So in my previous post I commented on how I felt that the Soviet Heavy Infantry were the best currently in game.
One of my reasons for stating this was that their Dual Weapon Packs give them a single shot AT round at up to 18″ or 3 SMG shots at up to 6″. This is incorrect. They only get 2 SMG shots. SMGs were only ever 2 shots it seems and yet for some reason we (our hobby group) have been playing them as 3!
It actually doesn’t change my point of view any, but I thought it fair to raise the point. What’s thrown me now is, how did I get it stuck in my head that SMG’s had 3 shots?
The background and inspiration behind my army is the brutal soviet winter konflikt that we saw during World War 2. From a hobby stand point,this theatre gives me an excellent opportunity to play with new techniques for me and gives me license to leave my comfort zone.
The winter camouflage used during this period also pleases me aesthetically and the history and lore around these periods of bitter cold and privation also have been fascinating to research and learn about.
I thought I’d show how I went about weathering my Soviet Heavy Infantry and also give a mini-review of Chipping Fluid by Vallejo. If you know all about Chipping you can ignore the rest of this paragraph and skip to the end!
Chipping is usually achieved via a number of different methods. Hairspray, Salt, Chipping Fluid and Sponges are all possible ways of achieving the same effect. People like using Salt/Hairspray/Fluid as it gives a slightly 3D effect to the chipping which can be very striking. Salt / Hairspray / Fluid all rely on exploiting the nature of Acrylic paint to achieve their effects (we’ll come back to this later).
Essentially a base coat is used to provide our base colour (Model Color Olive Grey in our case). The base coat was then shaded with a thin coat of GW Agrax Earthshade.
We then paint (or in my case airbrush) over the shaded base colour with our Chipping Fuid and set this aside to dry fully. Make sure the surface is fully dry with no tackiness before proceeding.
Once dry we airbrush over our base shade for our Winter whitewash. I usually use a Vallejo Air Game Colour Wolf Grey for this but this time I tried Model Air Stonewall Grey which is closer to GW Administratum Grey. Essentially any light grey should do the job nicely.
As you can see in the images above, the chipping fluid will give a high gloss finish, don’t worry, it will be fine. When the grey is dry you should see some fine lines in the paint.
Again, don’t worry it will be fine! At this point you need to trust in yourself and the technique. Remember the models are metal and if the worst happens (and you don’t like the result) it can always have a bath in dettol whilst you think about it.
As we were saying earlier, all of these fluids work due to the nature of acrylic paint, which is why I am not sure this technique would work with oil based paints! When you’re ready to start simulating wear on white wash get some lukewarm water and wash over your worn areas. What will happen is that the water will soak through your paint and dissolve the salt/hairspray/chipping solution beneath. The paint will then either wear away or flake off entirely leaving a realistic weathered finish. The start of this process is messy and you WILL be looking at your lovely models wondering whether you made the right choice!
I don’t like the Vallejo chipping solution and I won’t be using it again. There’s a simple reason for this. The flakes, when they flake, are too big and it is difficult to retain control of how much paint chips away. With Salt or Hairspray I have much more consistent and reliable chipping. The Vallejo Chipping solution I feel is better aimed at larger scale models where the flake granularity doesn’t need to be so fine. Anything 1/32 and higher scale should have a surface large enough for the weathering fluid to work well and give you a little more control.
So, as you can see above I managed to get the models suitably chipped. At this point I felt I should block in colours which wouldn’t be subject to weathering to give some solid colours to frame the chipped armour. I painted the hoses and exposed seals with Model Color Dark Sea Grey and then washed them with GW Nuln Oil. Once this was done I broke out my sponges and went crazy!
I use the sponge backs that come in blister pack boxes and then I use a scalpel and tweasers to cut little chunks out of the sponges to leave myself with sponge squares that are around 3mm wide at their tip.
I then dip the sponges into white and remove excess paint with a tissue. Once I’m satisfied with the consistency of the application (testing on my skin) I then gently pad all over the model in areas where I want to lighten the white wash. I repeat this with green for the areas where the base colour of the armour is exposed and then finally with a mixtures of greys and browns on exposed surfaces. This allows me to build up a bunch of different shades and hues across the model and achieve my desired effect.
The rust was achieved by using a sponge with Vallejo Model Color Air Rust on exposed areas and around rivets. I then lightened this with Vallejo Game Color Air Orange which was drawn down the models in thin streaks in places.
Finally I finished the models with a matt varnish to seal in colours and protect against overzealous handling! Although there may appear to be lots of processes in this write up the actual time painting is minor. Using an Air Brush I did all of the main base coating steps and all of the varnishes / chipping coats too. I think it takes about 3 hours start to finish to do all of the steps for all six models. Not bad for a unit of 6 models.
Whilst they may not win any golden demons I’m happy with how they look and when added to my Soviet Army will really bring home the winter feel.
Please let me know what you think, if there’s anything you’d have liked to have seen or any thoughts on the technique.