Sunday, 12 July 2009

Great War, Very Tiny continued...

There's nothing better than getting home on a Friday evening and discovering that all three mail-order packages that you have been waiting for are lying on the doormat. Well there are better things, but on Friday I couldn't think of any. So I got a chance to make a start on the Irregular Miniatures 2mm Great War armies.

This is an early start with a couple of experimental pieces, trying out the best way of painting the infantry strips starting with the British/Empire/Dominions troops. Bases are 1" x 1.25" (25mm x 32mm). I painted the infantry matt black, then drybrushed with Revell Light Olive, added a few oversized dots of flesh to hint at faces (something I learnt while painting my Thirty Years Wars armies - makes a huge difference to the animation of the castings) and painted the bases of the castings with Revell Khaki Brown (not as green as it appears here). As it happens the Revell Khaki Brown that I have plenty of turned to be exactly the same colour as the Vallejo "English Uniform" that I ordered specially for this project! And I've lots of the Revell paint in the stocks.

Bases are critical when painting 2mm. Essentially you have a paradigm shift (I apologise unreservedly for use of that grotesque phrase but it's the only one that fits) and you move away from painting figures with a scenic base added afterwards to painting "footprint" areas of the battlefield with figures located within it. It's essential to get the groundwork right to convey a correct impression of scale.

I've settled for using the Khaki Brown paint being dipped into brown flock when wet - this produces an uneven coverage which is textured but not so coarse as to overwhelm the figures and destroy the illusion of scale. Further detailing can be added with grey paint under the flock to hint at water-logged ground and also trench-lines painted on top of the flock with matt black paint. Once everything is spray-varnished matt I may go back and gloss varnish the water-logged ground.

Two tiny Mark IV tanks at a nominal 1:900 scale. Very fast to paint, black undercoat, drybrushed light olive and then a steady hand to mark in the red-white-red markings that British tanks carried up front in the later part of the war. Base is 40mm x 20mm and hopefully the grey circles look like the flooded shell craters that they are supposed to be. Mark VIs worked in pairs (so-called Males armed with 6 pounder guns hit hard targets and fortifications while paired up with a so-called Female armed only with MGs which protected the Male from enemy infantry). So the paired basing convention fits in with real life quite well.

Infantry base. For Bloody Picnic this represents a company (4 companies to a battalion), for Canuck Commander's WW1 lists for Blitzkrieg Commander this represents a platoon (3 platoons to a company).

All that I have painted so far. Plenty more to go.

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