Engineer-Sapper Battalion: Collecting & Painting

Engineer-Sapper Battalion: Collecting & Painting

Battalion box set (SBX13) contains two companies with two platoons each. Thatís 15 bases of infantry per company! You also get the Battalion commander, second in command (2iC) and Battalion commissar as well as eight Faustnika teams. Finally you get two pioneer supply trucks, once for each company. That is a total of 134 figures and 2 trucks.


This can be a pretty daunting project to start on. Before I start putting base coats on I like to organize the models so that all like-poses are together. I then get an idea of what poses donít have certain things on them, like tools or much gunstock showing. Next, I like to begin my base coats with the color I can paint the fastest. For me that is the Green for the helmets and assorted accessories. You can get paint on every model pretty quick. Next I base coat the uniforms and soft cover caps. Then itís on to the accessories so I look to the belts, straps, wood guns stocks and shovel handles, wire cutters, and map bags. Once everything has been base coated I highlight each color. Finally I add gunmetal to the metal tools and weapons.


Once the base coats are done I brush a very thin, watered down black ink wash on everything paying close attention to getting the ink all over the uniforms and dulling the metal on the weapons. After that dries I begin to highlight. I do the uniforms first, followed by the helmets, belts, and other items. Once the highlights are done I start putting the amoeba patterns on the uniforms.


Now that the individual models are painted I organize them onto the bases so that I donít replicate a pose on the same base and so that I donít have the same 4 poses on more than one base. I played with the faustnikas to a Charlieís Angels pose on one and an Art Adams comic art inspired pose on another. Once I have them organized the way they are going on the bases I glue them to the base.

white bases

The next step is to fill in the gaps and level the ground on the bases with the figuresí raised bases. I use DAP Crack Shot Spackling Paste from a local hardware store for that. In the past I have used wooden stir sticks I picked up from Starbucks. I still use those to smooth out the paste but this time I tried something new. We get our kidsí medicine form Target pharmacy and they always provide us with these large plastic syringe dispensers to get the medicine down the toddlerís throat. If you mix in enough water to thin the paste, it dispenses just fine from the syringe. This is great for getting the paste in the tight spots between the models.

More white bases

I let the paste dry until the next day and then use an X-acto knife to trim down the extra and smooth out the ground. Now I want to do something to make the Sappers look different from regular infantry. I decided that cut barbed wire would look the best. I ordered some Army Painter razor wire in the proper scale from my local hobby store, Area 51. I then painted round tooth picks dark brown. I cut the pointed tips off each end and cut the rest roughly into thirds. I then wrapped the wire around the sticks, pulled it tight and added a drop of super glue to hold them together. After the super glue dries I use another tooth pick to wind the wire into shapes that look as if it was cut and dangled off the fence post. The other end of the post is glued to the base using wood glue, or Woodland Scenics hobby glue.


Once the barbed wire glue dries I paint the bases. My paint color of choice for my Soviets is the Games Workshop color Graveyard Earth. Itís dark enough that I donít need multiple coats but has the right light tint to look like earth. Next I build up the ground cover in stages. I start with the rocks/sand which is a mixture of Woodland Scenics rocks as well as a few large rocks we collected from our favorite park. I then add some tufts from Silflorís Mini Nature line. I used Prairie Tufts Short-Late Summer (717-23), Prairie Tufts Short- Autumn (717-24), and XL Tufts 6mm California Gold (727-35). Finally I have a grass mixture I have made from Woodland Scenics Light Green (FL634) and Harvest Gold (FL632). After everything dries they are ready for spray coat of matt finish to protect them. They are now ready to hit the game table.

Now that we've painted our force, read how we use it on the game table here.

Or you can post your opinions about the force on the Flames of War Message Board or on the Miniatures Page.