Armies On Parade – The (NEW) Atlantic Alliance!

 

A shining beacon of light in a world plunged into the darkness of war. The Atlantic Alliance fights for the noblest of causes – liberty. Sworn to defend freedom against tyranny in all its forms, the courageous soldiers, sailors and airmen sally forth from all corners of the British Commonwealth and the United States Of America to throw back the forces of totalitarianism and preserve liberty, freedom and apple pie for all!

The Atlantic Alliance is unique among the nation power blocs in that its armies are an entirely volunteer force, from the elite Special Forces commandos of the SAS and Delta Force right down to the reservist Territorial formations, the courageous men and women of the Atlantic Alliance have gathered to defend their freedoms without coercion. Their forces are highly trained, well equipped and well motivated and each soldier – whether they fight in the European, Pacific, Alaskan or Central American theatres -has the incomparable advantage of believing in the cause he or she is fighting for.

That said, because of the reluctance amongst Alliance governments to impose the draft, believing it would compromise their moral stance on defending freedom, the Atlantic Alliance almost always finds itself outnumbered in the field and must make use of every one of its training and technology advantages.

I’d like to start this blog post off with a salute to Tacobat – painter and modeller extraordinaire! Seriously, if you’re a fan of the art of miniature painting, go visit his site. Right now. I’ll wait.

See?

Now in particular, I’d like to turn your attention to the tutorial posts, because these had a big influence in how I went about this project. Now, Tacobat is an airbrush guy, and I don’t expect to be owning one of those lovely gadgets anytime soon (Santa doesn’t seem to believe I’m good enough), but I found many of his insights very useful nonetheless. I’ve been frequenting his site, along with a few others for quite some time and started to get miniature envy…you know the feeling- “Why don’t my minis look that good?”

In our case it’s somewhat obviated by the fact that these guys are painting hundreds of pounds worth of intricately designed models whereas me and Dan just dig stuff out of the recycling and glue it together with varying levels of enthusiasm and sobriety, but still – I wanted to make good ol’ Buffalo 2-7 look goooooooooood (or at least, better).

First thing we needed was an overall pattern to keep the force looking homogenised, and I decided on a variant of the Dualtex camo pattern that I discovered on Tacobats’s site and had already had a crack at. I went with a four colour pattern – basing with Vallejo Olive Drab, then squares from tan, Burnt Umber and Black paint. I tried a new approach for the metallics, going with a silver coat which I then washed with black ink. I’ll give you a rough guide, and then it’ll be on to pretty pictures:

  1. Prime  – used cheap £1 shop spray paint for this, did the job a treat.
  2. Basecoat – Vallejo Olive Drab, thinned a little – usually went with two thinned coat.
  3. Wash – thinned black ink wash in the corners and details, outlining elements of interest. In the case of infantry I just washed the whole model.
  4. Highlight 1 – Drybrush with the original Olive Drab
  5. Highlight 2 – mix a little white into the Olive Drab and drybrush again
  6. Highlight 3 – as above, with a little more white
  7. Tan squares – tried making templates for these but wound up just doing them freehand
  8. Brown squares – as above, using Burnt Umbe
  9. Black – camo squares, plus any detailing (rifles etc)
  10. Detailing – flesh and wash, cockpit lens affects wtc.
  11. Sponge chipping – used boltgun metal equivalent for this.
  12. Texture paste – made from PVA, Burnt Umber acrylic and sand and grit from the  garage floor! Apply with a cocktail stick.
  13. Final VERY light drybrush with a white/tan blend
  14. Matt varnish

I also rebased the infantry with hole punched 20mm circular cardboard bases using a mix of sand/garage floor grit and flock, edged in Olive Drab to tie the whole force together.

So.. pictures!

The boys pose for their beauty shots….

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The Silverbug in it’s initial state
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After paint job

Silverbug close air support flight

M85 Autonomous Combat platforms – remodelled for more dynamic poses! Love the assault saw ‘bot…. “Gon’ f**k you up, bro!”

Airborne infantry squadron, Warhawk 4-9.. now with wings! And yellow “Air Cav” scarves, as a nod to Cap. Kilgore from “Apocalypse Now”

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Dreadnaught power armoured infantry squad
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Ghost 7 sniper team

Humvees – left to right, mounting minigun, laser cannon and Stinger/TOW missile launcher

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HQ – left to right, Platoon Sgt “Mac” McAuliffe, Lt. Grant, Doc. Emett Brown (medic) and DJ Brookes (RTO) 
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Grunts – Alfa and Bravo (rifle) squads (I mixed and matched dualtex camo with olive drab to create the idea of a battle worn force gradually absorbing new kit)
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Charlie (Missile Launcher) squad
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Delta (LMG) squad

APCs – these guys repainted (papercraft M113s accesorised)

M42 Mirage Stealth Tank

M60A3 Centurion platoon – now featuring the missile launchers, machine guns and targeters the rules give them!

I really like how this force has turned out, it’s recognisably close to a real world military but also “other” at the same time… and my God I’ve painted alot of squares!!! Whatever I paint next will have wiggly lines, I swear…

Stay tuned for a batrep – I wonder, what happens to the curse of the newly painted model when EVERYTHING is newly painted? I see Dan rubbing his hands together with mailicous glee…

40K Freebies!!!!!!

So, Jim is mired in a big painting project and has given me the keys to the blog this month – and it’s only right and proper that we give a shout out to the game we fell in love with many years ago  when the world was a more innocent place.. when Donald Trump was making pizza adverts and tweeting was an activity reserved for thrushes and a mobile phone was one that you had fitted to your car..

Anyway, we caught the tail end of the Rogue Trader era and the lovable crazy amateurishness of it, and we were both sold the (by the standards of the day) shiny and slick 2nd Ed.. now many, many, many years have passed and we are now onto the 8th edition of that “bloody waste of time” as our parents described it! After coming in for much criticism in recent years, dear old Games Workshop really seem to be trying a reset, slimming down and substantially modifying the rules for 8th and best of all? They’ve got them online for free

Seriously.

40k for FREE!!!

Obviously, it’s just the sketch out version to get you going, but you know what? That’s just fine. I’d love the Dark Imperium box set, but it’s £95. £95!!! For toy soldiers!! I have a kid – this is not a luxury I can justify.

Don’t get me wring, this is not an anti-GW pricing rant – lord knows there are enough of them – but a simple objective analysis that for alot of people, £95 (or £47.50, if you’re splitting the box with a mate) is a bloody hell of a lot of money. An awful lot of people don’t have that to spare.

“Aha”, you say, “but what about the quality, the sculpts, the IP, the design etc…” – to which I say fair enough. GW stuff is pretty darn nice, and I love the fluff at 37 just as much as I did at 12, but just as I couldn’t afford it on a paper round, I can’t afford it on a warehouse job with a kid to look after. And I get the fact that they have to make a profit, or it’s game over and no 40k for anyone. I’m not questioning whether it’s a good deal – £15000 for a Ferrari Testarossa is a good deal, but since I don’t have the £15000 it’s irrelevant.

So, hats off to GW for giving me and Dan a chance to play the newest version of the game that nicked our childhoods with an entry fee of £0. If either of us win the lottery, we’ll be sure to buy a f**kload of your minis to play it with – but in the meantime, we’ll be taking the DIY route. Thanks for opening that back up to us.

Now, pass me a deodorant bottle and some plastic spoons – I’ve got a grav-attacke vehicle to make….