WWII German forward observers

22 Aug
WWII German forward observers

We recently switched to the Battlegroup series of rules for our WWII gaming. The rules work really nicely when you are using combined arms tactics and I personally feel they encourage them. As a result, we have been using artillery a lot in recent games. Nothing bad about that, only that obviously it would be nicer if you do not have to burden some squad leader with the direction of incoming shells. So I felt it was time for some forward observers. Up first are the Germans, but I will add some to the Americans, British and Russians as well.

The set is from Warlord Games and for once, the faces of their Germans are actually fairly nice. That being said I still wanted some more diversity and used a head from West Wind on the guy with the map board. All the others are straight out of the box.

Wehrmacht (Heer) forward observers

Wehrmacht (Heer) forward observers

Wehrmacht (Heer) forward observers

Wehrmacht (Heer) forward observers

But being on it, I also wanted some for the SS. While the set is cast as a Wehrmacht set, they were fairly easy to convert. With the officer and the map guys this only meant the removal of the collar insignia with a sharp knife. Otherwise most of their uniforms are covered up by the Zeltbahn, so nothing more to do there. The radio operator was a bit harder. He is wearing a Tarnhemd. Now opposed to what wargamers tend to believe SS and Wehrmacht smocks were actually quiet different. They had foliage loops in different places (not sculpted on these figures, probably since many soldiers removed those anyway). But the biggest difference is that the Wehrmacht version was reversible camo / white and had a hood while the SS version was reversible spring (summer) / autumn and had no hood. Since the radio operator is wearing his hood out (most soldiers actually stuffed it in on the inside in summer) it had to be removed. This was simply ground away with a Dremel. Over the years I have grown accustomed to working with a grinder bit on the Dremel and as a result I did not even have to re-sculpt anything. In this case the officer got a helmeted head from West Wind and the map guy a head from Victory Force. I chose to paint these in Eichenlaub pattern. For one it one of my favorite patterns, it is one of the most common and helmet covers, smocks and Zeltbahn were produced in this pattern, so it fitted nicely.

SS forward observers

SS forward observers

SS forward observers

SS forward observers


15 responses to “WWII German forward observers

  1. Thomas

    August 22, 2014 at 14:29

    Nice work!

  2. Michael Awdry

    August 22, 2014 at 15:08

    Lovely painting and conversion work.

  3. Burkhard

    August 22, 2014 at 15:45

    Thank you both! Really enjoyed doing these, so I am glad you like them!

  4. vonpeterhimself

    August 23, 2014 at 09:15

    Nifty conversions Burkhard and great to be able to call in mass destruction with such stylish figures! 8O)

    von Peter himself

    • Burkhard

      August 24, 2014 at 06:26

      Thanks vP! What other way is there to call in mass destruction on the styrofoam fields of glory than the stylish way! 😛

  5. Nysse

    August 23, 2014 at 11:10

    Nice work with the paintjob and small conversions!

    • Burkhard

      August 24, 2014 at 06:27

      Thank you Samuli… great it paid off!

  6. Dean

    August 24, 2014 at 02:05

    Great looking troops as always, Burkhard. Love the splittermuster camo work.

    • Burkhard

      August 24, 2014 at 06:28

      THX Dean! I really love painting these two types of camo, good to hear that you like the results!

  7. Pat.

    August 24, 2014 at 21:45

    Superb painting on the camo and a great picture with the tank behind the hedge for a backdrop.
    I have just been making do with any figure that has a set of binoculars for a FOO but after seeing these, I think I will have to do it properly.

    • Burkhard

      August 25, 2014 at 08:25

      Thanks Pat!

      Same here, I hav been making use of minis with just binoculars myself, but always felt I needed something more elaborate. So when I saw these in the Warlord store a couple of month back, I simply had to get them. Some retailers have them, too, but that is rarer, since Warlord sells these as cast upon request / order.

  8. Stefan

    August 25, 2014 at 08:17

    Sehr gute Arbeit.
    Klasse !

  9. Michael Peterson

    August 25, 2014 at 20:23

    Terrific work, Burkhard. Very effective conversions and paintings. They look all set to drop some mortar bombs onto some unfortunate Tommies.

    • Burkhard

      August 25, 2014 at 20:39

      Thanks Micheal! Maybe they can even rain down something heavier… Like 150mm or Nebelwerfel! 😉


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: