Anyone that has been part of our Facebook community likely can’t have failed to see some of the excellent conversions and painting by Julian Jeratsch.
Most notably Julian has an eye for kitbashing and converting, taking the Wasteland Warfare range and creating some unique and frankly stunning pieces for his collection.
I took some time to catch up with Julian to find out more about why and how he does what he does.
Jon (JW): Thanks for taking the time to speak with me Julian, let’s start with you introducing yourself and can you give us an overview of your life as a gamer?
Julian (JJ): Hello My name is Julian. I am 29 years old. I was born in Poland. Then at the age of 16 I emigrated to Germany, where I live and work as a carpenter.
In 1998 I got the first GW brochure from my brother, who built and painted all kinds of WW2 tanks. I started gaming with Warhammer 40000, playing lots of battles with my Space Wolves army. Then I got into Warmachine, Hordes, Star Wars Legion, Fallout WW and Dust 1947.
These days I don't play anymore, I just focus on miniatures. I try to keep my projects small and manageable, so that I am not overwhelmed.
JW: How did you come to be involved in Fallout: Wasteland Warfare?
JJ: I'm a very big Fallout fan. As a kid I played Fallout 2, Fallout 3 and New Vegas and you couldn't separate me from the computer. As a collector, everyone wants to own the objects from the games, so I searched for figures on the Internet. At first there was nothing, but then I found the pre-order details page for Fallout Wasteland Warfare, and I was immediately thrilled, followed everything closely until the miniatures came on the market.
JW: Which of the games and factions do you most identify with?
JJ: I like role playing focused games with strong character development. I enjoy post-apocalyptic worlds such as Fallout, or S.T.A.L.K.E.R. as well as fantasy worlds like The Witcher or Diablo.
I would ally with the Survivors because they just want to help and protect everyone, no matter who you are or what you do.
But I try to focus on the robots and creatures because they hardly get any attention. It's a lot of fun for me, creatures don't have to be boring.
JW: What inspired you to take our models and be so creative with them?
JJ: For a long time, I copied the instructions when I was hobbying, always wanting everything to look exactly like on the packaging. But that didn't make me happy as I couldn’t match the art fully.
By chance I started to rebuild Dust 1947 models, with a lot of parts in 1:48 scale so I learned a lot of new things. I started using Green Stuff, I learned how to sculpt, so then I decided to build a diorama with Nora and Dogmeat in the streets of Boston. I never finished it, because in search of inspiration, I found the Pioneer Scout Leader, and it all fell into place. “Nora in the Appalachian Mountains” and the chance to tell a new story. I wanted the characters to have suitable bases, so I started to rebuild them, but the madness started with Molerats when I first separated them from the bases.
JW: What are the tools and techniques that you most rely on to convert?
JJ: I use standard hobby tools like knives, files and the like. For more advanced work I have things like Japanese instrument hand saws, sponges for chippings and sculpting tools.
I'm still at the beginning of my experimentation so I always buy new tools. Some things I cut at work with the format saw, or grind them. I make templates from MDF, for drilling or cutting. The most important thing is to not forget safety equipment, such as aprons, masks and safety glasses.
JW: What paints and techniques do you rely on most?
JJ: I start from a base of The Army Painter primers. I then use a mix of paints from various companies, washes by Citadel, colours from Vallejo Model Colour, AK Interactive or Ammo.
The most important thing is to thin your paints, I thin everything so I have control and can decide whether it is enough or not. For example, I use Oak Brown from The Army Painter as my wash for rust and old stuff, diluting it with water, then highlighting back up. I tend to finish with a diluted wash on everything to bring it together.
JW: Is there any other advice that you can give to potential modellers?
JJ: The most important lesson, that I had to learn for myself is to be patient., It doesn't work all at once, and you don't have to have everything at once. Too many projects on the craft table block you. Concentrate on one thing, finish the job and make sure you let things dry! Also, always hobby the way you like it, that's what counts.
JW: Are there any sets/items you think we could offer in the future to help with converting and modelling?
JJ: The 3D printing stuff has been a great addition to the range, giving the possibility to customise things more. The new Multi Part Sets for Railroad and Gunners are perfectly created for conversion, for example with Clint and the T-51 set you can do a lot of conversion. In the future, it would be great to see more of it, for mutants or ghouls. That would make everything much more open in terms of character design.
JW: Do you ever get to play with all these amazing creations?
JJ: The goal I currently have is to build an 18 ́x18 ́ board, then play games with a very small amount of bottlecaps. For example, a single character against a small group of robots or creatures with small objectives. I want to play short games that you can resolve quickly and that you can customise to tell your stories.
That's why I always do the objective marker sets to have more mission possibilities that I can then mix into my games.
I’ve still got a way to go, since I've never played Fallout WW before. I'll need support to make this possible in terms of rules and such. I can well imagine that this will be a lot of fun, I'm really looking forward to it. But until then, I'm going to build more stuff so that my choices get bigger and bigger.
JW: Julian thanks so much for your time and please keep sharing the incredible paint jobs and conversions you do. Seeing the WIPs is really enlightening so Wastelanders can see how you go about creating the finished pieces, as the final product is so flawless you would think it’s an off the shelf product.