I needed some figures for an upcoming South Pacific diorama I’m building and cast around online for some 1/72 US Infantry to accompany the vehicles.
A couple of sets caught my eye. The first is from Caesar Miniatures and the one I used the bulk of the figures from (not that there’s anything wrong with the Pegasus figures – they just didn’t fit the scene).
They come separated and contained in a little baggy. All apart from a few of the kneeling figures have bases that can be easily removed with a sprue cutter and xacto.
The Pegasus D-D Rangers are much more dynamically posed (some mid explosion!) as they are sculpted with a beach assault scenario in mind. As a result, I only used a couple of figures from this set. I’ll definitely use them on a D-Day dio though!
The detail level on both is great for 1/72 with the edge just going to the Pegasus figures. They do take a little more tidying up than the Caesar figures though.
Both sets were mercifully free of too many blemishes though apart from one or two places. There’s plenty of figures (and cheap – I think about £7 a piece) in each so you can be choosy.
I’ve tried removing mould lines and flash from 1/72 figures with an Xacto blade in the past. I was never happy with the results. I’d carve off detail or flatted areas accidentally. Then I read an old (1970’s?) article where the author used a soldering iron to melt the mould lines and blemishes.
It sounds crazy but I had plenty of figures to play with so I gave it a go. It worked best for me if I hovered the tip over the figure – never touching. I gently melted away the seam lines or at least softened them to be less noticable. Be careful as it’s easy to melt detail accidentally too.
After I’d cleaned them up I mounted them on cocktail sticks ready for painting.
I gave the whole lot an undercoat of Poundland grey primer.
And then a base coat of black. I gave the skin a base coat of Vallejo dark flesh too.
Then… a bunch of photo’s went missing (I blame the dog. She’s been looking shifty ever since). But I flat coated the figures using Tamiya Olive green for the jackets and trousers and Khaki for the belts and bags. The guns were painted with a dark then light wood tone from the Life Color Weathered Wood set and the guns were given a drybrush of Tamiya Gun Metal.
Once that had dried, I gave them coat of UMP dark dirt. Note: UMP should *always* be put down on a good gloss coat on your AFV etc! I wanted my soldiers dirty and was willing to experiment.
This really brings out the detail. I leave them to dry standing upright so the pigments sink into shadows and pool in the expected places.
Once it’s dry I gave it a matt varnish to seal and then go back over raised surfaces with the base colours to bring back a layer of highlight.
I pick out the cheeks, foreheads and chins with a lighter flesh tone and they’re done.
(I only noticed the blemish on the face after I took this photo. I went back and cleaned it up)
1/72 Half track for scale:
And a sneak peak of the upcoming South Pacific diorama…
Check out the build log for the US WW2 Halftrack and Amphibious Vehicle.