Painting an Army in three days..

I was off on holiday over the recent school break in the UK and having been a bit frustrated with the paucity of my K47 hobby output I decided to set myself a challenge.

I’ve had a planned Desert Raiding force for my US rangers for some time now.  My vision was for a force that could be used to represent an early wars operation torch force – where inexperienced rangers and tank crews are attacking North Africa, through to a regular force where the fight is largely around Greece and the Mediterranean.   To bring the force into the K47 environment the Sherman’s have been upgraded with the new Tesla Turrets.   With this in mind I wanted a dusty weathered tank look with plenty of additional stowage to allow this mechanised platoon to operate for long periods between re-supply.

I was reviewing the excellent US army painting guide available at the artizan miniatures website and planning the colours for my infantry when I wondered whether I could get all 43 of my US rangers painted (to gaming standard) in three days.    Given that I had 3 half tracks and 3 Sherman teslas already base coated green and prepared with panzer putty for a tropical striped camouflage I thought it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch.    A warning I’d offer anyone at this point is that if at any time when planning something like this you use the words “it’s just” or “sounds simple enough” before or after you describe any of your tasks,  think about it again!

At this point however I was looking at my newly assembled plastic/metal rangers from the excellent warlord games rangers lead the way boxed set and I was borrowing extra SMGs from my son’s left over british infantry sprues!

Looking at the various us army guides I noticed that the jackets and garters/socks shared the same colour.    The light beige used in both of these items also made (in my head) an excellent base to paint flesh/green etc over the top of which meant that I was spraying my models a german camo beige from Model Colour before working from there.     This proved to be a good idea as getting subsequent colours to cover over it was simple and this vastly sped the process of bulk painting up.

I approached this project in a number of key steps – this was to allow me to gauge progress easily against my overall goal and also to change tasks as appropriate to break up the monotony of painting 43 rifles at a time.

The Infantry Plan

  • Basecoat German Camo Beige (Modelcolor) via airbrush.
  • Trousers – English Uniform Brown (Model color)
  • Helmets, Bazookas etc – US Dark Green (Model color)
  • Spade handles, rifle stocks etc – Flat Earth (Model color)
  • Webbing / Rucksacks – US Pale Grey (Model color)
  • Faces/ Hands – Cadian Flesh (Games Workshop)
  • Gun Barrels etc  – Black (Model color)
  • Boots – Chocolate Brown (Model color)
  • Helmet Straps / Goggles – German Camo Brown (Model color)
  • Wash – Agrax Earthshade (Games Workshop)
  • Base – Iraqi Sand (Model Color)

The plan for the Vehicles was as follows

  • Basecoat – US Dark Green (Model color)
  • Stripes – Iraqi Sand (Model color)
  • Chairs – German Camo Brown (Model color)
  • Tracks – Chocolate Brown (Model color)
  • Tyres / chains etc (Modelcolor)
  • Stowage – Flat Earth / US light Grey / US Dark Green (Model color)
  • Varnish – Gloss Varnish (Model Air)
  • Decals (Rubicon / Warlord)  – Micro Sol Micro Set (Microscale)
  • Varnish – Satin Varnish  (Model Air)
  • Filters  – Brown for Green and Yellow for Green (Mig Ammo)
  • Streaking – Streaking Grime / Distilled Spirits (Mig Ammo)
  • Tesla Barrels and Coils – Temple Guard Blue / White Scar (Games Workshop)
  • Pigments – Desert Dust (Vallejo)

Although it looks like a lot of stages, most of these stages are 5 minute jobs, so it was just a case of making sure that each long stage (painting 43 sets of trousers for instance) was complete before moving on.

The figures could use a little highlighting and some neatening up but this was a painting to tabletop standard and I’m fairly happy with how they look.   I will probably run a quick highlight of faces, trousers and blousons when I have 5 minutes next weekend.

I then went and did the same with the Half Tracks – giving each half track a different set of stowage bits to help give each transport a unique appearance.

At the rear this Sherman T has some covered boxes of supplies for their raid behind enemy lines

I was really pleased with the vehicles.   I used the warlord games tank crew and the rubicon allied stowage set (both supplied by Scott of Boss Miniatures as usual) to add variation to the tanks to make them stand out from each other.   The skulls are actually flag decals produced by magister militum .

There it is – 1250 pts of US Ranger Armoured platoon for K47 – coming to desert near you soon 🙂

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