Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Wreckage of a future battle...

Misleading titles ahoy!

The Nightowls are launching in to their next project for a club display game, and it's going to be World War two in 28mm.

Not exactly revolutionary, I know, but the club is working with something akin to the sponsorship of Warlord Games and so plenty of free or cut price product is coming our way to help put on a display game for Bolt Action.

I've already been given my part of the task, thankfully not troops to be painted on my part, but instead preparing scenery and accessories for the game.

One part of this was a box full of resin miscasts (aka: cr*p) which I was asked to turn into something useful.  An eccentric selection it was too; mostly just chassis' - two Bren Carriers, a Hetzer, an SU76, an R35 - but also a near complete SDKFZ 250/9 and partial trackwork for several stuart tanks and a Tiger.  So barring one half track, none of it is close to complete.  But that is fine when a destroyed tank is likely to be a burnt out hulk.  To that end I set about chopping and changing parts to make more sense.

A snow day from work helped (the joys of working for a college!).  The half track and a Bren gun carrier were easily fabricated; but then I got ambitious with the R35 chassis and some Stuart tracks:

Knowing I was working on a wreck, I could play fast and loose with a few of the details on this model of a 4.7 cm PaK(t) auf Panzerkampfwagen 35R(f).  Over a hundred of these vehicles were converted from captured French tanks and most were lost in the fighting in Normandy and later around Arnhem.  Hacking up the Stuart running gear proved surprisingly effective, whilst the fighting superstructure was built from scratch.

Now onto the painting.  And it was to include burnt effects.  The method is an elaboration on my method for producing weathered paint on armour (see the quick links), and boils down to:

  1. Undercoat whole model with an 80/20 Black Red mix
  2. overbrush whole model with rust
  3. drybrush with natural steel
  4. repaint burnt out area by stippling heavily with black
  5. lightly stipple with various greys
  6. at the limit of the burning apply a fine stipple of white - to represent the limit of burning and the effect t has on the paint
  7. Paint the undamaged parts of the vehicle as normal, going just over the limits of the white
  8. reapply the white, as well as additional ash as you see fit on top of any other weathering effects
The end results will hopefully look something like freshly burnt out vehicles:

The burning carries on into the base, think about how fire may spread both on and off the model, for example on the Bren carrier the fire has mainly been contained by the crew compartment, also the scattered metal track has stopped it spreading too far on the ground.

A lot of work, but actually pretty simple if done methodically.  By the way the observant may notice a Mantic skeleton head has snuck into the scene.  A grim little detail perhaps, but an honest one, and also it was that or have a headless driver stuck in the Warlord model.  I guess this chap wasnt able to escape after his vehicle hit a mine...

I want these to actually suggest the fearsome results of what we oft too casually refer to as a 'knocked out' or 'brewed up' vehicle in games.  The true effects of an armoured fighting vehicle experiencing a fire in its ammunition, would often leave behind grimmer results than even these models imply.