The last vehicle/unit for my Miniature Modelling Mayhem Novelty November Challenge is done! Which means I've finished the whole challenge with time to spare. It could be argued that I didn't give myself as difficult a target as for previous MMM challenges, but given the technical side of this one I thought I had better give myself lots of time.
The 15mm Bedford QLR Radio Truck came from QRF, purchased at the same time as my 'Katy' Ambulance. The kit was easy enough to build, although the model isn't fantastic - one issue I have had is the downward slope of the rear section. this may have been due to incorrect assembly on my part, but I could not see any other way that the model would go together. I also needed to use a large amount of green stuff to stop daylight being visible between the rear wheel arches. Holes for the aerials were drilled myself based on guesswork and one image of a restored vehicle.
If I were to do this model again, I would also make an effort to blank out the cab windows, so that they matched most of my other Battlefront model trucks.
Late on in the painting, I received a pack of the Plastic Soldier Company 15mm artillery command team. I picked these up as they were a decent price and would give some options for the future. When I saw them, and realised that the radio truck on it's own would be quite boring, I formulated a plan to use both on one base. This will form a useful unit for games of Battlegroup, but will also form little points of interest in large scale FoW games. The PSC metal models are lovely, although they are a little bigger than Battlefront soldiers so I wouldn't mix them on a base. The level of detail is superb, and they were a joy to paint. These are also the first British infantry figures I have done with an attempt at the HD patch on the arm. I didn't do any shoulder flashes, but I might revisit if I can find out what they should be for a signals unit. The HD infantry regiments didn't have shoulder flashes for the most part, as the highland regiments had a tartan patch for their respective units instead. Painting rank badges is still beyond my skill level!
The truck itself has been decalled up with the markings of the 51st Highland Divisions Signal unit, hence the blue below white AoS marking with the unusual red coloured 40. I had a little bit of trouble identifying the bridging weights - confusion over which was added to thanks to pictures of an incorrectly marked restored vehicle. In the end I settled for '9', as I had no decals showing the truck and trailer weight (11 over 9 I think?).
Anyway, with this unit done, I also got the crew figures for my Churchills done, so it was time for a group shot:
Lee had asked what varnish I use for these models to get such a matt finish on them. I recently had a lot of problems with some Vallejo varnishes - the polyurethane version. Every attempt to apply it resulted in a foamy/bubbly liquid instead of a smooth liquid I'm used to. So following this, one of the chaps on the Paint and Chats mentioned using Galeria Acrylic Mediums 'Matt Varnish'. This was picked up from the art supplies section of a local UK Discount store (B&M I think) for not very much. It's a 75mL bottle and seems to be lasting well. The liquid is cloudy and thick, but goes on ok and dries clear. I had also heard about a product from AK Interactive - their Ultra Matte Varnish.
My usual routine is now: 1) Magic Wash 'quickshade' which includes acrylic floor polish, giving a shiny protective coat over which I highlight. 2) A coat of Vallejo Gloss Acrylic Varnish before Decals. 3) A coat of Galeria Matt Varnish. 4) A coat of AK Interactive Ultra Matte Varnish.
Yes, that is a lot of coats of varnish! While the Galeria matt is quite thick, it doesn't seem to go on to the model too thickly and the Ultra Matte is like milk - same colour and the same type of thickness as milk. You have to be careful with the Ultra Matte as it is so thin it will pool and leave the areas it has pooled in looking white or having bubbles after the varnish has dried. I've had some success painting some gloss over in order to fix this, but it is something you need to be very careful with. Painting the Ultra Matte directly over the gloss resulted in patches which were still shiny, whereas the Galeria on it's own is good but just not matt enough for me.
|Sun tan lotion over on the right, from the 3 days this year I needed it... might be a bit optimistic to still have it out in November tho!|
So now the challenge is done, my next goal will be to finish the remained of my Polish Sherman V's before the end of the year. Then January brings the Gunuary Challenge, which is a focus on artillery units. I've quite a bit of artillery to do... again. No more 25 pdrs, but I've my 5.5" unit to finish - 4 more guns for which arrived today, so 6 to do in total. Plus some German artillery, sextons, etc. I'll pick what i am going to try and finish and hopefully make some more progress. If you, gentle reader, have any artillery of any period to paint, and would like to join in, let me know!