'Tis the Season to be Painting...

I honestly would never have thought it possible to paint so many figures in so short a time.  For a long time there was a total of one painted.  It had been a bit of learning curve because I had returned to washes as a way of dirtying up the model.  And it worked really well.  

But then work intervened.  A lot.  As it often does.  And when you go for so long without having opportunity to do your hobby, you begin to feel out if it.  Almost as if that list of projects you've built up over the years is never likely to happen.

And then, like the sun coming out from behind the dirty great rain clouds, you suddenly find yourself a little shocked and a lot excited.  Because in the last couple of weeks, things have really gone from strength to strength.  

Thirty Zeds painted.  Thirteen in one session. Batch painting?  Me?  Really?  Like I'd ever do that...  Well, yes I probably did in the end.  And it all came about quite innocently.  I had decided to conserve paint by painting three Zeds at a time.  And I found that I could complete three in an hour, from undercoat to complete.  Including the base.  Which is quite unheard of.

I've spent years playing skirmish systems.  Apart from loving the minis, I would lavish lots and lots of time on them.  Painting a handful of minis was always more realistic in my mind than trying to put together armies.  And with the potential of watching weeks pass between painting sessions, all my hopes of Dux Britanniarum, Bolt Action, Sharpe Practice and large scale Napoleonics seemed little more than a pipe dream.  

Now I'll be the first to admit that my Zeds were the perfect subject to get me painting multiple figures in a single session.  After all, they all have the same Nazi uniforms.  I think I only used six colours on the lot of them.  And making a dirty wash out of a mix of English Uniform and Black did wonders for bringing the whole effect together wonderfully.  

Well, this buoyed me up no end.  So when those lovely people at Model Hobbies sent my order of Warlord Games' Last Levy boxed set even faster than I expected, i was riding on that crest of the proverbial wave.  And with some time on my hands to allow me the luxury, I quickly set to work on making these marvelous figures.  

Here's the Bund Deutscher Madel Medic, seated on the 3mm MDF base that came in the box.  That was a nice unexpected surprise.  I'm so used to having to provide my own bases.

Warlord Games metal figures have the usual cast on base which raises the figure's feet 2-3mm above the base level.  Because these figures are meant to be defending Berlin, I wanted to make sure they had a ruined city look to them.  This would also tie in nicely with the bases I'd done for the Zeds.

I have this one piece of embossed plasticard that has a cobblestone pattern on it.  I can't remember how many years ago I purchased it.  And I've still got heaps of it left.  Yes, yes, I know you're thinking that's because I hardly ever  paint anything anyway, but that's not the point.  I only cut small sections off it for each base.  That's why it lasts so long.  There's no waste that way you see.
Once I've got the model and the offcuts of plasticard cobblestone stuck to the base, I then turn to my trusty dirt cheap eight tubes for a quid from Poundland superglue.  I then go round the base a bit at a time, dropping a few bits of cork chipping and then sprinkling on my mix of sand and fine ballast.  You can see this work in process in the above photo.
By way of an example, here's my five 'man' squad of Hitler Jugend.  Once they have been cleaned up, they are stuck on their bases and some of the plasticard is added around their bases like so.
Once they have had the cork and rubble mix added, the bases look like this:
Warlord Games metal ranges come with separate heads to allow a degree of customisation.  Here's a shot of four of my Volkssturm squad with their chosen heads.
And the full five man squad with the plasticard cobblestones attached.  It looks a mess...

...but I really like the finished result!
And here they are at a slightly better elevation!
The following soldier with luftfaust across his back and MP-44 in hand demonstrates the difference in height between the base and the feet of the model.
And this next shot shows how effective my rubble method is at disguising this height difference.
Here's the second Volkssturm squad once based.
And the same lot from above.
And here's the twenty fully based models ready for painting.
The next job was magnetising them with those fridge magnets I've been waxing lyrical about.  The astute among you will realise that there's a model among them on a 40mm base.  All the magnets I have are 25mm diameter.  So I decided to make use of the leftovers once more.  Admittedly it looked awful once the offcuts were stuck on.  But a simple enough trim afterwards made it look a whole lot better.
I even had time to paint two of the models, the Bund Deutscher Madel Medic and the Hitler Jugend NCO.
I painted the SS motif on the side of his helmet.  No doubt a gift from a wounded soldier...
So that's two four men SAS sections painted, thirty Nazi Zeds and the start of my Last Levy models for my Weird War Z game.  Personally, I'm blown away at being able to get so much done.
And the rules for WWZ?  Yup, I've had time to put them together into a PDF as well.

The wonders keep on coming!


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