Sunday, November 15, 2009

Warlord ECW Artillery and Emplacement

I've been working on a Warlord 28 (?) ECW Saker box set lately. Here's how it went together and a little bit on how I put artillery pieces on my game table.

I painted the figures and gun model separately. The gun was made of resin and went together pretty well. No major mold issues were found on the model. The crew was flashy but no more than Old Glory. There were some weird pointy bits of flash that needed to be cut off. If they weren't, they'd tear up my Scharff paintbrushes.
I built the wood field works pieces from balsa. It went together easily and takes paint well. The gabions were a mix of Dixon and a resin set I picked up from a friend of mine. I liked the variance in "plashing". It made the emplacement different from the others in my ECW collection. I base coated the gabions with an old shade of Polly-S Ogre Dark Brown. I use this color for most undercoats requiring a deep brown with a flat hue. I always prime my figures white. I use Rustoleum Flat White primer. I don't mess around with anything else.

I use Minwax Polyshade Urethane when I want to add depth and seal pieces for the war game table. Some people use a "dip method". I find that to be tedious and messy.
My method is a little bit cleaner. I use a flat brush and paint a light coat on the pieces I want to stain. It really works well using this method. I clean my brushes with Turpenoid Odorless Turpentine. It definitely can be used indoors without spousal dissent.

My groundwork process has been adapted from Clarence Harrison (Quindia Studios). My complete ECW collection is done in this style. It's simple, easy to do and looks good on the table. I first paint the base with Vallejo Beasty Brown. I also paint the bases of the figures. I use hot glue to put the figures on the base. It works and works well. I use a thinned down Elmer's Glue (50-50 mix) to hold the ballast on the base. I use a mix of medium brown and fine brown ballast by Woodland Scenics. Let the ballast dry and then glue down some medium and fine rocks from Woodland Scenics. I also put a coat of Flat Finish on the base and figures after doing some dry brushing on the wood pieces. I used Vallejo Cobra Brown highlighted with Vallejo Iraqi Sand on the edges to bring out the highlights.

I added ballast to the gabions as well to keep some consistency for the emplacement. The Warlord figures are well animated and really do make the diorama work. I'm sure someone will pick nits on the colors but I wasn't there so I'll use the ole' artiste's eye!

Completing the model was pretty fun. My standard basing highlights are:
Dry brush Vallejo Iraqi Sand over the dark brown ballast. Painting the base before putting the ballast down tends to help with any areas that didn't work with the thinned down Elmer's glue.
I use an additional thinned down Elmer's glue solution to put down static grass in random areas. I know that the emplacements were probably similar to the trenches of WW1 in terms of mud, mess and torn up ground. I use the static grass to break up the colors of the emplacement. The rocks are painted Vallejo Basalt Grey. They are highlighted with Vallejo's Light Grey and then highlighted yet again with a light touch of Liquitex Medium white. Don't ask me why I use white but it just looks good to me and draws the eye to the emplacement.

Here's a pic of the completed Warlord Saker box set. It's expensive in comparison to Old Glory but the figures and project turned out well. It was fun to do....Recommended for those that putting an ECW collection together


  1. Very impressive, indeed! Thanks for the inspiration...

  2. Excellent looking set and very effective groundwork. It makes a nice change to see an artillery piece with a different scenic setting rather than just on bare ground.


  3. Fantastic! I'm just making the switch from G.W. fantasy miniatures to historicals, mainly enticed by Warlord's E.C.W. range (getting some from Xmas).
    Your stand for this cannon really puts the minis in their best possible light! Nice work!