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Infinity Combined Army Xeodrons and a Sogarat

Infinity Combined Army Xeodrons and a Sogarat

Well I am off on holidays which gives me the time to finally post some pictures of the stuff I finished in recent weeks and months.

As some of you may have realised from my recent terrain posts, I have started to take an interest in Infinity. A lot of the armies do look interesting, but the one to fire up my interest the most is the Combined Army. Right now I am just painting up the minis I like the most. I have to admit, that I do not know yet which ones really are good or which role they fulfill in the game, so do not expect too much info on the units themselves. In the end, I will do just what I always did when it comes to SciFi games… paint what I like and learn to play them afterwards.

Anyway… here are the minis. Up first is a pair of Overdrons. I really like the models. They are huge, about twice as tall as a human miniature. They have a nice mix of external armoured plates with the musculature / skin underneath. The original studio miniatures were painted with very dark armour and orangey skin. This created a very dark and menacing look which I wanted to go for, even though I had something different in mind for the rest of the army.

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

I also wanted to try and see how close I could get to the looks of the official studio miniatures. Those had a black base colour, over which several shades of grey were airbrushed. The edges of the plates where highlit with even lighter greys, finishing with an almost white. I found the idea of the softer shading together with the strong contrast at the edges interesting, but while painting, I quickly found I did not like this. So I went with somewhat softer contrasts airbrushed onto the miniature and only did the edges in a medium grey. Not as striking as the original, but more to my taste.

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

Infinity Combined Army Xeodron

And here is the pair together. Most people base their Infinity minis in a very clean and modern way. But I wanted something different so I based mine on jungle bases, or rather the Deep Forest bases by Antenocities Workshop. I also painted some mud splashes on the lower legs to round everything off.

Infinity Combined Army Xeodrons

Infinity Combined Army Xeodrons

Antenocities Workshop deep forest bases

Antenocities Workshop deep forest bases

As I said before, I want something different for the rest of the army. Something that makes them blend in with their surroundings. So the rest of the army will be painted in a very dark brown with consecutive highlights to a mid-brown. Markings / sections of the armour will be in a sand colour.

I am not entirely happy with the way this one turned out. Somehow the sand colour itself and the fact that I picked out individual plates remind me, too much of 40K minis. Before I left for my holidays, also started with some Radoks. In their case I picked out fewer individual plates, but painted some patterns on the larger ones. I also used a different colour to highlight the sand parts. All of this created a look more to my taste. But you will see those in a few weeks time. The OSL lights on the arms and legs are also not completely my taste. So I guess I will use those less on the other minis.

Infinity Combined Army Sogarat

Infinity Combined Army Sogarat

Infinity Combined Army Sogarat

Infinity Combined Army Sogarat

Infinity Combined Army Sogarat

Infinity Combined Army Sogarat

Infinity Combined Army Sogarat

Infinity Combined Army Sogarat

 

Of movement trays and sabots

I have to admit, when I started wargaming Napoleonics, I thought I had it easy. Lots of minis to play with, but with multi basing (= more than one mini per base) those should have been easy to move around. Real life told me, this was not the case.

But at least this was to be the only basing problem, right! No hassle with skirmishers since those are to based in a uniform manner. Well again life taught me this was not the case. But this year I came up with a couple of solutions that I want to share with you.

Movement trays

Given that there are a lot of battalions on the average Napoleonics table, it can take quiet some time to move them around. Especially if they are big ones. And even with small units, there is always the danger of stands touching in an undesired way and paint rubbing of. Movement trays are a neat solution for this. You will say that movement trays are no big Voodoo and indeed you are right. I have been using them in other cases, so what is the problem here. Well honestly… I did not think about them, until Victrix released their trays. Now since I use their 40mm x 40mm bases for my infantry bases, this was a logical solution for me. The only problem was… I do not base all my minis that way. In some cases I use bases 50mm wide (if there is one mounted offer on the base) or 60mm wide (in case the historical unit size ends me up with a 6 mini base). And there are other problems. The Victrix bases are 120mm wide (= 3 40mm bases), but since I use historical unit sizes, I will at times have a number of stands which cannot be decided by three. Now with most of my abnormal basing requirements I go to Warbases since they have never disappointed me. And they did give me just what I wanted in this case too. I gave them the sizes I needed, told them that these should match the ones available from Victrix and that was all that was needed. So I got me a number of trays that can hold two bases, as well as ones for 2 ½ and 3 ½ bases. The only thing I forgot to order was trays for the 2 ¼ and 3 ¼ trays (to fit the bases containing mounted officers), but that should easily be remedied with my next order! So here are the results:

French Marine Infantry in their movement tray

French Marine Infantry in their movement tray
[left: tray by Victrix, right: custom tray by Warbases]

Prussian Jäger in movement tray

Prussian Jäger in movement tray
[both custom trays by Warbases, left: 2 ½ bases wide, right: 2 bases wide]

Sabots

Now the far more complicated problem for me are those units that can deploy the whole unit as skirmishers under the Republic to Empire rules (like Légère, Rifles or Jäger)… lets call them Lights. Now the rules do not give you a fixed base size or shape for skirmishers, but I chose double hex bases (custom-made by Warbases again) for this. When I started painting Napoleonics I wanted to do both regular and skirmisher bases for these Lights. But once the first few units were painted I realized, that this would mean a lot of extra effort and indeed cost. So I decided to base those lights on half bases, so I could just use them as skirmisher teams, too. Again I had Warbases cut me those half bases to match the bases I usually use. Now the only problem with this brilliant idea was that once deployed as skirmishers, they had a far smaller footprint than their skirmisher brethren from the regular regiments.

Skirmisher comparison

Skirmisher comparison
[skirmishers from a regular Regiment to the left, Light regiment to the right]

Some time this year I suddenly though sabots might be the solution, so I got back to  Warbases (you can see the pattern developing ;-)) and asked them to cut me custom sabots to match my existing skirmisher bases and able to hold my half bases. And again they delivered in no time and with virtually no explanation of what exactly I wanted. And here are the results (I did not add any grass tuffs to the sabots, since I want to stack them up when not in use).

Prussian Jäger in their skirmisher sabots

Prussian Jäger in their skirmisher sabots
[custom sabots by Warbases]

I have to say, I am pretty pleased with my solution and hope you will agree.

While this post is in no way sponsored by them, I would suggest anyone who needs some regular or custom / special bases, movement trays or sabots give Warbases a try… I think you will not be disappointed!

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2013 in Basing, Napoleonic, Republic to Empire, Rules

 

Painting mud

The recent posts about the minis for the La Bricole painting competition kicked off a lot of requests for my recipe for how I painted the mud. I am happy to deliver, but I have to say that it is so simple, that I am too embarrassed to call it a tutorial.

First a few words on where to paint the mud. Now while battlefields themselves can be wet from constant rain and the like, they are often not that muddy. This requires the soil to be churned up. Either from plowing, dozens of feet walking over the same spot, hooves, wheels, tracks or explosions. So this might not happen at too many places on the battlefields themselves, but it sure happens on the march or in camp. So even with soldiers just arriving on a pristine battlefield, they will be dirty. Obviously most of the dirt will around the feet and ankles, their knees (while striking tents, preparing foot or just sitting on the ground) or if you want on their behinds (usually not worth the effort since it would be hidden by the coats anyway). The exception I make are officers, since they usually had people setting up their tents, cooking their food and most of th time did not have to sit on the ground. So I only “muddy” their feet. With soldiers wearing greatcoats I also muddy up the lower edge of the coat, assuming that it would brush on the ground while kneeling, sitting down or just getting their share of mud thrown up by the shoes while walking or marching.

Now on to the actual painting. Obviously you should have painted the clothing and boots by now, or anything you want dirtied up. What you need is an old, wide brush. The ones usually used for basecoating are just fine. The hairs should not be longer than 1/2 the original length and no less than 2/3. It does not matter if some hairs are longer then others. Now you can use both synthetic or organic (red sable), but chances are good that paint will clog the brush up. So organic brushes are better since they will not melt if you need a solvent to clean them. So the brush should look like this:

old brush

old brush

Pick up paint with it and brush it out on a piece of paper until you have about the amount left on it you would need for drybrushing. Now stiple the dirty areas with paint. For the first step I use Valejo “Flat Earth” (VAL 983). This represents the mud that is still somewhat wet.

Mud step 1

Mud step 1

I now repeat this with Valejo Panzer Aces “Feldgrau II Highlight” (VAL 339). This represents the mud that has already started to dry. Go easier on the spots you already did since you still want “wet mud” to be showing through. And stiple some on a little higher, giving the impression of mud that splashed well… a little higher. In real life the higher you go the less will splash there, meaning there will be less new mud getting there and giving the old more chance to dry.

Mud step 2

Mud step 2

And that is it. I usually paint metal stuff like sword sheaths, spurs and so on after doing the mud. Assuming that there is no fabric it can soak into, I think it will not cling on as good, dry out and fall or rub off faster.

In the end the results should look like this:

Loading 6pdr.

Loading 6pdr.

Bavarian Grenadiers

Bavarian Grenadiers

French Grenadiers

French Grenadiers

As you can see the effect works best on dark and light colours and not as good on tans and browns (what a surprise). Hope you can put this to good use!

 
 

Basing 101

Over the past few weeks I have often been asked about my basing. I know that mine might not be the best looking bases around, but I think they are hard to beat when it comes to time vs. looks. So here is how I do it.

First of all you need to prepare the minis and base. Most important is that you varnish the minis before the basing process. This has two reasons. First… during basing the bases will be dipped into sand, so the minis will need the protection. Second… after you are done basing there might be the odd fibre of static grass on the mini and you do not want that to be embedded in the static grass.

You should also paint the edges of the base in the desired colour. I use an olive grass-green for this since it blends in well with the terrain we use. If your minis come on integral bases you should apply some filler around the integral base, creating either a gentle slope (on large bases) or bringing all the ground up to the same level. Otherwise you will get what the Americans call a “pitcher mount effect”. E.g. he minis stands on a slightly raised patch of ground. You should not mind if the end effect is not completely even… real ground is not completely even either. When you are done your base should look like this:

Step 1

Step 1

Next comes the sand. I use sand that I took off a beach in Italy. Obviously that is not an option for everyone, so I will describe what it looks like. The grains of sand are about the size of grains is sugar or salt. Most of the grains are light in colour, some are dark. To keep with the kitchen analogies… like salt and pepper.

To this I added some bird-cage sand. These grains are larger and quite light in colour. These will look like nice little rocks strewn over the ground. I also added some coarse saw dust. You can get this from any carpenter… for them it is just stuff they need to clean off the floor in the evening. But it will give the extra atmosphere to your base.

Next up I paint the base in a chocolate-brown. I brush the paint on in liberal amounts, making sure that it gives a nice thick and especially wet coat. While this is still wet, I push the base into the paint. The wet paint will soak up the sand, tint it brown, and “glue” the sand to the base. If the base is too large to paint it all brown, before the paint dries where you started, simply split the base up in sections . Paint each section and push the base into the sand before you move on to the next section. Just make sure, that the sections do not take on geometric shapes, but rather have rounded and odd edges. At times an edge can show between the sections and you do not want that.

This is how wet your paint should be and what your edges should look like:

Step 2a

Step 2

Step 2b

Step 2

After 2 to 3 minutes (with smaller single mini bases about the time it takes to do the next base) you should push the base into the sand again. Why? Well after a few minutes a good amount of the brown paint will seep through the sand and turn it too brown. Another dip into the sand will give it the right look in the end. And this is what it should look like:

Step 2 finished

Step 2 finished

Next I add some Static Grass tuffs to represent the longer pieces of grass. I use two types. First some miniNatur “Spätherbst”. In the UK and US they are sold under the Silflor label and they should be the “late fall” type. Just glue them onto the base in irregular spots using white glue.

Step 3

Step 3

I also add some “Frühherbst” (early fall) tuffs:

Step 4

Step 4

Do not worry about some excess white glue. The next step will involve static grass and that will simply attach itself to the glue and create some nice blending effects. In this next step I use a mix of two types of static grass to present the flat grass you usually find on fields where it was trampled down by animals or soldiers. I use 4/5 Woodland Scenics “Burnt Grass” and 1/5 Heki “Winterboden”. Now Heki is sold under the Woodland Scenics brand in the UK and US, but they do not seem to sell this type of fibre (winter grass). But to be honest… I do not think that leaving it out would matter. The grass would only be a little darker. To apply it I simply brush on a mix of 3/5 white glue and 2/5 water and push the static grass into it:

Step 5

Step 5

Step 5

Step 5

Afterwards, just repaint the edge of the base where you accidentally got some brown paint onto it and you are done.

Since I was working on my Khemru yesterday, too, I thought I should give you some hints for the desert bases. Those are quite simple. Just use a caramel brown paint. Instead of static grass I simply glue some flock onto the base. The type of flock you usually use for trees. Simple as that:

desert base

desert base

Want to see the finished bases? Well look out for tomorrows posts! 😉

 

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2011 in Basing, General, Painting guides