. Basing was hard, I will try to do it like you are, pushing them into gloop. I glued them, put basing on (spackle and sand), and then painted that. Definitely need a better method there.

I was wondering if 20mm was too small for 4 infantry, but I think it's pretty decent. I'm going to look up the measurements for Flames of War and scale it down. I don't usually care too much about rules but I would feel better if it was close.

Hmm yes, those Photobucket watermarks on your images are so annoying! I can get rid of them by registering? All these years I had no idea.

Perhaps I'll use the same 20mm washer for 2-man teams as well, though I feel it would be easier to discern 2-man and 4-man teams if they have different bases.

Thanks for all the painting tips! I'm gonna work on figuring out a basing gloop, but, will it really hold metal miniatures? I already have Liquitex Matte Medium, thinking of mixing that with PVA glue, paint, some sand. Considering getting some Gorilla-brand superglue, the standard cyanoacrylate is too weak, and mine has expired (apparently it expires…)

Mark 116 May 2020 5:48 p.m. PST

Synd! Smĺ svenska mynt skulle ha fungerat bra.

And Euro cents are being discontinued as well, so they too will become progressively more rare.

I already have Liquitex Matte Medium, thinking of mixing that with PVA glue, paint, some sand.

I use Liquitex Matte Gel Medium.

I assure you it is all that you need for adhesion. Loctite, a brand well known for making glue, makes a household glue that is nothing more than acrylic gel. It is as strong as PVA, but much easier to work / position with a brush, and doesn't shrink as much as it dries.

All of my figures that you see above, and in other threads, are now done this way. Never once had a figure come off once it was properly mounted (unless I got under the figure with a blade to pry it off, which I have done on occasion and is rather difficult with the Gel).

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Charles the Modeller19 May 2020 3:08 a.m. PST

Mark fantastic post on the trenches! I really enjoyed it particularly looking at the evolution and the approaches you discarded. It really helps to see the things you think didn't work as well so I don't waste time trying that either.
I think the bigger bases work the best and your use of gradient shading is a fantastic idea!
On some of the smaller ones where you are struggling to get the height maybe adding in sandbags or something to approximate cut down vegetation might help?
Great idea to use pasta! I've used 1mm diameter leather cord in the past which might help with shading and roughness particularly is lightly distressed first.
Top job!

Mirrorbird keep going with the painting. They look great. The only thing I would add to Mark's excellent advice is that I would paint 6mm a slightly lighter shade than I would bigger figures just because of the way light reflects from them.

CtM

mirrorbird19 May 2020 2:08 p.m. PST

Charles:

Thanks. I just repainted some of my horses with lighter/ brighter/ more colourful shades. I think they look much better. The uniform needs some work. I have a very limited range of paints, as I am a bit of a minimalist who likes to mix his own colours. I completely lack any brown, khaki or dark green right now, which is a bit of a problem, so I'm approximating my own. I'm starting to wonder if for things like uniforms and tanks, it would be a good idea to buy one specific paint for that specific army and stick to it, for uniformity. At the same time -- I'm not an expert on WW2 (my current era) -- it seems that uniforms weren't so uniform in colour, due to resource scarcity, different periods, etc. Also, all the photos or references I can find vary so much. Maybe I shouldn't worry about it at all.

picture

Here are some miniatures I've painted the last few days:

picture

picture

picture

Mark 120 May 2020 4:17 p.m. PST

Mirrorbird:

Good stuff!

I can see how hard you must have worked to build up the ground levels of those stands … both the cavalry and the infantry. I try to hide the cast-on bases of figures when I do my stands, as I really prefer the look when the "ground level" on the stand is brought up to the level of the cast-on base of the figures. You have mentioned how much effort it took you, but I will offer the congratulations that the result of your effort is some very nicely constructed stands for your figures.

I will suggest my approach with the Acrylic Gel. If you don't have full confidence, fine, try it as an experiment on one or two stands. I think you will be impressed by how well it works, and hopefully it saves you some work in getting to the results you want.

As to the painting … I like your approach to the cavalry. I am guessing that you paint horse-mounted troops at other scales? It may sound silly, but I think that folks who only paint infantry often forget, when painting their first cavalry, that horse manes and tails are almost always a different color than the body of the horse. I can also see you have painted hooves -- now THAT is dedication.

One thing I have recently done is to add touches of white to the faces (and even to the lower legs) of some of my horses -- in my case as a touch-up to some wagons rather than any of my cavalry. I have a fair number of wagons for my WW2 armies. I rather like the appearance.

The infantry squad / section is particularly interesting. What figures are these? The details are excellent (as is the painting!), but they appear a bit larger / more crowded on your stands than on mine, and I believe (from what you have posted) that your washers are larger than my pennies. Are these 10mm figures?

I like your aircraft. Do I recognize correctly that you have a Fokker D.XXI and a Polikarpov I-153? From the paint on the Fokker I placing it as Finnish. So it seems, between the lancers and the planes that you are building 1939/1940 Eastern Front forces. But then the infantry look like US Army types, so maybe you are doing a little bit of everything? Sounds like my type of gamer!

I find the painting of the Fokker particularly attractive. I can see the detailing popping out as a result of some washes. And it looks to me like I can see the individual engine cylinders, which is not an easy result to achieve at such small scales.

Good stuff!

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

mirrorbird20 May 2020 7:51 p.m. PST

Mk 1:

Thanks for all the kind words.

The 6mm infantry is the Japanese infantry from Scotia Grendel. I believe that washer is 20mm wide. The figures are 7mm tall from the foot to the top of the helmet. Probably 8mm with the cast-in base.

It is indeed a Fokker D.XXI and a Polikarpov I-153, both from Scotia Grendel. I was surprised by how good they got with some paint. I basically just basecoated all the colours, and then washed with Citadel Nuln Oil. Quite pleased with it. The Finnish plane was the most interesting to paint as well, because it has some yellow on it and so on. I might add some further markings.

I am focusing on 1939/1940 eastern front indeed.

Mark 121 May 2020 9:36 p.m. PST

Mirrorbird:

I think you have painted those Scotia Japanese infantry up pretty nicely. Consistent with what I found, they seem to have some nicely detailed sculpts / castings. In particular I notice the details of the bayonets on their rifles. That's a nice touch.

I tried Scotia infantry. I found they had some interesting and useful poses. For example the Scotia French WW2 infantry came with radio operators and field telephone operators. At that time I could not find such figures from other vendors, and those are important bits of kit (which I have often had to kit-bash up).

But for my tastes they were just a bit too large. I'm not too fussy about my infantry figures -- I mean I do mix H&R and GHQ and CinC and even some old Skytrex (which, in all honesty, are pretty ugly figures). But the Scotia were "plus" sized enough that I was really not able to integrate them into my forces well.

To wit:


Here is a remnant of my effort long ago to add Scotia WW2 French command / HQ figures with my H&R based French force. I found this in the extras bin while I was fishing out the figures I used in my Dragons Portees company shown above. A Scotia figure with binoculars is based with an H&R combat leader figure. They are mounted together, and the molded-on base is about (not exactly, but about) the same thickness for each. I found the Scotia figure was just too noticeably large.

Doesn't mean they might not work out well if they are your only source for a given force. Or that I would not find use for them in my forces, even if I have to pick and chose where I apply them…


In this picture of my Romanian artillery, I have mixed GHQ and (older) H&R standing artillery crew figures on the same stands, with H&R French 75mm Guns. The battery HQ stand has one GHQ standing figure, one H&R standing figure, and a Scotia kneeling field telephone operator. I have used the Scotia figure because he is kneeling, which confuses the eye a bit. But a careful observer might notice that even kneeling he is almost as tall as the standing figures next to him.

Another issue I never quite understood in their French infantry was the presence of water-cooled HMGs. I have not found any references to a French water-cooled infantry machine gun, even in WW1. But there they are.


Fortunately for me, the Romanians used some quantity of old Swartzelose 8mm M1907/1912 machine guns during WW2. And some Romanian troops were even still wearing French Adrian style helmets. So I could find a use for these rather oddly composed figures in my Romanian force. Again, kneeling, they are tall, but it is perhaps not as obvious as it would be if they were standing poses.

So the Scotia infantry don't really make the "A" list in my purchases, but I think you have done them proud with your painting. Those just look nice.

I will recommend some other Scotia kit, though. In particular, as you mention your interest in early war (or even pre-war) Eastern Front, I will offer that I think the Scotia models of Russian T-37 and T-40 amphibious light tanks are nice. Interesting pieces of kit -- I've never managed to put them on a game table in a scenario where their amphibious capabilities were on display, but even jut as light tanks they are uncommon enough that gamers will "ooh" and "ahh" (and "wazzat?") over them, which has made them a welcome addition to my collection to be sure.

I'll see if I can dig 'em up and post up a pic or two…

Keep on painting and posting. Fun stuff.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

mirrorbird23 May 2020 12:33 p.m. PST

Mk 1:

I can definitely see the size difference. Thus far I only have 6mm infantry from one manufacturer (Scotia), so I can't see any size difference. I have some Adler on the way though. I think the Scotia vehicles are great, the range is good as you say. Looking forward to buying some H&R when they finally open again.

The last few months I've been obsessed with miniatures, getting into Bolt Action and 6mm. Last night I watched some video reviews of Plastic Soldier Company 15mm, now I want those as well. I should probably slow down and wait and see how I feel in a few months. They're really nice though. So far I have never tried any 15mm (I know this is the 6mm forum), but I like how they have a perfect little base to stand on, less fiddly. I ended up going for 6mm because I wanted bigger battles. Would it be complete lunacy to have 6mm, 15mm and 28mm WW2 miniatures? Granted, the 28mm is Japanese late-war, 6mm is Russian/Finnish/Japanese early war. I suppose I could get some 15mm Germans or something, that's what I'm interested in anyway.

I've been thinking about scale, not only are there so many manufactureres at each scale and for each period, and there's a bit of a mess matching them with each other (like your Scotia/ GHQ/ H&R/ etc above), but you can also do 3mm, 2mm, 10mm… I'm a bit wary of trying all of these scales though, because I'm not sure if there is a complete range for any given period or nation. E.g. if I were to try 10mm ancient romans, I might not be able to find all the miniatures I want. They all look so nice though, all those miniatures. :P

I don't know if you are interested in 28mm, but some might be posted in the near future on the other forum.

Mark 126 May 2020 7:27 p.m. PST

Thought I might preview a portion of a unit that's still underway.

I already have a full company of US M3 tank destroyers for Tunisia, and a full company of US M18 "Hellcat" tank destroyers for ETO. But as much as I love my Hellcats, they were not the dominant TD type, and honestly they don't mix all that well with my Sherman tanks (loosing their primary tactical advantage, their great speed and maneuverability, when integrated with tank formations). I have had a single platoon of M10 tank destroyers (from C-in-C), and a platoon of M36B1s (from GHQ), a bit of an odd-ball vehicle but dead useful when integrated with Shermans. But what I really wanted was more of a full company of TDs that was more mainstream ETO.

So some time ago I acquired another 5 M10s (this time GHQ models) and 5 regular M36s (again GHQ models, bought as part of Ritter's un-painted inventory, as described above), and after aging them in my garage for a few years I have now decided I will paint up these new TDs while I also refurb up my old M10s, and build a mixed company with mostly M10s and a couple M36s (or more, depending on scenario).

This is my progress so far.


TDs all over the workbench….

I really was hoping to get them done in time for Memorial Day. My father, gone now for more than 25 years, served in tank destroyers in WW2, and I thought it might be a nice remembrance to get a TD unit up on Memorial Day. But alas, it was not to be.

However, I now have at least some of them done. So I present my lovely GHQ M36s, as a preview to when I have the full TD company completed.


I put two crewmen in each turret as: 1) the gunner would likely have been so low in the turret as not to be seen, and 2) I'm lazy and not putting 3 in was easier.

The crew figures are GHQ standing gun crews, or (old) kneeling gun crews from a H&R, supplemented by a few standing soldiers from the extras bin, and a few two-together crew figures from GHQ en bloc style support weapons packs.

These are likely to become a core part of my anti-armor capabilities for any ETO battles after the Normandy campaign.


The M36s come with a pretty good bit of detailing on the hulls already. Crates and growsers on the sides, a towing cable strung front-to-back along one side of the hull, and a full set of tanker's tools on the rear hull. Altogether a very nice model.


Each of the turrets got at least one, and some got two various stowage items. This was my first time using H&R-made castings for external stowage. I'm not sure it's any easier than the rolled foil approach I took for my Pershings a few months ago. But it does make it possible to have more variety in the stowage.

Still have 10 M10s to work through, and some M20 utility cars, M3 halftracks and a jeep for the platoon and company HQs.

But at least the M36s are done. Now if I could just find some big kitties to kick around ….

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Mark 130 May 2020 8:48 p.m. PST

I will recommend some other Scotia kit, though. In particular, as you mention your interest in early war (or even pre-war) Eastern Front, I will offer that I think the Scotia models of Russian T-37 and T-40 amphibious light tanks are nice. …

I'll see if I can dig 'em up and post up a pic or two…

Took a bit of digging. These babies have not been out of the Ready Forces box for more than 15 years, at least. But here are some pics of a few of my Russian T-40s and T-37s.


They are both Scotia models. I am pretty happy with them. Maybe not up to the levels of GHQ or C-in-C, but certainly nice enough that I have no real complaints. And, as I mentioned in the prior post, they are very interesting bits of kit.


I've only put a few in the pictures, but I have about 15 in total (combined), so a worth-while company (Russian light tanks were usually in platoons of 5 vehicles, companies of 16 or 17).

For those who don't know the vehicles, they were amphibious, and considered reconnaissance vehicles. But in the opening stages of Barbarossa they more often fought at regular combat tanks, a role at which they were not successful.

The T-37 was armed only with a 7.62mm MG. The T-40 had a 12.7HMG and a co-ax 7.62mm MG. Not too far off of light tanks of other major armies of 1939. Starting to fall behind by 1941, though.


I have T-40s from two vendors -- Scotia and Heroics & Ros. Here the T-40 on the right is the H&R. I rather prefer the Scotia model. It's a bit larger -- the H&R model seems a bit small to my eye. Also the details and proportions are a bit better on the Scotia model -- in particular the turret, which comes as a separate piece, seems better sized. The turret on the H&R T-40 is cast onto the hull, and seems to be too small.

Also the H&R model is the upgraded T-40 (sometimes called the T-40A). This was an attempt to make the T-40 a bit more robust for combat, and included among other things adding some additional plates and sloping the turret armor. The net result didn't impress anyone in it's robustness, but did make the tank too heavy to float anymore. The whole development path led eventually to the T-60 light tank, which was produced in very large numbers from the end of 1941 through 1942. As I have a whole battalion of those I really prefer my T-40s to be the amphibious versions.

Some day, somewhere, I'll get to play in a scenario where little rinky-dinky tankettes crossing a river or lake will generate a "wow" factor. And then my T-40s and T-37s will really prove their worth.

Maybe.

Someday.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP31 May 2020 4:52 a.m. PST

Great stuff Mark!

Hey, here's a battle involving a company of T-40s in a mixed tank brigade, that could present a scenario where you won't have to wait for that water crossing -

link

link

captaincold6931 May 2020 9:57 a.m. PST

I hate coming to this thread!

6mm offers me a great scale for maneuvering, but those mini's are SO DAMN small :(

Mark 131 May 2020 12:54 p.m. PST

FlyXwire:

Great link! Thanks for pointing it out. I have now read through and saved all 7 related articles about the combat of the 6 ITB during Sept. – Oct. 1941.

Interesting stuff! And yes, a good chance not only to cook up some historical scenarios for my T-40s, but also to cook up some historical scenarios with T-40s AND T-34s (and maybe even KV-1s).

Now if I could just find some Panzers to shoot at.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP03 Jun 2020 8:29 a.m. PST

I hate coming to this thread!

I was thinking the same thing. :)


Amazing pics. I was just looking at top-down 1/285th counters to do FFT3 for WWII so I actually play a game, not do my usual "spend $300 USD and six months painting and move on to something shiny" routine. But these minis look so good!

Mark 111 Jun 2020 1:51 p.m. PST

Speaking of looking good …

I have now finished up the "TDs for ETO" project I previewed with my M36 pics above.

Except I have not actually finished the project. I got stuck, because I wanted to build a proper company of TDs as a core formation for ETO battles. I now have the TDs I want. And I have the halftrack, truck and jeep I need for the company HQ. But … I can't find my M20s for the platoon HQs!


I mean, I know I had some. It's not just that I remember them. The ol' memory might not as reliable as it used to be, but I have photographic evidence that I have them.


I put 'em into my force when I built my M18 Hellcat company.

But alas, they are not boxed with my Hellcats. And I've gone through dozens of other boxes, and I can't find my box with the M20s.

:(

Maybe the box was mislabeled. Maybe it got put in with my post-war ready forces, or even with my French and Romanian Ww2 forces (my Soviets, US and Italian forces are now so large they fill my WW2 carry case to the brim, and the poor French and Romanians got evicted!). So I'll have to sort my entire Ready-Forces collection I guess. And who know HOW long that may take.

In the meantime, though, here are the TDs themselves.


Five GHQ M36s, five GHQ M10s, and five refurbs of C-in_C M10s. All together they make a collection from which 12 can be selected (in mix-and-match fashion) to fit my preferences for any given game.


Here you see 2 GHQ M10s in front, and three C-in-C M10s behind. While the C-in-C M10s are quite compatible in terms of scale/size and casting quality, they are modelled too clean for my tastes -- I'd go so far as to say they are plane, or even barren. The GHQ models come with towing cables, growsers, tanker's tools, etc. all over. And even at that I tend to add more stuff.


So I paid particular attention to festooning the C-in-C M10s with stuff to try to blend them in with the more busy-looking GHQ models.


Each TD got 2 crewmen for the turret.


That was a total of 30 figures to select from the "extras" bin and paint up, chop up, glue down, touch up, etc. Actually more than 30, as there was a bit of a casualty rate in the chopping and the handling -- my fumble-fingers don't do a good enough job of holding them securely, tweezers or not, and the pile carpet seemed to eat them at an alarming rate.


Did someone say he wanted top-down counters?

More seriously to that point, for me at least the whole point of gaming with miniatures is the miniatures. I mean the games are fun, but they are as much as anything an excuse for a grown man to play with his toy soldiers and tanks.

I have had perhaps a dozen board wargames. Several were quite entertaining to play. But none of them ever captured my imagination like miniatures gaming does. Rather than putting counters on the table to play a miniatures game, I was inclined to put miniatures on the board to play board games!

That's how it works for me, at least.

I'm pretty happy with how these turned out. My father was in TDs in WW2, so this project was worth a bit of extra effort for me. But this project was a lot of work. I'm thinking maybe my next unit will be done a bit more simply, just to raise my rate of finished units per man-hours of effort.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

captaincold6911 Jun 2020 2:48 p.m. PST

The more and more I come to this thread the more and more I realize, to get a real (as real as you can get in gaming) feel of a larger game that allows you to maneuver and get that epic battlefield view….it's 6mm all the way.

How do you older than 50 types handle the small scale? I'm 51 and my eyesight isn't what it used to be :)

Mark 111 Jun 2020 2:56 p.m. PST

And in case my indoor lighting skewed the colors a bit too much, here is a view of the same TDs, along with my US Army medium trucks (which underwent a minor refurb) and two town-square terrain piece scratch-builds, all in normal sunlight (no color corrections involved) as they get dullcoted…


See, they really are olive green, not dark green.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Mark 111 Jun 2020 3:05 p.m. PST

CC:

I remember when I was 51. Well … almost. Not quite. It's kind of a blur.

I do agree that if you want maneuver, if you want combined arms, if you want a feel not so much for how Sgt. Rock threw a grenade that knocked out the MG that was holding up the whole battalion's attack*, but rather WHY a single MG could hold up a whole attack, and why Sgt. Whomever was not provided with armor in direct support at the critical point in time**, then you need to game with several Km of table space so you can make the decisions of where your tanks go to support which part of the attack at what point in time.

As to the eyes, well it helps A LOT to have a tabletop magnifying lamp! See my post about 1/4th of the way up this thread. I could not do detailed painting at this scale without it. Some may even question if I can do detailed level painting at this scale with it, but that's a different question…

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

* An entirely legitimate intention for your games.
** A different and equally legitimate intention for your games.

captaincold6911 Jun 2020 3:12 p.m. PST

Oh, I have my magnifying glass for painting, but my concern is gaming on the table from X' away….don't they look like tiny blobs of metal? :)

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