Friday, 7 February 2014

Winner Dave's Charge to Corrivalry

Hey all,

Last night I dutifully sent in my army list to the tournament organisers for the Corrivalry.  Despite my plans to take my BOFJs (boring old Fallschirmjäger), I sent in a list that Ben made for me.  It's a Tankovy list from Desperate Measures.

21 T34/85s, 4 BA-64s and 6 Heavy Mortars with observer - as Fearless Trainer that's 1640 points.

However as we all know I take ages to paint anything and as things stand I have 1 platoon of T34s painted and the Heavy mortars half completed.  I've got 2 weeks to get this lot up to scratch, so i'm going to attempt to do this in the most economical way I can.

2 Weeks, the race is on CHARGE!!!

T minus 14-days and counting

First I need to paint those sand-bags - khaki
Add some rocks to the bases and set them aside to dry, mean while I'll make up the blister of BA64s and prime them
Basecoat vehicles Russian Green (as I'm out of Tamiya, I'm using Vallejo's Russian Green)

and here's what I managed...typical of airbrushing Vallejo, I started to get blockages by tank five, I pushed on and got another three doneish (they need re-doing).  When this happens I strip the brush, and thoroughly clean it.  As suspected the nozzle was chock full of gunk.

T minus 13 days

It's 7:30 on Saturday morning and we're all up???
Time to apply some more green I think, I'm praying there won't be blockages like yesterday.

Apparently today will be a bad airbrush day :(

I find that I as I pull back the needle I get paint, but then flow stops, pull back a bit more, paint flows, then stop, pull back more and splodge! A sudden mass of runny paint all over your model.  Arrghh!!!

I find this always happens when I try to use vallejo model colour in an airbrush...I really need to check out a few more ranges.

So right now, my charge has been halted by the defensive fire of airbrushing issues.  The nozzle and needle are in my sonic cleaner and I'm waiting for that mess to dry, it will dry thin as I really thinned the paint down.

------------------------------------------2 hours later-----------------------------------------------------

So either the cleaning fluid/sonic cleaner or adding a squeeze of window cleaner to my thinner mix or turning down the pressure on my compressor did the trick.  Phew...after finishing the basecoat, I'm back to my beloved Tamiya paints.   As before I use BlackGreen to add some shading.

It's nearly lunch time and therefore time to pick my daughter up from stage school.

I've managed to lay down a first modulation highlight on the turrets.  I prefer this result to the result of my first platoon, especially around where the barrel meets the turret. No so happy with the two dome shaped bits at the back of the turret, possibly because a 0.4mm nozzle is too big or I'm not close enough...not sure, but it's one to work one for sure.

I end the day with...

T minus 12 days

It's Sunday, the of paint!  We've got family stuff happening today so again I'm up early to crack on.

First order of the day is to finish modulating the T34s.  All that's left to do is the extreme highlight on the turrets, I make quick work of them.

They're not perfect by any stretch...I'm still having splattering, but I've noticed an improvement with my muscle memory so i'm getting less free hand mistakes.

Just like golf (which I don't pay anymore, sadface) I think if you do airbrush, then you need to constantly be practicing it.  A month or two off can really hinder your control.

It's time to give the BA64s some attention.

Unless, I've made a gross miscalculation, I think i'm done with the airbrush...I can pack it away and the family can have the kitchen back.  These are a bit rushed (well they are Russian), and I relied on free-hand a bit too much whereas a bit more masking would have been the ideal...not too worried about that, that's my hyper-critical side coming out.

If' that's all I manage this weekend...and it probably will be, then I think that's a great start and I'm pretty happy.  Back to work tomorrow, so I'll only be able to paint in the evenings...looks like my Uni work has gone out the window.

and before the day is through I manage to spend some time on the heavy first, then the planking, and finally the whole base is given a brown wash.

FYI That brown stuff is Vallejo's Brown Earth, it's the first time I've used it.  I figured it would save me a lot more time than using white pumice and then painting it, even though you pay for it.

T minus 11 days

After work I painted the tracks and tyres, then added another brown shade to the mortar bases as they are too light.  No photos as it's a bit painting tracks is dull.  Tomorrow I'm playing the legend that is ArmyDave, so probably won't get any painting done.

T minus 10 days

I manage to get two layers of filter applied to the tanks before Dave arrived.  The tankovy perform brilliantly and apparently Dave can only roll 3's for motivation tests, unfortunately his company is Confident, so despite braving the curse of playing with unpainted toys, the Soviets squash the Grenadiers.

I'll probably apply a third layer of filter before a Satin varnish tomorrow...these steps take some drying time, so I'll work on the mortars simultaneously.

T minus 9 days

As planned I applied a third (and fairly thick) layer of filter before the satin varnish.  I've not used Satin Varnish before, seems fairly Matt to me so I'm not sure of the benefit yet.  I also dealt with an issue I'd been avoiding...what am I to do about a commander.  With my first lot of T34s I did 2 turrets with commanders, which is 1 too many for my needs now.  Thing is I want to do different decals for this company, but want the commander to have the same decal.  In the end I tried using plastic weld to melt the decal off, but it really messed with the paint, so I ended up sanding it smoothish and hitting the airbrush.  A new, un-commandered turret will get the numbered decal as a replacement, whilst the rest get the triangular shaped one.

I also had time to do the decals, which was hell as most of them disintegrate, I had to attempt the battalion commander's decals 6 times before getting one of these mostly complete.

T minus 8 days

Hoy fricken frick, I'm papping it now, there's still so much to do and this is turning into a real chore :(
First detail up the BA64s

Next it's a really big lining this is going to take a while and will show if the satin varnish is any good.

T minus 7 days

I only know is all I know.

T minus 6 days

James and Ben have taken over the dining room and are just finishing up a game of Hold the Line, I believe Ben has just taken the objectives and James is going for a last ditch attempt to assault.

In the meantime, I've finished the black lining on the T34s, I'll double back later and do the BA64s.

Okay that was a bad idea, I need to get the black lining done...I had a quick game against James and am glad he can't roll to Storm Trooper as it gave my T34s something to fire at.  James actually pulled off an impressive maneuver with his recon troops slipping in-between the 2 T34 companies and attacking the heavy mortars.  It didn't quite work out and in the end I was able to outgun him...with hen and chicks it was a case of either move or fire against a bunch of PzIVs and Panthers.  I mostly fired as I generally had targets.

Anyway once they left and I watched the Rugby, it was back to the BA64s...they're black lined, which means it's on to weathering...huzzah

T minus 5 days

It's Sunday, looking for a big day today.  Last night I managed to throw some rust marks on the models and I'm up early-ish to start the rain marks...spotty tanks :)

Old and new T34s starting to look the same

Lots of basing on the heavy mortars

A successful day today, but I'm shattered.  Left to do is the sponge chipping, some dust and finally dirt on the wheels and around the sandbags.  I need to do some work on the barb wire and if there's time I'd like to put an extra highlight on the uniforms and the rifle wood.  Oh yeah...and the crews.

T minus 4 days

Ugh, Monday...whilst waiting for Ben to pop round for a game to try out the Breakout mission, I've managed to get two very big steps done...the chipping and underlining, and the dust.  I only allowed myself a few dabs  with the sponge, so the chips are minimal.

Breakout was quite fun.  For Corrivalry the bosses have ruled its regular scattered reserves as opposed to delayed.  I cracked out the FJs and Ben had his tankovy horde.  A thoroughly enjoyable game, but I'm glad I've swtiched to Tanks and the FJs have taken a back seat.  Sitting in fox holes waiting for the enemy to maneuver is really boring...still no doubt you'll hear all about it on our "On the Road to Corrivalry" podcast...and how having mixed ratings is the easiest way to confuse me :)

T minus 3 days

Nothing today, I had a game with Robin, which he wrote about on the FOW forum under tactics -> tankovy.  Robin has been playing tankovy for a long time, so he was half playing me/half teaching me.  It's all about maximising the the guns apparently, so his opinion is that I should stop splitting the platoons up.  He also didn't rate the heavy mortars, we'll see though.

T minus 2 days

As soon as I got in from work I started applying the dirt pigments, literally whilst we had our tea (sorry family).

Once that was done I applied another highlight to the mortar crew's uniforms and rifles as I felt they were too dark.  50:50 Iraqui Sand:Khaki Grey, 50:50 Beige Brown:Orange Brown on the rifles.

Then it was time to hit the barbed wire.  I painted it grey, did blobs of Dark Rust, then 50:50 dark rust : light rust, then some thinned light rust.  A black wash, then roughly painted silver.

I then did a couple of layers of green brown around the base rims.

That's the Heavy mortars done, except for varnishing
Tomorrow, I need to do 2 crew for the Batalon Commander and the 4 crew in the BA-64s...then varnish the lot.

T minus 1 day

Today is my last day of painting as this post is published tomorrow morning.

6 hours later and here it is.
The Boss
Heavy Mortars, with busy bases

The Batalon


This has not been a fun experience, it's been more akin to revising for an exam than to sitting down to do what I enjoy.  Still, it's a good few ticks off my massive painting list.

Whilst the result is a nicely painted's not amazing and I think I've produced something that's a bit boring.  To make this army really pop it needs more details...more fun things going on.  Not so easy when you plumb for BRG tanks.  After the tournament I intend to add these things...kill rings on the barrel, logs attached to the sides, tankodesantniki on the back, bullet holes, perhaps some slogans...I'm open to suggestions.

Thanks for reading, please give me some ideas to jazz these babies up




  1. Great work. As you guys discussed in your podcast, a good uniform paint job seems to win painting contests. These should do very well. They look quite stunning in my opinion. I think the tanks without the leaves look a bit duller than the tanks with the leaves.

    I can't remember if you did it before, but a step by step tutorial for those nice, rusted tracks would be great. I'd really like to see how you are sealing the pigments and keeping them in place.

    I'm painting a Peiper list in two weeks for a commission at the moment. It is a bit soul destroying trying to paint quickly. German infantry have too many details (luckily I only have 4 bases of them).

    Good job on the painting and good luck at the tournament.

    1. Cheers Cameron, always keen to hear your thoughts.

      Re: pigments, tbh if you were to touch the wheels then your fingers would come away brown :) I started off using Reuben's method of pigment, then touch with fixer, then add more pigment until it's all soaked up. It was taking too long, so I slapped the fixer on the wheels with a brush and dunked a tonne of pigment on top..tapped off the excess onto a piece of paper so i could re-use it. As that was the last step, I then made sure to give it a really good varnish.

      If you have any ideas on making the plain ones a bit more interesting...i'm all ears.

      Take it easy


    2. I do the same - but use AK mud effects as the fixer

      it seems to work fine - after a couple of games it stops shedding pigment

    3. I guess the downside to plastic tanks is that they can lack the individuality of the resin sculpted tanks. I think some well painted tank riders could really spice them up. I think they look really good as they are and look nice and uniform. The sameness is only due to having 20 identical tanks in the same company! The curse of soviets!

  2. Im in a similar place Dave - on tuesday morning my to do list included 5 su 100s, 4 SU 152s, 10 T34s, 2 KTs, 5 Hetzers, 1 Sdkfz250, 18 stands of infantry and the flocking for about 100 stands.

    and now ...

    T-1 and I've base coated my last 10 T34s. I over slept and didn't manage to get the decals on before I had to go to work. They are at least green and therefore usable. Washes may happen tonight, but they will probably still be wet on the table tomorrow. arghhh etc

    1. Youch Paul, good luck buddy. Hope you get it sorted for tomorrow. Got a hair dryer???

    2. Paul...just been thinking...are you DracoStandard aka Bren's Dad...aka the guy who paintined Nobby's 21st Panzer Beute Stugs etc ???

  3. Looking good Dave! Puts my Irish Guards to shame, but I'm fired up to try harder next time. Model Air works wonders compared to trying to spray Model colour - I recommend for paint, he's a great guy (despite the dodgy name, it's his initials...). Looking forward to seeing these in the flesh tomorrow.

    1. TBH having seen Steve's Sherman's I'm likewise fired up to try harder next time.

      I use snmstuff all the time, even recommended him on the BF forum to someone looking for supplies. Shame about the new postage policy, I know it's the post office's fault, but no other company is following suite.

      See you tomorrow, if we don't get blown off the road.

    2. Which Steve is that? If you want anything from SnM dropping off at Breakthrough tournie, let me know, he's only 20 mins down the road from me :-)

    3. There's only one Steve...Steve Charlton
      Thanks for the offer dude, i'll definitely take you up on that offer.

  4. Brilliant job Dave - amazing productivity with stunning results!
    I hope they perform suitably well for you on the table as well :-)