DAK platoon individually based 

So regular readers know I have been busy doing my German WW2 project, which will mostly be for the Eastern front, but can work for other European theaters. Meanwhile, the local guys have been coming up with a plan for a big group game this winter (Yippee), which based in North Africa (what…er wait a minute…we are doing what…ah ok whatever).

OK, I admit it’s not as bad as all that really.

I should mention that before I started this blog I already had done a Flames of War (FoW)  v1 Deutsches Afrikakorps (DAK) army.  So a North African mega game is really not a bad thing. I can use my DAK army or actually use this as an excuse to get a British 8th army force done to stand against my DAK forces. I always like to do match pairs of forces so that I can loan out figs to others for games if needed. So getting a British army done is not that much of a pain really for me. But it does mean more work painting WW2 troops but more of that when I get some of them done.

I did realize though that if I’m going to use my DAK forces for games other than FoW then I likely need some individually based DAK infantry figures. So after a trip to my local friendly game store which stocks battlefront miniatures, I picked up another DAK platoon to paint up. The figs have changed a little since I first painted my force but I did find a pack of metal models vs. the new plastic ones. The other issue in this though is that I don’t write down ‘paint plans/receipies’ or anything for old projects. I had to match the final effect of new figs with the existing ones as best as possible. Below is a picture of a couple of bases of the existing figures, which I used as a starting point for that.So, after playing around a little with various paints and effects I have got quite close to the original figures. They are not perfect but they are close enough that I doubt anyone but me, or a reader of this blog, will know they were painted at different times. All the other figs in this post show the new painted platoon. 

Below you can see three ‘command bases’ of the new platoon. These used a couple of the FoW bases as although the aim is to have figs based for other games I thought I could get away with a few bases with multiple figs – just not the standard numbers seen in FoW.The battlefront platoon had three LMG teams – all prone on the ground. Again, it did not make sense to have these separately based so I used more of the FoW bases for these. I like that the set did have some LMG’s set and in action.
Here you can see the same bases from directly above. Two have just the LMG figs and on the third I added a rifleman to the base. In this pose it makes sense to group these together.The rest of the figures are based on pennies. This gives the most flexibility for gaming. You can see below another 3 LMG figures from the pack based this way. These guys are lugging the guns forward which in another nice pose. The rest of the squads are just armed with rifles.I’m not sure if I got the DAK uniform colors correct the first time I painted these, but just like many German troops and vehicles the real colour seems to be open to debate or interpretation. The nice thing about using the light green as a base with fading for the uniform is that this is quite different than the Brits or Italians. This is the color which is shown in some of the color shots of uniforms I have in books. The effects of the sun fading it was drastic though but these guys will be fighting in fairly new kit I guess. As normal I used a wash on the flesh which works nicely. For the desert I have left a few of the figures with a heavier shade than normal. I expect that the fair skinned Germans suffered sunburns just like the rest of us. I purposely made the webbing slightly lighter in colour than it was in reality. This matches what I have done previously and at this scale the webbing tends to disappear unless something like this is done on it. Even black lining does not help that much without the extra emphasis. That and the helmet are nice contrasts to the uniforms, which I think helps make these figs work.So that’s 35 new figs – all that came with the DAK platoon blister. Their individual basing means that I can use them for all sorts of games. Having them also allows them to be used for remaining figs after my FoW bases start to take casualties if I start games using them.

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German Marder 3 tank destroyers

Ok so for this post I return back to the theme I have been working on for a while – painting up my German WW2 army. It’s also Canadian thanksgiving this weekend so time for Turkey and eating too much, not for focusing on gaming this weekend. So for this post it’s some tank destroyers I have to show. All are from battlefront and part of the original army boxed set that I got many years ago. They were not the most effective weapons the Germans had but can be useful all the same. They are vulnerable in urban area’s and vs. infantry (being open topped) as well as not having enough armour to stand up against the larger Russian tanks. But they are fast and small which gives them some savings graces. In most games that makes their point values fairly low as well – which helps in game balance. That maybe did not make as much of a difference in real life for the crews though. I believe these were based on the chassis of tanks which were at that point outclassed on the battlefield. So somewhat cost effective to produce for the Nazi war machine.The paint effect is different than my other tanks but follows the same theme. This allows them to fit into the overall force nicely. They are small though and although the kits went together well they were a little fiddley. They seem very small compared to other tanks.Along with these I finished a few of the crew figures which come with the tanks. Most of these were for pinned markers at the time, but they are useful as generic wounded or other markers. I only did three of them as there are limits to the number which will be needed.Lastly in this post, is a small collection of wooden ‘dug in’ markers. Again these are from the original flames of war box set. I have not used these for a while in a game but as I have them it makes sense to paint them up. They may be useful at some point in games.So a few more recruits to my German forces ready for the table.

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15mm Gangster bystanders and civilians 

Following on the theme of last weeks post I thought I’d show some more 15mm Blue Moon 1930’s figures that I have completed. These are really not for use in a player gang though, they will be bystanders and plot points in games. They may get used in pulp games as characters though. However, in most cases the world where the fights and scenarios happen is populated by people other than just the combatants. This was a big issue in the gang wars of 1930’s as many people were happy to let the gangsters kill each other but public opinion changed when innocent members of the general public got caught up in events. So it’s good to have some of these figures for such an occasion.

First up are three ladies of different ages. I like how these have come out and they provide some interesting figured for background people in scenarios.img_3691Next we have three men. Again these don’t look to be main combatants – although for pulp games they could be. After all a pistol can be hidden pretty much anywhere.Next we are back to the ladies, with a collection of four this time. Ranging from the dog walker and maid to the rich lady they cover a wide remit of styles. Again all kinds of fun can be hand with these models and I really like how Blue Moon have provided all these options in a pack. So after the ladies we have the working class guys. The man on the street, in various poses. As background figures these have loads of character. I was not going to do Pulp Alley in 15mm but after painting these I may give it a go. After all, these are crying out for being used on the table.Lastly, a group of 4 more generic figures. A lady hailing a cab or something and a couple of normal people just going about their business. I tried to get the guy on the end to be smoking a cigarette. To get the lighted end to show up at 15/18mm scale required it to be a little brighter than I had initially planned though. On the table it works – I think which is the important thing after all.So there we are. These will be useful for pulp and gangster games in this small scale. I have my western town buildings which I’ll use for them and I have an idea for doing vehicles. Vehicles are needed but I have been having a hard time sourcing them at a reasonable price. So watch this space and in a few weeks I’ll show my ideas around that -and you’ll see whether it works.

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Hillbilly gang in 15mm

Well back to an oldie for a little distraction this week. My 15mm gangster project got a kick in the arm with the release of the ‘mad dogs with guns’ rules a month or so ago from Osprey. Again I have not played them yet and may never do so, but this gave me motivation to get moving on finishing some of these models. I have been working on my WW2 Germans a lot and these are a little break from that – you’ll see more German stuff soon. We will see what the rules are like at some point but as I have all these models it seems a shame not to finish them off.

So here we are another collection of Bluemoon 15mm models. This time a hillbilly type gang. Great for a more rural setting or just the outskirts of a city. This is most of the pack. I have a few terrain pieces to finish off from the pack which include a still etc. Those are going to be a different post when I get to them.

As normal for these I have a simple front/back shot for each of the figs. These definitely have some character which is cool. I purposely went with a ‘dirty denim’ look and I think it worked out ok for this gang. They would even work just as well with my 15mm cowboy figs and the terrain. In actual fact I likely will use those building for the gangster figs/period as well. Note for some reason the blonde seems to have a bit of a blue parting in the photo below – but it’s not in real life…Ah well.The next set are fully armed – even including the lady – I suspect Mamma will be a gang leader in games as she definitely looks that way. Her and the models above should give a decent selection of combat characters for gaming.The next set are interesting. More useful as supporters than actual gang members. If I even get to play Pulp Alley with 15mm figs then these will be great for props and other people in the game. You don’t often see figs holding babies or playing the banjo so they are cool- especially in 15mm.Following the hillbilly theme, drinkers and ner-do-well’s are another interesting characters. The center one has a little weird face from a slight miscast but I’ll live with it. You can only really see this by looking closely at it – with such a group one with a deformity is interesting as well. Reminds me of the preacher. All these should be able to be fitted into games with relative ease. So there we are. Another set of figs ready for the table.

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German StuG’s

Following neatly on from the Tigers I showed last, next I have some StuG’s. As I mentioned in the Tiger post I plan on using StuG’s and maybe Panther 4’s as a typical infantry support armored vehicle. That is because over the years when planning German forces I picked up some on them. Nothing more complex than that. Although they were a mainstay of German forces they were not a powerhouse of tank compared to the Tigers or the later Russian tanks. A solid workhorse though and a good match for T-34’s and Sherman’s in the mid war period, and capable all the way to the end of the war. So here are another 5 StuG’s – making my total now 7 painted so far.

First we have a commander for the couple I already have done and then a Ausf. F variant with the howitzer gun rather than the more traditional 7.5 cm gun used in the other versions.In real life it was common for the German army yo provide the tankers with paint and then each crew painted their own markings for camouflage on the vehicles. So I have tried to make each group of 3 tanks in a platoon slightly different. So you can see the differences in number and width of green markings on these below. The one with the commander out matches the first 2 StuG’s I did while the F version has thiner and less stripes.The next 3 are a separate platoon all the themselves. To make these different than the other ones they have spots vs. stripes in the green camo colour. I actually like how that came out and may do other vehicles like this or even other options. I have seen this as one of the styles of paint used on eastern front vehicles as well s the stripes so both are modeled on real patterns,img_3468These three make as a second platoon of StuG’s which should be more than sufficient for most games I would think. For the record, all these are from a Battlefront StuG box and I must admit I do like the slight variations they have on the different vehicles – in the junk thrown on them etc. They are nice models but putting on the side protection planes was a bit of a pain. So there we are more support or really alternatives for my German forces, especially as StuG platoons can be the main part of any force from 42 onwards. They would need support from infantry and the big cats but these give extra options when sorting out games.

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Tigers in various forms

Ok so I have now shown all the German infantry that I have done so now it is time to get serious with some of the German tanks. First are a couple of Tigers. These were powerful weapons and started to really hit the battlefields in the middle of the war, making more and more of an impact – they were still feared right until the end. I have two for this force. The first has silver/clean metal cables on the decking. You can see a couple of pictures of that one below.The Tigers and Panthers I have done previously, will be the hard hitting armour in my later German forces – with StuG’s or Panzer 4’s being the typical support vehicle for the infantry. This is just as they were used in real life.The second tiger has a commander in the turret – something which was suicidal in combat, but allows for easy recognition. I painted the on deck cabling of this rust brown for a little different effect. Both these models are from the Battlefront range.Next is the tank up is the King Tiger. This is a monster of a tank and I only have one of these. The kit if from the Russian company Zvezda. They do a selection of 1/100 tanks which are light and cheaper than many other makes. They are not bad kits for that though, although the current can be harder to remove/spin. img_3313The gun on this monster is huge though and I can see why they caused some much fear. They are costly on the war-game table and they were in reality so one should be enough for me in my games. I can see why people like these though as this is huge tank for WW2.Lastly, another Zvezda kit, this one the Ferdinand or later called the Elefant. Another rare vehicle really, but one which often sees it’s fair share of table use. This is another tank I wanted to have as an option though as it will be an interesting one in playing games. I can’t see me needing more than one though for most games I’ll play.Both Zvezba kits went together fairly well – although they both did require a little green stuff here and there. They are clip together plastic kits but nothing is perfect. Overall though I can’t really complain about them. I always struggle with the colours for the tank tracks but I think these are ok.So there we are. As an aside, you can see I tried a different lighting technique on some of these photo’s as well. Not sure how I like that really but it’s more ‘moody’ than normal. I will try it again but likely will return to the usual one for most cases.

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German artillery 

So after showing some other projects for a few weeks it’s back to the main focus for the summer – completing my WW2 German army forces in 15mm. Most of my figs came from an original Flames of War army box which of course came with some Artillery. Although I’m not that likely to really use these that much in games other than Flames of War, I did want to get them finished so that they have the same basing and colours as the rest of the force. The old army box came with 4 large artillery pieces which you can see below.These are typical heavy 10.5 cm German guns and I have done them in the style I’m using for all my early (and even some mid war) German stuff – a blue/grey mix. I know from reading up on the Germans that this could and was in cases used on equipment all through the war – especially things like guns which were not repainte. So these can and will work for the whole period of the war.As well as those guns, a long time ago I had bought a pack of German Nebelwerfer rocket launchers when I played FoW regularly. These are fun weapons and again although likely not really going to hit the table that often these days, it seemed silly not to paint them. So here we are 3 heavy rocket launchers for the Germans. These should like have been in the later equipment colour but I fancied them in the grey, to match the other art, so that’s how I have done them.No Artillery works without commanders and spotters so below are the ones which came with the main guns. I have to say the radio operators lying down on the job do seem to be taking things quite easy for a war zone! The FoW box came with a field team and a Horch 108 for them to move in. I added the map on the table as it makes much more sense for the display. I am quite happy how that came out actually.
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Lastly the FoW force also came with some tracked vehicles for moving the guns and teams around. These are Raupenschlepper Ost ( in English “Caterpillar Tractor East”, more commonly abbreviated to RSO). Again, I used my grey/blue colouring for these. They were common vehicles for pulling guns and other work in the German army on the eastern front. They were made in reaction to the Eastern front mud and snow which caused so many issues for traditional wheeled vehciles.

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