Mantic Space Orcs – leader and specialists

This post is really a continuation from the last one. if you have not seen that then you may want to look at it first. OK still with me so that’s good. As I mentioned in that post, the Orc group was really too big to do close ups of them all in one go, so I split that across two posts. In the first post I showed the normal troops in close up, so in this one I’ll show the rest of the Space Orc gang from Mantic. As mentioned I think these will be used mainly for Shadow War: Armageddon (or maybe a version of kill team or other Sci-fi rules), rather than the Deadzone game that they came in. Oh and again sorry for the bad lighting for the photo’s.

So let’s start with the big guys. That is the Orcs in exo-skeleton/powered armour suits. In typical Orc fashion these are big and clunky. Not that practical as well looking at them. They are armed with a wide variety of weapons for both close combat and ranged combat. I have to say that these are nice models. I especially like the half Cyborg one on the right. A real metal head.I tried to make these very metallic and clunky looking. I just can’t see anything Orc being too refined and it seemed to work. These were all the cleanest models of the group – needing the least clean up compared to the others.Next up are the Goblin/Grot snipers or riflemen. In the official ShadowWars rules these guys are not really available but I can see them being a fun addition to a force. The added dexterity of being small, which they normally have in backgrounds would make them valuable members of an Orc band if I do other rules. A better shot, especially at range, which the Orcs may need. They then provide that long range power to a very close combat/close range shooting type force.They could even be small young Orcs if I really wanted but I like the long time idea of a mixture of green skins getting on in a way. These small guys provide a service which the bigger Orcs either don’t want to do or more likely can’t do well.Last up but not least by any description is ‘Da boss’- or “Barone” as he is known to the gang. Oh and yes an original series Danger Mouse reference! As an aside, if you have not seen that TV series I recommend you do. If you have see it again. Danger Mouse (1981) was silly and fun tv for kids. It’s much better than the remake. It is still good and there are just not enough references to the martial art of ‘Kung Moggy’ on the web…

<Cough>

Ok back to the topic at hand. I really like this model and it give a different view of an Orc boss vs. the one GW style which we see a lot of the time. The figure is a mix of African dictator, Roman Emperor and Star Wars alien baddie, all pushed over the top Comic style. What can go wrong with that combination! He could be straight out of Guardians of the Galaxy. He has the same cap (in the same colours) as the rest of the Orcs in the group to match up with them. The rest of his clothing is over the top though. The pose is really good as well and I can see that stick he has being a ‘force weapon’ of some kind.

So as a last picture, here is a view of the back of the gang. Thats how I’ll see them on the table after all. These guys will be hitting a table soon and looking for trouble. With my die rolls and tactics trouble is likely to occur, often in the way which may get them all killed.

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Mantic space orks

I have been showing Germans for a while so as Monty Python said so well, now for something completely different. Below is a shot of my recently completed Mantic space orc ‘gang’. In this post I’ll include close ups of the basic Orcs, and in the next I’ll cover the other troops.To be honest I have been messing with these figs for a while – they came with the Mantic Deadzone game Kickstarter. However the real motivator to get them done was the release of the new shadow wars Armageddon box. There has been a decent amount of discussion of playing that in the club, but no actual games to my knowledge. I know others in the Toronto area are playing it though. So getting an opponent would not be hard. You will have to excuse the poor camera work on these models, as they were taken in daylight where things get a little shinny at times – sigh. I really do have to look into some better lighting sources for taking pictures.

The basic force has six orcs with a variety of weapons, two goblin snipers, two orcs in exoskeleton power armour and of course ‘da boss’. So this post will just focus on the basic troops. I was going to show them all in a single post then realized that would likely have too many photos in a single post to be sensible. So two posts it is.

The first two are the heavy weapons guy on the right and one with two large guns, one in each hand. You can see from these two that these models have a definite ‘pulp gangster’ feel to them, with baseball caps and trench coats. It’s a different theme than many orcs and makes them stand out compared to GW’s ones. Oh and yes I have some of them to do as well, at some point. These will be the specialists for the force, with the expert gunner and heavy roles.The heavy has a backpack tank so I suspect that model is perfect for a flamer or plasma weapon. Oh and I was never a fan of exact WYSIWYG in games as long as you can ask/tell opponents what a model has then it’s fine with me and how I would play anyway.that whole the model has to be exactly what they have smacks to me of expert modellers with loads of time and GW knowing it will increase sales in a skirmish game where needed model numbers are limited.

The next models are two sets of repeated figure poses. I believe two were extras came from a bonus in the Kickstarter. So to make them a little unique I just painted them differently. Hopefully you see the same theme colours running through them – the red trim and same colour caps etc but each model is unique. The basing is very simple with these models but it seems to work well. The basic nature of it actually works with the models I think. These guys are much more likely to be fighting in urban ruins or under hive settings than green grass. I have yet to come up with names for these models but these 4 are the ‘mooks’ of the outfit aka standard troops with few special skills. That may change over time though. The first two models are the more specialists of the orcs shown here.So there we are. Next post will show the other models in the gang. Got to say I like the models but they are still a nightmare to clean up… one reason I don’t have many Mantic models in my collection.

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German WW2 infantry support units

I have shown all the standard German infantry in the last few posts it’s time to show the support units that I have to work with them as well. This is not a comprehensive list of all the support option possible (I’m not sure such a thing even exists and definitely don’t need it) but just the ones I have painted up. I likely should look at getting some anti-tank guns at some point but buying them is fairly low priority at this point. My German army can use tanks for that. I have enough of those yet to paint to make up for any shortfalls in anti-tank weapons.

The first group to display are a couple of infantry guns. The Germans used these all through the war and although not great they do provided good direct fire HE support for infantry companies. I just have two of these and that’s enough, as I don’t see these are battle winners but more a standard support option.Next we have a couple of Anti-aircraft Flack guns. Neither of these weapons are especially great, certainly not prefect as a more generic weapon vs. Infantry as Hollywood often shows them used. Private Ryan being a classic example of AA guns in movies being used for direct fire. The single barrel limits the amount of lead they will throw into the air. That said they are still very useful and needed in games to help the Germans keep the allied air superiority at bay, especially in the later war period.Actually, the ones above are such an old Battlefront kit I could not even find them on the Battlefront web site! Seems they have been replaced. The barrels in both sets of AA models are very thin so I’ll need to be careful moving these around. I decided to paint the slightly lighter caliber ones Flack 36’s on their transport trailer (shown above) in a typical early war grey/blue amd the Flack 38’s below more beige. But either colour could be seen at any period of the war after approx 1941 to my understanding. So I will be happy to field both units as needed.Following on from those, I have a set of 4 HMG/MMG’s on tripods. This unit will likely see quite a bit of use as the German MG34/42 weapons were some of the best in the war. These units in combination with the LMG heavy infantry squads can make very powerful fields of fire for the allies in both offensive and defensive games. The model groups come in 2 poses – set up to fire with the tripods and moving. I will be try not to confuse the moving ones with infantry units. I suspect I’ll be using these quite a lot in games though to ensure the best firepower for Germans.Below we have something I had to look up and do research on. To identify it I asked on the LAF forum and was provided a great starting point for this. It’s an early war Anti-tank weapon a 8.8-cm Raketenwerfer 43 “Puppchen” – an 88mm rocket launcher. This was phased out with the introduction of the real man portable anti-tank weapons (the panzerschreck and panzerfaust) and dificulties getting the raw materials for the ammo as the war went on. However, it is a cool thing to have around for early/mid war games. Along with that I have a base of the anti-tank rifles. I don’t really like these models but I doubt I’ll use these that often in a game anyway. Early war they may have their use and they can be effective vs. unarmored vehicles but I can’t see them being really effective. The last two support units I have are 2 medium mortars and some light mortars.  The medium mortars are a common weapon for the Germans and often used by infantry companies as their attached artillery support. With three man teams and decent caliber weapons mean these can be very useful in such a role, depending on the rules set of course. For the Battlegroup game these seem to be about the largest indirect weapon which is worth having on the table.Like many forces German infantry platoons often had small 5cm mortars. Providing relative short range but reasonable HE capability these can be useful in games – or fairly useless. I believe that reflects their real world results as well. I have a couple of bases of these and in the centre a command group of three figs I have not shown so far. I don’t believe the mortars were that common in the mid/late war but I have found them fairly ineffective in games anyway when using the Soviet forces version of these.So there we are a very decent selection of German infantry support groups.

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Remaining WW2 German infantry 

So after two posts on the German infantry  – the medium flames of war bases and the individual based ones it only seems fair to finish this with a third covering the remaining infantry bases that I have done.

So this post shows the remaining basic infantry figure bases I have completed. First a couple of shots of a German engineering platoon from a FoW pack. The big difference in these is they are based 4 figs to a base not the 5 of the standard infantry platoon. They have a collection of extra kit and anti-tank grenades but in 15mm it’s not that obvious.The basing in 4’s alone should make them valuable to some degree in my creation of units. They will be useful for some size squads in battlegroup/chain of command. The above picture shows the faces quite nicely so I used it, even though the one below highlights the basing much better. This breaks my usual style of a single fig per base in these posts but so keck I liked both shots.Then to round out the remaining figures I based them mostly in pairs. Right at the back is a medium FoW base with just 3 figures on it though.  Doing all these figures in 2’s should give me plenty of flexibility when playing games other than flames of war. All the figures are either commissioned or noncommissioned officers and a collection of normal infantry. Some of the infantry have Panzerfäuste or anti-tank grenades but that’s not that common on these models, or in fact any of the models from Battlefront I have found.Now with the multiple platoons from Battlefront it was pretty certain that I would get some snipers in the packs and I did. So below you can see the three bases of those that I finished. I doubt I’ll ever need or want to use all three in a game but heck I have them so was going to paint them. They can always be normal troops in a squad as well.Lastly, with all the platoons I finished a couple of them included sets of Panzerschreck models as well. These for those unfamiliar with them are the German bazooka. This became more standard in the last year or two of the war.  I have ended up with six bases of these, so below are two shots of them, one showing their faces and another more the bases.You may notice that some of them have their weapons painted green and some beige. I was not sure what colour worked better so went with a mix. Again I doubt I’ll use this number of the units but heck I have the option now. These will be useful in later war games especially vs. Russians where they were used in supporting waves.So there we are. That’s all the basic infantry done. It’s not the end of the Germans though as you’ll see.

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Individual based German infantry

Well last post I showed the large based infantry for the German army that I have been working on. I’m planning to use this force for Battlegroup and Chain of Command and so need individual based figures as well as the larger movement groups. So in this post I show a platoon of individual or smaller groups of based figures. As normal when I do these types of posts, it’s just a single picture of each model/base. Unlike the posts of bigger units I don’t do shots from different angles as that would make these posts too picture heavy. They have enough pictures already.You can also get a better view of the detail on the models that I have done with these photo’s. They are not perfect and won’t win any awards but are pretty good wargame table standard. The figs are from 2 different battlefront platoons packs – one which was a normal mid/full war one and one with long overcoats. That mix should work well with the basing style, with that being in the Autumn/early Spring before things grow a lot. Even though all these are all Germans (obviously caucasians) I still tried to vary the skin tone by varying the strength of the wash and the highlights that I used on the flesh. Some of that is habit and by plan, and to be honest some is by accident which I like and then try to keep. A few came out a little too pink if I was being critical but it’s ok and I will leave them now.I went with a darker green for the overcoat vs. a more grey color. The light grey seems to be typical hollywood color. I guess as it stands out more but my reseach indicated that dark green/grey was also quite common. This fitted better with the other uniforms so I went with that.I based some of the MMG figs in 2’s as shown at the start of this post but the other are all on penny’s so that can be the separate. These were common and powerful in the German squads and so I needed to ensure that there were enough of them on the larger bases as well as separate. This provides plenty of flexibility when making units. Although in 15mm WYSIWYG is always a little hard to do. Most if the poses are generic enough and realistic so can’t really complain about them. As these are the first generation of Battlefront figures (yes I have had these that long) I’m happy with them.I already have a platoon of late war painted Germans so mixing these in with them will provide a good selection of figs.You may have noticed some of the trench coated models on the larger base last time as well. I purposely did that to vary the figures and add some extra variety on bases as well.This last set has the officer in an overcoat and a hiding/prone figure. They will be useful in games and do make different figures than you normally see in single figure poses.Lastly, a wounded figure pose and a commander. This photo is a little too close in reality for 15mm figs but heck. The wounded models are from the crew of one of the tanks – they used to do that to show the bailed out crew.So there we the Germans are making their way to the table.

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First German WW2 infantry

So time to show off the first of my German infantry. You can see the basing and paint colours that I have decided upon for them. That makes this post the first to highlight this. I tried various colours but in the end went with the Flames of War recommended paints for the models. That’s for the uniform and helmets. I used my standard black and metals etc i did not need to buy any more paints for them. I tried various colours and was not really happy with them so decided to use these. They still look a little green to me but heck I’m sure that they know the right shades better than me. It does make the figures pretty plane but I guess that’s what they were like.

The movies tend to make the German uniform more grey than green – which is where most of my personal information comes from. But we all know how unreliable Hollywood is, so I need to really use other sources. The uniforms I have seen in museums often have a lot of fading.  Checking books and the Net shows this colour is fairly close to reality. So that’s why in the end I used it.I have 2 platoons of figures here – or nearly that as you’ll see a some of the figs have been put on smaller bases, but for this post I just have used the standard flames of war bases. They make a nice size for 5 figures and that’s a good core for most units.The basing style is a new combination for me. I tried a mix of various flock and static grass, mixing some very light colours with deep reds.. My idea was to give an impression of grassy planes which can even be close to English moors of the Russian step in the fall. This was done  especially thinking of the grasslands around Stalingrad and in the Crimea. I think this also looks ok for early spring work. I was concerned if the lighter areas would work out but I think it looks ok in the end. However, let’s be honest I’ll use these figs for all conflicts even the basing is slightly off for them.As mentioned I do plan on using these for German forces all the way from Poland through tot the fall of Berlin. In theory the colours and uniforms are mid war- 41 to 43 or so. But I doubt at this scale anyone will notice the green vs blue trousers for the early war. In the late war the cut of the uniform changes slightly and there were no Jack boots. Camouflage coats started to be issues a lot more as well. That said, the Germans did have troops with these standard uniforms right unlit the end of the war. So there is no great issue with using these all throughout the European  campaigns. Also as these are 15mm so I’m not really worried about those differences as it takes close inspection to see many if the differences..Much of the German kit such as the webbing was black or dark green so I used those colours. I have to say though that those colours do blend into the uniforms though. So it makes the details on the figs harder to see at normal table top playing distances. Overall, though I’m happy how these figures have come out.There are more to come as well but these should give you a good view of the force. In fact there are enough figs here for most games I want to play! 

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The WW2 German project starts moving

As you may tell from this blog I usually do one ‘big’ project a year – thus trying to get a large army or force done. Then I do other painting projects to keep my from better ‘fed up’ with just doing that single project. This allows me to get things done and finish big projects but also keep the creative juices going with smaller one off painting project. So time to start a new big project – and this one is WW2 Germans in 15mm.

I have had this as a target as an army for <cough> 15+ years and slowly been building up the toys to paint. I have a large Soviet force for WW2 (Flames of War based with some individual based figs) so the first aim is to get a force to match that. With matching forces it’s much easier to get games etc. In the end I want my Germans to be able to be used for all the war – so yes that will need different armor especially and maybe even some guns but I think I can get way with the the same infantry for most of the war. I do have a platoon or two of individual based 15mm figs and a few vehicles already done and used for 15mm Bold Action – you can see them here.

So the first completed set I’ll show off on this new project are 5 Panthers and a couple of Stug G’s. These are all battlefront miniatures – the Stugs the resin ones from one of the old FoW starter sets and the Panthers from early kits – the metal and plastic combination kits.I don’t own or use an airbrush – I have enough trouble with standard brushes and the techniques. So all these are just old fashioned brush painted. The camo style is one I found online for some of the Kursk tank units. I’m not sure how long it really was used but German WW2 armor paint camouflage seems to have lacked consistency so this should be ok. I will continue to use this or variations of it for the late armor came for most of my force. I like the finished dirty look to the models as well. That hides any imperfections as well.

The paint scheme is different enough from any allied one. You’ll note that I decided not to use decals on the tanks. I find them fiddly and although more accurate they do limit the combination of tanks I can use. I might put some numbers on the turrets but likely won’t.The Stugs are significantly smaller than the Panther which you can see here, but I believe were a lot more common. Not as fashionable for gamers but more useful in a historical context. The models also have taken some damage over the years with their protective sides but I have left that rather than trying to repair it, I doubt any repair would hold anyway. So there we are. You’ll be seeing a load more WW2 15mm stuff in the coming couple of months as I slowly finish more of these.

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