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15mm Brits for Market Garden

Armoured Platoon
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Sherman Firefly VC
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Royal Artillery Battery
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Rifle Platoon, Rifle Company
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Revision Log
31 May 2012page first published

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Warcolours Painting Studio Fezian of Warcolours writes:

Hot on the heels of the WWII Royal Horse Artillery Battery I have done previously, Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian has asked to paint another British force - this time, a Guard Rifle Company for the Market Garden campaign: the force includes not only the three platoons and company command, but also a four-gun Royal Artillery Battery and a platoon of six Sherman V tanks, two of them in the dreaded (by the German tankers) Firefly version, sporting the 17-pdr gun instead of the more usual 75mm.

List of Materials

Grey Car Primer

GW Paints

Dark Flesh
Graveyard Earth
Scorched Earth
Bleached Bone
Astronomican Grey
Skull White

Vallejo Model Color Paints

203 Umber Shade
862 Black Grey
863 Gunmetal
875 Beige Brown
884 Stone Grey
886 Green Grey
921 English Uniform
924 Russian Uniform WWII
950 Black
955 Flat Flesh
976 Buff
988 Khaki

Winsor & Newton Inks

Peat Brown

Tamiya Colors Paints

TS61 Nato Green
TS80 Flat Clear

As usual, all the miniatures were prepared by cleaning them, filing the bases flat, and trying to get rid of all the flash and mold lines. The resin parts (i.e., the tanks' hulls and turrets, and the artillery's scenic bases) were left overnight in soapy, warm water, then rinsed and dried carefully. All the parts that needed assembly were then glued together, apart from the infantry models which I painted separately before basing, and everything was primed with grey car primer. For ease of handling, the infantry models were attached with blue-tac to flat wooden sticks I use expressly for handling models during mass painting: each stick carries about ten 15mm models, so I can paint in a line of assembly fashion, that greatly helps in optimizing my work process.

Painting the Infantry

As a general rule, the first thing that draws our attention in a miniature soldier is the face of the model: by spending just a little attention to it, we can greatly improve the general appearance of the whole, and this is why I normally spend a little extra time on the faces, even when they are as small as 15mm are (and even smaller).

To begin with, I paint the entire face and, where applicable, the back of the head with Dark Flesh; after that I proceed to highlight the nose, forehead, cheekbones and chin with Flat Flesh, leaving the darker, earlier layer showing in the other areas, to provide contrast and depth and, where needed, as hair color.

After that, I paint the uniform, in English Uniform (guess this comes as no surprise here!); the artillery crews, which are not wearing the jacket of their battledress, have their shirts painted in Khaki.

All the webbing and the anklets are painted in Stone Grey, while the boots are Black Grey; all the helmets, the 2" mortar and PIAT, and the ammo boxes for the above are painted in Russian Uniform; the wooden parts of the weapons and tool handles in Beige Brown; the metal parts in Gunmetal Grey; and the binoculars of the officers are in Black.

To finish everything, I gave the models a liberal wash of thinned-down Peat Brown ink.

The models were later glued to the bases, and a layer of PVA glue was painted liberally over the base; the bases were then dipped into sand. While still wet, the sand was stained with a dark-brown, alcohol-based wood stain: by loading a large bush, I just touch it in different spots on the base, and leave it to the stain to spread on the moist sand, coloring it on its own, and this also helps in sealing the sand. When dry, it is drybrushed liberally with Bleached Bone, and then some static grass is glued on. I finish the base by painting the lip with Graveyard Earth.

Painting the Tanks & the Guns

The tanks and the guns were painted using the same method: to simulate the weathering of paint exposed to rain and other metereological agents, I tend to build the tone with a number of successive drybrushed layers, so that the general aspect is not so uniform and has depth and richness.

To begin with, I sprayed all the models with NATO Green, which was later shaded with a wash of Umber Shade. Following this, I drybrushed three or four layers of Russian Uniform. The threads and the wheels of the guns were painted in Black Grey, and later drybrushed with Graveyard Earth to simulate mud. The tool handles and wooden boxes of the stowage were painted in Beige Brown, and the metal bits in Gunmetal Grey; the tarpaulins were painted in Khaki, while the Hessian camo strips are in Green Grey.

The tankers were painted in the same way as the infantry, but with Black berets.

Everything was blended with a generous wash of thinned-down Peat Brown Ink.

Painting the Scenic Bases

Battlefront provides its artillery model with exquisite scenic bases, individually sculpted, reproducing gun pits in all their confusion, with barrels, sandbags and assorted pieces of equipment thrown around. The staff team has its own scenic base - in this case, a ruined church corner with a map hanging from the wall.

I basecoated the wall in Dark Flesh and highlighted it in Terracotta. The tiles of the floor were painted in Astronomican Grey, and the map was painted white. The dirt on the ground was rendered in Scorched Earth, drybrushed with Bleached Bone. In the gun pits, the ammo boxes were painted in Russian Uniform, while I used Buff for the sandbags and Gunmetal Grey for the petrol drums. The rocks were painted in Astronomican Grey, and the earth in Scorched Earth highlighted with Bleached Bone. The usual Peat Brown Ink wash completed everything, and once again the lips of the bases were painted in Graveyard Earth.

The Force

So here we are, an almost complete force to run up Hell's Highway towards Eindhoven, Nijmegen and, eventually, Arnhem!