A Bit Of Detail!

Following close on the heels of my last post I thought I’d try and add in a couple of close-up pictures of my Ming Chinese rocket launcher troops. The shine from the gloss varnish makes the details less clear but most of them are visible.

As I mentioned in my last post the rocket launcher above (and the crew) were based on a colour plate in the Osprey Chinese Medieval Armies book. The launcher is scratchbuilt from card with the exception of the white metal single wheel (not visible – it’s a wheelbarrow) and the folded up leather apron on the front to protect the crew from arrows while re-loading (it’s rolled up tissue paper tied with thread).

The black detail and stylised animals are all hand painted and as close as I could get to the designs in the colour plate in the book. The figures below are my separate rocketeer unit, with the rocket bundles also based on a plate in the same book.

With the exception of the figure second from the left, the rocket bundles and shields are scratchbuilt and the designs based on illustrations in the book. The figure second from the left is a Kennington Miniatures Ming Rocketeer – this figure became available after I’d painted the others but I added one to the unit anyway. Whereas his multiple rockets are just shown as scribed detail on the front end of the launcher, in my scratchbuilt launchers I filled them with lengths of stretched plastic sprue to represent the rockets!

These figures aren’t bad considering how long ago they were painted, although I’d start the flesh tone with a much darker shade colour these days. But those ancient bits of lichen on the bases are no doubt going to get replaced at some point!


  1. Wonderful detail John, and the fact that you made a lot of it makes it all the more unique. I personally think the skintone is pretty accurate for Chinese, but these days as you say you’d go darker to start for a shade layer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Dave! πŸ™‚ I actually remember enjoying making the rocket launchers, knowing it would give me something different. Apart from the flesh though I wouldn’t paint anything differently really, although I’d a bit of shading to all the flags.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The flesh tones look fine to me – as with Europeans, there are variations all over the place in skin tones – not to mention how much sun you’ve been in! More important, I think is this as the latest (for us anyway) example of your insanely impressive scratchbuilding skills!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Azazel! πŸ™‚ I can remember the hardest part about making the bigger rocket launcher was getting its size about right for 25mm figures. The model itself is just boxes and straight edges so relatively simple. The light, individual launchers proved fiddly and I was lucky finding the right figure to hold them (same as the medium infantry spearmen I already had).

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Very nicely done for there day John but your painting has moved on unsurprisingly with the quality of paints etc now available. Impressive scratch building too. Always nice to see older work and contrats it with how we have progressed in the hobby. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Dave! πŸ™‚ I like a lot of my older stuff and it came from a time when you had to scratchbuild or do without. These days 3D printing is proving capable of delivering even the most esoteric of models and I’m quite happy to buy them, especially since I don’t spend as much time modelling as I used to.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Very impressive freehand on the rocket, John! It looks really great. I agree with you that a little bit more of a wash on the faces would probably improve them further but they look good as is! This army might be my favorite of yours that I’ve seen which I guess proves that some paintjobs age very well πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

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