I am currently painting up some 15mm Peter Laing WW2 German Infantry into dual 1940/41 use as German paratroops.
The beauty of these first 15mm figures is that Peter Laing deliberately made them with slight and muted detail so that they could be easily converted by paint or file to other figures. These will be gloss paint or gloss varnish when finished.
These 15mm WW2 German rifleman infantry figures have a bagginess of trouser about them that suits paratroop jump suits. Rifles were also quite widespread issue to paratroops, not all were carrying submachine guns.
A quick uniform check out of the ‘best’ uniform book of my childhood (Preben Kannik’s Military Uniforms of the World in Colour) shows that such grey dual use figures are possible.
The Andrew Mollo Uniforms of WW2 book (1970s Blandford), familiar from the childhood branch library, had these slightly grainier, grittier, more photo-realist illustrations.
Home Guard manuals of the time in my collection had interesting uniform plates – this book by John Brophy 1940.
My previous paratroop camo painting experience was on a much bigger scale, about thirty plus years ago, tackling the camo from the Airfix packaging onto their then-newish 54mm German paratroop figures.
I have recently rebased, renovated and gloss varnished these 1980s Airfix paint jobs for new use.
I first painted these German Airfix Paratrooper figures in the early 1980s and they have hung around since then, getting increasingly bashed. I kept them as I quite liked the camouflage effects I achieved then with Airfix / Humbrol enamels.
I must have been following the Airfix painting guide on the box backs or catalogues a5 the time, so checked this online.
As originally painted (in Matt?) I wanted to get a little of the old gloss toy soldier style at a time when I had no lead hollowcast painted 54mm figures to base them on. I must have been reading old toy soldier books in the library.
Three things were needed to refresh them for modern 54mm Skirmish gaming use.
1. A quick spruce up of the faces in old toy soldier style (pink cheek dots, the lot) matches the original old toy soldier style paint from the 1980s.
2. I have rebased them on tuppenny bases to add some weight.
3. A coat of (gloss acrylic) spray varnish to seal them for play.
I have a few more unpainted ones lying around from job lots that I hope to paint in a similar toy soldier gloss style to match these figures. Then off to the “Operation Back Garden or Garten” this summer using Don’s parachute “confetti” paper shapes tipped out of a box or toy plane method of simulating airdrops?
In gaming, if you’re not sure what to do, it’s generally wise to make a rule and roll a dice.
Equally some wise advice I remember from someone’s ‘black dog’ post – if you’re not sure what to do next, undercoat stuff.
I’m busy undercoating Peter Laing 15mms today. I was reminded that I had not painted or posted about Peter Laing figures for a while by the imminent closing of the Peter Laing Community pages on Google Plus and many people’s migration to the social media platform Me We. You can find like-minded Laing enthusiasts on the Peter Laing section set up by Ian Dury: https://mewe.com/join/peterlaingfigures
Eagle eyed readers can spot about 30 WW2 German infantry that I intend to have use as paratroops, along with about the same number of WW2 British Infantry riflemen to double up as Home Guards.
A cluster of backwoodsmen and settlers in buckskins will double up as Confederates and Boers, useful from French Indian Wars through the war of Independence, Civil War and beyond. Versatile figures! Likewise there are a small number of very useful Native Americans with bows and arrows.
I did even less or next to nothing about the next two.
NGY 2018 Irresolution Four – Full Metal Hic Jacet – Whoops! did nothing this year.
NGY 2018 Irresolution Five – Return to Planet Back Yarden – I seemed to spend all year enjoyably preparing for a 42mm or 54mm Garden Skirmish that never properly happened.
As I mentioned “It should be fun to look back in a year’s time to find out what shiny distractions cropped up during the New Gaming and Painting Year of 2018”. So what happened and how did 2018 go so enjoyably awry?
January 2018 – more pound store conversions (see Irresolutions 1) – on target so far
In March and April 2018, some unusual WW1 anniversary themes that were “Not On The Western Front” started to creep in, ranging from Portuguese and Bulgarian infantry to later in the year Belgian Cycle troops.
I could blame Marvin over at Suburban Militarism for much of this distraction.
December 2018 was an Advent Calendar madness of blogposts every day on very varied topics, a good way to finish off part drafted blog posts accumulated over several years. Everything from punk rock singer Toy Soldier collectors to Victorian toy soldier scraps!
So what next for 2019?
Several Irresolutions from 2018 to carry forward and possibly ignore.
NGY 2018 / 2019 Irresolution One – Carry on Converting (and repairing). I have a whole desk full of these hollowcast casualties to keep me busy …
NGY 2018/19 Irresolution Two – More solo short small skirmish games
NGY 2018/19 Irresolution Three – Paint More Peter Laings
NGY 2018/19 Irresolution Four – Full Metal Hic Jacet – if I can find my Ancients Skirmish Mojo.
NGY 2018/ 19 Irresolution Five – Return to Planet Back Yarden – those 54mm space figures won’t paint themselves, you know!
Not forgetting all those American Civil War / Colonial / War of Independence figures who need finishing off and basing to fight skirmishes in the garden and tabletop against those Broken Britain’s Zulus and American Indians. All inspired by Wells’ Little Wars and Featherstone’s Close Wars rules. All of these duel purpose figures with a Bronte inspired ImagiNations twist of Angria Gondal and Glasstown, if real world, button-counting / ethical history proves too awkward. The Brontes! Arise Angria!
Chuck in some likely shiny distractions such as conversions for SecretProjectSF – StrangeFruitWars, some commando raid inspired skirmishes, lots more blogging and a bit of hot metal pouring (homecasting), who knows how the year will go?
I look forward again to reading everyone else’s foolishly optimistic Irresolutions and all your New Year of Gaming and Painting adventures.
It’s all for the love of Toy Soldiers!
Happy New Year!
Don’t forget – further distraction from your own resolute tasks exists at my other occasional toy soldier and gaming related blogs
The Christmas Parade this year is mostly the old Lone Star / Harvey series (the stocky ones with the squareish bases) in various states of original and repaint or their TIMPO recasts in fresh glossy acrylic.
No Scots or Irish pipers this year (save that for Hogmanay!) and this is as many as could fit on our mantelpiece with tinsels and lights mixed in. Plenty of bandsman left in the box for another Christmas parade.
Mixed in you might spot the odd Crescent / Kellogg’s Guards bandsman, a couple of aluminium Wendal Salvation Army bandsmen in peaked caps and even one hollow cast Guards Band figure.
Our parade centrepiece is this three jolly guardsmen Christmas card illustrated by Clare Wilson for the Museums And Galleries collection. Some of my blog readers that I have been in postal contact with about toy soldiers might even have received one of these cards in the post!
I hope you had a happy Toy solder filled Christmas ready for a happy Gaming New Year.
I will post some of my new toy soldier or gaming arrivals over the almost Twelve days of Christmas or “Twixmas” as this next week or so are becoming known.
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Boxing Day Twixmas 2018.