Thursday, 21 August 2008

M5A1 Stuart from the 2nd Armoured Division tank Company Boxed Set from Flames of War.

the generals+paintbrush+painting+service+15mm+british+american+german+25mm+painting service+wargamer+collector+flames of war The commander of a M5A1 Stuart contemplates the fate of a British Centaur and its crew.

I have always had a particular liking for the M5A1. With its somewhat obsolete appearance and the idea that M5A1 crews pitted their 37mm cannons against the 88 armed Panthers and Tigers and won seems almost incredulous. I know they were fast and they took the German Armour from the rear but the crews must have had cahones the size of melons.

So when choosing the first models from the set to complete the choice was obvious. The Light Tank Platoon with the three M5A1 models was the first to the modelling bench.

What the models lack in size they make up for in sheer heft. The metal track set is well detailed and gives these little models a real feel of solidity when handled. The detail is easily up to what I have come to expect from battlefronts Flames of War range.

The turrets did need a little drilling with the pin vice to get the main gun to sit correctly (and firmly in the turret) and of course the resin parts did require a bit of fettling as per the norm with the flames of war range. It is always worth spending a little bit of time prepping the model prior to assembly followed by a few dry runs to test the fit and overall appearance before reaching for the glue.

Once base coated, using Games Workshops excellent spray undercoat, it is time to break out the airbrush. The models were then painted overall in Olive Drab before being dusted with various sand and earth colours, this when a good airbrush comes into its own, to begin the weathering process. Once the paint has completely dried it is on to the next stage and this is where you will either breathe life into the model or destroy all the work done thus far.

I always apply the decals at this stage, about half way through the weathering process, just prior to lining. Once the decals have been secured with Microset and completely dried I then apply various filters. Basically artist oils thinned with turps to tone down the paintwork and make the model more believable on the games table. This process has to be done extremely carefully as you do not want brush strokes or puddles of paint gathering on the model. When you have achieved the effect you want you will need to set the model aside for a day or two prior to highlighting and the final weathering with various powders and pastels.

The choice of pastels and weathering powders is important to the final appearance and should be applied slowly as too much is worse than too little in my opinion. Once you have finished with powder it is time to seal everything with a several very light and fine airbrushed coats of a quality matt varnish. Do not brush on the varnish or the powders will simply turn to mud and destroy the work. There is a real skill in this seemingly simple task but you want the atomised varnish to hit the model almost dry on the first two coats so as to preserve the weathered finish.

Worthy of special note is the commander figure. He has the finest facial detail of any figure I  have seen in the Flames of War range. He was a real delight to paint and worth the extra time that it took to bring out the detail.

The M5A1 from Battlefronts Flames of War range is a superb little model full of character and an excellent addition to anyone’s collection. Remember the Generals Paintbrush painting service is available to the gamer and collector. Email with your requirements for a quote.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just received my set of M5s today and all I can say is Wow! Simply the best models I have. The painting and weathering is excellent. Just need to get some dosh for a set of M10s now. I will certainly be using your painting service again.
Thanks Colin