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World War II 1940 Dutch

World War II 1940 Dutch

In recent years I have developed quite a liking for wargaming the early years of WWII. And with it also for the „minor“ nations or smaller parts of campaigns.

One of those nations are the Dutch for May 1940. The biggest appeal of them is their lack of armour, combined with the fact that the German formations used against them did not feature the toughest armoured nuts (like PzKw 38(t)) or were actually lighter formations like Fallschirmjäger or infantry divisions. So that should allow for a nice break from the battles for Poland or France.

The minis chose are from the May40 Miniatures range. All in all the minis are fabulous and I have to say the photos on their website do not fully do them justice.

While the Dutch wore uniforms that were officiall labelled to be fieldgrey (although I feel more blue-greenish than the German uniforms of the same name), it seems the dyes faded fast and often ended up quite light. So I chose to do mine in a very faded bluegrey.

Forward Observer
Infantry platoon HQ
Schwarzlose MMG team
81mm mortar team

After taking the first picture, I noticed that the barrel had been bend during basing. Unfortunately I did not think about taking another photo. 🙄

I know that under the Battlegroup rules, that Solthurn only has a two men crew, but the team looked too good as it was. So I based them as a team of three and we will have to remember the smaller size during play.

The beauty about a force like those is, that it only took about four weekends and a few afternoons to paint it and it is is fairly complete already. All that is left to add is an armoured car (already on my painting table for when we return from Scotland), some artillery and a few odds and ends like artillery and medics (which I know will be released in the not too distant future by May40 Miniatures) and the whole force is done.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2022 in Battlegroup, Blitzkrieg, May 40, Rules, WWII, WWII: Dutch

 

I just wanted to do some rebasing…

I just wanted to do some rebasing…

… and went over the top. And build more. And repainted a lot.

Let’s start from the beginning. As the long time followers will know, we used to play WWII games using the „The Face Of Battle“ rules. Those were skirmish rules in the classic sense and worked really well with individualy based crews for crew served weapons.

Roughly a decade ago we switched to Battlegroup since we wanted something that catered for bigger games and was a little faster. Battlegroup does not really care much for the basing. So neither did I. But when I started adding some completely new forces in recent years (my 1939-41 Germans, late war Fallschirmjäger and Poles) I started basing crews served weapons and some small teams on multi bases. And I really liked the looks. So I made the decision to do everything new fitting that criteria this way and slowly rebase the old stuff. My Americans already got the treatment two years ago (man I could have bet that was last year), it was now time to start with my Germans.

Up first is a Bandai Pak40 in 1:48th scale. Which is a bit of an oddball in my collection these days. The roughly 50 year old Bandai kit is the only model kit on the market these days. You can also get a PaK40 in 1:48th from Blitzkrieg, but that is about it and then you you need to crew it.

About the only options for a seperate crew that some to my mind are Victory Force and 1st Corps. Which essentially means a very limited variety. So I decided to go with 1:56th guns (for those guns where I will essentially need multiples), mainly on account of Warlord games offering a choice for virtually any force and setting and secondly because I have some guns with crews from other manufacturers (Empress, Heer46 and Offensive Miniatures) for some of the more odd forces / settings like Gebirgsjäger, Volksgrenadiere, Charkiv and so on.

Why am I telling you this? Well since it is going to be my only PaK40 in this scale, I wanted to pick a setting that limits the chances that I will have to put two of them on the table at the same time. So I went for very late war SS. I already had a crew from Victory Force painted up in a mix of Pea Dot and plain uniforms ready so they would only require a repaint of the helmets to match them to the gun. But then I decided to repaint on the gun as well. Back then I used a green that was too dark and applied the camo with a brush. Unfortunately the paint had been a little thick, so the camo formed a slight raise on the model. I wanted to equalise this with a new coat of camo and some varnish. At least that was the plan. I decided to go for a Resedagrün base and apply a hard edged camo over it by airbrush. What I did not realise back then, was that the masking putty started to flow that day (it was the first heatwave here in Germany that day) which led to extremely raised edges. So essentially I had the same problem as before. I felt it was half as bad after two coats of varnish, but looking at the photos now… I think I will apply some heavy camouflage to the model. So you might see more photos of this one in the future. The crates and loose ammo are from the Rubicon offering below.

Up next is a PaK40 from Rubicon in 1:56th scale. My old system meant, that I could get a way with very few gun models by simply having different crews to place besides them. These days it means that I have more crews than guns. Like a Wehrmacht crew with a strong mid war vibe. Since this is a setting where I could imagine two PaK40 on the table I went with Rubicon here. (There will eventually be another gun from Warlord to add to it.) The gun is completely new, while the crew is one from Victory Force I painted ages ago. Most of the crew are converted from their tri-pod HMG set, only the gunner himself is from the dedicated PaK crew set. Again the helmets were repainted to match the gun, as were the ammo containers (which actually come from the Bandai gun above).

The next gun, a Pak43 is 1:48th scale again. Quite an expensive model from Gaso.Line. But worth it. I repainted the gun, but to be honest, I cannot really say why. I think it was because I did not like something about the camo pattern. The crew is from Victory Force once more. In retrospect I am not really sure about the gunner. While kneeling poses seem ok for the rest of the crew he is very much dwarfed by the gun, which makes him look strange. But Inwould imagine the crew operating the gun under fire, so he might try his best to keep a low profile. And it is a huge gun, which is why the German troops called it Scheunentor (= barn door). Which is also why I put it into a prepared position to break up its outline from the front.

Now the next one is completely new. A PaK97/38. Years ago I saw a painting by Giuseppe Rava and somehow it made me want to model that gun with a SS crew. The model itself is from Rubicon. The gun commander and loader are from the old Bilt Action rules (before they were sold to Warlord Games). I think they originally came with a PaK40, but I always loved them since they are so very dynamic. Since there is only two crew and the PaK97/38 requires a three men crew in Battlegroup, I build a gunner from the Warlord Games plastic SS set and I feel it turned out good. This also gave me a chance to try out a new recipe for Oak Leaf camo.

Speaking of trying out… I also bought some new paints for Italian camo that I wanted to give a try. Stössi’s Heroes have a nice set of Sturmmann Otto Funk & Grenadier Klaus Schuh, who served as a MG team in the scout section of the 12th SS in Normandy. The photos of them in Rots are amongst those most used from the fighting in Normandy. Now the minis depict them while the photo was taken and on that occasion they both wore overalls made from Italian camo fabric. The minis are actually really nice, but have two slight „defects“. For one they are a bit short. So glued another thin base onto the slots bases I use to make them about as tall as the other minis I use. The other is that the miniature of Funk is carrying post war NATO ammo boxes. So these had to be replaced with boxes from a Warlord plastic set and some filling with green stuff.

And last are the only minis that were (almost) just rebased. my Wehrmacht artillery spotter team. In a recent game the upper part of the Schwrebfernrohr had broken of. When I repaired that, I had to remove the tripod and cut the parts where it broke flat. This lead to some damage to the paint and to make sure it was all uniform, I repainted the whole thing. The spotter and his radio operator where based together as well.

 

Late Romans (Western Empire)

Late Romans (Western Empire)

Compared to the last few posts we are now going back in time quite a bit.

One of the armies I have always wanted to do was a Late Roman Army for the Western Empire. So a couple of years ago I bought some minis from Footsore Miniatures, but never got to paint them. But every year the German distributor (and publisher of the German translation) of SAGA runs what he calls “Die Heerschau”. All in all you need to paint a point worth of troops per month for six months plus the Warlord sometime during that period. Essentially it is a motivator at the beginning of the year. So this year I decided to get myself motivated and to finally paint those Romans I had lying around.

So let’s start with the Levies. I decided, that I wanted a Balista, which means you need to trade half a point away in return for the Balista. I feel you get the best deal with the Levies. So it is half a a point of Levies with close spears and a Balista. I always loved the poses of those late Romans crouching behind their large shields, so half the unit is depicted this way. I wanted to make the units easy to distinguish. So every class got a different uniform and shield design. The Levies got white tunics with simple red patterns and red shields with a yellow serpent. The only body armour they have are helmets (at best).

The normal foot troops are by Footsore (as will be the rest of the troops with the exception of the Balista), while the Balista is by Gripping Beast. Back when I bought these, the later was the only Balista option on the market. I think less than a month after I bought it , Stronghold here in Germany announced theirs, which is far nicer. But alas I did not want to buy another one. The shields are all by LBMS except for the one on the Balista base, which was hand painted to match the rest.

The Warriors are slightly better equipped with chainmail or boiled legged vests and helmets for everyone. These guys have dark green tunics with red trim and red shields.

Up next are the two points of Hearthguards on foot. While their armour does not get much better, their clothing are more expensive Blues and their shields feature elaborate designs.

These are also Hearthguards in horses. I went for the Cataphract Models planning to use them either as Cataphracts or regular Hearthguards. These models did not come with shields or visible tunics, so there is not much that could show them off as Hearthguards here. But their massive armour should do the trick. But the sheer amount of armour made them a bit dull to look at. Since I absolutely hate leather dyed in bright colours I decided to give them painted lances (which I also hate but no near as much) to add some colour to the minis.

And last are the Warlords. I feel this Warband could work with both. warlord on foot or a mounted one I did. up both options. Colour wise I went with the Hearthguard colours for their companions.

The mounted Warlord is actually King Arthur from Footsore. The animation of the mini is simply great and the armour fits the period, so he seems like the perfect choice. In those Case the shields were hand painted. I have to admit, I should have (tried) to imitate the more elaborate Hearthguards shields, but these days mounted minis tend to bore me fast and I wanted to get them over with.

There are still a unit of Levies with bows and a unit of mounted Warriors to do, but I hope those should be done fast over the winter.

 

Normandy Terrain part 2… the farm

Normandy Terrain part 2… the farm

Continuing with the Bormandy theme here is the farm I did at the same time as the church. The model itself is a set of 3D files from a British guy called Alan Hamilton. I know he was thinking about making them available commercially, but I am not sure if he did. His Facebook profile is very idle as well.

In all fairness, I know that there are tons of Normandy farm files out there for 3D printing (and I have couple of those) but there is something about these that I really liked, so I decided to for these.

These files were printed out on my Anycubic Vyper. I think these were actually the first ones I printed on it and I am really pleased with the quality.

These were painted exactly the same colours as the church in my previous post. Just this time I did not pick out individual stones, it rather airbrushed different stone colours over the IDF Sand Grey base in soft edged patches before hitting it with the wash and Shaders. What I still need to do is glue some tabs under the roofs and floors. It did not seems necessary to me, but looking at these photos, one can see that they shifted without be noticing, so I guess it is necessary.

I wanted a cobble stone look for the inner yard. The fastest and cheapest way forwarded seemed to be wallpaper embossed with a cobblestone pattern, so this is what I did.

I added some barrels, a milk can and a cart to the yard to breath some live into it, but still allow lots of space for minis and vehicles. While the barrels and can are glued down, the cart is not to allow it to be moved around.

There is also a stack of firewood, which is simply dried and cut up twigs.

The models are based on a large piece of MDF. The space outside the walls was decorated with static grass and a mix of sGrass, flower and weed tuffs. I painted this a couple of weeks ago, when we had the first spell of warm weather here in Germany. At times I left it in the sun to dry faster between steps. Which is when I made the unfortunate experience that PLA seems to warp when left in the sun. So in two spots the wall segments actually split where I had glued them together. I placed some vines over the walls to cover that up and liked the looks so much, that I added more to the model in other spots.

I wanted a small side gate. Since the set only included the arched gate I used the small wooden gate from the Warlord Games stone wall set, which actually fits pretty well.

And while I was working on this and the church, I also worked on two small walled allotments.

The walls are from Warlord Games, the fields are an IKEA doormat, up to size and slightly drybrushed .

The method of painting was exactly the same as with the farm.

I have to say, I have slightly mixed feeling about the stone wall set. It is basically nice, but as far as I know it is simply a scaled up 1:72nd scale Italeri kit. The parts are meant to be assembled either as straight walls or corners. When you look at the corners you will see that the teeth are not engraved on all sides. I think this might work out in a smaller scale and one will probably not notice this when viewed at a normal playing distance, but I still found it annoying.

And this is it for today.

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2022 in Terrain building, Warlord Games [WG]

 

Normandy Terrain, part 1 … the church

Normandy Terrain, part 1 … the church

About four years ago I did the church from Commission Figurines and honestly thought I was good when it came to European churches.

But then Charlie Foxtrot released their eglise and I fell in love with that one, too. So after some thinking if I could justify buying another church (yes, as wargamers we all know there is always a justification… we just need to find one that sounds sensible 😉) I decided that the Commission Figurines one will eventually be modified for winter settings and that the Charlie Foxtrott one will be used for Normandy (and other parts of Western Europe set during the warm months).

As you can see it is an absolutely massive piece that will provide a great centrepiece for any French village. But with the roofs and the belltower coming off, it will be easy enough to store.

I went with a base coat of Vallejo IDF Sand Grey primer for the sandstone look and picked out about 80 – 90% of individual stones using the paints from the Life Colour stonewall set. One word of advise for anyone wanting to do it the same way… the kit is designed in a way that the large wings do not need to be permanently connected to the central tower. Leave them off during painting even if you want to have one coherent model in the end. I could have saved a couple of hours had I painted the church in smaller, more manageable pieces. And this would also have allowed me to use an airbrush instead of a regular brush, which would have saved another few hours.

Afterwards I hit the whole model with dust filters and washes to blend the colours in. I would usually do further weathering using oil paints, but felt that with the engraving in the MDF this might pick out the wrong spots, so I reserved those for the roofs and airbrushed on some Ammo Shaders in Starship Filth and Green colours to depict rainmakers, green decolouration for water damage and so on.

Unfortunately my printer is having some driver problems right now. So instead of printing out some stained glass onto clear foil, I simply painted broad stripes onto some clear foils using whiteboard markers and glued those into the windows. But the are only glued in quite loosely, so I can always replace them later if I want.

If you wonder… the church itself is perfectly flat… the two boards it is placed upon do create a slight bump under it.

The churchtower will provide a nice spot for snipers or spotters and inviting target for the enemy artillery.

I will probably do a few more things here. French churches are often in the centre of town / village, so I will most likely do a nice cobblestone base for it.

As a byproduct of the church being in the centre of town, the cemetery is usually seperate from the church at the edge of town. So I will have to do a seperate cemetery as well. In all honesty… I would have done that in one go with the church if I had found the cemetery walls I bought together with it. So I will probably have to buy them once more (and probably find the original ones a week later) or cut some from foam. Let’s see how that one goes! 😉

Oddly enough… I think Colin from Charlie Foxtrott was inspired by the church in Tilly-sur-Seulles when he designed the church (although that one has a small annex behind the altar and some doors are placed differently). And this is one of the few churches that have an attached cemetery.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2022 in Charlie Foxtrot, Terrain building

 

Woods for the trees

Woods for the trees

While I have not been busy posting this past year, I have at least been busy doing a few things. So trying to catch up, this is something I did last summer.

Now the vast majority of my trees have for about two decades been by K&M Trees. They are mounted on resin tree stumps by Snapdragon Studios. Do not bother searching online for the later… they have unfortunately been out of business for around 1 ½ decades.

I always wanted to be able to arrange them into a forest in a way that their bases formed a continuous area, to allow people to tell, what is a forest and what is only a single tree. To achieve this, I glued them onto hexagonal card coasters. Those were cheap (got them for free at a liquor store) and allowed them to be arranged as a continuous area.

But as you can hopefully see in the picture above, this caused a few problems. For one, when you placed the trees with the bases touching, they were unrealistically close to one another. It also meant that you had problems placing infantry in between the trees. If you lifted single trees out, you would always disturb the ones next to them. This would lead to me hardly arranging them this way. Also, with just static grass the bases looked a bit uniform, dull and unrealistic. And last, the edges would curve up over the years, which always made the edges of the bases stand out.

So over the years, I started craving for an improvement. It would have been easiest to simply get me some laser cut MDF hexagonal bases with a larger diameter and do some more groundwork on them, but I wanted to take it a step further.

So I decided to go the sabot way. A base for multiple trees (called the forest base from now on) into which you can place the individually based trees. These are available on the market, but I decided against those for various reasons. Since I wanted to use my own trees, those that came with tree models or did not have the right diameter were ruled out. Same goes for those made from resin, which are generally quite expensive, ruling them out for my needs. In the end nothing generally available did fit my needs. So I turned to Warbases and asked them for some custom forest bases. Which they were able to provide fast and cheap (and as an added bonus with holes for magnetising).

I asked for a very basic almost rectangular design that would either hold three bases with my large trees or six for small model rail road trees (representing saplings or young trees). Since the forest bases are two layers of 2mm MDF they were quite thick which would in turn make them stand out. But everything else was perfect meaning the only preparation still required was adding magnets and sanding the edges down. To speed things up, I used a sanding disc on a disc grinder… very messy work.

So after removing the old bases, filler, static grass, the trees were rebased, a forest floor flock and static grass as well as flower tuffs and bushes added. I did not take photos of the progress, so here are the final results.

As you can see, I also bought some large model railroad trees (birches and popular trees) to break up the monotony as well as a bunch of smaller birches to create some forests more typical of some regions in Russia.

As mentioned before, the trees can be removed to allow easier placement of minis or even tanks.

I also did some bases with just some tree stumps in case I want some bases to appear more open or to hide those brown sabot areas. More bases like these will follow. Those will simply feature some flowers bushes and maybe small mossy rocks.

Above are a few bases to show the individual details. There are three or four trees that were to large for even the large version of the forest bases so these were just based as individual trees, but in the same style.

I will now leave you with some photos of them arranged as larger forests. More can be seen in the previous post from our last game.

I will probably put some iceland moss at the edges of the forests in the future. You usually have more undergrowth at the edges of forests (where there is the most light) and this will both signal the edge of the forest and blend the bases in at the same time.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2022 in Terrain building, Warbases

 

Overhauling the paint cart (part 1)

Overhauling the paint cart (part 1)

First of all, sorry for the lack of posts. It is not like I have been idle.

A couple of weeks this summer were spend rebasing my trees and working on my forrest multibases. And there is also a fair amount of minis I painted for Marvel Crisis Protocol.

So why are there no new articles? Well I was having a good flow and did not take photos before our holidays last month. And right now I cannot take any to accompany an article.

The central heating in the house needed replacement and my hobby room serves as storage for everything in the cellar that had to be moved out of the way while the old one was removed (including cutting apart the oil tank) and the boiler room replastered in places and painted. Good news is things should be moving out of my hobby room later this week, but right now I cannot get near anything to take some photos.

So here is something small that I can show you pictures of. Almost ten years ago I build my own paint cart. Over the years it has performed a stalwart service as intended. The years are beginning to show with a few scratches and drops of paint here and there, as well as a general discolouration. These things will be addressed next spring when I will sand it off and give it a new coat of varnish (or paint it). The more urgent problem has become space though. Back then, there was so much empty space for paints, I could hardly believe I would ever run out. But this year it happened. I guess all the different periods combined with my addiction to have all required shades without having to mix them, led to me buying way too many paints over the years. Well not too many per se… just too many for the cart. 😚 All drawers were filled to the brim and in some cases I even had to put paints onto the dividers a to had them in their appropriate drawers. So a solution needed to be found.

For a short while I thought about building a new cart and repurposing this one. But I never really liked the idea to build something new, when the old was completely useable. And in the general wood shortage this summer I had problems finding boards of oak in my desired size. (Before someone asks… the markets in the United States and China paid above premium prices for timber last winter, so suppliers sold their raw timber there which led to high demand here in Gemany a couple of months later.)

As you can see in the picture above the biggest problem in the drawers are actually the dividers, which take up a substantial amount of space. All in all they only allowed for five rows of eleven paint pots in total per drawer and even in those rows space was not used effectively.

The solution that came to my minds was replacing the wood strips I used as deviders with laser cut MDF. I contacted Warbases (one of my two favourite manufacturers for laser cut MDF) and gave them my specifications for some custom work. I picked them up in person during our holidays in Scotland and fitted them after our return. The results were perfect and they fit into the drawers like a hand into the glove.

As a result each drawer now fits seven rows of ten paint pots (or twelve of the new acrylic washes and filters by Ammo by Mig). In other words each drawer can now hold (at least) fifteen more pots and I have extra space for another 90 pots in the cart. Just to bring the idea home. The picture above is the same drawer with the same mount of paint pots (plus one extra pot) and one can see how much space there is left. Let’s see how long this lasts! 😉

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2021 in General, Warbases

 

Late War Fallschirmjäger army

Late War Fallschirmjäger army

Even by the standards of this blog, my output seems to have been low for some months now. Well it is not that. As some might know, last year I decided to tackle an old project of mine. A mid to late war Fallschirmjäger army for the eastern and western fronts (Italy will see a seperate one). So I started of with some artillery and a PaK 40 as well as some support weapons, mortars.

Around New Years I began the project in earnest with everything you will in this post. As I said this had been a long time coming, since with the exception of 15 minis all of these had been cleaned and primed 15+ years ago. So it was long overdue to get them table ready.

Before anyone asks, with the exception of a few minis I will point out, all of these are by Victory Force Miniatures. Which might seem like a problem, since their range is only about a maximum of 20 different models strong. But as I said these are meant I represent a 1943 or 1944 and later force. By that time many units had seen a huge influx of new recruits trained and equipped at different times. So while some men still had old one colour Knochensäcke and helmet covers, others had Splittermuster (which came in distinctly different shades depending an manufacturer and batch) or Sumpftarnmuster. So that allowed for a lot of variety. Some went for painted metal items (helmets, canteen cups,…), trousers and ammo bandoliers. All in all these led to a very colourful force and I am happy to say… there are no two minis that share the same pose and colour scheme.

For the time being, these are based in the Fallschirmjäger list from Battlegroup Overlord, which will also work for the eastern front or later periods like Market Garden. If other lists for that period get published in later books, I will mostly likely tweak this force.

So up first is the battlegroup HQ.

Fallschirmjäger Battlegroup HQ

Up next are the spotters for all that artillery they have. The officer with the Scherenfernrohr is by Offensive Miniatures, the soldier with the map is from Warlord Games

Fallschirmjäger artillery spotter team

To make sure that these guys can actually reach the artillery, there is also a radio team (standing in for a wire team under the rules).

Fallschirmjäger radio team

The prone sniper is a converted Heer sniper by VFM, the sniper / spotter team is from Warlords plastic range (although I think I needed to convert the rifle to be scoped).

Fallschirmjäger snipers

There are two scout foot patrols. I rather like them, since they pack quite some punch with their FG-42s. As some will notice, the second team comes with G43s, but those will serve as stand-ins for the FG-42s.

Fallschirmjäger foot scout patrol
Fallschirmjäger foot scout patrol

On to the infantry platoon HQ.

Fallschirmjäger infantry platoon HQ

Plus those platoon support options not done last year. Writing this, it dawned on me, that I am still missing the medic for this force. So I think there will be one more mini to paint.

Fallschirmjäger MG-42 HMG team
Fallschirmjäger Panzerschreck team

Now all three Trupps, with the exception of one NCO and one LMG assistant, feature the same minis. But as I said above, I think the variation in clothing / equipment colours and a few head swaps really makes them all look different.

1st Fallschirmjäger Trupp
2nd Fallschirmjäger Trupp
3rd Fallschirmjäger Trupp

The rules give the option to swap one of the regular riflemen for a secong LMG or two equip up tomtwommen with Panzerfäuste. So I build those options as well. All these are Warlord plastics (with the exception of the first and forth from the right with a Panzerfaust).

Fallschirmjäger LMG options
Fallschirmjäger Panzerfaust options

So what is left now. Well some anti aircraft and heavy anti-tank firepower.

For the anti-aircraft option I went for a 2cm FlaK 38. Essentially I see this as a light force and felt that a manhandled single barrel FlaK made more sense than a Flakvierling.

The model is a 1:48th scale plastic kit and the crew are converted Warlord plastics. I felt that since the kit gave me the option to depict the gun in any state I wanted, it would be nice to show it in the process of being limbered up, hanging half in the air.

Fallschirmjäger FlaK 38
Fallschirmjäger FlaK 38
Fallschirmjäger FlaK 38
Fallschirmjäger FlaK 38

And for the heavy anti-tank option I went for an Acht-Achter. I felt this was needed, since the Fallschirmjägerlist gives them StuG III or PzKw IV support at most.

The model itself is an old 1:48th scale FlaK 18 by Bandai that I have had for ages. I felt it would fit this force well, so it received some weathering and was given a Warlord plastics crew.

Fallschirmjäger FlaK 18
Fallschirmjäger FlaK 18
Fallschirmjäger FlaK 18

So this is it. All in all 96 minis, most of them in camouflage clothing. While I really, really like the result, I am really fed up painting Splittermuster and Sumpftarnmuster, especially all the „raindrops“. So I guess it will be at least 2023 before I start on the Volksgrenadiere (or so I say today).

Full Fallschirmjäger force
 

Polish tanks for 1939

Polish tanks for 1939

A few days ago I was replying to a comment on my Polish infantry, when it dawned on me, that I never posted pictures of their armour, even though I finished those nearly two years ago. So here we go.

Years and years ago I was planning to do a 1940 French army (no longer necessary, since my mate Martin owns a very substantial one now) and I bought six Renault FT (also called FT-17) tanks from Trenchworks. Now the Trenchworks models are on the expensive side, but to be fair, these are some of the nicest resin models I have worked with. Extremely detailed and extra clean, bubble free castings. All the turrets sport holes for magnets and change of main weapon (both magnets and weapon options are provided). So it would have been a shame if I had to sell them on at a loss. Fortunately the FT seems to have been the tank virtually everyone bought from the French in the interwar period and the Poles were no different. So this gave me a chance to use them with my Polish army. The Poles actually did some modernisation on the FT before the German invasion so the tracks are not 100% correct and they used a different turret, but I guess without me mentioning it, hardly anyone would have noticed.

Polish Renault FT tanks with machine gun turrets

While I wanted my Polish tanks to feature the soft edged rectangles camouflage pattern, I quickly realised that this would be a nightmare to airbrush with the very angled frontal armour and the forward return roller assembly protruding out front. So I went with the wavy line pattern for the FT tanks.

Polish Renault FT tanks with 37mm cannons

Everything from here on (both tanks and crews) are by Warlord Games. The vehicles are all very nice, but one can really notice the difference compared to the Trenchworks. The Warlord models all have very, very tiny air bubbles which do at times really show after the weathering was applied.

Up first are the TKS tankettes. I have two with machine guns and one with the 20mm cannon. I always liked their looks, so these were a must. But I have to admit… I would not want to imagine going to war in one of these. Granted, their profile was extremely small, but their armour was so weak that I guess you could just as well have gone into combat as part of a machine gun team, with an even smaller profile.

Polish TKS tankettes

Now on to something heavier, the 7TP tanks. The name is somewhat ironic, since it refers to them being “7 ton Polish” versions of the Vickers 6 ton Mark E produced under license, but by the time the went into production, they actually weighted in at 9 tons. I have two 37mm anti tank gun versions and one twin turret machine gun version. Since the Battlegroup Blitzkrieg rules call for different numbers, I am sure that I will add another AT version sometime in the future.

Polish 7TP with 37mm gun

Polish twin turret TP7

And last the Samochód pancerny wz. 29 “Ursus” armoured car. Which is actually quite big, heavy and well armed for an armoured car. I went with the wavy type camouflage on this on. All eight vehicles that saw combat were part of 11th Cavalry Brigade and all photos that I could find showed them with this type of camouflage.

Ursus armoured car
Ursus armoured car
 

More Fallschirmjäger support weapons

More Fallschirmjäger support weapons

Before we left for Scotland in September I wanted to start on something small, that could possibly be finished fast after our return.

It turned out I actually managed to finish them, including the basing, in under four days (including two days on the day job). Not actually sure how, since Splittermuster camo is not exactly a fast subject.

Up first is the 8,8cm Racketenwerfer 43 Püppchen rocket launcher. The launcher, as well as the loader and gunner are from Westwind. Not sure if it is still the same, but back when I bought it the minis came with those terrible cartoonish heads. So those were replaced with Fallschirmjäger heads from Westwind.

Fallschirmjäger 8,8cm Racketenwerfer 43 Püppchen

Now when I had finished the Team, I felt it looked extremely bare on the base and if I remember correctly the Püppchen team is three men in Battlegroup Overlord. So I added a NCO from Victory Force Miniatures. Usually I would say that VFM look too large next to Warlord, but with the head swap on the other minis, they blend quite well.

Fallschirmjäger 8,8cm Racketenwerfer 43 Püppchen
Fallschirmjäger 8,8cm Racketenwerfer 43 Püppchen

Up next is the 2,8cm schwere Panzerbüchse 41. Unfortunately there is no official slot for them in Battlegroup Overlord, but I always loved the looks of this gun, so I could not do without it. And since there are stats for the Panzerbüchse itself, one can always come up with a price for the team.

Fallschirmjäger 2,8cm schwere Panzerbüchse 41

As with the Püppchen, this one is a Warlord set and again, I replaced the heads with Westwind ones.

Fallschirmjäger 2,8cm schwere Panzerbüchse 41
Fallschirmjäger 2,8cm schwere Panzerbüchse 41
Fallschirmjäger 2,8cm schwere Panzerbüchse 41

Up last are two 8cm Granatwerfer 34 mortars. Again these are by Warlord. In this case they even retained their heads. The faces are not cartoonish and some have their hands moulded to their heads, so it would have been a lot of effort to remove them anyway. But I replaced the mortars with mortars from Victory Force, which I still had lying around from a few conversions I did ages ago. The Warlord ones looked too tiny for my taste.

Fallschirmjäger 8cm Granatwerfer 34 mortars
Fallschirmjäger 8cm Granatwerfer 34 mortars
Fallschirmjäger 8cm Granatwerfer 34 mortar
Fallschirmjäger 8cm Granatwerfer 34 mortar
Fallschirmjäger 8cm Granatwerfer 34 mortar
Fallschirmjäger 8cm Granatwerfer 34 mortar
Fallschirmjäger 8cm Granatwerfer 34 mortar

This is it for today. Looking at these photos though, I think I will have to put more effort into my photos again in the future. These were taken on my iPad, as I have done for months now. I think I need to switch back to my DSLR.