Thursday, 2 May 2013

Airfix Australian Infantry.

Since the AWI figures I refurbished turned out so well, I decided that I could do the same with some of the other figures that I acquired from the same source. As I hunted through my collection of figures, I discovered a number of figures that had been painted by the same painter that I could turn into CD3 units. I also found a number of painted figures from other sources - such as a huge number of  CD units and loose figures that I had been given by Steve H. - to name one such deposit of figures.


The complete batch of refurbished Airfix Australians

So I decided that in order to rapidly expand my pool of available wargaming forces,I would begin the process of refurnishing these figures. First up are some Airfix Australian Infantry (link to PSR here). All I did with these figures was to touch up the paint work, give them a brown wash and then base them up as an under strength CD3 Infantry battalion with some attached elements.

Machete waving Battalion Command stand and two stands suitable for use as attached staff radio, FO, or even FAC stands.Given the brigade only has one staff radio stand - and it's a radio truck - these stands probably won't remain at the battalion level for long. 

No battalion mortar stands - but here are a couple of porter stands with a nice  stand of marching infantry.

 The paint scheme used by the original painter is similar to that on used on the box art. It's quite a nice scheme and the brown wash tones the green down nicely. Fortunately my camera's flash brightens it right back up!

No recon carrier either! How about a recon stand and two patrol stands instead? 
 I've always liked the prone Bren gunner in this set, but like most prone figures not the easiest to use with CD's basing system. I try and use the fact they require a bigger base to my advantage, so that it will symbolise  a special stand like a patrol - as in this case!

Two infantry stands - this could be an understrength infantry company.

The figures that been painted quite some time ago with enamel paint, and had been stored in a draw with a pile of other figures. as this was a rather suboptimal way of storing the figures,  there was surprisingly little paint flaking. Given that they had been stored badly by me since 1996, this is pretty amazing!


The kneeling Bren gunner is also a great pose - it got used in the 1/32 set and has been widely knocked off. 

Interestingly enough the original painter chose not to paint up the full set of figures, or some had been lost before coming into my hands (or even after coming into my hands!) as only 33 of the 48 figures in the packet were available for me to refurbish.

The rifle swinging pose is not quite as useful . Another two infantry stands. I have been considering using the stands  that have the figure that is throwing the grenade as command infantry stands. Doing this would allow me to field four weak companies (per the 1943 TOE)

Two more infantry stands, giving a total of  nine. stands, or three full strength rifle companies.  Useful as the 1941/42 TOE has only three Rifle companies to the battalion. 

I did add two figures that I had first painted back in 1991 into this batch of refurbishment, as I wanted to create a stand of wounded troops. The figures used were one of the sitting wounded figures from the Airfix Australians, and the standing wounded figure from the Matchbox ANZAC set. (PSR link here)  Rather than try and reproduce the paint scheme of the original painter, I opted to just try and produce a stand that work work with the others.

Wounded figures. I have more of the sitting Airfix wounded figure to paint up.

Once I have refurnished all of the suitable figures, I will start painting up stuff needed to fill in the TOE gaps of the recycled and refurbished units. Work will also continue on the Pucaras and the 1/1800 scale navy. Plus I might even do some gaming!

16 comments:

  1. Great work. That wash has really brought them to life, so to speak.

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    1. Hi Nick,
      Using the wash works really well on figures painted with the old school 'block' painting method. it also helps that the original painter did a really nice job on the figures.

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  2. great stuff! they look really nice. not all the figures? oh well no big loss I guess.

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    1. Hi Gowan,
      Yeah - plastic figures have a tendency to wander off if not properly attended! I have all the poses in a stash of unpainted Australians so I can put them in the batch that I will paint up one day!

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  3. Nice figures very well painted !

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    1. Hi Sam,
      Yes the original painter nice a great job - and the wash adds that little bit extra to his work!

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  4. Remarkably successful refurb, Brian: those Aussies look very good. They stand out well, too, from the flocking on the bases.

    The more I think about it, the more I reckon the standard base size for CD is too small. A major problem is, as you mention, prone figure with MGs or ATRs (though you could at a pinch reorient the base so that one of its short sides is the front). But I would prefer 1-inch squares, or, better, something like 30mmx20mm. For 'Double Sized' I'd go 30mm square or possibly 40mmx30mm, which is double sized, though still keeping a long side for the front.

    Yes, I know that would affect artillery fires, but in my view the net effect wouldn't amount to much. The reduced number of stands exposed to 'dispersed sheaf' would be counterbalanced by the increased risk to those under the beaten zone.

    For mine, I've allowed the figures to determine the base sizes I use. At times I use 3 figures instead of the standard two to a base as well, in particular to accommodate a PTRS anti-tank rifle being carried by two men in tandem. At that my standard bases aren't very consistent, but I am not convinced even that matters a whole lot.

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    1. I agree with you as regards the artillery factor for larger stands - all told a bigger stand is a net liability compared to the risk factors facing a standard size stand.

      The key thing for me though is that the stands are in effect a symbolic playing piece that's meaning is clear to both players. Three nice looking figures on a larger mortar stand still translates as a mortar stand. bigger stand with a prone MMG team - still translates as a MMG stand. The problem comes when you have bigger stands with multiple figures and no clear meaning - or worse yet a single figure, with a Bren gun, on a smaller than usual stand to represent a MMG stand (unfortunately that's a true story)

      As long as it's WYSIWYG and the meaning is clear to the other player it would seem reasonable to me.

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    2. I would certainly agree with that principle. I prefer command stands and command-thingy stands to have a command sort of figure on it: a pistol armed guy for battalion level and above, say, and a SMG +/or LMG guy for company level.

      As I have zillions of Russian LMG guys, a lot of them fetch up as one of the infantry stands on the centre coy of a battalion's rifle coys.

      It isn't always easy to adhere all that closely to WYSIWYG, but context can obviate confusion. Anyone peering through binoculars is likely to be a command stand, an FO, FAC or similar, or a gunner. If the last, he'll be on a gun crew stand, with, more than likely, an actual gun close by.

      Speaking of which. The tommy-gun guy could be a gunner - say the gun commander, and the kneeling firing a rifle could have his rifle removed and replaced by something that represents a shell-cartridge for your 6 pr ATG. The attitude of a dude about to shove a shell into the breech would probably be quite similar to one aiming a rifle - near enough, at any rate, to look OK. I have done that myself.

      Kneeling firing guys are quite versatile in that respect: I have several that have been re-equipped with panzerschreck or panzerfaust.

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    3. I think context is a big part of WYSIWYG, also having a LMG armed figure on a standard infantry stand is quite reasonable - after all it does represent a platoon which should in theory have some! All of what you have said above I agree with, and I think it all fits happily into the bounds of WYSIWYG.

      As to the suggestions you have made regards the gunners, it's easier for me to use them as infantry stands and make up new gun crew stands. I have chopped down rifles to make gunners and it does make passable gun crew stands! Converting figures can be quite rewarding, and for gaming basic conversions are good - easy to do, and look good on the table top.

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  5. Great post Brian on all these classic figures and poses. Really good work by both the donor and yourself!

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    1. Thanks Paul, the original painter was pretty talented. i should post more of the stuff I got from him as there was quite a bit of it.

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  6. Very cool, though jungle warfare is hard to do well in CD, recommend a 5" range rule....yeah, I know, 250 yards is a long way in a jungle but it will make for better gaming mate

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    1. Thanks Al, I may just try that and post a AAR to show how it went.

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  7. They look great Brian. The effect of the wash has really worked well!

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    1. Thanks Rodger! I am very impressed with the current crop of washes available now - they are improving my figures no end!

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