Escalating Tensions Pt.7 – Grunt Work

Having taken a two month break to paint giant robots and tiny planes, my palette was well and truly cleansed and it was time to get back to Team Yankee.

Pallettes are a lot like Heretics; they need cleansing

Whilst my 1985 was armour centred, my Gulf War force was infantry centred (because Challenger ROMOR is so expensive) so, having painted lots of desert coloured AFV before the break, I needed to deal with the soft, squishy innards; both crew and dismounts.

Complicating this was the fact that the Battlefront infantry were very 1980s and I couldn’t find any 15mm 1990s infantry (“war on terror” being the closest and from a non-preferred source) so I decided to paint a second platoon and MILAN platoon in 1980s style and hope that someone I liked did Gulf War brits at a later date (Keith, I’m looking at you…).  That would meet the immediate need and also open some options for 1985.

Rather than repeat my previous 1980s British Infantry article, I’ve just focused on what I’ve changed since last time in terms of techniques.

Disruptive Pattern Material (DPM), take 2

On the first run at DPM, I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the output so this time I decided to paint the DPM with a palette and method derived from my Denison smock formula.

First I primed the models in Vallejo Surface Primer Black.  I then painted the jacket, helmet and most the trousers (I wanted a few plain green ones) in Green Ochre, using thin coats to get an even coverage.  Next, I applied Citadel Agrax Earhshade as an all-over wash, then layered on Green Ochre, leaving the shade in the recesses.

With that base established, next I started to apply the other camo colours, first Reflective Green, then Chocolate Brown. each covering about a third of the exposed fabric.  

Finally, black “twigs” are added to complete that classic DPM look.  Once the webbing is done in the next stage, both webbing and uniform got a light drybrush of Green Ochre to blend it all together.

All in all, I think the second method gives a better look than my first attempt.

Desert DPM

Given the tanks crews don’t really change much from mid 80s to early 90s, I decided to paint most the tank crew figures in two tone Gulf War Desert DPM or, er, DDPM. 

Now this wasn’t the first time I had had a crack at painting DDPM, but it was many years ago, for a different scale and a, very, different war!  It was also done in the old Citadel Colours most of which I had long since got rid of.

Aaron had looked at DDPM on the Battlefront website and I liked his choice of the lighter tone; Stone Grey. I applied this over the uniform areas, then a wash of Agrax Earthshade, then layered Stone Grey back on.  Finally I applied broad patches of German Camo Medium Brown, trying to get a brush stroke look.

Other than that, painting was much as it was in February (which now sees years away).  The Milan teams painted up very quickly, being half submerged, with the infantry platoon taking longer.  

MILAN Platoon and Drums Platoon*

Infantry Platoon

Gulf Movements

This still left some of August left to get ready for the next month.  With enough infantry now in place, I now needed to think about the last of the vehicles, namely additional Warriors for the Milans, Spartans to double as Spartan MCT and Blowpipe carriers, and the Scimitars.

I got all three built over the course of a couple F1 Grand Prix weekends and was ready to start adding stowage.  One of the things I had noticed on pictures of the Scorpion and Scimitar was that the Gulf War ones had acquired stowage bins on the nose, surrounding the driving lights.  I was eager to try and replicate that.

I took some of my ever versatile rectangular section plastic rod and cut it into sections to fit between and either side of the driving lights.  A very simple job!

One thing I wanted to do, but didn’t have sufficient talent to accomplish, was to sculpt on some LAW80 rounds which the CVRT seemed to carry around.

I had a stab at trying to do this using some plastic rod and green stuff and… it wasn’t great.  Ho hum.

So, back to painting “Light Stone (UK)” for September then?

Well, no.  Because I suddenly found myself in the Red…

Well, I did get the Warriors at least…