The New Order

I've completed the new cardboard paint-rack I was working on, and used the opportunity to reorganise my modelling bench work-space a bit.

It doesn't look much more organised than it did before, but believe me, it is. Not only because I have a new paint rack, and not only because I've tidied up a bit, but because my friend Gold gave me one of these kitset MDF tool racks. He didn't have the construction instructions for it, so putting it together was a bit like working out one of those annoying 3d jig-saw puzzles, but I eventually managed to figure it out.

I've been making (very slow) progress on painting some of the HäT plastic 20mm British Peninsular War infantry I mentioned a little while ago. I've been finding it a bit of a hard slog; the painting method (working up from a black undercoat) is new to me, and I spent a bit of time floundering about to find a decent way to do the white uniform trousers decently — a Vallejo Iraqui Sand undercoat did the trick; grey looked too dark and harsh.

This is as far as I've got in the last month or so, at this rate it will take quite a while before I have an army's worth of figures painted and based. I am getting a little bit faster though.

I've always been a metal-figure man, and I still think metal figures are more tactilely satistfying as well as having generally sharper detail, but I have to confess that plastic figures have some significant advantages. They're much, much cheaper for a start, and that's no small consideration when it comes to building large armies. They're light and durable — again a big advantage when it comes to large armies; humping hundreds of lead miniatures around can be a groin-straining exercise, and metal figures are notoriously fragile when they clatter around against each other.

And one last thing — they make basing easier. That may seem a small thing, but disguising the stands of metal figures with putty and what-not can absorb a surprising amount of time and effort. With plastics, I can just use a small soldering iron to melt the figure stands out, merging them with the base material (I'm using 3mm MDF here). You can see the raw, unpainted, smooshed-out basing in the stand on the left; the other two have been painted over. I'll probably flock the bases, but they would serve quite well in paint just as they are.

Morris CS9 Armoured Car (15mm)

Not many of these came back to the UK after Dunkirk, but the Morris CS9 was a fairly common reconnaissance armoured car with the BEF in 1...