Monday, 30 January 2017

A Tale of Two Armies - Basing a 2mm Force

Today we continue the Tale of Two Armies - an in-depth look at collecting a 2mm army.  We covered organising, basing and painting small-scale armies - now it's time to look at basing them.

In 2mm, basing is keyA nice base always brings a model together, but at this scale, the base is pretty much all you'll see on the tabletop.  Painting is just about giving the impression of a block of troops, but the base is what most people will actually be looking at.

The key is not to go overboard - a tree at 2mm might be 5mm tall, say, but you're not going to put a tree on every base.  I go for a generic green flock, with a scattering of fine gravel and sand to break it up a bit, then some foliage for bushes and small trees.  Anything more than that starts to look a bit over the top.

The War Room is ready.  Models are set out ready for basing, I have an area for scattering flock, with PVA on standby.  I find an old knife, a sculpting tool and even a few matchsticks are invaluable for spreading out the PVA.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Diorama: The Death of Marshal Poulain

I've done a few small dioramas in my time, and recently I felt the need to paint some 28mm models again.  I'm taking a break from my 2mm posts to bring you this diorama which depicts the (fictional) death of Marshal Poulain at the Battle of Talavera.

Some of you might remember our recent Talavera game; it was an enormous undertaking, all done on 2mm scale.  I thought, however, I'd use my Christmas money to buy some lovely Perry Miniatures and recreate some crucial moments from the battle.  As with my previous dioramas, it's fairly small in scale, all mounted on a 120mm Secret Weapon Miniatures resin base.

The diorama shows the moment where Marshal Poulain, surrounded by Grenadiers of the 68th Ligne on one of the main crossroads in Talavera, is cut down when British Light Dragoons manage to flank the small force.  It was an absolute joy to spend lots of time on these - each model took about an hour to paint in total, spread over a day to allow for drying.  I know Perry Miniatures don't need me to plug them, but they are by far the finest 28mm miniatures out there.  Meticulously researched and stunningly sculpted, they made the whole painting process more enjoyable.

Next week we'll continue my posts on the 2mm Austrians with a basing tutorial, and you can look forward to a second Talavera diorama in the next month or so.


Thursday, 12 January 2017

A Tale of Two Armies - Painting a 2mm Force

We continue with a series of posts on wargaming in 2mm today, as I build and paint the Prussian and Austrian armies for a future Battle of Lobositz.  You can see the post on organising and building the armies here.

I'm including the painting in such detail, because that's one of the biggest misconceptions about 2mm gaming.  For those who've only ever gamed in 28mm or 20mm, the small blocks of lead can seem like counters.  Why not just play with tokens?  Hopefully this quick post will shed some light on why I love this scale so much.

The key to painting in any scale is to give an impression of reality.  If you look at even the most talented 28mm painters, their models would look terrifyingly unreal if they were scaled up to life size.  Their skill is making them look like they are life sized figures which have been scaled down.  The same is true for 2mm - give an overall impression, and we do that by combining main uniform colours with the occasional tiny detail.  On a 28mm model, that tiny detail might be a badge, the model's eyes, or a wooden stock.  On a 2mm model, it's the heads and the banners.

Often I try and photograph my 2mm models sympathetically, that is, from a distance so you can see how they look on the table.  However, these have been photographed ruthlessly close up, and I've even fiddled with the light levels to show you how much (or rather how little) detail you need on these tiny figures to give a great impression.  I think there's a natural reluctance to show 2mm models at this scale; we try to always give 'finished' impressions of our armies.  Hopefully this will lift the lid on just how small scale painting is done.