November 16, 2016

Trench Runner Pat Hillard Attacks the Plastic Soldier Company (PSC) Late War British Armoured Division, Army Box - Part 4 Painting The Figures

With the vehicles finished the infantry was my next step. I used tack to hold them onto roofing nails. I have tried painting on the bases and also on hobby sticks but I like the nails better. I can access all sides of the figure and they are easy to hold. Included in the picture are the infantry, tank commanders and half track passengers. They are ready for priming.

Primed figures, I used Vallejo 70.602 Black Surface Primer with my airbrush again. I used the same technique for application, thinning and cleaning as I did for the vehicles. The one tan figure is a test piece to see if I like the base color.

Another view of primed infantry. I used an old cardboard box to catch over spray and test my air brush.

Infantry with their base coat of Vallejo Model Color 70.921 English Uniform. I painted the vehicle crews that were installed during the build with the same colors. The only difference was I used a brush for the entire process.

A close up of the base coated figures.

The finished figures. In addition to the primer and base coats I finished the figures with the following colors:
Helmet Strap/Webbing/Packs - Vallejo Model Color 70.886 Green Grey
Wooden Gun Stocks and Shovel Handles - Vallejo Model Color 70.872 Chocolate Brown
Metal - Reaper Master Series Paint 09052 Shadowed SteelHelmets - Vallejo Model Color 70.924 Russian Uniform
Hessian Camo Strips - Vallejo Model Color 70.821 German Camo Beige WWIIFlesh - V 70.845 Sunny Skin ToneFinal Wash - Army Painter Strong Tone Brown Ink

The box came with a sprue of infantry bases. They are slightly larger than the Flames of War bases. I choose to use some old Flames of War bases that I had in order to keep all of my finished figures the same size. The PSC bases are on the left and the FoW are on the right.

The finished infantry mounted to the bases. I had an HQ, a Piat team, a 2" mortar team and 7 infantry bases. I only needed six but I do not like more than four figures on a base; it is hard to finished the bases without getting material on the figures. Notice the slashes on the bases. I use the end of my hobby file to gouge the bases. This helps the base material stick to the bases. Without this it will easily crack off of the completed base if dropped.

Your basing friend! I used to use spackle patch but it cracked easily and took a long time to dry. A friend told me about Durham's Water Putty. This stuff is great! A 16 can costs $2.58 at Lowe's and will do a lot of bases. I have finished about 150 bases so far and the can is still half full. It is recommended for furniture repairs, spackle/plaster repair, filling knots in wood and as a pouring medium for molds. Mix about a teaspoon with water in a small container. Stir until you have a consistency similar to a thick white glue and apply with a brush or other object. I like to use toothpicks and hobby sticks.

The bases with the putty applied. Notice the container with the extra putty  and my high tech application sticks.

A close up of the details on the bases. I used it to smooth out the raised bases of the individual figures and also create some contour on each base. I do not use it on prone figures. It tends to make them look like they have sunk into the ground.

Getting ready to finish the bases. I used Elmer's white glue, any type of cheap acrylic hobby/craft paint and Fine Dark Brown ballast from Woodland Scenics for my first layer on my bases.

 Make a 3 to 1 mixture of glue and paint in a small container. Add more color as desired for your base coat. This may show through in some places.

A base with the glue applied. Be careful not to get glue on your figures. I used the brush to pull the glue/paint mixture towards the end of the base before adding the fine ballast.

You can bury the base in the ballast mixture or just add it on with a spoon or any other device. I use an old stainless steel mixing spoon that ended up in my hobby supplies. It works pretty well. There are some larger pieces of ballast in this batch. They were a different color  in medium that I added to give the appearance of rocks on my finished bases.

The base when removed from the ballast. Use a brush to reapply glue/paint mixture to any spots that are bare.

The bases all finished with the ballast stage.

I paint the edges of my bases for a nicer appearance and so that I can easily identify them on the table. I decided to use Vallejo Model Color 70.921 English Uniform for my edge color. I also believe that painting the edges helps to seal the edge of the ballast. At this stage I tape the bases to my condiment cups for easier handling while working on them.

The next step involves using a 50/50 mix of white glue and water and the addition of a grass of your choosing. I decided to use Gale Force 9 Summer Flock Blen and also Army Painter Swamp Tufts in 6mm. The tufts come with a self adhesive backing but it does not last. I dip the bottoms in super glue before I put them on the finished base.
 I liked the slight contrast between the flock and the tufts. 

The base ready for the flock.

Using an old brush apply the glue in any type of pattern that you want the flock to appear. I like to follow the contours of the base and create random patches.

The flock added to the base. I use a pair of tweezers to cover the entire base with flock. I then turn it upside down over the container and gently tap it to remove the excess flock.

Once again I use my tweezers and select a tuft. I lightly dip the bottom in super glue and stick it where I want it located on the base.

The finished infantry bases. The next step is a spray of Testors Dullcote finish for protection.

A close up of the finished infantry bases.

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