PacFed Space Fleet – Prototype

I finally got around to painting a prototype vessel of the PacFed Space Fleet. The models come from Brigade Models in the UK and are, I must admit, really neat. Unlike the Future War Commander PacFed that I painted earlier this year I wanted these to look a little more “spacey”. I therefore thought I’d go for a metallic look. Below are the painting steps I took.

The spaceship undercoated in white

The first step was undercoating. In this case I hand undercoated using Citadel Foundation Colours Skull White. As my plan is to paint light colours I find the white undercoat with colour washes works best.

When I paint the full force (there is about 30 or 40 vessels altogether in the fleet) I’ll spray undercoat all the vessels at one time.

Basecoated in Ivanden Darksun

The spaceship was then covered in a basecoat of Ivanden Darksun. This foundation colour is very useful, especially when painting yellows and similar light colours.

The original PacFed forces were all covered in this basecoat as well.

After this basecoat, and following the suggestion of the guys at the Games Workshop Bunker in Clarence Street in Sydney, I mixed some colours. The first mix was 2 parts Shining Gold to 1 part Calthan Brown. This was then applied to the model. The next colour mix was 1 part Mithril Silver to 1 part Knarloc Green. The third mix was 1 part Dwarf Bronze to 1 part Mechrite Red.

Gold, Green and Red adde

The image to the left shows the paint scheme to this point.

The next steps were to mix a wash. The wash was 1 part Devlan Mud to 1 part Badab Black. The model was then washed in that.

The next colour was then added. This was Burnished Gold. It was applied over the gold areas.

A final wash of Sepia Gryphonne was then applied to the whole mode and the black stand was touched up to take care of paint splashes.

The result of this is shown below.

The Finished Model

I’m not 100% satisfied with this yet – I think I want the piping more red and the green could be, well, maybe greener but overall the gold is growing on me.

The Next PacFed

Way back last year I painted some figures for Future War Commander – PacFed Forces. I’ve played a few games with them. Recently I decided to expand the forces to include spaceships. Brigade Models were holding their annual summer sale and had recently released a PacFed space force for Starmada or Full Thrust rules. This meant the purchase of a lot of ships for not such a great price.

The problem I have been wrestling with concerns the colours to paint them. I wanted to continue the Aussie Cricket Team colours started with the Future War Commander vessels – basically, green and gold (all right, yellow). But I kept thinking “spaceships, there should be something more”. Metals came to mind along with ceramics. Then it occurred to me, “gold”!

“Eureka” I thought.

I wasn’t sure how to handle the gold though so at lunch time today I took myself off to the Games Workshop Bunker in Clarence Street to have a chat with the friendly staff and a look at the Shining and Burnished Gold colours available in their paint range.

We spoke and then they suggested a variation which looks like it might just be the business for the ships – leastwise for the gold part. Mix the gold with some brown and use that. The suggested method was:

  1. Undercoat (black or white – still undecided – will experiment with both to see the final finish)
  2. Mix 2 parts Shining Gold with 1 part Calthan Brown as the basic gold colour
  3. Wash with a 1:1 mix of Badab Black and Devlan Mud
  4. Highlight with Burnished Gold
  5. Final wash with Gryphonne Sepia Wash

OK, so the reason I am writing this post is to make sure I don’t forget the alchemy.

For the green there were a couple of suggestions. One was to paint the green areas with Mithril Silver and keep applying successive washes of Thraka Green Wash until the whole green area took on a green hue.

A second idea was to mix 2 parts Mithril Silver with 1 part Goblin (or Snot) Green and see how that looks. A green wash may still be necessary after that and use one of the lighter greens for a highlight. Lots of good ideas to try.

I will, of course, post a blow-by-blow description of how the painting went when I try it. And thanks to the GW staff in Sydney – good ideas (and I will be back when I do the next batch of Victorian Science Fiction to look at the bronze/green mix).

Future War Commander – PacFed Forces

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I finished painting these a couple of weeks ago and took them to Canberra a week ago where they lost their first game (see PacFed vs SAC). Today I spent some time photographing them a little better that I have done in the past and have put them into a slide show.

The models are all from Brigade Models and are painted with the colours inspired by the Australian Twenty-20 team. I really enjoyed painting these and are very happy with the way they look. Have a look at them.

PacFed vs SAC

P2212819 The battle took place last Sunday morning. Figures were from Brigade Models, rules were the Future War Commander Rules from Specialist Military Publishing, the forces of goodness and niceness, the Pacific Federation (PacFed) under the command of yours truly and the forces of ev-vil and not-niceness, the South African Confederation (SAC) under the ev-vil grand master of badness, Doug.

My forces, PacFed, had a slight numerical superiority over SAC. My forces were also faster, although a little lighter. I tried to pin the SAC in the centre and move around his left flank. Alas, it was to no avail as the heavy SAC AFVs steadily took a toll on the PacFed armour.

P2212821 Even simple tasks seemed too much for PacFed as the second picture shows. Here an Ocelot light grav-tank of the PacFed attempts to overrun a reconnaissance unit of the SAC … unsuccessfully as it turned out.

Oh well, back to the military college for some more training before taking on SAC again in three weeks time or so.These vehicles to the left here not so large, the yellow PacFed vehicle is about 25mm long. The camouflaged SAC reconnaissance vehicle smaller, about 20mm long.

A Mystery of Physics

P2192812 The photo to the left is the PacFed Science Fiction army I had painted to use with the Future War Commander Wargame rules. I added magnetic strips to the bases of the figures and cut some galvanised iron sheet which I glued to the bottom of the box allowing the figures to stick to the bottom of the box and keep them protected whilst being transported.

Of course, when I packed the box, everything fitted perfectly, so perfectly in fact, that there was just not quite enough space for one base.

P2212822 I went to Canberra, I played a game and took most of the figures out of the box. Just before leaving to return to Sydney I repacked the box. Of course, now I could not remember how I packed it the first time. This time, however, I ended up with space in the box after packing everything. Initially I thought I had forgotten to pack something so spent about 15 minutes trying to see what was missing. Nothing was. Strangely, by packing another way, I had more space.

I think I’ll take an aspirin and have a good lie down now 😕

Thomo’s Painting Queue

P2112806 All the 6mm Science Fiction figures of the army of goodness and rightness, the PacFed, are now painted, based, flocked and varnished. They’re ready for the wargame this weekend against Doug’s ev-vil SAC forces. The photo left is some of them in varying states of being painted. I’ll photograph them all next week and add those photos to one of my albums somewhere.

Next on the painting queue is more 1/6000th scale ships. This time it is the Italian Navy of World War 1 for John in the US. I hope to get those knocked over fairly quickly as I also have some 1/300th (6mm) World War 2 Italian ground forces to paint, then more 1/6000th ships.

Mind you, I do think that the final versions of the PacFed look good – here’s a base of infantry just as a teaser for the full photographs next week. These are about one and a half to two times life size – the actual figures stand at 6mm in height.


Thomo’s Painting Queue

P2112806 It’s just got longer. I think I mentioned before that I occasionally paint for other wargamers and usually only those things that I enjoy painting, like ships. Recently as well I have taken to the Blitzkrieg, Cold War and Future War Commander wargame rules from Specialist Military Publishing Ltd with some relish.

You may also recall me mentioning my Modern (well, 1980 anyway) Danish Wargame Army in 6mm for Cold War Commander (CWC) before. That’s almost complete now – I have another 12 bases of those to do.

On the painting table at the moment (and pictured throughout this blog post) is the Future War Commander (FWC) army that I’m building to do battle with the evil minions of Doug in Canberra! These are the PacFed (Pacific Federation) forces supplied from Brigade Models in the UK. These represent the forces of good and niceness from Australia and the Pacific sometime in the future. Facing them will be the evil SAC (South African Confederation) forces of Doug’s.

P2112807 The painting of PacFed is going well. There are 70 bases in this force which total to about 6,000 points in FWC game terms.

The two pictures above show the forces as they are and their state of painting at the moment. So, how does this affect the paint queue – obviously these are being painted?

When these are finished (which I hope will be before the weekend after next) I have the following to do:

  1. World War 1 Italian Fleet in 1/6000th scale for John in the US. Research for this is almost complete as some of these vessels were in a dazzle camouflage scheme whilst others in a simpler plain grey
  2. Lee from Taiwan’s World War 1 British and German fleets – research underway for them as well to see what German funnel colours were for Jutland (yes, I forgot) and whether any of the British ships were camouflaged
  3. My World War 2 Early Italian (1940 ish) Army for Blitzkrieg Commander (BKC) in 6mm. My target for these is by the third week of March
  4. Lee’s Vikings in 15mm. Lee sent me just over 300 Vikings to paint as well – the figures are from Two Dragons Miniatures and are in the Roman Britain jigsaw puzzle box in the photo above. I haven’t painted 15mm commercially before so this will be a kind of test case – although I can’t see myself taking many 15mm figure commissions in the future.


Finally, to get an idea of how the the PacFed will look when the painting and basing is finished, to the left as a fully complete element.

The colours for the Pacfed came from the Australian Cricket Team’s old One Day uniform which I thought gave a nice, futuristic science fiction appearance and appeal to the army. When it is fully painted I’ll photograph the entire army in one shot.

Now, where did I put the brushes?

Universe’s Oldest Galaxies

Yesterday the Sydney Morning Herald ran a piece from Bloomberg called “Hubble ‘Time Machine’ sees universe’s oldest galaxies” the gist of which was that the Hubble had seen these galaxies, the light of which had taken about 13 billion years to reach us. Now they estimated that this was around 600 to 900 million years after the Big Bang which kind of set everything in motion.

As I understand, the speed of light is an absolute in Universal terms. By my reckoning then, that means that these galaxies must have been around 900 million light years away from where the Big Bang actually occurred. That is the maximum distance, they may have been closer.

Now, this is where the whole thing screws up in my head. If they are 900 million light years away from the Big Bang, and it took 13 billion light years for the light from them to get to us, then the closest we can be to where the Big Bang occurred would be, oh, 12.1 billion light years.

This is where I have a problem. This means that assuming there was a Big Bang, we missed out on it as we were already too far away from it to be affected by it.

Me ‘ead ‘urts!

Peshawar – The French – Part 3

French Aeronefs and Aerostat

P4262058 France still maintains a large and diverse empire and because of that she needs to maintain a large fleet of R-Matter Aeronef as well as a fleet of Aerostat bombers. The Empire is spread over a large distance, encompassing territory in Africa, the Americas and the Far East. The Service Aéronautique, as the traditionalists refer to it avoiding the more commonly used term in the popular press of the Armée de l’Aeronef, needs to maintain a large fleet of cruising type vessels to keep the peace in the far flung reaches of the French empire as well as to provide vessels large enough to withstand not only the deprivations of likely foes but also, and perhaps more importantly, be big enough to impress the natives.

To that end, the Armée de l’Aeronef tends to prefer lighter armoured craft than their other European opponents, lighter craft that rely on speed rather than armour to win the day. These craft, however, carry effective armaments and are capable of meeting the best vessels of the other European powers on an equal footing. The French are also at the forefront of the development of fixed wing craft as part of their Service Aéronautique force. As a result, they maintain several squadrons of these craft. They have also developed the means to carry these aircraft some distance, using converted Aerostat for that purpose.

These Aeronef are generally arranged into flotillas on an ad hoc basis, depending on the tasks that need to be undertaken. Generally a flotilla will contain from two to six vessels and several flotillas may be combined into a battle group to meet specific threats or operational needs. Fixed wing aerocraft are also organised into squadrons and assigned to the flotillas as needed.


That eminent publisher and commentator on matters military in Peshawar, Wessex, notes that

Blimps, Dirigibles, or similarly Aerostat are monstrous airships kept aloft by huge gas-filled bags, frequently encased in a solid structure. Neither fast nor manoeuvrable, these awesome craft can carry a payload that brings riches in peace time, or a destructive cargo of death in war… Most major powers use their Aerostat as ground attack bombers, though some powers (such as the United States and Germany) with limited R-Matter resources are forced to use Aerostat in other capacities.

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Vive la France et vive le Roi!

Peshawar – The French – Part 2

Developmental French Forces – Land Ironclads

Cuirassiers_Mecanisee_org The conventional forces of the Ancien Régime have been supplemented by the addition of Land Ironclads. The French began experimenting with and developing Land Ironclads around the same time that the British did, although arguably the French vehicles have more style and just look prettier. A decision was made initially that the Land Ironclads and contraptions would form a wing of the French Navy, in the same way the French Aeronefs and Aerostats as well as Aquanefs formed a part of the la Royale; de la Marine Nationale Français, or la Royale for short. However, practice in the field suggested that the Land Ironclads were better utilised as a part of the Armée de Terre, initially treated as Arme Blindée Cavalerie, then later as the Corps Mécanisée consisting of the Régiments de Cuirassiers Mécanisée and Régiments de Hussards Mécanisée along with the Corps Medical Offensif.

Aeronefs and Aerostats were, of courses, separated to form the Service Aéronautique whilst the Aquanefs are now an integral part of la Royale. They will be discussed separately later.

The French developed their Blockhaus Roulants and contraptions as a result of their experiences against the Prussians in particular, Previous to that engagement the French had built slow, heavily armoured Blockhaus Roulants but by the time these had reached the battlefield, the battlefield had moved elsewhere. These powerful weapons of France then never actually got to fire a shot in anger during the entire war except for the now famous incident where the commander of one near Sedan mistook a flock of pigeons for a heinous Prussian biological weapon and opened fire on that flock, setting back communications with the frontlines a decade, although ensuring that the battalion ate well that night.

Hussards_Mecanisee_org The French rethought the whole concept of their non-conventional forces doctrine and decided that it was better to be light and present at the battle than well protected and elsewhere – from the point of view of the other troops that is. As a result of this thinking more emphasis was put on developing fast machines with less armour as well as exploring La Guerre Miasmatique, the French’s own use of chemical, biological and bacteriological elements on the battlefield – although mercifully with regards to pigeons the emphasis was purely on the carriage of messages. The French now led the world in developing chemical weapons.

It was noted by the eminent commentator on matters military in Peshawar, Wessex ((principally the writers M Hartley, S Blease, P O’Grady and D. Crook)), that “French ironclads were grouped together in Régiments de Cuirassiers Mécanisée, four ironclads per company, four companies to a two battalion regiment. Contraptions were similarly organised with four sections per company into Régiments de Hussards Mécanisée, except Corps Medical Offensif contraptions which were allocated to the frontline as required.” Note that each section of contraptions could contain a variable number of contraptions – sometimes two or three but usually four contraptions being present.

Within the terms of Peshawar, this means that basically the Land Ironclads are based one to a base whilst the contraptions are based two or more to a base.

Next Article

The next instalment in Peshawar will look at the French Service Aéronautique Forces – Aeronefs and Aerostats.

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Vive la France et vive le Roi!