Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas from Ironmitten

Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to you all. Keep your shields up and leathers braced for the coming year, It's going to be a big one.

Atrebates Warrior

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Above is another Celtic tribe I created last year. The Dumnonii have black and red shields and have a very war like appearance. I also gave them animal furs with 'greenstuff' and animal motiffs on there shields that show off their hunting prowess. This touch was inspired by the book 'Frontier wolf' by Rosemary Sutcliff. I also gave this tribe their own style of war paint with a thick band of woad across the eyes.


Painting 'horde' armies can be very time consuming and seem never ending. To help me get through the huge amount of figures required to make an army, I thought I would make it more interesting for myself by dividing them into tribes. Each tribe will have it's own look and shield colour/design. Changing cloth colour and textile patterns is another way of making units look different from each other.
I think creating interest within the warbands will help give them personality and help me keep painting through the never ending ranks of similar looking figures.
I've also been playing around with new ways of painting large numbers of figures and have worked out an easy way to help me cope with the work load. I have started to paint the same colour onto a number of different figures at once, this way the figures get coloured very quickly. Each new colour on the brush gets dotted around to add variety here and there until the figures are all covered. This helps with shading also as each colour is shaded at the same time. I am not worrying to much about the clothing colours as it is the shield colour and design that will dominate the look of the figure. I have also used paint washes more than usual to speed up the process. This was inspired in a way by the 'Quickdip' pot I bought, just without the glossy finish.
With around forty two models needed for a warband I still have a long way to go, however I managed to crack these guys in a day and a half and they were fun to do, so I may try to finish off the Atrebates before I start anything else. Famous last words......

The joy of painting Celts!

After studying and researching 20th Century soldiers where the colours have to be spot on, It was great to get back to using my imagination again. I thought I'd free myself up with a few Celts. Using the white horse hill carving at Uffington as a guide, I created this Atrebates warband.
Ever since I had seen the Uffington horse, I had wanted to recreate the tribe who would have used it as a tribal boundary, the Atrebates.
I have given the Atrebates black hair to add to their Belgic appearance.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Brother Bren and his mates

More Brits to join the fight.
Here are two members of the Bren team. The ten man section was divided into two teams, three men which formed the Bren team (officer, loader, gunner) and the other seven who formed a rifle team. As the Bren team would lay down fire and suppress the enemy, the rifle squad would use cover and try to move up and flank the enemy position while it was pinned down. Both teams worked in tandem with each other to get the job done.

Webbing nightmare!

Being a perfectionist is more of a curse than a blessing sometimes and researching these Tommies was a case in point. For ages I looked up British webbing from a huge number of sources to try and find the right colour to paint it, only to find a number of different shades and colours. Not being able to let myself just paint any old colour, I had to make sure It was the right colour for the D-Day operations. I pulled out all my hair and aged two years in the process, but I think I finally cracked the webbing colour enigma code (well enough for me to finally put brush to figure anyway).
I hope If there are fellow painters out there thinking of painting up WWII Tommies then all my long hours can help you and my time has not been wasted in vain.
WWII British Webbing;
Basically, the webbing was a light beige colour through most of the war. However, the light sandy colour, fantastic for the deserts of North Africa, was proven to stick out rather in the European theatre. The green hedgerows and grass fields of Normandy prompted the Men to recolour their webbing with Pea green 'Blanco'. 'Blanco' was a power that when added to water formed a kind of paste. This paste was then used to scrub on to the webbing to protect and die it a different shade. Hence webbing can come in all different shades of either Khaki (early war) or Pea green (1944 late war) colours. For a painter this is hard to swallow but basically means anything goes within those two ranges. As I'm painting my Platoon to fight in the hedgerows of France, I'm going for the 1944 green webbing. Although, on the longest day in history a lot of units didn't have time to prepare their equipment and so went to France with Khaki equipment still, this in mind, I will include a few of these into my units. Phew! I hope this helps fellow artists out there and helps to clarify matters.

Above can be seen both Pea green and Khaki versions of the 1937 pattern webbing.

Tommy Atkins makes a stand!

My British rifle section is finished at last and takes Its place in the cabinet.

Friday, December 05, 2008