I’ve started a pretty epic painting commission for Team Yankee which is Battlefront’s new Cold War gone hot game. Team Yankee uses 15mm miniatures and the rules are based on Flames of War (Battlefront’s 15mm WW2 game, that is their claim to fame). I don’t have much experience with Flames, but Team Yankee seems to play simpler and faster. However this might be as much due to the lethality of 1980s weapons and the currently small number of units and special rules at play. However, what I have in front of me are 21 tanks/AFVs and 8 helos waiting to be painted. I’ve assembled, cleaned, filled and done all the modelling. Now it’s on to paint. I’m starting with the T-72s, of which there are 11.
I picked up some colours specifically for these models. I don’t have an appropriate green in airbrush ready paint, and I’m trying to be as efficient as possible seeing as there are over 20 tanks an 8 helos to paint. So I decided to pick up a set of Russian Greens from AMMO by Mig Jiminez. I’m really impressed with them, they airbrush perfectly straight from the bottle and work really, really well. The addition of something in the bottle to act as an agitator is also nice. Anyway, I definitely think I’ll be picking up some more of their Acrylic paints. The specific colours I have used so far:
- Base-coat: Zashchitniy Zeleno XB 518 (A.MIG-083).
- Highlights: Russian Green Base ZIS 508 (A.MIG-932).
- Filter: Ochre for Grey Green (A.MIG-1508).
- Wash: Dark Brown for Green Vehicles (AK 045).
- Road Tires: Black Grey (VMC 70.862).
Now I don’t normally do many work in progress pictures but I’m trying to improve my efficiency and use as much of a production line as possible. The photos are a little bit of a change of pace as I’m going through things, as it can get a bit repetitive. Particularly as the first part of the project is 11 T-72s.
Here they are assembled and stuck onto small stakes. These are plastic models so they’re light and Blu-Tack is sticky enough to hold them to the sticks. I have some wooden boards which have holes of the right size drilled into them that lets me paint and spray everything without touching the model.
Here they are all spray painted with the base-coat and then given a light coat of the highlight onto the upper surfaces. Prior to the basecoat I cover them with a black primer and then a white coat over the top to start the highlighting process (I didn’t take pictures of that step – I’m not very good at this WIP thing).
Here are some closeups of the hull and turret. They’t not bad little models, but the detail is pretty soft particularly if you compare it with some of their other plastics (and plastic kits in general).
The three hulls in this picture are in different states of progress. The left-most has been sprayed and had a filter applied. A filter is a really light wash that is applied in a thin coat (almost with just a moist brush). The aim is to not have it well up in the cracks and crevices and instead give some tonal variation to the big flat panels on vehicles. I use specific products, but a very light wash will work (I’d recommend using an enamel wash as they have lower surface tension, and surface tension can ruin a filter by having it form bubbles). The middle hull has had a wash applied over the top of the completely dry filter. You’ll notice it’s not very neat and doesn’t do a great job of bringing out the details. This is difficult to avoid on vehicles, as it’s impossible to apply the wash just to the crevices and depressions where you want it to appear. You always get some on the flat panels and it looks awful if not cleaned up. This is where the last hull comes in. I’ve cleaned the excess wash off this model using enamel paint thinner. This is why I use enamel washes. At any point after it is dry you can just moisten a brush in thinner (essentially odourless turpentine) and use it to carefully wipe off the excess wash. This step takes some time, and it can take some practise to get the right amount of thinner as it is way to easy to apply too much and remove all of the wash. However, I think it gives some great results and avoids the awful look that washes often give you on large smooth surfaces.
I’ll end with a brief discussion of the models themselves. They’re from Battlefront and I’m torn by them. First I want to complement them on the quality of most of their plastics. However, the T-72 is probably their worst plastic kit in the Team Yankee range. The detailing is just nowhere near the others in the range. I’ve got BMPs, Hinds and Abrams all sitting in front of me and they’re really nice kits. The T-72 is OK, but it just doesn’t have the detail or crispness of the other kits. Which is really disappointing as you’re going to see a lot of these on the table. The T-72s are not very expensive in Team Yankee so they’re likely to appear in hoards of 10-20 (or more).