Above is a pic of Lt. Colonel James Galbraith, Regimental Colour in hand, alongside Bobbie the regimental dog and some of the other "Last Eleven" survivors of the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment, making their last stand in one of the walled gardens just South of Khig village, a few miles West of the Afghan town of Maiwand.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Britannia/Stronghold Pathan village

I've been meaning to post these pics of a commercially available Pathan village that I ordered from Stronghold Miniatures more than a year ago and finally painted up a couple of months back. Unfortunately I don't think they are still available. I just saw Alan Lockhart of the Colonial Wargaming Yahoo Group post some nice pics of an identical village of his own, which inspired me to get to work here on the computer and complete this blog post, so THANK YOU, ALAN!

The village consists of several resin buildings with removable roofs. The two larger ones suffered some damage in shipping, which is the main reason it took me so long to get around to painting them, since I needed to repair the damage first. I also had to clean them up and wash them thoroughly with water and dishwashing liquid. Why? Because ever since I was a boy, that's what I was always told one must do with resin castings before proceeding to paint them!

When I finally forced myself to do it, repairing the damage was pretty easy. I used white glue to fix the broken pieces and filled in any gaps or crevices with Elmer's wood putty.

Cleaning them up also entailed using an X-acto knife, a utility knife and a small file and/or fine sandpaper to clean out what were meant to be open windows and trim off bits of resin that didn't appear to belong, much like trimming flash off lead figures.

Next I spray-painted the buildings and stone wall sections with Rustoleum FLAT BROWN enamel from Home Depot. It's a near-perfect match for the brown base color I used for my Maiwand terrain boards and from my experience works very well as a base-coat primer for any sort of terrain or scenics.

Then I dry-brushed several coats of my usual suspect Afghan terrain colors: Fawn, Honeycomb, Mudstone and Sandstone, with a final highlight coat of Light Ivory. I also used Buttercream for the exposed mudbricks. "Fawn" is a Folk Art color, all the rest are from Delta Ceramcoat, both are lines of inexpensive craft paints available at Michael's and other arts-&-crafts stores in the USA.

For the stone wall sections I started with the same DARK BROWN spray-paint, then alternated layers of the same dry-brush colors as above with Rain Gray (a medium shade) and Quaker Gray (a light shade), both of which are made by Delta.

After I was happy with the overall dry-bush effect, I picked out the wood planking with a mix of browns and grays. Then I used black for the open hatch on the roof, then when it was dry I brushed on Delta Ceramcoat "Ironwork", a very dark gray-green, to give a bit of layering for some depth.

I'm happy with how turned out. The buildings are neither "too brown" nor "too gray," they're more a drab, dusty, almost indefinable mix, which is what I prefer when it comes to down and dirty NWF/Afghan buildings. Also, they fit nicely with my terrain boards (since I used mostly the same colors) without looking identical to them, which is perfect for me.

Now I have to paint up some more of the same buildings a friend managed to get his hands on when they went up for sale on the TMP marketplace. But I want to customize them a bit before I paint them, so they don't look like identical twins to the ones we've already got. This of course will involve some risk, since I might always make a bad cut of some sort, which would be REALLY BAD since the castings are not easy to get now. Luckily for me I have way too much to do right now, so I won't have to worry about the risk of my attempted conversions for some time.

Here's a bunch of pics...

(1) bare buildings (upside down!)

(2) spray-paint

(3) spray-paint goes on

(4) dry-brushing begins

(5) the finished large bldg w/tower (multiple views)

(6) ...and a bunch more pics (just for kicks!)