Having got two jeeps finished for my Netherlands East Indies (KNIL) forces, I thought I should maybe get some figures painted to go with them! Fortunately I already had some extra KNIL infantry cleaned up, primed and based, so that cut the work down a bit.
In the past I’ve used a black wash on my KNIL figures but I’ve finally come to the conclusion that the shallow detail on a lot of 20mm figures doesn’t lend them to shading particularly well with washes (well, there is also the fact that I’m incompetent, but I’m playing that down). Consequently I reverted to my usual painting method of a dark shade coat followed by a lighter layer. The figures are a mixture of SHQ and Early War Miniatures. The SHQ figures are actually Dutch metropolitan army troops (i.e. stationed in the Netherlands itself) and slightly inaccurate as far as representing KNIL troops go, but I thought I’d used them anyway (they wear tunics with standing collars, whereas KNIL troops wore stand-and-fall collars and the light machine gun is a Lewis gun when it should be a Madsen). The EWM figures correctly represent KNIL troops.
I painted six infantry figures to represent dismounted jeep crews – the jeeps were used by KNIL cavalry squadrons in conjunction with M3 scout cars and Alvis Straussler armoured cars. In addition to the jeep crews I also painted a two-figure artillery observation team and they can be seen on the right of the picture above. The jeeps can carry four men, but I had two previously painted figures to make up the numbers so I haven’t included them here.
While I was on with the KNIL figures I also painted a two-man Japanese HQ unit (shown above and below).
As with the cyclists I painted recently (and the Dutch) I resorted back to a single-shade-and-layer painting method. The officer is a plastic Caesar Miniatures figure and the bugler is one of the venerable Airfix Japanese figures. I can use these as either a higher level Japanese HQ or as a command element for a recce battalion fielded alongside my standard infantry battalion.
And I’m not the only one in the house that’s been busy! My wife’s discovered “soft pots” and the first one she’s made is shown below (it’s the coloured plant pot at the bottom centre of the picture)!
From what I’m led to believe, these are made by filling a stocking with compost, slapping a plant in it, wrapping coloured stuff round it and then turning the stocking back on itself and tying it off (I’ve maybe simplified that a bit)! I’m way too clumsy to make this work, but I reckon she’s done a pretty neat job with this! Now if she could just scale them down a bit I could maybe get her to make me some jungle to go with my KNIL and Japanese forces!