Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Hasslefree Modern Trooper

Actually it was early spring this year when I stretched my hands out for another side project: Modern warfare. Actually I'm aiming at a small force of modern British for Near or Middle East scenarios. No idea whether historically oriented or (semi-)fictional but something going into this direction. A great source of inspiration has been Pat's blog 'Wargaming with Silver Whistle' which most of you will know for his excellent collection and the top-noth pictures. Anyway I decided to start with a single model as test piece for modern camouflage and after a long break in favour of other projects I finished him yesterday:


As you see it's a kind of paraparamiltary guy. Maybe a soldier of fortune or private security agent or some kind of covered operations executive. I decided to start with such a fellow to be able to test different colour schemes prior to approaching unitarily equipped regular troops.
The figure is from Hasslefree's excellent range of 28mm modern troopers. I'm not sure how this figure is actually called. Maybe I've mixed the parts of different miniatures but however he looks like a 'Mongrel' with a 'Bergil' head to me. Anyway the figure is wonderfully sculpted and the cast is crisp and clear. It didn't need much cleaning and it was a joy to paint it. Honestly I didn't spot any moldlines. Due to this I can recommend Hasslefree Miniatures without any reservation. During the last years I've worked with a couple of miniature companies but Hasslefree's quality is really upper-class. Not cheap but worth each and every penny.
Unfortunately their figures come with slotted bases which I personally don't like. Nevertheless it was no problem to grind down the bar between the figure's feet to mount him on a flat circular base.


As for painting I primed the figure with Vallejo black airbrush primer as usual. Afterwards I used Vallejo Model Colors in combination with Armypainter water based washes. Four his skin I used the Wargames Foundry 'expert flesh' paint set but skipped some of the six shades.
Most important piece of him were the trousers. I wanted to use these to try the modern British MTP (multi-terrain pattern) camouflage scheme. It was developed during the earlier years of this century and geraed to the British 'Operation Herrick'. The MTP in use since 2010 and consists of four tones from black to nearly white sand and shall be useful in any desert or steppe terrain:
Picture from Wikipedia
For the choice of colours Pat was again very helpful and although his troops carry the older desert DPM his advice was priceless. Thus I'm finally really satisfied with the result. Now I'm pondering whether I should paint the whole British forces in this pattern or change to the older but easier British Desert DPM (picture here). The plan is to raise a platoon of British fusiliers with a couple of vehicles and support elements. More or less enough for a platoon based game of the size of Bolt Action or something comparable for modern warfare. 
Thus besides the work with the MTP I'm not sure whether a whole figures in this style might look too disquiet. Especially because the modern body armour pieces carry the same camouflage pattern. Probably I'll combine the MTP pattern with 'older' personal kits with are plain-coloured khaki brownish like those below:
Picture from Wikipedia again.
What do you think?
Since there are a lot of experienced painters as well as former soldiers in the bloggosphere I appreciate your advice very much.

By the way has any of you compared Airfix 1/48 vehicles with Empress 1/50 vehicles? I've seen some projects combining Airfix vehicles with 28mm miniatures which looks better than I feared. Especially the figures nearly have the same style and size but I have not idea how they match with the scalewise smaller vehicles. For the British it should be no problem to stay with Airfix but for potential insurgends I need some semi-civilian vehicles like the technicals by Empress or Spectre Miniatures.

23 comments:

  1. That's some lovely painting Stefan, your rendition of the camo looks excellent. I also like the flesh-tones you've used.

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    1. Many thanks, your feedback is very appreciated. Matching fleshtones were one of my biggest problems thus Foundry's set brought me really forward.

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  2. Well I wasn't expecting that this morning Stefan, but what a lovely surprise. Fabulous painting on all the model, but the cammo really works wonderfully well.

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    1. Many thanks for your kind feedback, Michael.

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  3. Great paintjob Stefan! The camo looks spot on

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  4. Looks fantastic! Great job on this guy.

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  5. Hi Stefan,
    Thanks for the mention, very kind of you.
    Your photo research with the colours and equipment has paid off as the MTP looks excellent as does the rest of the figure.
    I also favour the washes these days but use a white or grey rather than black primer but what ever you are doing, don't change a thing as the end result is superb.

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    1. Many thanks for your kind comment, Pat.
      Honour to whom honour is due. So of course I had to mention your inspirational blog and your kind help.

      Concerning the primer I've been pondering to turn to white for this project since the base colour is rather bright. But I'm vacillating still...

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  6. Hi. I highly recommend https://houseofqueeg.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/afghanistan-battlegroup-skirmish-sangin/ for comparisons of 1/48 Airfix with Empress Miniatures. I found his series on modern vehicles incredibly helpful when I was working on an Empress MRAP. The MRAP is BIG. As it should be. http://wnywg.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/MATV-side.jpg It dwarfs Stan Johansen humvees.

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    1. Many thanks for your hint to 'Musing from the Warp' blog. It's very inspirational. I presume I stumbled over some of his posts earlier but unfortunately I didn't find any comparison pictures of the Airfix vehicles with other companies. But the figures match very well I think.

      Cheers
      Stefan

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  7. This comes at the perfect time for me as I've bought some of these figures from Hasslefree. Beautiful sculpts. The cammo turned out great I just finished Widow, but have no idea how to do cammo. I really want to learn it for the male figures I have.

    Thank you for this post as I can learn from it!

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    1. Many thanks for your kind words. It's very nice to hear from you. As for painting camo I'm sure there are a couple of guides on the WWW. In case that not feel free to drop me an email and I'll share my humble experience gladly. Or even better have a look at Pat's blog. His work on WW2 camouflage patterns is outstanding.

      Cheers
      Stefan

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  8. Good paint job so far, but let me tell: The camo doesn't convince me, Stefan. It just doesn't look right.

    Having worked with different Multicam-style Patterns before, (in real and on miniatures), I am a bit disappointed. Especially the two "upper levels" dark brown and White don't match the overall Impression.

    It is a good camo - no question - but in my opinion, it's not MTP. Sorry

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    1. Thanks a lot for your honest feedback. I appreciate critical feedback as much as positive comments.

      Anyway on the MTP. As you I've been working with real camouflage for a couple of years as well as with painting camouflage in small scale. It's a very difficult topic I think. It's very difficult to find a proper way to give the viewer an idea of the pattern you meant because simple downscaling doesn't work. Matching colours is another difficult task especially when you don't have a real piece of cloth for comparison. Honesly I only had digital media as example and they even look different on different displays.

      But anyway I'll keep your points for the darker brown and whitish (it's 'Pale Sand' actually) parts in mind and I'll try to improve my interpretation of MTP.

      Thanks again and cheers
      Stefan

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    2. I fully understand that problem of yours. I'll get into detail more by sending you a message on mail. Maybe that will help you.

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  9. Very nice painting work. The cammo is very good, really clean.

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  10. Looking great Monty! Really like the camo. Wish someone would do a decent range of 28mm Bundeswehr so I'd not be dependent on that (*****y) 20mm scale...

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    1. Gibt es doch. Eureka Miniatures macht die :-D

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    2. Many thanks. I'm glad to hear that you like the camouflage.
      As Stargazer said there's a nice range of modern troopers made by Eureka. In Europe they should be available on http://www.fighting15sshop.co.uk

      Cheers
      Stefan

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  11. Really lovely work on him - I really enjoy reading your blog, keep up the great (paint)work!

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