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It's nice having eyes large enough to see what color they are. Also it looks a lot bluer in the picture than in person. But it's too blue in person anyways, so next update will probably be the cloth bits. I kind of hope something pops up in the tweed tutorial topic in the painting tips forum, otherwise I'm going to have to wing it...




Sophie looked over her underclassmen, huddled in a tight group to keep the chill at bay. Many were breathing into their hands to keep them warm, and various handkerchiefs, rags, and scraps of cloth had been pressed into service as ear warmers and scarves.


"Alright, so who's the best shot among you? Come now, don't be shy."


Murmurs drifted out from the pack, but soon quieted and a petite blond-haired girl stepped forward and came to attention.


"Cadet first year, Yvette Laurens, ma'am."


Sophie looked down at the girl. Though Sophie was not particularly tall, this girl only came up to about Sophie's chin. She had large hazel eyes poking out from under long bangs, framed by a short bob haircut. Her capelet was tattered and burnt at some of the edges, and she carried no pack, just a single canvas pouch belted to her waist.


"You're a first year?" said Sophie, eyebrow raised. "That rather suggests to me that you haven't had much practice with your rifle." Yvette beamed, showing dimples under her cheeks.

"Not our battle rifles, no. But my father would often take me on his hunts in the forest. I brought back my first deer when I was nine years old," she declared proudly. Sophie gestured to the seven foot long anti-tank rifle in front of her.

"Are you sure you can carry this? It's thirty pounds, and half again as long as you are." Yvette shrugged her shoulders.

"Just like my father's hunting rifle, then. It was just as big to me then as this is now." She paused, and continued. "It would be nice though, if someone else could carry the extra cartridges," tapping the metal ammunition box with the toe of her boot. "They look heavy."

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Well, more a PTRD, crossed with a GrB 39.


Glazed the gun with thinned interference blue, just to get that blued steel effect.

Also went back at the eyes with a tiny bit of Alien Goo (yep, I don't follow the suggested uses for colors at all) for just a hint of central heterochromia. Not something you can really do on a 28mm mini. (If someone manages it, I will be wowed and amazed forever).


And the leather looks like leather now.


All these little details that I put in that my camera can't pick up. Ah well.





Yvette squeezed the trigger, and the grenade sailed through the air and impacted on the tank's front left wheel in a bright flash. Steel pins and scraps of rubber sprayed from the small explosion, and with a shriek of overstressed metal, the track tore itself free, and the tank careened to that side and plowed through front of a house. Angry shouts came from down the street, followed by the pops and hisses of rifle fire. Yvette jacked the bolt back, and slid in another blank cartridge.


"Load smoke!" she whispered. Amelia slid in a white-nosed bomblet into the grenade cup, when a bullet skipped off the bipod of the rifle. Yvette yelped in surprise as the leg snapped and the thirty-pound rifle tipped to the side, carrying her with it.


"Help me lift it up for a bit!" Yvette said. Amelia grabbed the carry handle and lifted the rifle, when she turned back to look at the immobilized tank.


"Yvette, hurry!" Amelia whimpered, as its turret slowly traversed to point at them. Yvette stripped off her ragged capelet, folded the remaining leg and stub of the bipod closed, and swaddled it in cloth. She shoved the heavy ammo box over with her boot, and then rested the anti tank rifle on it. It wasn't the steadiest of rests, but it would have to do.


Her second shot flew, impacting on the turret, instantly shrouding it in a pall of acrid white smoke. A ragged cheer went up over to her right, and a dozen cadets to her right charged. Their sub-machine guns chattered away, sounding in all of the world like frenzied snare drummers.


"Yvette?" Amelia held up another rifle grenade. Yvette glanced over, and shook her head.

"We'll save them for now," she said, returning her eye to the scope and sliding a black tipped bullet into the chamber. "Call it."

"Um... that one in the red house shouting? I think he's a sergeant."


A bass roar boomed out, as Yvette added her own touch to the orchestra of war.

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Brain: "You know what this sculpt really needs?"

Hand: "Ugh, wait for it..."

Brain: "Texture! I want you to paint a herringbone twill texture on her dress. If it works out, you can think about doing something similar to the socks!"

Hand: "I hate you so much."

That gray sandpaper I've been using as a backdrop doesn't really seem to be working well with this one. Let's try something else.



More story time:


"Yvette! Where are you! Yvette!" Amelia whispered.

It wasn't quite dawn yet, but the lightening gray sky meant it was time to break camp and start moving out. Most of the other girls were already stretching and shaking themselves awake, with a few early birds already rolling up their bedrolls. The last watch, on the other hand, were trudging back and rolling theirs out; those unfortunate girls would be getting their night's sleep in the bed of a rumbling truck.


Yvette, though, was nowhere to be seen.


Amelia started poking her heads into the few sleeping tents that had been set up, but still no Yvette. She paused for a moment, and then poked her head into the lieutenants' tent.


Lieutenant Noelle was standing inside with a wide smile on her lips, while Lieutenant Sophia was lying down in her bedroll, but wide awake.


Lying on top on Sophia, with arms wrapped firmly around her midsection and head resting in her bosom, was a contently snuffling Yvette.


"Can I draw on her face?" cracked Noelle.


Sophia rolled her eyes, and gently shook Yvette.


"Mmm... Mama, that tickles..." she mumbled, tightening her hug and burying her head deeper. Noelle giggled. Amelia gaped. Sophia sighed.


"Elle, we've been through a lot together..." Sophia began.

"The chocolate from your next five rations, Sophie," fired back Noelle.

"What?! You still owe me for that time you ripped your uniform!"

"Four, then."

"One, and you give me back my skirt."

"Um, I can..." said Amelia, hesitantly.

"Hush, cadet, there's booty to be won here. Two, and I keep the skirt. It looks better on me anyways."

"It's a size too small for you!"

"That's why it looks better on me. Deal?"

"Mmmm...agh?" Yvette stirred. Sophia looked down.

"Sounds like no."



Yvette cracked open her bleary eyes, looked up, and mumbled, "Mama?"

"Sorry, nope. I'm a pretty terrible cook. But I'll brush your hair for you if you'd like. You really should take better care of it. It's getting frayed and split and–"

"W- w- whaaaa!?" Yvette pushed herself off Sophia, forgot their legs were entangled, tripped, scrambled to her feet again, and out of pure reflex, performed the sharpest salute she could manage. The very image of a model soldier, save for her messy hair, missing boots and cap, mussed, half-unbuttoned uniform, and not least of all, her bright red blushing face.

"C-c-cadet first year Yvette Laurens, reporting for duty, ma'am!"

Noelle and Sophie laughed. "At ease, and dismissed, cadet," Sophie managed. Yvette scurried out of the tent, past Amelia, into the cold morning.

"You might want to put on the rest of your uniform first though!" Noelle called after her, waving Yvette's cap and boots in her hand.




"That was so embarassing!" Yvette pouted.

Amelia couldn't resist. "Yep, you slept with your commanding officer, and you didn't even get any of the usual perks out of it," she said with as straight a face as she could manage.

Yvette pelted her with her cap, face once again a glowing scarlet red.



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