Progress on stuff remains slow but steady and I’ve now got the two chatas and their crews finished that featured in a WIP post a couple of weeks ago.
The plan was to leave them unpainted and continue building other scenery items for the Season of Scenery challenge, but plans change! I’d started work on a large earthwork/fort to be used with my Paraguayan War armies, but after getting the basic shape built I decided it was too big and maybe not what I really wanted. I’d spent a couple of sessions on it, so putting it to one side, or even giving up on it completely, has not cost me much in the way of time. Sometimes you have to make mistakes to know what you do and don’t like!
Anyway, rather than just bash on regardless, I decided to get the chatas and their crews painted. As I expected, the crews took more effort than the boats themselves! The chatas took about four sessions to paint – prime in dark earth, second coat of dark earth, shade/line in one chata and then shade/line in the second one and drybrush a highlight on both. I don’t normally drybrush boats, but since these were a uniform mid brown overall I decided to give them a faint drybrush to pick out some of the edge detail.
The crews were relatively easy to paint. Few details are available on Paraguayan navy uniforms for the period, contemporary writers describing them as being the same as army uniforms. This suited me, as I wanted the gun crews to be able to double as artillerymen to be used in heavy gun emplacements ashore (which is why their smaller bases are drybrushed to match the colours I use for earth emplacements). I’m really pleased with how these have come out, more so at getting them finished relatively quickly and it saves Dave Stone having to send me an e-mail to tell me to get a move on with them!
I also thought I’d try and go for a quick win with another scenery item for the challenge, a Chinese pagoda (and for a bit more on pagodas that might not be pagodas, take a look here).
I’ve wanted one of these for ages! The basic item I used was a plastic aquarium ornament that I bought either from Amazon or eBay and the picture above shows it as it came out of its packing. It’s on the small side, but the doorways are about the right size for 20mm figures. All I did to it was remove the plastic plant, fill in the holes left in doing so and then paint the roofs in a dark grey.
I drybrushed the roofs in mid-grey, light grey and then a very pale grey and that was it!
To make it easier to store I decided against adding a base and I can always make a separate one at some point in the future if I want to. The pictures show it with some 20mm Chinese Tigermen tackling a couple of sailors from a French landing party. The gaming mat, which is the same as the one in the pictures of the chatas (because I couldn’t be bothered to get a different mat out), is a Deep Cut Studios island mat and I really like it, although it’s maybe a bit too blue for the Paraguay and Parana rivers in South America!