September 1939 – the models in detail.

In my previous post I gave the orders of battle for the first battle of my Second World War Campaign.
Here is some information on how the models were prepared.
I paint the models with acrylic paints from Coat d’Arms and Vallejo, after attaching them individually with PVA adhesive to plastic bottle tops for ease of handling. It is a simple matter to remove the models later by slipping a sharp knife beneath the layer of glue.
My game bases are made from 1mm thick MDF sheet, cut into 2cm squares (or multiples thereof for horse teams and other longer models). I round off the corners with an old pair of nail clippers to prevent bending or fraying at the edge.

1mm MDF sheet cut into 2cm x 2cm squares.
1mm MDF sheet cut into 2cm x 2cm squares.

I label all my bases with a Bother P-touch label maker, colour coded by army, but not always in a consistent style. For example the Polish tank label has a catalogue reference which the other examples do not. Something to rectify when time allows. I must create and stick to a standard!

A selection of Polish and German bases.
A selection of Polish and German bases.

Working with about half a dozen bases at a time I cover each base with PVA adhesive and attach the models. I try to randomise the positions of infantry on the base, but it’s amazing how many come out almost one to each corner. When the glue is completely dry I start to work one base at a time. For infantry and artillery crews with moulded bases I carefully add a coat of green “basetex” textured paint and immediately scatter some model railway “grass” flock over the base, sieving it through a redundant fine mesh flour sifter. Any stray flock that clings to the tiny men is blown or brushed off after the assembly is dry.  The flock colour is almost identical to the Kallistra pre-flocked hexagon tiles that I use.

Rifle squads. An error in the focus for the Poles. They were supposed to be the "in focus" group for this shot. Must revisit the tips from Henry Hyde!
Rifle squads. An error in the focus for the Poles. They were supposed to be the “in focus” group for this shot. Must revisit the tips from Henry Hyde!

For vehicles that have no moulded base I more often use a pinch of fine builders sand, also sieved or rubbed between finger and thumb to remove the larger lumps. I don’t mind a few large bits which can represent small rocks. I am still trying to get the timing and mix correct, but I tend to use more sand on vehicles that are likely to spend most of the time on roads because I use the same sand for my road surfaces. For example:

Vehicles with a sandy base. The raw MDF edges will need a touch up, and I am not happy with some of those white crosses.
Vehicles with a sandy base. The raw MDF edges will need a touch up, and I am not happy with some of those white crosses.

Here is a selection of Polish and German armour with generally less sand applied. Most of these were based in an earlier session and have plain green paint rather than basetex. You will see that I have chosen to use the disputed grey and brown camouflage scheme on some of my German tanks. That probably means that they will need a repaint if they are to fight beyond June 1940.

Representative Polish and German armoured vehicles for the 1939 campaign.  Not all are included in my first battle.
Representative Polish and German armoured vehicles for the 1939 campaign. Not all are included in my first battle.

Finally everything is taken to the garden on the next fine day and given a coat of matt spray varnish.  I have learned never to apply this if there is any dampness in the air.  The varnish turns white and ruins all the hard work.

Next: The game map selected and transferred to the table.

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General Whiskers

Wargaming butterfly (mainly solo), unpainted model figure amasser, and Historical Re-enactor of the black powder era.

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