Sunday, December 7, 2014

Dawgie's Men: Preparing Old Imperial Guard Figs for a Return to Action

My Imperial Guard first saw action in the late 1980s, just one game before a long stasis in a box on the shelf.  Every few years, they were to be reborn for a game, usually picking up a few new new troopers, only to return  to stasis. Most recently, they saw action against my daughter's orks during her "Space Ork" phase.  Now, the space orks are collecting dust, as she is in her "I like working on '60s and '70s muscle cars" phase.

Anyway, several years ago I bought a large number of old IG from an internet acquaintance who some of you probably knew as Baddawg6, Baddawg, or just plain Dawgie.   Got about a hundred of Dawgie's old figs, mostly GW old IG with a few others worked in as well.

I bought them at a great price, without seeing them, figuring that as long as they weren't painted in winter or chocolaty brown camo, I could work them in.  And worst case, I could always repaint them.  I received the figs, decently painted, with lots of minor conversion that added nicely to the figs.  Too bad that they were in a slightly reddish chocolate brown camo pattern. It just didn't work with my old figs, nor my terrain.  I was in no rush, so repainting wasn't a big issue.

As always, too many projects, not enough time.  Years passed.  One day, Dawgie posted on the Post Apoc Wargames forum that he was going in for some medical stuff, and we might not hear from him for a little while.  Dawgie was special, and I miss him greatly. 

When I finally sat down to repaint them, I found myself in a bit of a conundrum.  Dawgie had named his troops, I mean like named the individual troopers. I already felt bad about repainting the figs, but the idea of erasing the names of his troops really bothered me even more.  Silly, I know.  So, his troops sat on the shelf a bit longer.

Recently, I finally decided to repaint them, and organized the figs, mixing my old figs with Dawgie's to building a company of 114 figures.  The figs were sorted on a painting tray. I filled out a chart, noting names and details of the figs, so that their identities won't be lost while receiving their new uniforms.  

As it turns out, 74 of Dawgies old figs are in my new unit, which really sort of makes it his unit.  As such, the "Old Dawg" will be the First Sergeant of this company, thus they will always be Dawgie's men".

Over the span of several weeks, I managed to strip the figs of paint, using a combination of Easy Off oven cleaner and Simple Green.  Free time has been scarce in recent months, so I found myself getting up at 5:00am, excited to be working on my hobby, scraping paint off of little men before going to work. Sad really.

The Easy Off works pretty quickly, loosening a lot of the paint, but not getting into deeper crevices very well.  It is also really unpleasant to work with.  I only used it, when I first got started, to allow me to work on a small number of figs during the first couple of days.  After the topical cleaning, the dozen of so "Easy Off figs" went into the vat of Simple Green with the others. 

Figs were soaked for anything from about six hours to six days, requiring varying degrees of attention with paper towels, a couple different dental picks, and/or a toothbrush.  Some required two or three rounds in the Simple Green. By the way, Simple Green breaks down the super glue joints and softens the green stuff putty.

While preparing to paint, I discovered that I was long out of the original Polly S green that I used for the uniforms. So, the basic paint scheme will involve cloth portions of the uniforms getting a coat of Vallejo Russian Uniform (very close to the original) with armor and gear generally being Model Master Dark Green.  Some will get a yellow/tan irregular "ring" (almost leopard spots) camouflage on the green cloth.  My old figs will get some additional gear and updated uniforms with more shading to better match the "new" figs.  Below is a photo showing a couple of my old figs in the original uniform (circa 1987), pretty basic.

I'm guessing that it will take until some time in January to complete the painting and will post a follow up then.  

In time I plan to add a recon section and a support section from battalion, maybe another 15-20 figs total.  They will all need rides as well, but those will come later, a good 2015 project.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Finally Painted Something

Since my last post, I've been squeezing in a few minutes here and there, when I can, for either cleaning old miniatures or painting new ones.  It is my painting after all, so understandably, nothing special.  But, I have finally painted something this year, and am celebrating with a blog post.

First up is a batch of nine Bradleys.


Still need to do one more to complete my company.  As it turned out, I didn't have a set of usable tracks for the last one.

Next is a batch of Soviet vehicles which will see double duty in Mugabia (one of my African Imagi-nations).

The BTR152s and T34/85 are my own castings, while the BTR60s, GAZ 66, and GAZ 69 are from QRF (all very nice castings by the way).

And lastly, some M60A2s, VBLs, and ERC90s.

Many of my resin castings were rejects with some sort of casting defect.  Most were easy to fix, though a few, I just let go. Despite either getting up at 5:30 am, or on a couple of occasions, pushing myself to paint after 12+ hour days at work, it felt good to finally get something done.