GCPS Mule & Hornet Progress

Tuesday, 8 May 2018  |  Admin

Hi guys, 

So after doing a quick review of the Hornet and Mule the other day from Mantic Games over the next week they kept staring at me from the display cabinet begging for some love. Fortunately they were right at the front of the cabinet and were able to drown out the 100 or so other miniatures making the same pleas! 

First up apologies for some of the image quality, daylight is never great but was too lazy to put away the paints and take out the light tent. Also since these photos were taken I did a few other things to them like paint the Hornet's cockpit glass in, tidy up the wash and do the highlight dry brushing. 

Paints used:

  • Army Painter Army Green Spray Paint https://www.panzer-command.co.uk/AP-CP3005.html
  • Army Painter Uniform Grey https://www.panzer-command.co.uk/AP-CP3010.html
  • Army Painter Matt Black Undercoat https://www.panzer-command.co.uk/AP-CP3001.html
  • Metallic Silver Brush Pen
  • Army Painter Army Green https://www.panzer-command.co.uk/AP-WP1110.html
  • Citadel Agrax Earthshade wash
  • Citadel Averland Sunset
  • Citadel Straken Green
  • Citadel Skarsnik Green
  • Citadel Abbadon Black


The Mule

The Mule received an Army Green undercoat to the body with a Matt Black undercoat to the wheels, suspension and front grill. Pictured the wheel hubs have just received the first brush coat of Army Green. I didn't make huge progress on the Mule, I also sprayed up a Heavy Stubber from Games Workshop's Armiger Knight to use as a top mount but I am unsure yet whether I like it. 

The Mule will receive a wash of Agrax after the wheels have had another one or two coats of the green. 


The Hornet

Most of the hobby time was spent on the Hornet, the front assembly of the cockpit and the forward hull was glued together as were the wing tips, but the vast majority was left just push fitted as the paint on the joins decreased tolerances to nothing. I probably should have glued together the tail section as there is a slight split there but left it so I could undercoat the tail rotor separately. 

Everything was coated in Army Green with the exception of the rotors, skid assembly and gun barrel which were given a Matt Black Undercoat. 

The tail stripe was influenced by Vietnam era Huey's, it was a complete pain to do, one because yellow never likes being painted over darker colours, two because my Citadel paint had turned to cottage cheese and took quite a while to shake out and remix and three my hand was shaking like I was being electrocuted. Still it looks quite good. I tidied up the edges a bit by using my cheat tool...my hobby knife, over paint, tidy up is often sorted by gently scraping away the excess with the knife edge. 

I am thinking of doing another Vietnam paint modification which is to paint the tail wings red. 

Conversion and Kit Bash

I said in the review I would probably want to do some work on cleaning up the underside of the wings, I did make a start, but quickly worked out how much it was going to take and decided it wasn't worth it in the end. On Sunday while cleaning  up I did knock together a new chin mount weapon. 

The original weapon had some options, a tri-barreled auto cannon, a rocket launcher and a laser cannon. For me, the auto cannon felt to be the best option, it also looked the best as it came with a separate mount, but I didn't quite like the look of it. So I opened up the bit box and found the Assault Cannon arm from Games Workshops's Venerable Dreadnought. I drilled out the barrels, lopped it off the arm using the trusty hobby knife at a suitable point and then went to work on how to attach it to the chin mount. 

I didn't want to burn any bridges here, so I've the actual model intact, you can use any of the weapons it came with and if later I wanted to go back to the original autocannon its just a case of popping off the mount. 

The mount is a simple piece of round plasti-card. I drew around the original auto cannon mount and cut out the square, I then cut the corners of the square creating a hexagon and repeated until I got a close circle. I could have cut around the circle but this is often the safest and quickest for me short of finding my hole saw. The near circle was then stuck onto the original guide part with blue tack and filed into a true circle. 

The gun mount was sanded flush and then glued to the plasti-card disc. 

Back to painting

Truth be told I changed my mind and disassembled the cargo pod and sprayed the interior Uniform Grey, again going back to the Huey idea. I then painted the Hazard stripes on the doors, usually I don't use these on military models, GW seems to plaster anything they can with them but Mantic was kind enough to create the perfect surface for it inside so why not!?


Time for the easiest part, or at least it should have been, recess washing with Agrax Earthshade, I did create some extra work here as I did not adequately brace my painting arm/hand and so some of the long brush strokes were quite untidy. I went back later and tidied them up. 


With the shade I did every recess I could find, I was especially heavy with the wash around the engine vents on the wings, two near the body, one near the wing tip and also the vents near the tail stripe. I used Agrax rather than Nuln oil or black equivalent because I think, with the green Agrax works really well. Not only does it shade the recess but it makes it look dirty and used as well. 

The whole of the cargo pod was also given a heavy wash inside and a light one out. Like a lot of surfaces I smudged the wash, for example, on the floors of the pod using a some kitchen paper I either dabbed or dragged across the wash and also on things like the engine vents. 

The outer pod housing was then glued together but the ends and doors left unglued. I've also left the panel these clip onto on the underside of the Hornet as by not gluing that on it means if you want to remove the pod you can do so with out breaking the pod clips. 

I used to do what Games Workshop does on every model, it's made of metal so lets paint it silver, right? This didn't feel right with me and I've switched to just painting military equipment that isn't coloured in the primary colour black. I then highlight with grey (two passes one dark grey and then one light grey on elevated surfaces i.e. top side) and finish with a light dry brush on edges of silver for wear and tear. i think it looks better than having large surfaces gun metal but it's down to personal preference. 

I've decided to use the skids and the cargo pod on the model at the same time, the reason for this was when I was playing around prior to undercoating I noticed that if you put the model on the table like it was landing, the cargo doors would not open correctly, in order for them to sit on the ground they pushed the main body in the air. 

I added the skids on and found that not only do they fit and clear the cargo pod but when you actual land on the skids the doors sit open perfectly. 

So maybe I was wrong when I said they were sort of the gunship version, but the model definitely goes together better with everything on, although you lose some of the cleaner lines with them fitted. 

For the Next Part...

So what's next? Since taking these pictures I've done and need to do:


  • Dry brush highlight of Straken Green (2 passes), mix of Straken/Skarsnik (1 pass) and final 2 passes of Skarsnik or top side most raised surfaces. 
  • Painted the cockpit glass black

To do

  • I missed shade around the top "fin" on the tail
  • Paint in the cockpit in blue and highlight
  • Paint in silver wear on the pod steps
  • Paint and add in skids
  • Add some deeper dirt and possible corrosion (Citadel typhus corrosion)
  • Highlight and wear and tear on rotary cannon (heat bloom?)
  • Highlight and wear and tear on rotors
  • Weathering passes on all of the model (Tamiya Powders)
  • Nose art because WW2 themed naked ladies always looks good
  • Stencil in designation numbers?
  • Design, model and paint the base (my favourite part)

So lots left to do for part three! I hope you found this interesting, it certainly keeps me motivated having a plan of attack and should make me clear more time for hobby work and less on other things. 

The outtakes...


  • During spray painting I dropped the Mule which, as it was not glued together, went off like a Mantic Hand Grenade throwing parts across the shed, one of the rear grab handles near the tail gate broke and is still MIA. Thankfully I think not being glued together saved this models life!
  • I broke the Hornets cargo pod clips trying to fit it together back to front in a lack of coffee fugue.
  • I broke the Hornets cargo pod push fit clamps taking it apart
  • I cut myself several times with the modelling knife (just about the norm)
  • I dropped the Mules wheel on the ground, which the cat thought made a great toy and was savaged by cat rescuing the wheel. 
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