Friday, August 16, 2013

Painting German Gaiters

Old Man Morin here.  My obsession with painting German gaiters has been a running joke on the podcast and on the Facebook page for some time now.  So much so that I have actually had requests to demonstrate how I do it.  Well, as many of you know, we never turn down requests here on the LRDG.  Without further ado… Here we go!

Now I understand that most gaiters will not look like mine.  I took a quick look at a few pictures of Germans soldiers and based my method on pictures like this:

I usually start the gaiter painting later in the painting process.  I don’t wait until the end (after the last highlight) in case my fingers rub a little of the paint off.  I start by base coating the area a medium grey colour (Grey/Green by Vallejo for example) and washing that base with a black wash of some sort (I usually use whatever dark GW wash I have kicking around, these days I am using Nuln Oil).  I am not terrible neat at this point.  The area ends up looking like this:

I then use a fine detail brush (or something equivalent) to paint very thin lines at the top and bottom of the gaiter area.  I use GW’s Nurgling Green.  It has nice coverage and goes well with the grey/green uniforms of my Germans. 

From there I very carefully paint in one to three parallel lines depending on the gap between the top and bottom lines.  Without fail I will make mistakes in this process so I usually have to go back and neatly black line between the Nurgling Green lines. 

And Voila!  Finished gaiters.  Sure they look stripy up close up but on the table top they look great (at least I think so).  Thanks for checking in.  Til next time!!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Old Man Morin Checks Out The Assault Group Germans

As we have been discussing on the LRDG podcast, when it comes to 28mm WWII models there is a wide variety of companies selling a WIDE variety of wares catering to our gaming wants and needs.  Today I will be taking a close and critical look at German assault rifles and assault rifle troopers from The Assault Group.

A majority of my German infantry for my BA Germans are Warlord plastic models with addition Warlord metal heads.  I have mounted them on a variety of ruined bases and I have painted my boys with a late war feel.  That said... Late war Germans need assault rifles and a fair few of them!

I started my Assault Group experience by ordering a pack of 10 of Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifles by themselves.  This is key as the Warlord plastic boxed sets only have a few plastic assault rifles and up until recently they did not sell them as additional bits.  Anyway.  I ordered the rifles and they arrived VERY promptly and with very little flash.  They looked beefier than their Warlord counterparts BUT that is perfectly fine by me as the Warlord plastic weapons are notoriously fragile.  Here is a Warlord plastic German with a metal assault rifle:

In order to get the rife to fit properly I trimmed the stock of the gun, as the stock is naturally wider than the gap left between the model's arm and the model's torso. This is not a major hobby job and only took a minute or two per dude.  The end result looks good and I am happy to have a bunch of these guys in my force.  Problem is that even when varying the legs and heads...  the plastics do get sort of boring pose wise after a while and I really wanted to mix up my infantry a bit.  Soooooo I ordered some Assault Group Germans with assault rifles.

Once again the models came promptly but unlike my previous Assault Group experience these models were fairly covered in rather annoying flash.  Here is an example of one trooper with a hideous model line running straight down his face.

This was a pain to clean without significant effort.  I spent the time and eventually got everything the way I wanted. Here is a shot of all four guys that came in the blister prior to cleaning:

Needless to say I was not a fan.  I cleaned the models, clipped them from their tabs and stuck them to their new bases.  I then began my rather arduous German painting process.  I should probably learn to paint Ze Germans faster BUT what can I say... I like the results...

The Assault Group Germans have lots of pouches and gear hanging from their webbing.  I really like that about these models and really gave them character.  I also like that two of the four guys came with caps on (a large number of my guys are wearing caps rather than helmets...  What can I say...  I like the look).  The weapons they carry are unsurprisingly the same as the separate ones I used on my plastics which, as I said before, I really liked.  The problem comes with the faces.  Maybe I am used to painting a particular style of face but I found the Assault Group guys' faces to be a real challenge to paint correctly.  It is almost as though they have baby faces... if that makes sense.  I struggled to get the detail into their cheeks and around their eyes.  In the end I solved the problem by highlighting the skin another layer or two (depending on the model) higher to give the illusion of depth that was not always there on the model.  This sounds harsh but I needed them to match my existing Germans.  Here you can see some close up shots of my Assault Group Germans:

Here is an Assault Group Metal (on the right) next to a Warlord plastic (on the left) that has a matching Assault Group metal assault rifle.
Here is a comparison shot of a Warlord plastic with a plastic assault rifle next to an Assault Group metal with metal assault rifle.
To sum up...  I like the Assault Group Germans.  True, they took some work and sometimes they were a pain BUT they are sturdily built, they are characterful and the have original poses which allows you to add variety to your force (as long as you are mixing them with other company's models).  Would I buy from them again?  Heck yeah!  I just got some Marines to bulk out my Warlord metals AND a pack of .50 cals.  Who would not love that?!?

Til next time gang!

Old Man Morin

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

To Paint a Panther

Hey Guys, Tobie (Tobu) here,

So, today we’re going to paint a Panther! This particular Panther is a very pretty one courtesy of JTFM Enterprises or Die Waffenkammer ( The model was fantastic to work with and I highly recommend the JTFM wares.

My inspiration for the paint scheme

The colours for this project where based on (stolen from) Vallejo’s new AFV painting system. Specifically the German Dark Yellow set ( I already owned all of the colours bar the primer so did not get the set itself, but if you wanted to follow along with this guide it would be a handy way to arm yourself with most of the necessary paints. So after a trip to my FLGS I was with the suitable primer and was ready to gird my loins and get to work.

Most of the painting herein was done with an airbrush. You could have a crack at doing it by hand, but it would be very difficult and time-consuming to replicate the soft blending effect you get when using an airbrush. However, I imagine using the same colours in progressively lighter drybrush stages could yield good results for the airbush-less amongst you.

The method I have tried to replicate is one pioneered by the scale model world and is known as ‘Colour Modulation’. I’m not going to go through the details of this method here as you’ll get an idea from this article, some people may already be familiar with it, and as always – Google is your friend.

On to the painting!

Step 1: Cleaning

Ok no painting yet – slow down there hombre. JTFM recommend cleaning their resin models with warm, soapy water to remove any mould release agent – which can cause problems if you paint over it later. I had a big slab of paint chip off another resin model (not from JTFM) when I forgot this step in the past, so I have become a bit paranoid and now all of my resin and metal models get a bath before assembly. I use standard dishwashing liquid. Allow the model to dry thoroughly (overnight) on paper towel before continuing.

Clean as a whistle!

Step 2: Drilling

This stage is optional and comes down to personal taste – drilling gun barrels. I usually don’t bother I’ll be honest, but the muzzle thingy on the end of the Panther’s gun was too badass for me not to in this instance.

*Insert 'Holy ____ Batman' Joke*

Step 3: Priming I

JTFM also recommend priming their products with a specialist plastic primer. I went to my local hardware store armed with information from a fellow friendly gamer (thanks Patch!) and picked up a clear enamel plastic primer which is for protecting plastic furniture etc. 

I didn’t take a photo of this stage as it’s almost impossible to tell the difference (as the primer dried clear) – however this stuff was not designed for models so I just gave it a very fine ‘misting’. Apparently colour enamel-based model primers are also suitable for this priming stage.

Step 3: Priming II

Holy Colour Primer Batman! Prime the entire model, except the tracks (remember they’re primed but it’s clear) with acrylic Vallejo German Dark Yellow Primer (604). I smashed this shit straight in the airbrush with no thinner (apparently they’re designed for this) and it was all good. I kept the model disassembled to make sure I could hit all the areas I wanted. 

This was probably the most time-consuming stage as I needed good, even coverage. The airbrush sprays thin layers of paint so it does take a little while to build up sexy, solid basecoats, but I guarantee after 4 or 5 coats are on there you will be very aroused.

You're barring up right now aren't you?


The skirting and all of the bobbins where blu-tacked to a wooden thing so they wouldn’t obscure any parts of the tank. 

Step 4: Tracks

I painted the tracks German Dark Brown (70.822) by hand. This stage could have been done after the highlight in hindsight, but I was toying with the idea of assembling the tank after the pieces were primed which would have made painting the tracks difficult. I ended up not doing this and keeping everything separate as this allowed greater freedom with the airbrush and saved me from having to resort to masking tape.

Step 5: Highlight I – The Phantom Highlight

Now we’re on to the fun part! The first highlight was done with Model Air Dark Yellow (70.025). As with the primer, the Model Air range is designed for airbrushes so not much (or sometimes any) dilution is required. I mixed this colour 3:1 with water and it sprayed nicely. 

This is where you start to build up a nice gradient effect. For this first step you want to hit every part of the tank that is not recessed. This will leave the majority of the tank coloured with Dark Yellow, with the darker primer remaining in the recesses providing shading. More shading will be added in the weathering stages.

Step 6: Highlight II – Attack of the Highlight

The second highlight in the delicious highlighting process used Model Air Sand Yellow (70.028). When applying this stage think about where you want the highlights to be. On some areas, such as the front Glacis plate and the sloped areas of the turret the position of the highlights is reasonably obvious.

Things get more complex when you think about the sides and top of the vehicle. The Colour Modulation method uses a Zenithal light-source where the light is directly above the model shining down. However, you don’t typically see vehicles painted in this way – at least in the gaming scene (scale modelers are a different, and uniquely terrifying breed). 40K vehicles, for example, seem to be usually painted in the ‘GW style’ (massive generalisation)using blocks of colour, with recesses shaded and line highlighting on the edges of all the panels, with no real heed paid to the direction of the light source. This is probably because painting blended colours, lightening as they get closer to the light-source is hard on big, flat surfaces without an airbrush.  And also because even with an airbrush it is frakking hard! And also because when done well the ‘GW style’ looks rad-balls too.

This rather useful picture for highlight placement comes from

I wanted to try this new (for me) technique though, and I struggled a lot with this, my first frolic into Colour Modulation. It’s not really a matter of struggling with technique either – I don’t think this is a particularly advanced application of the airbrush. It’s all about learning where to put the highlights. I don’t have all that many pointers in this regard as I did most of it by trial and error – have the last colour on standby to cover up mistakes! I also take back what I said earlier, this was definitely the most time-consuming stage of the painting.

I will say the most useful technique I found for finding those highlights is to shine a lamp on the model and take photos. Chuck those photos up on a screen next to you while you paint and look at what the light hits – then in turn hit that area with your paint. I definitely learned I need to practice more to build up intuition for where those highlights go.

Anyway, after much time and cursing, you will be left with:

Not perfect, but it will do!

I didn’t really conform to the colour modulation shit with the side skirts as it looked weird when I did the first one. Trial and error I say!

Step 7: Highlight III – Revenge of the Highlight

The next highlight uses Model Colour Pale Sand (70.837). Unlike the other paints so far, this is not from the Model Air range and so I diluted the paint 1:3 with water and added a tiny amount of Liquitex Matte Medium ( Liquitex Matte Medium is the nectar of the Gods and I would drink it if I could – but that is for another article.

This stage is a lot easier as you have already decided where the highlights are going. Simply go over them again, ensuring not to cover them completely in a continuation of the gushing graduating.

Look at all that graduationating and shit

Step 8: Highlight IV – A New Highlight (& assembly)

For the final (subtle) highlight I mixed a drop (exact measurement) of GW Skull White into my airbrush cup which still had Highlight III loaded and mixed it all up. I then sprayed a very fine amount onto the utmost areas and onto little parts I wanted to draw attention to.

After this the model was assembled (sans side skirts):

Step 9: Weathering I

For weathering I made a very thin glaze of 1:8 Devlan Mud and Water. I applied this to the whole tank. Be sure not to just slap this on as it will pool and look shite. Load your brush with glaze, wipe your brush on paper towel and then apply in a very thin layer. It should be thin enough that you can see the glaze dry almost as soon as it is applied. This is somewhat time-consuming and the effect is subtle but when viewed in the flesh it is nice.

Once you have covered the entire tank a couple of times with the above method, begin doing the same, but building the glaze up in recessed areas to enhance the shading. You can make rain/dirt marks by building up 7-8 layers too. As the thin glazes dry so quickly, this doesn’t take long.

And now it’s pigment time!

Step 10: Weathering II and final touches

I mixed up a combination of Vallejo Pigments 50:50 Natural Umber and Light Sienna with enough Vallejo Pigment glaze to make a paste with slightly-thicker-than-PVA sort of consistency. This was applied to the tracks and splashed around other areas a bit too. I added a selection of small scratches with Vallejo Dark Grey (70.818) and my finest brush.

I drilled some holes in totally historically-accurate locations and attached guitar string for the antennae. Prime the metal string before painting as per other Metal parts below.

The Man in the tank was painted German Dark Brown, washed with GW Badab Black and the highlighted with GDB, then GDB with some GW Skull White. I can’t remember the recipe for the skin, I’m sorry but presumably it was done in a skin-like fashion.

Metal parts were painted with Vallejo Dark Grey  (70.166), washed with GW Badab Black and the highlighted with Dark Grey mixed with a little GW Skull White. I added some average-looking rust to the the exhaust with Vallejo Cavalry Brown (70.818).

Wooden parts were painted P3 Bootstrap Leather and then washed with GW Devlan Mud.

Decals where then applied and after they were dry I put a couple of thin layers of the glaze from Step 9 over the top. I don’t think I would do this decal glaze again as it made the edges of the decals stand out a little bit – but meh whatever.


Step 11: Get on it

The pigments take a while (24 hours or so) to dry so go to the pub and get the darkest beer they have in their largest receptacle, drink it and then get another – You’ve earned it (kind of).

Fuck yeah

Final Photos

Outside in the good light:

Thanks everyone for reading and I hope at least portions of this were of some use to you!

Tobu out.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Howdy Gang,
As we all know Warlord games typically kick out large numbers of quality resin vehicles that we can use in our BA armies and games. They have a huge selection of armour and armoured vehicles for every major power (and most minor powers) in WWII. The problem is that as more BA army books release the list of vehicles NOT released grows by leaps and bounds. Now they are doing an admirable job of filling the blanks but some of us need our toys now. This has lead me on a search for quality manufactures of 1:56 WWII vehicles that are a) not thousands of pieces to build and b) not already in Warlord's production range. Now I have a soon (ish) to be built Marine army that needed some vehicular support and according to the Iwa Jima selector... I had only one option for armoured cars... The M3... But Warlord does not make this...

Thankfully for me, JTFM Enterprises does though. JTFM is a Canadian company run by a very friendly fellow named Jeff. Now the company's website can be found at The product list there is extensive (especially if if you play Germans!) and what I like is that many vehicles covered are ones not made by Warlord. Bonus. I have piked up a Panzer II Luchs and the M3 White Scout Car. Today I will talk about the M3.
The kit comes in several pieces: body, wheels, roof, crew, weapons etc and came with a pleasing amount of additional stowage. The casting is crisp and clean and the detail is impressive (check out the diamond plating on the bumper and inside the crew compartment). There were very few mold lines (as you can see in the pictures) and though I have not actually built the model yet the pieces slide together beautifully. All in all I am massively happy with what I bought! The model had one broken axle but that is a two second super glue job so I am definitely not concerned!

I like how the kit came with a page of pictures of the actual vehicle from different angles and a parts list (something missing from many WWII kits). Now... There are no instructions but with a kit of this type... none are needed.

My only gripe with this kit is the length of time it took to arrive. I had to wait something like 6 weeks. Now I understand that I live in Australia and things take a long time to get here but Jeff admitted via email that he had been swamped and he had been delayed in sending this out to me. I know he is currently hiring so hopefully this problem will improve in the future as I fully intend to order more from the man in the future.

I am overjoyed with the kit and would recommend JTFM's wares to everyone... (The Panzer II was the same quality for those wondering)
You can find JTFM's products on the Die Waffenkammer website:
Til next time...
Old Man Morin