Tuesday, 13 September 2011

28mm Vietnam Project - Part 4 - Basing Begins

Ok, so firstly apologies for the lack of any substantial progress of late. But life has conspired to keep my rather busy and away from the painting table. However in a sudden fit of energy last night. I dug out my pot of 2pence pieces and my batch of Force of Arms 28mm Vietnam figures and started on the basing.

The first step was, simply to go through cleaning up the figures, trimming off flash and vent tags from the moulding. There was not a great deal, mostly vent tags, which are easy to snip off, cut off or file off, depending on your chosen technique.

There were remarkably few bits of flash to deal with. That was the good news. The bad news, was. The FoA metal is not the most bendy. I found several figures with bent gun barrels and two or three snapped upon straightening. Now this is annoying. But I have had it with other makers.

From a recent comment by John Bruce (FoA) with regards to his latest ANZACS release on TMP, I noted he has now moved to a softer metal. So obviously I was not the only one notice how brittle it could be.

Anyhow, I will try and pin those, to give a gun barrel of sorts. And it probably won't be too obvious. As these are gaming and not display models, I am not too worried. It is just slightly frustrating.

So, first step was the clean them up.. now.. a quick note on tools. A while ago I bought a seam scraper from Micromark tools over in the USA. Its a triangular shaped cutter. Its have a double ended bit and can be extended and retracted as required. And its sharp!

It flies through flash at a rate of knots. The only issue is, they are not cheap to buy, having to order from across the pond.

The postage was pretty high and I managed to avoid the tax threshold just. So quite happy with it. I spotted the tool being demoed on YouTube;

This is not the one I original spotted but that has been removed. However this one shows the tool in use. The one thing I will issue a WARNING!! about is, the point is sharp. It is very, I stress very easy to slip and jab your self with this tool. Just like hobby knives. Best treated with respect or the blood will flow! The video also shows some other tools in use.

So.. once the figures were cleaned up, it was just a case of digging out the two part, 5-minute epoxy. I use Devcon, as its never let me down in the past.

Some care needs to be taken. The inbuilt figure bases/tags with some of John's miniatures are quite small and their poses make the figure top heavy. So you have to ensure you have a pretty flat working area, or you get them toppling, whilst the glue dries. This happened to one and I have to quickly remove the still curing semi rigid epoxy with a knife and re glue it. Nothing too serious.

I mix about two penny sized blobs of resin and harnder in each batch and use a cocktail stick to mix the two, thoroughly. You can tell when it is well mixed, as the liquid will take on a frosted haze, that will clear as it sets. This is usually enough to do about 6-9 figures, depending on base size. Its easy to try and do too many in one go. And before you know it, the epoxy will begin to setup/harden and you will have fine stringers of glue, everywhere and then wham! All of a sudden its hard,, and you find your cocktail stick is now, going to have to be come part of your base.

So, small batches. It also means if you get a figure suddenly fall off the desk, or get interrupted by the phone, the cat, the dog, family etc, and you have to leave it, you only loose a little. I mix the liquids on old business cards, as they are a good size and can be scrapped off, before the excess sets, to get more than one use out of them. Be careful mind with tossing setting epoxy about the place. Its exothermic, meaning it generates some heat depending on brands/chemicals, and so can cause melting/fires in large quantities. Also don't get it on your carpet!

Right, OK here they are.. the 34 odd or so.. stuck and firmly glued.. next step will be the texturing.. which I hope to get done this evening.

Force of Arms 28mm Vietnam based on 2pence pieces
If you look carefully you will see some US infantry, including some special forces and a few VC figures in the set. These figures are nicely styled, and have some real character to them. Each figure is an individual and I do think many gamers interested in 28mm Vietnam, over look John Bruces - Junction City Range.



Fantastic !!! congratulations on a great blog!!!

The Extraordinarii said...

Very Nice Goose, now I noticed that you have Vallejo colours in the background(thats what I use), have you settled on what colours to use??? for US army fatigues, VC pj's and NVA regs uniform ? if you have, can you share them with us mate ?

Goose on the loose said...

Cheers Guys.
Yes, I predominantly use Vallejo Model Colours, even for air brushing. For the nam ranges, I have a couple of books and had a good trawl through sites like fields of fire. And have not picked a definitive "set" yet.

However I have some good starting points in mind and will do a couple of trial models, to check my ideas work.

But in basics, will be
VC - Black Grey, base, with the occasional off white/tan.

NVA - light tan (not sure of exact name yet) with light green tan.

US Infantry - Green Grey, either solely, or mixed with some russian uniform or similar to give a washed out green effect.

But rest assured, I will do an article on the paints and choices. I found the fields of fire forum had some good threads in places for ideas.

Hope that helps.