Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Enter Mourne's Rangers!

My first painting project of the year was finished yesterday, though the grunt work was done last year. This is a 1,200 point Flames of War US Rangers (Brittany) army from Turning Tide, and is comprised of six platoons (five rifle, one mortar), an FO for the guns out at sea, Lieutenant Colonel Mourne, two extra bazooka teams and three snipers.
Mourne's Rangers - the whole company.

I'm quite proud of this army, since it shows you what you can do for £25, maybe £30. The models themselves cost £25 in a sale this summer, and the material for the bases can't have cost much. The effect is however impressive, especially on the gaming table.
Lieutenant Colonel Mourne with his HQ bazookas.

Lieutenant Jupp's battered platoon.

Lieutenant Bailey's mortar platoon.

Captain Davies' men.

Lieutenant Kane's platoon.

Major O'Briain's platoon.

The company snipers: Jones, Vine and Carr.

Lieutenant Byrne's platoon.

The Rangers were done in a limited palette. First, they and their bases were sprayed black, and then each man was drybrushed with Vallejo English Uniform. This was followed by a coat of US Field Drab for their jackets. The rest of the colours were as follows:

Skin: Vallejo Basic Skin tone
Helmets: GW Catachan Green (with a Dark Angels Green ink wash for scrim)
Helmet Diamond: GW Mephiston Red
Gaiters: GW Astartes Battlegrey
Webbing: GW Fortress Grey
Rifles/SMGS: GW Chainmail and Bestial Brown
Bazookas/Mortars: GW Gretchin Green

When all the colours were blocked in, the models and their bases were given a quick coat of black miracle wash to shade and smooth things out.

The bases took the lion's share of the work. The models were superglued on, and then I used grouting paste to blend the integral bases into the fireteam one. This also gave them a more uneven surface. A few sections of chopped sprue were inserted at this point to mimic street paving, as well as occasional pipes and pieces of corrugated plastic.
Pipes and plastic iron.

Once the first stage was mostly dry, the top of each base was daubed in PVA. A mix of rough sand, railway ballast and chopped up plasticard was allowed to stick on top. At this point, a few bases also got extra detailing, like tyres, barbed wire or a bike.
Sand/ballast/plasticard mix.

After the Rangers had themselves been painted, each base was given a coat of Wilkinson's “Flintstone” grey emulsion. The bricks were picked out in a 3:1 mix of Vallejo Scarlet Red and Chocolate Brown, and the metals in Vallejo Gunmetal Metal. After the black miracle wash mentioned above, each base had its edge painted black with Wilkinson's black acrylic. The characters had their names painted on the backs in white, and just like that, the company was done.

I hope this inspires more urban-based armies. While this may sound like a hassle (and the bases are slightly time consuming), it's all easier to do than explain, and a lot of it can be done in front of the telly. I'll personally be reusing these techniques for my Fall of Celestine sci-fi project later in the year.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! Putting a man fewer than recommended on each rifle/command base was the key to stretching the models far enough. Sourcing spare bases was a bit of a nuisance, but luckily my Friendly Local Gaming Store is very friendly indeed!

  2. Nicely done Matt. You can also use them to play IABSM with us.

    1. That's the hope. I still need to sit down and have a think about dividing up the stands between squads, support teams and Big Men though. I may have nixed myself using only three men per base - I shall have to see.