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Monday, December 1, 2014

Bolt Action - Painting Hungarian Infantry

Hey Bolt Action fans, Bryan here with a guide to modelling and painting some Hungarian infantry. To give any potential Hungarian players a decent guide to modelling and painting them, I'll be covering their different units in a series of articles, first up is the basic building block of your force: Regular Infantry! Here is how to convert them using German miniatures and a step by step painting guide.

The Hungarian uniform reference I used to convert over the German miniatures

How to make Hungarians from Germans

With the complete absence of any miniature ranges available in 28mm, it's not really a surprise that the Hungarians are probably the least played nation in Bolt Action. In fact I have never heard of anyone playing them...ever.

I've been fascinated by the Royal Hungarian Army for a while now and visited Budapest several times (the army museum there is fantastic) but with no miniatures I have never had the chance to paint an army. Recently, Mad Bob Miniatures  literally solved all our vehicle needs with his kickstarter for a complete range of all the unique Hungarian AFV'S in 1/56th scale. But that still leaves infantry. I didn't want to wait around for someone to make a range because after plenty of research into their uniforms, I am confident you can get a good result using German miniatures.

First, you'll need to gather some uniform pictures as reference, then select your miniatures carefully and maybe do some minor conversions. The unique Hungarian colour scheme will take care of the rest. You'll notice from my photo reference above that I have concentrated on using German figs with side caps, field caps and greatcoats. I avoided most late war German gear like the camo smocks and assault rifles. The best guide out there for Hungarian uniforms is "Hungarian Army Uniforms 1939-1945" by a local in Budapest. It's full of colour photos of all the uniforms and has English accompanying text. The book is beautifully designed and it arrived super fast, it posted in 3 days from Hungary to me in Australia! It has been invaluable to in helping me select miniatures, convert and paint them.

Arizan Designs Germans with a few head swaps and added mustaches

For the majority of my miniatures I am using Artizan designs German infantry in greatcoats. I chose the winter range because I want my army to suit the epic battle of Debrechen and the siege of Budapest in late 1944-45. The greatcoats also give an iconic 'Ostfront' look to the army. By this stage in the war most of the small arms and AT equipment was supplied by the Germans, so it's even easier to use these miniatures.

NCO's on the right have Hungarian made Danuvia SMG's made by extending the magazine
on German rifles

To give them a slight Hungarian 'twist' I have done a few minor conversions.
1. Remove any eagles from hats or breast pockets. Replace with a small disc badge if possible on the hat (see the uniform reference photo at the top).

2. Converted some Hungarian SMG's (Danuvia 43M) using German figs armed with GW43 Semi-auto rifles. These were made by simply extending the magazine using spare mags.

3. Adding mustaches to around half the figures. Seriously. I think this one step really separates them from Germans. You can either sculpt them on with putty or simply paint them on.

Colour choices

The main colours for this paint scheme
Painting your miniatures in the Hungarian khaki will also help distance them from looking German.

Historically the Hungarians used a shade of khaki almost exactly the same as the British and French at the time. So you could easily use VJ English Uniform as your main colour. However I went for a slightly greener shade as I've just finished painting a large French platoon in this colour scheme and want some variety. Besides I've found some great photos of living history reenactors in Hungary using this 'greener' shade and I just think it looks cooler. So my main colour is going to be VJ924 Russian Uniform .

Other than that the basic Hunagrian infantry are using a dark brown leather for their webbing, a khaki for the bread bag and gaiters, and finally a dark green for their metal wargear such as helmets.

Step by step painting guide

Step 1. - Spray primer and first colour

Fully assemble and base your army. Yes, army. I find this first step is much more time effective when done on mass. Undercoat with a black primer (I use GW Chaos Black). Next, touch up the spray with watered down black paint in the recesses where the spray didn't reach. Lastly, put down your main colour using Plastic Soldier Company's British Armour spray. This spray is really good, it's basically a slightly darker version of whats going to be your main uniform colour; VJ924 Russian Uniform, so it's already doing some shading for you.

Assemble and base coat your army all at once to save time

Step 2 - Base colours

Lay down some base colours on your flesh; GW Kislev flesh. Helmet/gas mask canister: VJ894 Russian Green. Gaiters/bread bag VJ988 Khaki. Panzerfaust; VJ881 middlestone. Guns/webbing/boots/waterbottle; GW Chaos Black.

Step 3 - Base colours 2

Carefully paint your first stage of highligthing the main uniform with some VJ924 Russian Uniform. The spray was a little darker so just leave this in all the recesses. Next, paint the wood gun with GW Rhinox hide. Paint all metal areas with GW Boltgun metal.

Step 4 - Washes

Wash the miniature with Army painter Strong Tone ink (brushed on from the bottle, not the dip). Then wash the metal areas, helmet and gas mask canister with a black wash as well, I used GW Nuln Oil.

Step 5 - Highlights and final details

Highlight the raised areas being careful not to paint over all the areas of the previous shade. Use a good quality brush here with a sharp point you can easily control. I use Windsor and Newton series 7 brushes. They are available from art supply stores. They aren't cheap but are so good they give you the ability to put your highlights exactly were you want them. This saves time touching up mistakes and you can do rather extreme highlighting in a controlled way like mine here.

Uniforms: first highlight of VJ924 Russian Uniform, second highlight of 70/30% VJ924 Russian Uniform + VJ819 Iraqi Sand. Helmet and gas canister first highlight of VJ894 Russian Green, Second highlight of VJ887 Brown Violet (I chose to use a sponge to apply this to the helmet to give the feeling of chips and weathering).

Bread bag and gaiters are highlighted VJ988 Khaki, second highlight of 50/50% VJ988 Khaki + VJ819 Iraqi Sand

Boots first highlight is GW Rhinox Hide, second highlight of 70/30% GW Rhinox Hide + VJ819 Iraqi Sand .Webbing and gun stock highlight with GW Rhinox Hide, second highlight of VJ984 Flat Brown. Final highlight of 70/30% VJ984 Flat Brown + VJ819 Iraqi Sand

Fleshtones are highighted first with GW Kislev Flesh, then VJ955 Flat Flesh, then finally with VJ928 Light Flesh. Panzerfausts are highlighted with VJ881 MIddlestone, then VJ819 Iraqi Sand. After this a thin sepia wash was applied to blend these together.

Similar to the Germans, the Hungarians used different coloured collar tab insignia for the different branches of the army. EG: Infantry was green, Artillery was red and Cavalry and motorised troops are blue. I am planning my platoon to  be motorised infantry, eventually riding in Botond trucks (from the Mad Bob Miniatures kickstarter) and supporting a tank platoon. So my troops will have the blue collar tab insignia for the most part. For the shape I referenced the photos above and chose VJ930 Dark Blue to paint it.

Step 6 Basing

Because I wanted to theme my platoon in the battles of the Autumn of 1944 and into the winter I used the basing as a way of helping do this. I didn't want a full winter base of all snow, but wanted it to look cold. To achieve this effect I used 3 basing materials from the Army Painter range; 6mm winter tufts, Spring foliage flock and summer leaves. The bases were first drybrushed with VJ983 Flat Earth.

Then, the basing materials were glued to the base with PVA in the order you see below. Lastly to achieve a slightly frosted look I simply drybrushed white paint onto the tips of the grass and the edges of the flock and leaves. Be sure to let the PVA glue dry before drybrushing or you will knock all the flock off the base.

I am very happy with the results so far and I am currently working on the rest of the platoon. In future articles I will cover how to convert and paint; Officers, Veteran Infantry, support weapons, artillery, cavalry and tanks.

If you have any painting questions about this guide, or indeed if anyone else out there is painting Hungarians and would like to share ideas please jump on the forums and tell me about it!

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