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Kradschützenplatoon (part 1)

When I was school, there was a real good 4 part documentary about the war on the eastern front on German television. One picture that stuck to my mind was a short clip of a  Kradschützenzug riding cross-country. So when I saw that Battlegroup gave the option have one for the Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa era, I was something I had to do.

In the end, it almost drove me mad. Just cleaning mold lines from all the minis and motorbikes / sidecars took the better part of a week. Do not get me wrong, none of these are bad minis, it is just that they all have so many parts that need to be cleaned up.

Kradschützen Platoon

Kradschützen Platoon

And in addition to the platoon not even being finished yet (I will need to do the command unit, an AT-rifle and HMG team each plus some rear seat riders for two of the current LMG teams). So lots of work here.

The minis are a mix of Warlord Games (the LMG teams and the mortar team) and Wargames Foundry. Scale wise they mix quite well and given the fact, that the Warlord bikes are all BMW R75s and the Foundry ones are all Zündapp KS 750s, minor differences in scale will not stand out.

Not much more to say really, so I will leave you with the pictures.

Kradschützentrupp 1Kradschützentrupp 2

Kradschützentrupp

Kradschützentrupp

Kradschützen mortar team

Kradschützen mortar team

Kradschützen messenger

Kradschützen messenger

Kradschützen medic

Kradschützen medic

 

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Run out the guns

Run out the guns

For some time I have been a fan of artillery in our Battlegroup games. This was only enhanced last year when I tried out something new during a game set during Kursk when my heavy soviet artillery annihilated the German tanks virtually on its own. Unfortunately heavy artillery is hard to find for 28mm minis so my best option was the Schweres Infanteriegeschütz 33 (SiG 33) from Warlord which will have to stand in for other heavy guns.

SiG33 battery

SiG33 battery

The models are essentially out of the box, but I replaced some of the crew (at least those not holding the shells and charges, with those from the Warlord 105mm guns to add some extra variety to the bases.

There is also some AT-guns I did recently and those are a pair of 3,7cm PaK 36s. I was at first sceptical of the PaK 36 having played only mid to late war games over the past decade where the 3,7cm is not exactly the big start. But Martin wanted to give his French Army a game last year and I have to say I was more impressed by their performance than by the short barreled PzKw IVs. So while I had originally planned to do just one and use it as an AT-gun option for the infantry platoon, I now plan to use them both as a tank hunter unit of their own. Only need to finish their Krupp Protze tows.

One is the current Warlord offering, the other a vintage Bolt Action gun that was still sold by Bolt Action until about a year or two ago. With the later, you can clearly see that this is one of Paul Hicks earlier offerings, as the poses are more wooden and the faces less detailed than what he sculpts these days, but none the less, once based and on the table it looks just as nice as the new one.

And up last some fire support for the infantry platoon by means of a 8cm mortar. Again the minis are by Warlord. Not sure how good it will be in the game. Having to pay a n order to spot for just one mortar seems excessive, but maybe it plays out well.

8cm mortar team

8cm mortar team

 

German Infantry for Poland to Barbarossa

German Infantry for Poland to Barbarossa

Now this is part of a big project I have been working on since last fall. A complete German army for use with the Battlegroup rules for the period from the invasion of Poland (Fall Weiß) up until the first months of the invasion of Russia (Operation Barbarossa). Given that this would also make them suitable for the invasions of Denmark and Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and France and Greece, this will make them extremely versatile. That being said, this will also make them a huge project, since except for a couple of PzKW 38(t) and PzKw IV I have nothing suitable for it. This will mean, that I need command units, an Infantry platoon (there were extremely large for the invasion of Poland) with both truck and half-track transport options, a Kradschützenzug (motorcycle platoon), PzKw I, PzKw II (in two different versions), at-guns, artillery, specialist vehicles and aircraft. With such a daunting project you have to start somewhere. For me this was actually the Kradschützen, but since only the soldiers are finished but not the motorcycles, my second step will be the first shown to you… the infantry platoon (still without their transports). For these photos I have arranged them according to the TO&E that was in effect during the invasion of Poland. For later operations, some of these subunits would have been bigger or smaller, but there is enough models for all possible TO&Es. I would only have to rearrange some minis.

All these minis are by Warlord Games. Most of them plastics (some of them slightly converted) and a few metal ones mixed in.

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa infantry command

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa infantry command

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa medic

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa medic

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa light mortar team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa light mortar team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa light mortar team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa light mortar team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa spotter team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa spotter team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa spotter team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa spotter team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa sniper team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa sniper team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

The LMG team above is my personal favorite from this platoon. Most likely, since I converted it to look like this. I always loved the looks of the LMG being fired over the assistants shoulder from a kneeling position. Since there was no such model available, I had to build one myself. What I found very funny is, that the assistant is actually a running pose, but it turned out, this was the easiest to convert into a kneeling position.

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa rifle squad

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa rifle squad

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa rifle squad

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa rifle squad

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa rifle squad

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa rifle squad

 

Battle Kiwi Star Wars terrain

Battle Kiwi Star Wars terrain

When they announced the Star Wars Legion game late last year, I knew, that I had to play it. And I knew that I needed some terrain for it. When I saw the Battle Kiwi Kickstarter I knew that this would be great for the game and I bought into it. And I was not disappointed. All the buildings went together very easy and required very little effort to make them even better. Plus they are super versatile.

Up first is the bunker. It has a good level of detail, provides cover to the minis standing atop the roof. I like the fact, that it has opening doors and that you can take part of the rear wall out, to give you the ability to connect it to different buildings they are planning to release later on. The three consoles that come with the bunker offer some nice cover to the minis inside. I repainted these dark grey and picked out the buttons and screens.

The tech working area is a nice homage to the ending areas on Scarif in Rogue one. The containers suffer a bit from the problem you have with all MDF terrain… you see a lot of the edges on small pieces. So I repainted these. Which was easy enough. Since the Battle Kiwi terrain is pre-painted, I took the paint really well. With the control console I simply picked out the buttons and details while painting the the antenna in gunmetal.

Now on to the big models… the dish for the shield generator on Endor and a Turbo Laser turret. The are really great in that they provide great LOS-blockers for both infantry and vehicle sized models, while being really scenic. I made some minor improvements in that  I picked out some of the cables in dark grey and painted the turbo lasers themselves in gunmetal grey. Since you can interchange the tops of both models, it gives you even more versatility and makes them easy to store.

Now this landing pad is undoubtedly the absolute centerpiece of the whole range. As you can see it really towers over the minis. That being said, it is easy to store, since the pylons are separate from the landing pad, which is itself is two parts, with the railings and light pylons coming off as well. As you can see, you can also do a lower landing pad and add some stairs to it and place some power generators on the pylons, or use the generators by itself. I only made some minor alterations to the model, by painting on landing lights and doing the openings into the platform itself in gunmetal grey.

The biggest problem with the model is, that it looks a bit bare by itself. So it was screaming out for a shuttle to be landed upon it. Since there is no model of a Lambda Class shuttle in the right scale, I could count myself lucky, that Martin has a 3D-printer and printed one out for me. The model itself is a bit simple, but as a terrain piece it is doing fine.

 
 

Some Vikings and a Norman Warlord for SAGA

Some Vikings and a Norman Warlord for SAGA

With the second Edition of SAGA, I had to make some changes to my Vikings. I have always played them with Jomsviking mercenaries (Jarl Sigvaldi and is Jomsvikings) and heavy on Hearthguards.

With the former now costing one point instead of two under the first edition, this means, that I will now have one more point available. So this meant I had to paint another point.

Shield Maidens

Shield Maidens

So I painted 4 Shield Maidens to use as Hearthguards. These models are by Stronghold Terrain here in Germany. And they are really nice. I decided to paint them with varied coloured clothing, as I did with all my previous Vikings. But, while I do know that it is far from historically correct, I decided to nod my head at the TV show Vikings and gave them the same shield design as Lagarthas Shield Maidens from the show. The minis themselves are really nice, but I really struggled with their faces.

Rollo

Rollo

Rollo

Rollo

Now with SAGA 2.0 playing any faction so heavy on the Hearthguards like I did might not be a wise idea. So I am thinking of amalgamating two points of my plastic Gripping Beast Hearthguards into one point of Warriors. For this I will need another 4 minis. Having a few Berserkers lying around, I decided that this would be a point for Berserkers. This Rollo, also from Stronghold, was originally bought to be part of a Warlord base with his brother Ragnar, Lagartha and Floki. But while those three come in poses that rather look like they are surveying the battlefield, he looks more combative. With Stronghold also having released a minis of Björn, I decided to base him individually as par of a unit instead. I like this mini for its face. It looks a lot like the actor who plays Rollo in the TV show. Unfortunately, the pose is a little awkward.

Norman Warlord

Norman Warlord

Norman Warlord

Norman Warlord

And last is a Warlord for my Normans. The mini is also from Stronghold and a really nice one at that (if you disregard the depression in the shield toward the head of the mini). The big letdown though is the way it is meant to be mounted onto the base. The two hooves touching the ground have round taps coming out of them. This would be great for the old Games Workshop cavalry bases, but is a nightmare with the thin bases commonly used with SAGA. So I had to build up Green Stuff around these taps and later blend them in with the rest of the base.

I wanted him to look like a leader from the time of the Norman invasion of England. So I chose a shield design that is a nod towards their origins in Normandy and painted a Fleur de lis onto the shield.

 

8,8cm PaK 43 auf Kreuzlafette

Playing late war games in a World War II setting, especially on the eastern front large-caliber Panzerabwehrkanonen (PaK / anti-tank gun) are a must to give you some edge over the heavily armoured tanks like the JS-2. The long-barreled PaK 43, both on a Spreiz- and Kreuzlafette are perfect for this.

8,8cm PaK 43 (Kreuzlafette)

8,8cm PaK 43 (Kreuzlafette)

Playing in 1:48th scale, the later is not too easy to get. But some years ago, I had the good luck to get my hands on the, now long OOP, Verlinden model. It is a very nice model, but even by modeling standards it is not an easy model to build. So I had to make some modifications to the connections between the gun and the shield to make it work out and stand the rigors of game play. But even that way, it will better be picked up by its base and not the model itself. Fortunately I have decided to base all my future AT-guns and indeed put all my old ones on bases for Battlegroup, so that will not be much of a problem.

8,8cm PaK 43 (Kreuzlafette)

8,8cm PaK 43 (Kreuzlafette)

Like the Jagdpanther, this was a testbed for the new weathering methods and I have to say… I feel it turned out exceptionally well on this model.

The crew itself is the 8,8cm FlaK crew by Warlord. It is a bit small even for their own 1:56th scale models, but I feel it still looks OK. While the gun was painted this winter, the crew was done about 15 years ago. I only redid the skin on the minis. I think that is where my technique changed the most during that time and I wanted them to blend in with my current models.

8,8cm PaK 43 (Kreuzlafette)

8,8cm PaK 43 (Kreuzlafette)

 

Forward Base Habitats 1, 3, 7 & 9

Forward Base Habitats 1, 3, 7 & 9

I continued work on the Forward Base Habitats last year. I started off with Habitat 7 early in 2017, the control tower.

It is an extremely nice kit. It can act as a LOS blocker, the lower walls offer nice partial cover and the control room and landing pad provide nice high vantage points. Again a lot of the different colours were done using the protective sheeting as  an airbrush mask. The only let down was that there were no screens provided. Most of the consoles come with screens printed out on gloss paper that you can glue on the consoles. In this case I painted the screens using greens to make them look like old fashioned monitors. More than a year later, I am still unsure if I like it. Maybe one day I will design my own screens and glue them on.

Up next was Habitat 9, the Armoury. All the wall panels and the table with the weapons add a lot of character to the building. It only has a small logical error. The storage area and counter are separated from the public area of the building by a heavy armoured door and steel bars. But the kits comes with wall racks full of weapons for the entry area. I do not think, that weapons would be placed in a public, unsecured area. So I simply replaced them with warning signs.

Last are Habitats 1 and 3, twice each. These were done last summer. Nothing extraordinary about these. What I did differently from the living quarters I had done before was, that I filled the tabletops for the tables with clear water. This created a much nicer finish than the high gloss varnish I used back then.

 

Pegasus Bridge, a Horsa Glider and other things

Pegasus Bridge, a Horsa Glider and other things

As you may know, we wanted to host Pegasus Bridge at Crisis in Antwerp this year (and eventually we did so). Between the three of us we already had a lot of buildings, hedges and so on. But this still required some more terrain.

Not many buildings for the vicinity of the bridge were required, but I wanted some more variation. Since I still had the château from Sarissa Precission around, so that seemed like the natural option. It had been a nice kit to assemble and was a nice kit to paint. If I was to do it again though, I would probably leave the first floor windows and shutters off for easier painting.

French Chateau French Château
French Chateau French Château

But we also needed a Horsa Glider for the game. Martin had a model by Grand Manner around. Martin was unsure if he could give it due credit, so I painted it up. I Ieft the landing gear off to me the model fit the scenario since the Gliders used for the attack on Pegasus Bridge all had rough landings and ripped their landing gears off. It was nice enough to airbrush up, but I think the dimensions are somewhat off. The lower hull and underside of the wings were painted in a dark green, the top in camouflage. So I started by doing the camo and then taped the edge off. Which is when I realised that something was amiss. For example I used the forward doors and tail wings as a guide, but under the main wings the lines ended up too low. But I felt this was acceptable, since people could hardly see this spot. So the lower half of the glider was painted in dark green and filters and washes applied. Now I taped off the invasion stripes and again, I noticed that something was not quite right, for there was too little space on tail. In the end the RAF roundels on the tail ended up overlapping the invasion stripes for that reason. To finish things off, I placed chalk markings on the flank saying “Lady Irene” to make it match the glider Major Howard landed in.

Horsa Glider Horsa Glider
Horsa Glider Horsa Glider
Horsa Glider Horsa Glider
Horsa Glider Horsa Glider

And up last, the most importer building for the game… the bridge itself. Again this was a Sarissa kit. I had been too lazy to assemble the model, so I bought a model that had already been build and sold my kit on. In retrospect, this did not make things that much easier, since it had not been assembled as clean as I would have done, so I had to do a lot of sanding and so on.

I wanted to keep it in the very light grey of the original, but in the end, this seemed a little bleak to me. So I added rust marks to the model, which gave it a lot more character.

Pegasus Bridge Pegasus Bridge
Pegasus Bridge Pegasus Bridge

If you want to see some more detail shots of the bridge, those can be found in my post about the British Paras.

In the, it turned out to be quite a nice game. We used the Battlegroup Overlord rules and they worked very well even at this small size. It was especially interesting to see how different tactics played out. If the British went for a defense in depth, it usually went well for the Germans, since they could usually wipe out the British first line of defense (after stumbling into it) and then using the superior range of their SP gun(s) (,depending on how many survived the PIAT,) to destroy the rest. If the British went for a strong first line of defense, the Germans were too weak to protect their SP guns sufficiently and took too many loses to take the bridge. It will be interesting to see how future games play out.

So I am leaving you with a (very) few pictures from the game at Crisis.

Pegasus Bridge Pegasus Bridge table
Pegasus Bridge game Pegasus Bridge game
Pegasus Bridge game Pegasus Bridge game
Pegasus Bridge Pegasus Bridge table

 

 

My Combined Army for Infinity so far

My Combined Army for Infinity so far

I just realised, that this is my first post in over two months. I guess my new years resolution must definitely be to post more.

One thing that I spend some a good amount of time on recently is getting started on my Infinity minis, namely Combined Army / Onyx Contact force. So what did I paint so far? You already saw the Xeodrons and Sogarat recently and this is what followed (all based on the Deep Forest bases by Antenocitis Workshop):

Rodoks

First I started with some Rodoks. As I said in my last Infinity post, I was not too happy with the sand tones and the Large OSL areas on the Sogarat. So I shifted to slightly different colors for the sand brown and use the OSL only for the eyes. Much happier with that. As a result I will probably paint the OSL on he Sogarat over, to match him better to the units I have. I als went and painted some geometrical lines over the helmets and shoulder pads instead of just picking out some plates. That also enhanced those minis a lot and will be used on the next Combined Army minis as well.

Rodok squad

Rodok squad

Rodok squad

Rodok squad

Last month I played my first three games of Infinity at a small tournament in Münster Germany and these saw their first use there. I am still a bit unsure about them. Thy packed a lot of punch in their link team and at times this proved to be deadly, but I felt they had problems making up their points and were pretty fast to die. So those will definitely need more testing to see if I like them.

Umbra Legates

I have to say I really loved these minis. Very fun to paint and the animation and poses are great. With these I also diversified the colors for the army by painting the apron-like parts of their uniforms in a reddish leather. It keeps with the brown theme of the rest of the army, but still adds some color. Same goes for the orange accents on these aprons, for they go nicely with the sand colours.

Umbra Legate

Umbra Legate

Umbra Legate

Umbra Legate

Umbra Legate

Umbra Legate

Umbra Legate

Umbra Legate

I played this one (counted as being armed with a spitfire) as part of the Rodok squad / link team at the tournament. Usually the other elements of his team worked out better, but once the range of his spitfire paid off.

Umbra Legate Hacker

Umbra Legate Hacker

Umbra Legate Hacker

Umbra Legate Hacker

Umbra Legate Hacker

Umbra Legate Hacker

Umbra Legate Hacker

Umbra Legate Hacker

I really love this minis. Game wise he was hard to tell at the tournament. During the first game, he never got close to anything hackable, but did very well in close combat. The second game my opponent had nothing hackable, but again he did good in close combat and secured me some vital points at the right moment. During the third game he stood his ground vs. a superior hacker only to be killed by a lucky rifle shot before his first activation.

Dr. Worm and drones

First of all, I found these minis very boring. Not much animation in them and somewhat unimaginative. Th good thing though is, that I got two of the old Dr. Worms off the Internet the other day, which should give me some nice variation in my army (together with the two more drones I already have).

To me they looked like green reptilian skin and that is the way I painted them, again adding more variation to the army. I went somewhat experimental and used some filters on their skin, that I usually use on armoured vehicle models. Otherwise I kept the brown / sand theme for their armour to blend them in with the rest off the army.

Med-Tech Obsidian Medchanoid and drones

Med-Tech Obsidian Medchanoid and drones

Med-Tech Obsidian Medchanoid and drones

Med-Tech Obsidian Medchanoid and drones

The drones were a mixed bag at the tournament. When thy were close enough to an injured / damaged unit the did their job nicely. When they were further away and had to get there, they usually died. That being said, for the minimal price tag they have and the chance to heal / repair other units without getting the Worm in harms way, they seem like a must buy item.

Dr. Worm himself was odd. Only once was he in a position to actually repair one of my Xeodrons and did a good job a it. He too proved very vulnerable, so I found it was good to keep him out of harms way (and more reason for the drones). But  what he did really well was killing unit moving though his LOS with a quick reaction shot.

Unidrons

These kind of are the linking element between my big TAG and the normal infantry in my Combined army. I decided to paint the (Onyx) TAGs and remotes with black and grey armour to make them look more menacing. Obviously this is at odds with the brown and sand of the infantry. But since the Unidrons come from the same bio-engineering process as the TAGs, their skin colours provide the link.

Unidrons

Unidrons

Unidrons

Unidrons

Before the tournament I had only painted these, because they were part of my starter and were on my workbench. During the tournament I really liked these. Yes they were more fragile than the Rodoks, but thy cost far less and seemed to provide better value for points. Plus these could be upgraded to forward observers for one point, which allowed them to claim the objectives. In fact I liked them so much, i ordered their box set.

Overdron

It was the Xeodrons that drew me towards the Combined Army when I decided to start with Infinity, so the Overdron was another must have item for me. The Overdron itself follows the colour scheme of th Xeodrons, while the Tin Bots that are to protect him follow that of the Unidrons.

Overdron and Tin Bots

Overdron and Tin Bots

Overdron and Tin Bots

Overdron and Tin Bots

Overdron and Tin Bots

Overdron and Tin Bots

Overdron

Overdron

Overdron and Tin Bots

Overdron and Tin Bots

Did not use him during the tournament, but on the grounds that he is even more expensive that the Xeodrons and that I had problems squeezing just one of them into 300 points, I daresay, I will rarely use him. Bit of a shame!

And that is it. Really like my force so far. So much so, that I felt a group shot was due:

Combined Army group shot

Combined Army group shot

Before anyone asks. I came last during the tournament, but I learned a lot. And I was quite happy with my result, since I managed to score a draw in one of my games. Not bad for my second game of Infinity ever.

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2016 in Antenocities Workshop, Combined Army, Infinity, Sci-Fi

 

British WWII Paras

British WWII Paras

Part of the reason things were this quiet lately are these minis. Earlier this year we decided to do the “counterattack” at Pegasus Bridge for Crisis in Antwerp. Everything seemed quite fine. I had done the bridge earlier this year (pictures to follow when I finish the banks of the canal after my holidays), we had vitally all the Normandy terrain we would need and I had enough minis. So it was all easy-going. Well that was until we did a test set-up late August and I realised that I only had support weapons, heavy weapons and officers done for the Paras, but virtually no grunts. So that had to be remedied and here they are.

All the miniatures are from Bolt Action, sculpted by Paul Hicks. And I have to say I really love them. Amongst all the great minis he has been doing in recent years these have always been my absolute favourites since they have so much character. So it was a pure joy to paint them.

British WWII Paras

British WWII Paras

British WWII Paras

British WWII Paras

British WWII Paras

British WWII Paras

British WWII Paras

British WWII Paras

British WWII Paras

British WWII Paras

British WWII Paras

British WWII Paras

This last guy is no Para, but a commando. Due to the similar clothing on the mini I decided to paint him up while I was on it anyway.

British WWII Commando

British WWII Commando