Nick: Painting up HLBS 40mm Moderns. | Print |  E-mail
Written by Don MacVittie   
Monday, 26 November 2007

Regulars on the site will remember that in early summer my nephew was hit by an IED, and though there was a lot of blood, it turned out that he had a very minor wound�a piece of shrapnel in his chin.

The figure, in the case. The case distorts images.

Because he was barely touched by the device, his platoon started calling him "Nick." Nearly every member of my family for several generation has served in the military (mostly U.S.), and he's the first Purple Heart recipient. I decided to build him a figure to commemorate his close call.

I shopped around for larger-scale figures and decided that I would run with either the very large Dragon miniatures or a 40mm Honourable Lead Boiler Suit Company (HLBS) figure. Because I needed only a single figure, either would work just fine. After looking closely at the available Dragon offerings at a local modeling store, I opted for the HLBS Modern range, specifically set US1 � Infantry.

The other three figures in the set.

These are some beautiful figures, in realistic poses. They're internally consistent�no ape arms or ham fists on these guys�and the detail is pretty astounding.

I don't generally do modern wargaming or modeling, so I had to figure out how to paint up the new pixilated camouflage uniforms. After trying several different patterns on card stock, I settled on using watered paints to simulate the effect of pixilated camo at the scale in question. Whatever you choose will be an approximation, and this was the best of the options I tried. For colors, I followed the modern painting guide that Zach Ward has provided us for publication � watch for it, coming soon.

Nick, without the glass casing.

The figures come with separate arms that go across the body, nice for painting detail on the torso before attaching them. The molds are clean, and there wasn't much that had to be filed down. These figures stand on their own once detached parts are assembled, and with very little help before that. Nick required a bit of touchup where his arms attach, but that's relatively common in multipart models. A little filing and a little green stuff resolved these issues quickly.

This figure couldn't be just the figure, it was a gift to a man for serving his country. So I picked up some brick styrene for roadway and painted that up, then used sand, plaster and card stock to make a wall for him to stand in front of.

An elevated view.

The final product is nice enough, with the only non-standard bit of equipment being the name "Nick" painted across the back of his helmet�a conceit that I'm certain the U.S. Army will forgive me for, even if the current policy is "never break camo."

I plan to use these figures and a set of four rangers I picked up in the process to make the core of a modern force, after I hand Nick over to my nephew and thank him for his service�he came home at the end of last month.

Side view with the case on.

HLBS figures are expensive in the United States�over $2.00 each�but well worth the cost. We'll be happy to continue adding to the figures we have left, and look forward to building a force. Now we just need to find Afghani or Iraqi irregulars to place against them, or find someone locally who has them in the right scale.

If you get the chance to pick some of these figures up, don't think twice about it, just buy them. You'll be glad you did.

Five of five stars

(and we have never given that score)

Addendum: Over Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to see my nephew and give him "Nick". He was pleased, and informed me that he loved his .50 cal... So since I dropped Nick while we were playing with him, and chipped the paint on the barrel, I think I'll go looking for a HMMWV with a gunner... Watch for another installment.

Manufacturer: Honourable Lead Boiler Suit Company
Model Number: US01
US Sourcing: RLBPS
US Pricing: $18.00 for four figures

UK Sourcing: HLBSC direct
UK Pricing: �6.00 for four figures

Discuss this article on the forums: Here
All Rights Reserved ©web hosting servicesHotel