The Screaming Eagles in Normandy

Yesterday, I finished the last few stands of my US parachute rifle company.  As I’ve mentioned before, I wanted to produce something similar to Evan’s excellent Normandy bases illustrated on the Battlefront website.  Whilst I was keen to get a nice finish, this had to be balanced against the amount of time I can reasonably devote to any painting / modelling project 🙂  This led me to experiment with some new material I’d not used before.

I thought I’d start with a modest example using the fence post that is included in the boxed set to provide some soft cover for a sniper team.  I’m still struggling to find a way of painting weathered wood, that grey / brown tone just seems to escape me:

After watching the Carentan episode of Band of Brothers, I felt inspired to step it up a gear by producing some mortar scrapes.  This was relatively easy to do by using a long thin roll of milliput and placing it in a circular shape on the base.  This was scraped with a cocktail stick whilst partially dry to create the effect of quickly shovelled out dirt.  Easy:

Emboldened, I went on to create some earthen banks out of milliput to simulate sunken lanes or the edges of fields.  Whilst the modelling clay was still maleable, I inserted the 5 – 8mm tips of cocktail sticks into the milliput so that the Woodland scenics clump would have something to be grip on when it was superglued on to the bank.  Small dry twigs from the local park were snapped into pieces to represent shell-fire shattered trees. Again, the bank’s surfaces were crudely textured by scraping with…a cocktail stick:

I hadn’t considered putting a bank down the side of a base before viewing Evan’s photos and really like the effect.  I would be more inclined to place them running across the front of the base (boring!):

I got a little carried away when working on another sniper team.  This time, I added some Woodland Scenics fine foliage that came free with a tree set I’d bought earlier this year.  It’s abit fussy, but I think I like the finished piece:

These easy principles were repeated on one of the HQ stands.  I like the way the radio is proped against the bank:

To save some time, I used Vallejo’s Dark Earth pumice.  For those of you familiar with the White or Grey fine pumice, this coloured range is similar, i.e. a grey-brown  slightly gritty paste of acryllic resin, but much, much smoother.  The benefit of this paste is that it doesn’t require painting.  The downside is that the colour is hard to match and coverage isn’t as effective as the other thicker versions.  To work around this problem, I found that I could ‘paint’ with this coloured resin if it was significantly watered down. But use an old brush 😛 This enabled me to get it in and around the figures’ bases.  Furthermore, I could mix it with (008) Beige and (001) White to highlight.

The rest was easy.  Here’s a family shot of the full Company HQ:

And a full-strength rifle platoon:

An acceptable wargame standard in relatively quick time.  Truscott would be proud.

That’s all from me before I go on holiday.  See you late August!

8 Responses to “The Screaming Eagles in Normandy

  • Allan Traise
    6 years ago

    Great idea.

    Will be borrowing that one many thanks 🙂

  • Excellent bases, they look really good.

  • Thanks lads!

  • It’s good to see bases with some character – I really like the sniper one. Really good work!

  • Thanks Harvey, that’s much appreciated. With the benefit of hindsight, I’d have gone for dark green silfor tufts like Crac de Chevalier’s recent US bases. Still, they’ll do. How’s your terrain project coming along, care to share some pics?

  • Nice one Justin you’ve given me an idea, have a good un!

  • These look very tasty on the board as well.

    And from my point of view on Saturday night, they looked even better when they were being taken off the board. They were certainly screaming, but not in the way they would have liked after suffering at the hands of some speedy, stalwart German Grenadiers.

    The figures look great, but I think Justin may be having second thoughts about using that Airborne dice set 😀

  • They look really good. Inspirational stuff and great work on the bases. The Mortar scrapes is a really good idea.
    Cheers

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