Sunday, 26 June 2016

20mm WW2 Winter German infantry platoon

The painting table has had a decidedly chilly feel this week.  I'm playing in a Korsun/Cherkassy pocket-based scenario (organised by Richard Crawley) for Chain of Command at Gauntlet next week, so had an incentive to get this unit complete.  Winter Germans have always appealed, ever since I saw the cover of the Sven Hassel novel Blitzfriez, back in the 1970s.  The cover depicted a close up of a German soldier dusted with frost and the thousand yard stare of a soldier with shell shock.

So, here they are.  I still need to do a little detailing; the officers hat needs insignia, as does the assistant Panzershreck gunners field cap.  They are painted in my usual WW2 German field grey, with ivory used to represent the snow camo.  The snow effect is made by mixing white paint, PVA glue and bicarbonate of soda into a paste and daubing it on with an old brush.  The mix sets like cement, but it appears the bicarbonate of soda recrystallizes to give a dusty appearance reminiscent of frost when lightly dry brushed.

All the figures come from the Pegasus SS for Kursk set 2, with a few exceptions noted below.  I plan to add some armour support for them, probably taking advantage of the Early War Miniatures/Armourfast offer of 4 Sdkfz 251s with kit to convert a command vehicle plus stowage and some Britannia/Grubby Stugs.

First up the command team, officer on the left and Panzerschrek team on the right.  The Panzershreck gunner is an Esci figure from the 1980's, while the assistant gunner is an Airfix Akrika Korps figure from the 1970's.  One of those I played with as a kid.

1st Section/Squad.  MG team of two gunners and ammo carrier on left, six riflemen and the section NCO.

2nd Section/Squad, organised as 1st.  The prone MG team comes from the Airfix WW2 German infantry set and is probably at least 45 years old.  Tempus fugit!

3rd Section/Squad, as previous.

Some spare riflemen, for specialists.

The senior NCO running with SMG, useful as an adjutant or similar figure.

Sniper!  The scenic base is made up from some twigs that I picked up while walking home after dropping my boy at school.  The figure was standing in a very upright posture with what looked like a corn stook wrapped around his body.  I painted the stook to look more like twigs and branches and then put him in the centre of a snow covered thicket with some static grass tufts and some ivy festooning the upright tree.

Another view of the sniper from a different angle.

And another.

Yet more.

Forgot to mention the brush bristles representing shrubs and saplings, which can be clearly be seen either side of the figure.

The officer in more detail, showing my attempt at pea-dot camo.

Front view of the officer.  He's not particularly photogenic as he's hunched forward talking into a telephone/radio handset.

Kneeling rifleman.

Rifleman preparing a hand grenade.

Standing rifleman; I like this pose.

Kneeling rifleman, different pose.

Rifleman resting.

Rifleman running with panzerknacker charge.

MG team with gunner bracing the weapon on his assistant's back.

Another view.

Prone MG team.  They scrub up well for old Airfix figures from my old toy box.

So, a platoon of Germans, ready to try and work their way out of the Cherkassy pocket.   Will any of them make it?  I hope to know, with some pictures, by next Saturday evening.

Thanks for looking.

Monday, 20 June 2016

20mm WW2 Winter German camo

It seems the current trend amongst my friends is to work on figures in winter camo, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I picked up a box of Pegasus Panzergrenadiers for Kursk and these are modelled wearing smocks, so seemed an ideal and relatively inexpensive way to test some techniques.  I block painted this rifleman in mid-grey trousers, ivory smock and helmet cover and NATO black boots, webbing and cartridge cases.  Beige brown rifle and grenade handles, black, dry brushed basalt grey for metalwork on rifle and boots.  German camo beige for rifle strap and bread sack, oily steel for mess tin, German camo dark green for gas mask case and flat brown with oily steel cap for water bottle.  German camo mid-brown for entrenching tool.  The figure was varnished with polyurethane varnish mixed with some Army Painter strong tone ink and based with sand on earth brown PVA glue.  I added some green static grass and a winter grass tuft.  Then the new bit; for the snow I mixed a little white Vallejo paint with some PVA glue and a sprinkle of bicarbonate of soda, making a slightly crumbly, almost sugary texture, which I daubed on to the static grass, winter tuft and parts of the sandy earth base.  I also used a little to dry brush his knees, backside, boots, helmet and equipment (but not his rifle - don't want him on a charge).

Front view.

Rear view.

Side view.

I'm quite please with the final effect.  I think the strong tone ink may be a little too strong, although the final, dirty appearance is probably more true to life than the Persil fresh look in illustrations.  I'll try another test figure and dry brush it a bit white to see if I prefer the final look.

I also had a play with my image enhancing software to see if I could get the colours any better, with this result, which seems to be truer to the real life figure.

As ever, thanks for looking.  If you have any suggestions for winter basing, I'd be pleased to hear from you.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

20mm WW2 Soviet Heavy Weapons

To provide some support to my WW2 Russian infantry, I added a pack of Plastic Soldier Company Heavy Weapons.  These are painted and based the same way as the infantry.

Anti-tank rifles on the move.

AT rifles in action.

82mm mortar teams in action.

50mm mortar teams in action.

Maxim MMG teams moving.

Maxim MMG teams in action.

A great value pack providing plenty of support options.  I've got another pack of infantry and AT guns to finish off enough for a company for Battlegroup Kursk and a brigade for Rapid Fire.  I'll need to add some specialist scouts and engineers for completeness.
Thanks for looking.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

15mm Objective bases

When I play FoW at the local club, I'm forever having to borrow objective markers or use spare vehicles to mark objectives.  I'm too mean to buy the purpose built resin objectives and could never see the point  in paying for the Battlefront cards with "objective" printed on them.  I was looking over Ironclad Miniatures offerings at the WMMS show back in March and spotted a set of 3 resin supply dumps for the princely sum of £4.  The largest piece comprised oil drums at one end and crates at the other, so it was relatively straightforward to score between them and snap the piece into two, thus giving me 4 objective bases, two for me and two for my opponent if they don't have them.

These were dead easy to paint up as well.  The ammo crates are chocolate brown, heavily dry brushed beige brown and lightly dry brushed beige.  Oil drums were reflective green dry brushed 50:50 reflective green and grey green.  Tarps are khaki grey, dry brushed khaki.  Everything was washed in Army Painter strong tone diluted c. 4:1 with airbrush flow improver.  So, 4 objective bases for a total cost of £4 for the resin castings and c. 50p for the mdf bases.  Simple, but it does the job.

Thanks for looking.

Monday, 13 June 2016

20mm WW2 AT bunker

This is an anti-tank bunker I put together using a spare Zis-2 barrel from the Plastic Soldier Zis-2 & -3 kits I posted on a while back (  You get spare barrels to complete each gun as a Zis -2 or -3, so in my case I had two spare Zis-2 barrels.

I built a rectangular box on an mdf base, using balsa sheet offcuts, and based the barrel on another piece of balsa.  The earth banks were built up with blue high density polystyrene trimmed to shape and the wooden log revetting is made up of barbecue skewers.  The rear door is balsa sheet with a barbecue  skewer frame.  I used some acrylic filler to smooth everything out.  The ground surface is PVA glue mixed with earth paint and sprinkled with sand.  Static grass and various colours of grass tufts were added to finish it off.  The 20mm Russian soldier provides scale.

Quite pleased with this as, apart from a pack of skewers from the pound shop, the only cost was the price of the large base and a smaller mdf base for the roof.

I might add a concrete wall on a smaller base to screen the rear entrance from direct fire, just for completeness.

Thanks for looking.

Friday, 10 June 2016

20mm WW1 Ottomans

Here we have a box of HAT Turkish (Ottoman) infantry, potential opponents for the ANZACs posted recently, but mainly as potential use in the fictional country of Andreivia in the immediate aftermath of WW1 and during the Russian Civil War.  These guys can represent Ottoman garrison troops in Andreivia before they were demobilised and repatriated.  Alternatively, they can represent a local militia that has equipped itself with left over Ottoman equipment.

In the pack, there are 48 figures.  Eight kneeling and 8 standing firing, 2 very similar poses of men standing as if thrusting their rifles forwards, although neither has bayonet fixed.  Then there are 4 officers, 4 running with rifle across chest, 4 marching with slung rifle and 4 walking with rifle held across the waist.

These all have grey undercoat washed green brown and dry brushed green ochre, then yellow ochre.  Leather items are saddle brown.  Boots are NATO black as are rifle barrels, dry brushed basalt grey.  Blanket rolls are neutral grey.

Kneeling firing.

Standing firing.

Advancing with rifle.

Similar pose, I'd have given these fixed bayonets!

Walking rifle across waist.

Running rifle across chest.

Marching, slung rifle, with backpack.

Officer waving pistol.

All 48 figures.

I've picked up a couple more sets; some Strelets Cossacks, HAT Canadians to use as Brits in tin hats and some tropical British infantry in pith helmets.  Should have enough to make up an Empire composite infantry company with platoons of ANZACs, Brits in tin hats and Brits in pith helmets, plus supports and some local militias derived from Ottoman Turks, Russian infantry and Cossacks.   I'm liking these figures a lot and compared with metal figures are buttons to buy!

As ever, thanks for looking.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

20mm WW1 ANZACs

So, with the Andreivian Civil War set in 1991 fought out early in April, it appears we have agreed to turn the clocks back and play out a game set in Andreivia in the immediate aftermath of the First World War and against the background of the Russian Civil War.  I fancy doing some allied intervention forces and was really pleased to find one of the local model shops had a stock of HAT Industries 20mm WW1 figures including ANZACs, Turks and Russians (infantry and heavy weapons).  At less than 10p per figure, they seem too good a source of suitable forces to pass up.

So, here is the box of 48 ANZAC infantry.  The pack contains 4 officers, 8 standing firing and 4 kneeling firing, with 8 marching, all in full uniform.  Then there are 12 advancing with fixed bayonets, 8 rushing with slung rifles and 4 throwing hand grenades, all in shirt sleeve order.  The troops in shirt sleeves give some opportunity for variation as the shirts can be grey, off white, pale blue or variations on that theme.

The figures were undercoated pale grey.  Uniform jackets are US drab faded with buff, trousers and bush hats are green brown, puttees are khaki grey.  Webbing is golden olive faded with buff, pouches and bayonet scabbards are saddle brown, hat brims are Iraqi sand.  Rifles are beige brown, boots and metal parts are black highlighted basalt grey, bayonets are aluminium.  Shirts are ivory, blue grey, basalt grey and dark sea grey.


If  I can find one, I'll add a box of ANZAC heavy weapons for the Lewis and Vickers gunners, otherwise I'll add some in white metal.  Eventually, I plan to build up an interventionist company or so of ANZACs, Indian Army and British Army in tropical dress, plus some cavalry supports.  I'll use the Ottomans and Russians as local militias/levies.  I've now got the Ottoman Turks on the table, with the first batch of 12 as a tester.

Thanks for looking.