The Guns of Brixton
Please forgive the awful camera phone pictures, but I did some painting the other day. I've been slowly taking the War Room apart in preparation for replacing the floor, consequently there's been damn little gaming happening.
These are Liberation miniatures from their Urban Meltdown range. This range was begun at the behest of the Winter of '79 chaps and depicts militias, home guard and other scruffy oiks in the midst of a What If? Civil War occurring in Britain in the late seventies. I have a complete set of the available figures and hope to pick up the rest in time.
Hardly the Eton Rifles
I painted these with rather more attention to detail than usual for my 1/72 figures. In some ways, one of the most difficult bits was colour choice. I usually work from a uniform plates when I'm painting, but this obviously wasn't an option. I hadn't even been thought of in the late seventies, so most of my visual reference is from early memory and TV. With that in mind, I found some clips from “The Sweeney” on Youtube and took some screen shots of crowd scenes. I used these to work from.
DI Regan in a reflective mood
For those of you unfortunate enough not to know “The Sweeney”. It was a TV show produced by Thames Television in the late seventies, whose avowed intention was to shake up the cosy world of Dixon of Dock Green and Z Cars. Now as it happens, I rather like George Dixon, though I only know him from “The Blue Lamp”. He always struck me as a decent, no-nonsense copper. However, “The Sweeney” is something rather different. The name comes from London slang for the Flying Squad, who were a specialist unit of anti-robbery detectives and “The Sweeney” chronicles their exploits. While George Dixon was a beat man through and through, dealing with volume crime, DI Regan and DS Carter, spend their time screeching from one bank job to another in a series of beautiful cars. Bureaucratic infighting, corruption and firearms all make frequent appearances.
I wouldn't mess with him
While it lacks the scope of “The Wire” and never really escapes the episodic format; it is well written, sharply observed and informed by a wry and often quite black sense of humour. “The Sweeney” is intelligent television and a great deal more subtle than it is typically given credit for.
The three figures here took me an evening to paint and I took a leaf from Krisztian's book and blu-tacked them to a cork for better grip. I used Vallejo acrylics with the odd Citadel colour and got all three of them done in about two hours.
The jeans were painted Vallejo Flat Blue with a white highlight, something that worked rather well I think. The brown leather jacket was Vallejo Red Brown with some Citadel Brown Ink to give it a bit of shine. I had intended the third figure in the black to be wearing a donkey jacket (a thick heavy woolen jacket, traditionally worn by working men and sometimes with waterproof patches on the shoulders), but the black rifle seemed to disappear into the black of the coat, so I gave it a coat of ink to make it shiny. So Johnny's workaday donkey jacket has been ungraded to shiny leather one. The third chap is wearing an army surplus jacket, these if I recall correctly were usually ex-Bundeswehr items. I debated painting on the little German flag, but it seemed a waste of time.
Not a single lens reflex
The weapons were all SLRs. In retrospect, I should probably have given them wooden furniture as was the case with the early SLR, but in the end I stuck with the black plastic look that the SLR shared with the FAL. A coat of GW Bolt Gun metal looked far too shiny to my eye, so I did them in black with an off black highlight and that looked a lot more like the FN FALs that I toted around Wicklow in my teens.
Overall I was happy with these fellas, though I'm still mulling over what I'll use 'em for. What I do know is that I won't be up to much until I get the War Room sorted.
Until then, the Sweeney will be doing ninety because they've got no place to go.