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Painting Wargaming Figures: WWII in the Desert (Paperback)

WWII Wargaming Modelling Military

By Andy Singleton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 157
ISBN: 9781526716316
Published: 7th May 2019


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Andy Singleton has been modelling and painting most of his life and has been a professional commission figure painter for some years now. Here he shares his experience and tips of the trade with those collecting figures for the North African campaigns in WWII. The four main sections of the book cover British, Italian, German and US troops, as well as tips on assembly and painting camouflage uniforms. Each section is divided into three levels of complexity, ‘conscript’, ‘regular’ and ‘elite’, allowing the reader to build up an array of techniques as they gain confidence and experience. The emphasis is on achievable results and practical advice that is applicable to painting units or whole armies for wargaming purposes in a reasonable time frame, not on spectacular individual display pieces. Most of the figures featured in the numerous illustrations are sized either 28mm or 20mm but the techniques described are easily adaptable to smaller sizes and both plastic and metal figures are covered. Andy’s clear, step-by-step guidance takes the reader through the process from the initial preparation and assembly of the figure, to finishing and basing.

This is one for all figure modellers not just the wargamer. It’s nicely organised into 3 levels of details which can be used as a guide for any scale.

Vintage Airfix

Singleton’s more than handy little book provides everything a prospective painter needs to paint figures for the WWII desert campaign. His book is divided into two parts; the first covers the tools you will need and the basic techniques required for using them. The second part takes you step-by-step through the painting process for all the major armies involved; the British and Commonwealth, Italians, Americans, and Germans. But this is not one of those guides that has you saying “if only…” Rather, Singleton provides guidance for three levels of competency – conscript, regular, and elite – each one building on the other thereby offering hope for us dabbers and dobbers. Singleton includes the paints he uses, which must have made Vallejo happy. He helpfully concludes with a section on basing, another one of my failings... this is a very useful addition to a wargamer’s library with obvious applications for painting just about any figures. My copy is already well-thumbed and no doubt yours will be too.

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Wargames Illustrated

A very good book

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Arrse, June 2019

This is an excellent beginners guide to painting figures for the Desert Campaign. It covers everything that someone just venturing into this area would need to get going with a new army.

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Iron Mammoth's Studio

This book is very useful not only for those who want to try their hand at reproducing realistic miniatures for their wargames focused on the war in North Africa, but also with the necessary adjustments for those who want to try their hand at diorama with other scales such as 1/72. The book is clear, and even those who are "in the trade" by now will be able to find elements of interest that will ensure that this book cannot be missing from any bookshelf of passionate modellers and wargamers.

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Old Barbed Wire Blog

The meat of the book is in the step-by-step painting guides. For each nationality, Singleton offers step-by-step instructions for producing figures at “conscript”, “regular” and “elite” levels. The ratings refer not the quality of the troops, but to the level of painting detail and skill required. Novice painters can start at the “conscript” level to quickly start fielding an army. As confidence and skill grows, a painter can step up to the higher levels.

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Miniature Wargaming

I am a Scale Model Builder, not a War Gammer but the two go hand in hand and painting figures, whether they be 1:35 scale or 1:285 scale is many modelers kryptonite. I find any reference to pulling off a believable figure worth my time. Andy provides a well-informed compilation of his skill in this book and shares with the reader, many tips, advice, and preference of materials. I find books such as this to be invaluable to all avenues of scale modeling.

Ray Stryker Ace, Scale Models & Dioramas of World War II (Facebook)

The text is very well laid out and easily followed and so guess work is not required. The paints used are clearly identified within the specific steps and so again an easily followed aspect of the author’s art. I will say that the image on the front of the book does not in my opinion show off Andy Singleton’s abilities at their best as I have seen how much better his methods can result in. I do like how the images in this title have been well placed with the text and so adding the visual element a title such as this requires.

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If your aim is to reproduce this popular professional painting style on figures then Andy Singleton's book is a valuable and detailed guide, distilling the author's experience into a compact single volume.

Chris Kemp, Freelance

Each section is well illustrated throughout the book, which helps illustrate the work and the end results, plus plenty of tables which list the various colours (including the paint brand) to be used for each one.

There are lots of good tips in here and it makes this a very useful guide for painting small scale figures.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

There's a definite emphasis on simple practical advice, with a view to getting your miniatures painted and ready for action... there's an emphasis on 'achievable results', which should make this a very useful book for its target audience.

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A Question Of Scale, Seb Palmer

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Wargame News and Terrain

As a relative beginner to the art, I found this book very useful. It delivers clear instructions and information. The device of showing the different outcomes as ‘conscript’, ‘regular’ and ‘elite’ is really good in helping demonstrate what progress in developing painting skills looks like. It certainly helped this ‘conscript’ to improve!
Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Andy Singleton

Andy Singleton has been modelling and painting since childhood, having built subjects across a broad range of subjects, scales and genres. In 2014, Andy decided to stop having a proper job and picked up his brushes full time to become professional figure painter, with his business Volley Fire Painting Service. In addition to painting legions of figures, he has worked with many manufacturers across the industry and examples of his work can be found in many rule books, magazines and websites. Andy is also a co-host on the podcast ‘A Few Brits and the Hobby’.

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