04 January 2012

An "instant" Special Forces patrol

I have a simple hobby goal for 2012: paint one unit per week.

Okay... Obviously  I have more goals than that.  But we all have to start somewhere.  Especially when the lead pile is already  taller than I'd like, and I still have three Christmas orders that haven't arrived.  Hopefully this goal will help me get through the pile just a little bit quicker.

My lead pile featuers tons of small potential forces (1-2 squads at the most), mostly because I like buying a pack or two at a time to see how much I like the sculpts.  In one corner of my storage container, I noticed some of the old Laserburn Imperial Scouts from 15mm.Co.Uk.  They are pretty detailed, but I went with the ol' "wash over bare metal" approach.

Works for me!  Now that they are painted, I see these are really great old minis.  Too bad there aren't more poses available.  But this still works for just a couple odd fire teams, or would be fine if they were based 2-3 per stand for Alien Squad Leader or Valkyrie.  The recipe for painting them was pretty straightforward:
  1. Two coats of Secret Weapon Blue Wash
  2. Vallejo Heavy Bluegrey on the weapons and backpacks
  3. Vallejo Bronze over the visors
  4. Model Master Euro Gray base with two colors of railroad ballast
When I bought these minis, I ended up with four of the standard Scout (which, I believe, is armed with what Laserburn calls a Heavy Laser Rifle?), two with Launchers, and two with Conversion Beamers.  The visual difference between the launcher and rifle is pretty limited, so I painted them the same color.  I may not even give them different stats in a larger game.  I ended up repainting the Conversion Beamers with Vallejo Heavy Brown to make them stand out a bit.  I could easily do the same with the launchers, if I end up wanting them to have different stats in the majority of my games.

I also picked up two of the Scout Bikers with the order.  I really like these - and they would also be ideal as Light Vehicles in Alien Squad Leader, or as an alternative to the Bulldog Jetbikes in Valkyrie.  I also noticed that these are clearly what inspired the old plastic Epic Imperial bikes.  15mm.Co.Uk does offer a version of the bike without the rider.  It would be pretty cool to have eight complete Bikes, and eight riderless ones to go with my eight dismounted Scouts.  I'll definitely add more bikes to my next order.

The bikes are basecoated with the same Model Master Euro Gray as the bases.  I may go back over the bikes with solid black, then lightly drybrush with the gray and repaint the lighter details.  Or I may try a brownish wash (something like Secret Weapon Sewer Water) over the base to see if that adds some contrast.

Either way, a few hours' work provided some nice upper-tech troops.  These could be used on their own in a small skirmish game, or be added to a lower tech force as special operators.  I deliberately painted them in colors that will match my Rebel Minis Homeguard and HAMR suits, just to add a bit of flexibility.



  1. I keep meaning to do a few units in the "wash over bare metal" method. The effect looks pretty good from what I've seen, although when I did do a few tests, I found that certain ink washes don't seem to work - I think it depends on the ink itself - and the ones that did work weren't necessarily colours I'd want to use.

    The Imperial Scouts here look great

  2. @Jay - thanks!

    @TamsinP - So far I've had decent success with Citadel washes, and the best luck with Secret Weapon's (as long as I remember to keep shaking them). Wonder Wash, which I swear by for final coats, was useless in the bare-metal role. I haven't tried any others yet, but I'm curious about Vallejo washes and P3 inks.

  3. @Chris - I was using home made washes (using Les Burley's recipe, which I seem to remember is what Secret Weapon use). I did try one figure with the Vallejo green wash and that looked promising, but came out very matte.

  4. That sounds familiar... I think that's what was mentioned on Secret Weapon's blog when the washes were released. I tested Drying Blood and Blue the day I received them. Here is Secret Weapon Drying Blood compared to Citadel Baal Red:

    And here's Drying Blood and Blue compared to Citadel Thraka Green. https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-8eZ2omR5vFc/TnntUJ8qFoI/AAAAAAAAA8I/LlfzoYmhTc4/s1241/IMAG0714-1.jpg

    Using something with added gloss on the final coat should offset a matte wash. I use Wonder Wash, which is basically a pre-mixed version of the internet-famous Future Floor Wax dip.

  5. That's a good point , using Future/Klear wash or similar as the end step - I usually finish with satin or matt spray varnish, but might well go to Future/Klear for any minis I do this way (and some others as well)

  6. Yep, despite what Games Workshop would have us believe, sometimes things are just meant to be shiny. It's the perfect way to finish something like Khurasan Space Demons, Oddzial Osmy Space Worms, any kind of not-Terminator Endoskeletons, or armored space-opera Storm Troopers.

  7. *cough* who's been gossiping about my plans to paint up a reinforced platoon of GZG NIs as Imperial Storm Troopers? ;)

  8. I've found that both Humbrol and Tamiya metallics work great over bare metal for that shiny space opera look, and I thought NSL Armoured Infantry would work great for Imperial Stormtroopers.

  9. The NIs look good for Stormies - the helmet looks reasonably close in shape, as does the armour. At the moment, until they are redesigned, "aren't the NSL a little short for Stormtroopers?"

    I think I saw some figures on 15mm.co.uk that could look OK as Imperial Scout Troopers

  10. Nice idea with the NIs - I have some on the way, but they're destined to become Red Spartans. Artcrime's troopers and jetbikes might be a good Stomrtrooper army in the future...