Wednesday, June 17, 2020

In war (-gaming) your soldiers needs protective cover!

Tired of army men loosing their paint?


Perhaps you have experienced that your Army men  starts to loose their paint after a while, and ruins your paintjob? Especially if they're regulary handled and if you use them for wargaming. That happened to me. After a just a few gaming sessions my painted plastic soldiers earlier mentioned in this blog, was starting to take their toll and the paint started to flaking (!). It was actually worse on the soldiers from the 'Toy Story'-collection as their plastic seemed softer and 'oilier' than their Matchbox-clones Brothers in Arms (which had harder plastic and took primer and paint better).

As I have a 'budget-approach' to wargaming, I painted them with cheap acrylic paint  from the craft store. This paint works fine with my model railroading, but was it also usable for miniatures which shall withstand some handling during gaming? I was not sure, so therefore I initially followed 'The book' here and washed them, primed them (twice as the first coat was with plastic-primer), painted them and sealed them flat clear varnish. Despite of this the paint was still coming off shortly after some handling:
This one was the most heavily attacked. It does not look good!!

The solution

So, how could I provide some First Aid quickly and save my plastic army men? I found a possible solution with another product from the craft store. In model railroading I've been using (Matte) Mod Podge for scenic glue and sealant. This dries without the slight shine often found on PVA-glues, so I decided to give the Matte Mod Podge a try as a varnish for my miniatures. If you want flat figures, it's important that you go for the Matte Mod Podge and not the 'glossy' or semi-shine versions:
Still wet of a cover of Matte Mod Podge (yes, it IS Mod Podge!!) it still doesen't look too good...

First I tried a thin layer of Matte Mod Podge as a varnish, and found out it turned out pretty flat and transparent and gave a resistant and flexible surface. It still had a slight shine to it.

I wanted to try to make the surface even more durable and resistant and tried a thicker coat of Mod Podge. After it dried, the figure was still pretty flat but with a slight more shine to it. The coated surface felt very durable yet still completely transparent and flexible:
This is how (flat) it looks after it's dried after a heavily coat og Mod Podge.
Note that I modified his rifle as well to give it a more generic look of assault rifle like the G3 or from the FN-family. This way they looks even more different that their 'foes' based on the same figures.

Despite the slight shine, the clear cote from Matte Mod Podge is still very flat and your figures are fine if you leave them like this. I wanted a even more 'dull' and 'dead flat' look to them, so I finished them off with a thin overspray of 'Army Painter' "Anti-Shine":
With a thin coat of Armypainter "Anti-Shine" added


I'm sure the whole problem with flaking paint can be avoided if you use 'right' primer and  'right' paint or using metal or hard plastic figures. Perhaps Enamels are better suited on stubborn plastic than (cheap) acrylics. I'm also sure there are a lot of other ways to fix it if you run into problems with paint coming off your (plastic) figures. I found my solution and fixed it with a liberate cote of Mod Podge, and it seems to work just fine!
A benefit is that you can buy Mod Podge in craft shops, and it's cheap. Another benefit is that if "glossy figures" is your thing, you can get Gloss Mod Podge as well. I have not tried the glossy version and don't know if it acts differently than the Matte.

For future painting-projects, and especially for figures made of soft plastic, I'm going to coat them with Matte Mod Podge directly. If I still might find them to shiny I'll just give them an additional coat of something very flat, like the Army Painter "Anti-Shine".

Once upon a dice in the west

Budget tabletop gaming

As previously mentioned in this blog, I've found bags of cowboys and indians clones in the store, so cheap that not buying them was actually not an option. I wanted to use them for some kind of tabletop gaming, but for figures this cheap I did'nt want to spend a lot of money on buying rules. -Which often are complicated and take a lot of time to read anyway. I wanted some fast, very simple, skirmish, playable and fun rules which captured the cinematic feeling of western-movies and didn't demand more much more than a tapemeasure and some d6' besides the miniatures.

On 'Whitewash City' I found some links to a lot of both cheap and free Wild West rules, but many rules were no longer available. I ended up with creating a homebrew I named 'Once upon a dice in the west'. Please have a look at them and feel free try them out. Feedbacks  are appreciated.





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