Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Maiwand Build and Test Shots

It seems a good while since I've been able to update Shooting Leave and I've been working on a few things of late so I thought I'd take the opportunity to keep you up to speed. Firstly, I've been painting up some of the beautiful Wargames Foundry Afghans (pics later) and I've got a lot of Artizan and Studio Afghans to do as well so that will keep me busy for a very long time to come!

However, I've also been working on some Artizan Brits for the Second Afghan War  of which five feature in this article. I've nearly finished another four troopers and a suitable NCO and Officer. There will be pics of them all in all their glory following on from this article along with pics of the Afghans.

I'm going to be entering the Steve Dean Forum Painting competition- it's a just for fun comp but it's something that I've always supported either by entering or making sure that I vote. It's something of an institution really and nowadays I make time so I can get some mini's painted in time to enter.

As part of my cunning plan I've made a little diorama piece that will double as rough ground in my Second Afghan War as well as b=generally featuring in my NWF games. It's just a piece of the thickest plasticard that I could find with the edges cut and rounded off. I used a large file to keep the edges neat and then scoured the top of the plasticard with the blade of an old pair of scissors. The trick with this is not to scour too deeply or as I have discovered in the past, the plasticard can warp. Not what you want at the end of quite a time consuming piece!

I then added some bark chippings to make the large rocks and stuck them down with some very old Greystuff (which was quote off- mixing it was hot work!).

Cork 'Rocks'

Tree Bark:

Then, I made small sausage shaped strips of the Greystuff and put these around the edges of the bark. to make the Greystuff match the texture of the bark was relatively simple too as I just took more bark of various shapes and most importantly varied edges dipped the edges in water and pushed it into the putty thus creating a very similar texture. I wish I'd taken a before and after shot as adding the texture to the Greystuff made all the difference.

It hen just glued some Jarvis cork rocks into place and undercoated the rocks with Vallejo Model Colour German Grey (it's a very dark grey if you're not familiar with it). I then dry brushed all the rocks by adding more and more Vallejo Model Colour Ivory until their was only a very light highlight of Ivory. The base was then painted Citadel Steel Legion Drab (I've got quite a few bottles of this as I use it as a base colour for a lot of my basing). I then gave a very liberal dry brush of Vallejo Model Colour Desert Yellow, which was in fact almost a wet brush. Next I dry brushed on Vallejo Model Colour Iraqui Aand and gave the base a final highlight dry brushing lightly with Vallejo Model Colour Pale Sand. and that was that.

Plasticard Base with Bark 'Rocks' and Cork 'Rocks' added and Painted Dark Grey:

Erm..... Rocks! (Wood Bark)

Small Rocks! (Cork Bark)

Test Shots with Backdrop:

Now i have the test pics I can see that something is missing. I added a couple of grass tufts to hide a piece of ground where the sand hadn't quite taken as well as in other parts of the base and that is exactly what it needs; more grass tufts. I've got quite a varied collection of grass tufts now including some 'Tundra' which I'll be adding before taking the final pics for the SDF comp.

Bye for now.


  1. Now I know which entry is yours I'll make sure to vote for the other guy Lol :))
    Only joking.

  2. Very nice!

    Have you tried dry-brushing the tufts? A little Buff Titanium looks great on them, as if the ends of the leaves have dried out.

    1. I normally do a little bit of Matt varnishing out of a spray can on them,.... this gives the impression of the grass having 'heads' of cereal etc on them.....

  3. Wonderful, love the look of test shots.

    1. The rest of the infantry are now glossed and matted down so they will be joining their comrades in a photo shoot if the bright sunshine that has infected the whole of the UK except the North East ever appears!!?? :( It's been really bright and really hot all week until the day I want to take the pics!!

  4. Very nice indeed. Bark for rocks can't be bet for price and realism. Did you consider adding some barren trees/bushes made of copper wire? They may add some interest and still give you that nice dry look. Another idea would eb a snake or lizard resting on one of the rocks. In general I was wondering if it would be more realistic to have the sand sourroudn the rocks or the rocks being embedded in it? I do know that nature has it all, so this is more a question than a critique and depends what region you planned to model.