The Sulewesi National Army

The latest of our 15mm models to be co-opted into the Hammer’s Slammers background by John Treadaway are the South African wheeled vehicles. They represent the National Army of Sulewesi, a Malaysian mining colony riven by civil war. John has paired the SAC tanks and APCs, our new EuroFed 4×4 and 6×6 utility vehicles and Ground Zero GamesColonial Defence Force figures to create a fully wheeled force (except for the scout troops on horseback !).


I’d already started painting an SAC force when John told me about his plans for the Sulewesi, so I ordered a few extra infantry, added the scout cars and created a force of three 10-element detachments.

I decided to kit the vehicles out with plenty of accessories – crew in open hatches, lots of stowage including external fuel tanks and pintel machine guns. I created a command Rhino using aerials and a spare radome from a PacFed AA tank.

After undercoating, the models were airbrushed using Tamiya paints – Deck Tan with Nato Green stripes. They were then drybrushed overall using one of the new Citadel dry paints, Terminatus Stone.

It was at this point that the project stalled for a month as other things (notably our Christmas sale) took higher priority. I picked from where I’d left off in January by painting the details – crew, stowage, weapons, lights and vision blocks. The very tedious task of painting the 70+ wheels of the 14 vehicles was left until last to avoid scuffing the paint. Lights were painted with a simple jewel technique, highlighting the bottom and adding a white dot to the top corner, followed by by an ink wash.

Once painted, the next process is the Army Painter Strong Tone dip. In preparation I stuck all of the vehicles to scraps of foam card using PVA. These were glued to the bottom of the hull to lift the wheels off the ground, ensuring that the dip wouldn’t pool at the bottom of the wheels and stick them to the board. Turrets were removed and put on greaseproof paper, again to ensure they didn’t stick. The dip was applied using a brush and given 24 hours+ to set.

The final step with the vehicles was to airbrush a clear flat coat over the high-gloss dip – again this was Tamiya, XF-86 Flat Clear. My experience with Army Painter’s own spray can varnish isn’t good, it seems to react with their own dip on large flat areas and crazes.

So there we have it – four tanks, two 6×6 heavy APCs, four smaller 4×4 APCs and four scout cars.

The infantry were individually based on coins – one eurocent coins for single figures, 2p coins for heavy weapons and 1p coins for the cavalry. You could always use equivalent washers (15, 25 and 20mm respectively) if you can’t get hold of the right size coins . I painted up enough of our resin bases for the whole force so they could move as teams, including some base types that haven’t been released yet (but will be soon).

After undercoating with Halfords’ primer, the figures were basecoated in Tamiya Buff – to save time I managed to get hold of a spray can and did the whole lot at one go. I then came up with a very simple colour scheme that consisted of just five other colours per figure

  • green for the shoulder and thigh pads, helmet and backpack
  • dark grey for the weapons
  • dark brown for the boots
  • a lighter brown for the bedding roll under the backpack
  • a dark flesh for the face and hands (I used two shades for different troops for variety)

Bases were painted Tamiya Matt Earth and drybrushed with Terminatus Stone. This was then followed by a coat of Army Painter and a matt clear top coat (from the Army Painter spray can this time, as it works OK on smaller areas such as figures – work that one out !), with the final touch of some GW flock. The resin fireteam bases were painted to match.
Unfortunately I didn’t take any ‘in progress’ shots of the infantry, so here’s are a finished fireteam:

The force saw action at the weekend – so look out for (a lot of) photos of the Sulewesis on the table soon.

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