Saturday, 26 November 2016

Tutorial 28mm Polish Painting Guide WW2

Here is my recipe for painting World War 2 Polish Soldiers.  This tutorial/guide is about 90% historically accurate.  Apologies for the varying photography but you get the idea.  I will go into specific techniques as we go.  I got this recipe from a multitude of sources. I would consider this my tabletop standard.  I use a mixture of paint brands.  Substitute other brands or shades if you do not have what I recommend.  

I use an airbrush to undercoat them Black with Vallejo Surface Primer

I use a wet pallet.  I do not thin the paint too much for the basecoat.  I just slap it on.  As you can see its not the neatest of jobs however the process I use allows you to cover and fix your mistakes as I go.  Basecoating is the longest stage in my tutorial.  Dont worry too much at first, just get the paint on.  Its my least favorite part of painting.
Uniform - Green Brown

Backpack - Khaki

Boots, Bedroll, Straps - German Camo Brown

Helmet, Mess-kit, Entrenching Tool Shaft - Cam Olive Green

Ankles Straps, Bedroll Straps - US Field Drab

Rifle, Entrenching Tool Handle and Top, Pouches - Flat Brown

Bread Bag, Bag and straps - Green Grey

Skin 1st Coat - AK Base Flesh

Skin Second Coat - AK Light Flesh

Don't be shy.  Get it all over the figure.  Please note I use an ink, not the Army Painter Dip.  It takes about an hour to dry properly.
Wash the Whole Model - Army Painter Strong Ink

Thin your paints!  With a wet pallet this occurs naturally however you don't want thick paint for highlighting.

For the eyes I use the raccoon method (well thats what I call it).  Easiest way to describe it is thin your paints.  Draw a black line where the eye is.  Then draw a very small white line over the black line.  Then use black and paint a little pupil.  Its best to go from top to bottom with the pupil.  You can then use base flesh to close the eye in and reduce the black outline.

Blacklining is done to make the miniature pop.  Use thinned black paint and a small brush to do this.  I usually black line equipment, uniforms, straps etc.

For the Helmet I chip it with a sponge.  Use a small bit of sponge.  Dab some black paint on it.  Dab most of it off on a paper towel then apply to the helmet.  I then use Green Grey to create scratches etc with a fine brush.
Apply all base colours as highlights over the raised areas. Don't do the skin.

Paint the Eyes

Fix up the eyes and reduce the black eyeliner with AK - Base Flesh

Highlight the Skin with AK - Light Flesh

Lips Are Done With AK Shadow Flesh.  Skin Highlights done with AK Highlight Flesh

Rifles, Entrenching Tool Wooden Handle Highlights - Orange Brown

Pick out parts of the rifle - Gun Metal

Pick out details such as cap badges, buttons etc

Blackline Uniform, straps and equipment

Helmet is chipped, base is painted Flat Brown, Drybrushed Khaki, Base Rim US Field Drab


I use the airbrush here.  I use Polyurethane matt varnish or gloss varnish first.  This is nice and thick and gives a good layer of protection.  It will be shiny tho!.

Once dry I use a variety of flock and basing materials to create that Polish Summer/Autumn theme!

Once that is dry I finish it off with Matt Acrylic Varnish to dull out the shine and seal in the flock.

Vallejo Polyurethane Matt Varnish applied - Note it is not quite matt and is shiny

Miniatures are based with Flock and other goodness.  Sprayed with Matt Varnish

So there you go.  All up it took about 3 hours to paint these three miniatures.  Its not going to be the best way to paint but its what I consider my tabletop standard.  Here is the finished result.  Enjoy.

28mm Polish Warlord Games

28mm WW2 Polish Warlord Games

28mm World War 2 Polish
Get to the front soldier!

World War 2 Polish Soldier Miniature
At the ready.

Bolt Action Polish

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Gorgon Studios 28mm Polish 10th Mechanised Review

Disclaimer: I'm going with Osprey Publishing Men at Arms 117 - The Polish Army 1939-1945 that refer to this unit as the 10th Mechanised Brigade.  They are also known as 10th Mechanized Brigade and 10th Motorised Brigade.  I am going to keep it simple and just call them the "10th Mech"

All miniatures in this article are painted by me.

The 10th Mechanised Brigade

These guys were Poland's only fully mechanised unit at the outbreak of war, it was known as the Black Brigade from the black leather coats worn by some mechanised personnel.  It was also unique in retaining the old German 1916 helmet. - Osprey Publishing Men at Arms 117 - The Polish Army 1939-1945 pg 8.

Review of Gorgon Studio's Miniatures

Currently there are only 2 options available to represent the 10th Mech in 28mm.  Warlord Games have a squad of "10th Motorised".  These consist of 1 NCO in the black leather jacket and 9 troops in greatcoats.  Yes the 10th did mix greatcoats and leather jackets, some argue it was only the NCOs and officers that wore the the black leather jackets, some argue it was only their motorcycle troops that wore the black leather jackets, it could go on and on however lets agree that there was a good mix of greatcoats and leather jackets.

The other option is Gorgon Studio's who do a brilliant range of the 10th Mech all in leather jackets.  Gorgon's Miniatures are called "Polish 10th Mechanized" - just to add to the confusion.  Gorgon Studios only have 5 options available.  2 x Rifleman options (8 varying sculpts), 1 x Officers and NCOs (4 varying sculpts),  1 x BAR Team (4 varying sculpts),  and 1 x Support Weapons (4 varying sculpts).

28mm Polish 10th mechanised mechanized motorised motorized minatures
A Squad of Gorgon Studios 10th Mech in 28mm 
Gorgon Studios is based in the USA and I am based in Australia.  To save on horrendous postage costs from the USA my good friends Zane and Chris ordered some Gebirgsjager and Greek Partisans respectfully.  We got the postage down to about $9AUD each.

All the miniatures are cast in metal.  At first I was super impressed with the sculpts however I noticed a couple of things.  Firstly I didn't realise the range is sculpted by two different artists.  Steve Saleh sculpts the majority of the 10th Mech and Mike Owen sculpts 4 of the rifleman.  I have no idea why this is the case but somehow the range works although when you look at the finer details you notice the differences, some good some bad.

Mike Owen Sculpts

28mm Polish Miniatures
4 of the 8 rifleman from Gorgon. Mike Owen has sculpted the 4 above
I am a huge fan of Mike Owen.  He is Artizan Designs sculptor and has produced some brilliant miniatures.  He has also been commissioned to sculpt much of Gorgon Studio's range.  In true Mike Owen fashion his sculpts are awesome and a dream to paint.  The details are crisp and very obvious.  I always struggle a little with eyes that he sculpts and with my Polish I painted them "The Raccoon" way.  The helmets contrast the most with the other sculpts in the 10th Mech Range which are done by Steve Saleh.

Artizan Designs Gorgon Studios Comparison
Does this look familiar?  Artizan Panzer Lehr and Gorgon Pole sculpted by Mike Owen

Steve Saleh Sculpts

Steve Saleh as I believe currently works for Warlord Games.  He is a great sculptor.  His Polish are rather nice however are quite different to Mike Owen's.  I am partially biased to Owen's sculpts as they are consistent however Saleh brings his own touch to the range.  His sculpts remind me of some of Black Tree Designs miniatures.

28mm Polish 10th Mech Miniatures
Some of the Steve Saleh's Sculpts
28mm Polish 10th miniature
My favorite Steve Saleh miniature in the range.  A joy to paint.

Did Saleh once sculpt for Black Tree Designs?  BTD DAK German and Gorgon Pole

My biggest criticism would be the lack of detail in the rifle's by Steve Saleh.  Now I am no miniature sculptor but everything else he has done in the range looks great, the rifles are just flat and lacking detail.  My NCO had a horribly miscast rifle,  I ended filing it out and replacing it with a plastic Warlord US M1 Garand Rifle.

Gorgon Studios Polish miscast
Gorgon Polish NCO and Officer.  The rifles lack detail and my NCO's was doomed!

Gorgon Studios Polish NCO
No surprises here it snapped off when I tried bending it back

Gorgon Studios Polish Conversion
Replaced with a Warlord Plastic US M1 Garand.  The perfect crime.
28mm Polish NCO Gorgon Studios
Gorgon Polish NCO with replaced Rifle.
The helmets Saleh sculpts are probably more realistically proportioned to what Owen has done however when mixed together they still look great.  I was quite impressed with the BAR Team Saleh sculpted.

10th Mech BAR Team
10th Mech BAR Team

28mm Polish 10th Mech BAR Team Squad Loader
10th Mech BAR Team, a different angle.  Note the flat looking rifle.

Comparison With Other Ranges

The Gorgon Studio's 10th Mech are very well scaled for 28mm and mix well with other ranges.

28mm Miniature Comparison Artizan Gorgon BTD Warlord
Left to right. Artizan Metal, Gorgon Saleh , BTD Metal, Warlord Plastic, Warlord Metal, Gorgon Owen
In Summary

Overall Gorgon Studio's Polish 10th Mech range are excellent.  I have no doubt they will mix well with Warlord's 10th Mech Range.  The Gorgon Studio's miniatures required little cleanup in comparison to what I have experienced with some of Warlord's metals.  The price is reasonable and if like me, you don't live in the USA, try and get a friend on board to save on postage.  The miniatures were a joy to paint and very simple to do.  With a black undercoat, half the work is done!

Although I haven't included the full range in this review, I do own it and future posts will have these great miniatures painted!

Gorgon look like they are expanding their WW2 Range with recent additions of Greek Partisans and German Fallshirmjager.  Lets hope they continue to do so and people support them.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

I Am Going To Make Poland Great Again

As per my last article about Poland, I jokingly said to a couple of my wargaming mates, "I am going to make Poland Great again!".  It got a few laughs and a few odd looks but this project is now turning into a reality.  Poland was the first to fight and gave the German's a bloody nose.  They are no doubt one of the most unrepresented nations in Bolt Action and I want to prove they are a force to be reckoned with!  They won't just be for Bolt Action but I will be using them in the awesome Battlegroup game

My last post got a fair bit of interest and maybe a slight surge in Polish popularity.  Now its time for them to really make an impact and get more people realising their awesomeness.  A couple of people have assisted with the project.  I got a nice donation of a "squad" of 10 Poles from Hari, he was also the first to use the hash tag #MPGA.  I say "squad" pretty loosely as a Polish squad should be 19 men!  My good friend Bryan quickly designed this awesome logo for the project.  I am very grateful for this!

Bryan and Hari aren't the only ones to help me with the project, Joe from the Mini Warstore hooked me up with a good deal for some Polish reinforcements and lets not forget the cracking deal the good guys at War and Peace Games gave me at MOAB.

I aim to have this Army ready for CANCON 2017 which is a massive ask!  Hopefully I can do it.  Watch this space for more frequent updates.  Its been a busy month for me but its time to kick it up a gear and get painting. 

28mm World War 2 Polish NCO and Rifleman
A Polish NCO and a Rifleman

28mm WW2 Poles
Two Riflemen fire whilst a BAR gunner moves into line

28mm WW2 Polish Infantry Warlord Games
Polish Riflemen.  Strength in Numbers

28mm WW2 Polish Cavalry
Cavalry Test Figure.  The horse is painted Dark Rust.

Polish Lancer.  I will add flags to their lances.

28mm WW2 Poles
Make Poland Great Again!  What I have painted so far.  Many more to go!

Warlord Games Polish
Poland! First to Fight!