Monday, September 26, 2011

Microarmor...Blast from the Past

Microarmor. I think a fair number of gamer-hobbiests these days may not know what it is. But before there was Flames of War and the explosion in 15mm WWII miniatures...way before...there was 6mm microarmor.

I started collecting and painting microarmor in the '80s. I used it for a game called Deluxe Advanced Squad Leader, which was the miniaturized version of ASL.

When I moved to Edmonton and joined the historical wargaming group here in 2005, I started back into microarmor, and painted a lot of it.

Down in my basement, there's a tool chest with several shallow drawers.

The drawers are lined with magnetic tape. And sitting on the tape are row after row of magnetized bases...each with a piece of microarmor. My German collection.

My American collection. Anyway, you get the idea.

Now, recently, Dave and I have been playing Conflict of Heroes. This WWII game feels to me like a very well done update to Advanced Squad Leader. Which got me to thinking...maybe it was time to miniaturized that game like the old ASL days.

Sounds like a project.

First up...I need T-34s in summer paint schemes (all of my microarmor T-34s are in winter camo).

For the scenario I want to play, I need 4 T-34s. Well, this should be enough to cover off that requirement.

Hot glue get gets a workout!

I airbrushed on the base color. Started with a new product from Vallejo, which is colored airbrush primer: Russian Green. Then oversprayed Camo Light Green, hit them with Mud Brown and then a dusting of Light Brown, all from Vallejo Model Air's line.

Next, I gave them a wash of Sepia and Umber Shades, from the new Vallejo wash line (these are really nice washes, by the way). Then the decals went on along with a drybrush of Bleached Bone, some Desert Yellow, a little Bubonic Brown and so on from the GW line.

I have an array of different T-34s here. 10x M41s (on the right), 5x M42s (in the middle) and 10x M43s (on the left). 25 models in one day...well, that's the advantage of microarmor!

Bases...this took a little while. 1" metal squares. Glue, sand, paint, flock, etc.

A group of T-34 M42s.

Well, it was kind of neat to go back and do some 6mm after being away from it for 5 years. Now I just need that order of T-70s to arrive, and I can get that Conflict of Heroes game underway.

'Til next time.


  1. Great stuff Kevin; I haven't painted any 6mm tanks in about five years as well and I had forgotten how fast they can go!

  2. Nice work, love that stuff!

    Where did you pick up the Vallejo washes?

  3. Those look really nice. I've got an airbrush which I keep meaning to try for this but just haven;t got round to it and keep brushing! When you apply the washes do you brush or spray a thinned version? I use the Vallejo Sepia but find it quite heavy?

    I'm a big ASL fan as well but never went the minis route. There are a lot of people at a local game club play Conflict of Heroes but I've got so much time and money invested in ASL I just can't switch to anything else! CoH does look nice though.

    Look forward to seeing your mini-based version of it.


  4. Dave,
    Picked up washes at the store down in Red Deer...had never seen them before.

    CoH has nowhere near the amount of detail that ASL does...but it is a very fun system and plays pretty quick. And regarding the washes, I used them straight up with just a little water added on the brush. Very happy with them.

  5. Awesome, I'm pssing through Red Deer next week. I asked about them at Mission F&G and the Vogon behind the counter looked at me like I had two heads.

  6. They look great, tempting to do some 6mm WWII.

  7. We were thinking of the same approach here. CoH is a great, clean, easy-to-play system and its just crying to be 'miniaturized'.


  8. Kevin,
    Great blog! I have been an avid wargamer for a number of years now, starting with GW's Lord of the Rings, War of the Ring and now play Warmachine and Dust Warfare. I have been interested finding a realistic, historical miniature game and have had my eyes on Flames of War for a while. Your blog lead me to GHQ's site and WOW! The models look fantastic and affordable. Do you play their rule set? If so, would you say it is streamlined but realistic? Strategic/Tactical? Or should I pick up the models and play Flames of War with them? I am happy to see they have modern models too. Thanks!

  9. Hi Jeremy,
    Great to have you on board. First off...I love the FoW models and have tons of them. The rules, however, aren't my cup of tea. Neither are the GHQ rules. Unfortunately, while there are piles and piles of WWII miniature rule sets, nothing has sustained the interest of anyone at our club. We are just starting to look at Bolt Action right now, but we'll see how that goes.

    So...what to play? I like the set of homebrew rules that we play at the club which is a company-level game that borrows the unit cards from Battlefront WWII, uses a version of the activation rules from Blitzkreig Commander and then cobbles the rule gaps with simple but common sense guidelines we've put together here. Someday in the far future we'll publish...hahahaha.

    Anyway, that probably isn't helpful for you. Some rules we have enjoyed over the years have included Disposable Heroes, IABSM and Nuts. Unfortunately, none of these are good for company-level battles, which is what I prefer to play.