Painting the Poles

18th October 2012

I just spent an hour working on my GHQ Polish infantry for the 1939 campaign. I had previously given them a black wash to fill the creases and hollows. This evening I dug out all the colour plates I could find and tried to mix up a match to the greenish khaki colour for the uniforms.

One day I may start to buy the Vallejo paints and follow the Flames of War painting guides, but while I have a large box of acrylic pots to get through There are enough other things to spend my cash on. I also tend to use a slightly lighter shade on small figures to compensate for the perceived distance from the eye.

After giving them all a basic coat of my patent khaki colour I sat back and regarded them critically, wondering how something that can be a near perfect match in the palette can dry on the models so much more like a Russian uniform green.

So although I painted them in the light of a daylight bulb I will make a decision what to do when I can see them in proper daylight.

Luckily GHQ have festooned the poor little fellows with so much equipment that there’s not much to be seen of the basic uniform.

Once I have made a bi more progress I hope to post some pictures.

25th October

Having repainted the little chaps with a browner shade of khaki, I left them overnight and found they were still decidedly green. As a further coat risked obscuring all the fine detail I decided to bash on.
They now have packs, haversacks, canteens and water bottles. Blanket rolls and gas mask cases to follow next, and then the multitude of straps. These little models are the epitome of the old joke:
“Daddy, what’s a soldier for?”
“To hang things on, son.”


I started this blog to publish a record of my exploits in the world of wargaming with miniatures. It will probably be highly irregular in publication, but my intention is to make an update at least once a week, and to have some progress to report, despite real life intervening.

About me.
I am in my late fifties and have been wargaming in one way or another since 1968 when my parents bought me Terry Wise’s book “Introduction to Battle Gaming” for christmas. Films like “Charge of the Light Brigade” and “Waterloo” inspired me to buy and paint loads of Airfix soldiers.

Next I moved into World War Two, still with 1/76 or 1/72 models. A school friend and I spent many Saturdays not quite finishing battles.

I married and wargaming took a back seat, but I discovered a game by Merit called “Combat” endorsed by General Sir Brian Horrocks, just before the birth of my first child. I then found some 1/300 models and expanded the game to include infantry, in the form of lorries. The next discovery was SPI’s “Arnhem” game, which is still my favourite hexgrid board wargame.

Later, single again and moving to smaller premises, the 1/72 collection was sold and I invested in 1/300 scale English Civil War armies. I had by now discovered historical re-enactment and my battles alternated between 1/300 and 1/1 scale soldiers. The re-enactment took over as main hobby in a variety of wars in the gunpowder era.

Many years later, with a big enough house to host a wargaming room and a new wife to ensure it’s never available for that purpose, I have returned to wargaming as my main hobby. I still re-enact, but have found a compromise as a pensioner of les Invalides in 1812, presenting the battles of my youth as public displays with home-made wooden equipment in a style that could have been invented by an old soldier as a pastime.

I have a number of long-term projects that I will work on from time to time. Amongst these are:
– A campaign of the whole of World War Two, based on the “Axis and Allies” board game, but using weekly based grand strategic turns and converting the combats to tabletop battles with GHQ miniatures and (probably) “Blitzkrieg Commander” rules.
– Operation Market Garden, using SPI’s Arnhem game and local combats in 2mm scale on a 6cm hex terrain.
– An imagi-nation set on the island of Belgica (Belgium). Two ready-made countries with six provinces each and an independent city state. Each country conveniently has an exclave in the other to fight over. This will use figures culled from games of Risk.
– The wars of the Spanish Succession in 6mm at a figure scale of 1:10 with Irregular Miniatures troop blocks.

I have several other piles of unpainted lead in the toy cupboard, but that will do to be going on with.