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American heavy metal

American heavy metal

Apologies for the silence in recent weeks. I have been working on a bit project recently and it is current not at a stage where it is worth sharing. Anyway it recently dawned on me, that there is something I had forgotten while catching up.

But let me tell you the story behind it first. I started wargaming WWII around 15+ years ago. While I basically made my best efforts to get everything right, a lot of it was a case of “close is good enough”. And with many things, it actually was. My first two nations were Germans and Americans. With the infantry for either side things went pretty well. Same for most of the German vehicles. Now the American vehicles were a completely different story.

I ended up with a black green colour and to be fair… it was not even close to the darker colours some vehicles were painted in stateside before the US entered the war. Over the years this annoyed me ever more. Even to the point, where I hard not plan any games using Americans for our monthly Battlegroup games. Which was a shame, since it essentially was an army that could be fieled to regulation. When I to have a game of Operation Cobra for Crisis last year it was clear that this had to change. So in addition to painting a few new vehicles (two 76mm Sherman’s and Motor gun carriage) all of the old stuff that I had painted in the wrong colour were repainted. I did not want to go through all the hassle to repaint the stowage and markings, so I carefully airbrushes to the very edge of them, only touching things up afterwards. This actually worked quite well, except for the ID stars which all had to be repainted by hand. But enough about that… here are the (mostly) tanks:

I am really happy with these now and they will see action far more often now.

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More shades of grey

More shades of grey

Do continuing my quest to build a large German army for the 1939 – 1941 period I tackled some more armour. Usually I am no big fan of using cell photo pictures, but when Intook these the other day (to show some of the guys at the club), I actually felt they turned out fine, so I decided to use them here as well. Only things that irritates me about these photos though is the slivering on some of the decals, since there is none in real live. Anyway… let’s get the party started.

Up first is a SdKfz 251 C from Blitzkrieg Models. Now this actually this is not meant for that period, but rather 1942up until maybe Kursk. Here I wanted a look of a haste camouflage job applied over a very faded Panzergrau. Since the model was assembled as it was and I was airbrushing grey anyway, I decided to mix it in. I simply went two shades lighter on everything, did some sloppy Dunkelgelb stripes and went heavier on the weathering. The sandbags were sculpted with green stuff out of necessity. The roof ring had been damaged in the mail and I found it more sensible to simply sculpt two sand bags on, rather than ask for a replacement. Crew and machine gun will be added later.

Up next is the SdKfz 232 in the six wheel version. This model is by Warlord games and one of only two in the whole early war German complement in 1:56th scale. Not

Much to say about it, except that it is a fairly nice kit, which suffered from a lot of bubbles on the fenders. Most of which I sculpted over, but looking at the picture, I seem to have missed a few of the smaller ones.

The Adler scout car is the other model in 1:56th scale and also by Warlord. Again a nice little kit, but a much cleaner casting.

Now this is a Steyr ADGZ. I always liked the vehicle for its looks, so I asked my friend Martin to print me one. Big downside to this is, that a) the file itself is very I detailed and b) this was one of the first models he ever printed and it shows. At some point I was close to not finishing it at all and simply throwing it away, but decided to carry on. Although I think it might not see that much tabletop use.

Up next is a Corgi SdKfz 7. The original paint job was quite OK, but the weathering was horrible (just a few strokes in a baby poo colour with a broad brush), sonI repainted the whole thing. It still. Red to be crewed and I will probably go for Warlord Games Plastic seared Germans.

This is a 3D printed Famo recovery half-track. I chose a covered version since I wanted this done quickly without having to paint a crew or load.

Horch Kfz 18 by Tamiya that will serve either as the overall command vehicle or the command vehicle for a non-armoured infantry platoon. I will later do another heavy car (this time a Steyr) in case I want to use both options at once. It still needs to be crewed and will probably receive the Tamiya minis that came with it.

Two Krupp Protze light trucks with PaK to serve in the light PaK battery. I have to say, having played mostly 1943 and later over the past nearly two decades, I was initially not too keen to even field one 3,7cm PaK, but after our first test game set in France 1940 I found that these actually were quite good for the period, so a whole battery became an option. Both of these are by Tamiya and will probably get the crews that came with them.

And a Schwimmwagen for the Kradschützenplatoon, finally completing that thing. The vehicle is by Tamiya the crew might be Company B, but I am not sure.

Flakpanzer II. The model is a 3D print, the FlaK and crew are Warlord games. The gun from the print was horrible and since I wanted to use the crew anyway, I decided to replace the gun as well.

A Bunkerflak. Again a 3D print. Not the best either but way better than the Scouts right above. The crew is a converted plastic Warlord Games mini.

A Acht-Acht FlaK by Italeri to provide some extra punch against those French heavies or Russian KV-IIs. Again, the crew are converted Warlord Games. I decided to build the model firing while limbered up, which it could do. When I was a young boy there was a very good multi part documentary co-produced by German and Russian TV stations. I seemed to remember seeing one fire while limbered up, so when I was building the model this winter I began by searching for pictures but could find none. So I looked at Wochenschau films and there were a lot of them firing while limbered. But the more war progressed, the rarer this became. I guess when you are moving fast through Europe and have all the advantages you do not spare the extra 2 ½ minutes to unlimber. But when you are outnumbered and have to fight from hiding you better spend that time to have a low profile.

And last there an AT-team completing the support options for the infantry platoon. I have to say I found the metal offerings on the market were all poorly sculpted, so when Warlord released their Afrika Korps Set with a Banzerbüchse I bought it and cobbled something together. The shooter is actually a Blitzkrieg body with Afrika Korps arms and the Spotter exactly the opposite. It also gave me the option to do a different position from the usual prone one.

 

Rounding off my Normans

Rounding off my Normans

Ages ago I started painting my Norman army for SAGA. For roughly four years now, they have been lingering around at two points of Warriors with a Warlord added later on. With the upcoming German Grand Melee this weekend, I finally felt noticed to finish them and here are the results:

Up first are the Levy archers. The minis are old ones by Wargames Foundry. Not sure who the sculptor on these was, but they have a certain Perry vibe to them. They are slightly on the burly side, but given that other minis in this army will be from Crusader, Gripping Beast and Conquest Miniatures, they will fit in quite well. Only the Footsore minis (see below) and the Warlord from Stronghold will be slimmer. But the animation on these is very good and at six different sculpts, they offer enough variety.

Up next are mounted Warriors from Footsore. Usually love Footsore minis, but these were a mixed bag. The sculpts themselves are really nice and the set offers lots of variety at eight different rider sculpts. But the horses were a huge letdown. While these seem to be new horses, they had lots of flash and took ages to clean. The other problem are the shields. As usual with round shields, they have a depression on the back (on the rear of the boss) and a corresponding nipple o the arm, that are meant to give them a spot where they can be glued on and withstand the rigours of play. Only with these minis, the poses are such that you can only get them to align on two or three of the set. All of the others will not fit. As a result most of the shields are fragile and you always run the risk of levering them off. I have now attached them with ultra strong two part epoxy and still only try to touch only the horses and not the riders.

Last are the mounted Hearthguards. These minis are plastics by Conquest Miniatures. Really like them for their really heavy horses, versatility and low price. They require some work filling the gaps between parts and so on, but otherwise they are great. I am not happy with all the shields (most of the ones turned away from the camera 😉) and might go back to these at a later date.

While not Normans as such, I also completed two carts. We will be playing the Ambush scenario at the Grand Melee and I felt it would be good to prove some models for that!

 

Lots of early war German vehicles

Lots of early war German vehicles

Work is still ongoing on my German early war (Poland to Barbarossa) project. It is amazing how many vehicles one actually needs for this fairly short period. Between all these and the ones Inposted last year, there are still lots to do. All of these were done over the fall to early spring period of this year.

Up first is the SdKfz 222 from Blitzkrieg models. Really nice model. The only thing that disappointed me a bit, is that it comes with sand tyres, which would fit a model for the Afrika Korps, but not Europe. Fortunately I had the SdKfz 260 not from ICM, which comes with two sets of wheels. Both with regular tyres and even though the plastic version is already great, there I a rubber set. So one of these was fitted to the SdKfz 222.

This is the above mentioned SdKfz 260. Unfortunately it has no place in the Battlegroup lists, but I simply liked it looks too much! We have already used it as the ride for the Luftwaffe liaison officer (who usually rides a half track) and it worked out fine.

And here is a bunch of PzKw II. The ones in the top picture have early turrets (commanders hatch) while the ones in the lower two photos have the late turret (commanders copula). In retrospect I should have asked the people at Blitzkrieg if they would sell me three hulls with two different turrets each, since it was lots of work painting six similar hulls, but one always has these ideas when it is too late.

And to round things off with the PzKw II family, here is a Flammpanzer II Flamingo. This model is also from Blitzkrieg.

And then there is the transport for the Grenadiere. Personally I prefer halftracks, but those are more expensive points wise and unavailable for Poland, so I needed some tricks. In this case a bunch of Opel Blitz from Tamiya. The drivers (mostly invisible on these photos) are by Victory Force, the soldiers themselves by Warlord.

And then there are the halftracks. The commuters halftracks is an old Bandai model (by now repainted for the second time). It is a SdKfz 251 B. Not sure if such a mix with the SdKfz 251 C models for the rest of the platoon is realistic, but I am thinking that maybe the unit got a small batch of earlier models first that were allocated to the commanders, while the rest of the troops got theirs later. The C models are by Blitzkrieg. The Grenadiere are by Warlord and the machinegunners are from Rubicon, but with Warlord heads to hide their slimmer shape.

To give the troops some supplies there is another Opel Blitz by Tamiya. The guard is by Warlord Games. The supplies are a mix of Tamiya and Bandai. Not sure if there are too few supplies. Maybe I need to add to it.

And last, a tripod mounted MG-34. The machine gun and gunner are by Victory Force, while the spotter and loader are Warlord Games.

 

Last Anglo-Saxons for SAGA

Last Anglo-Saxons for SAGA

These were actually painted last year in time for the French Grand Melee. But the lack of time to take some photos and problems with photoshop prevented me from posting them any earlier.

Nothing really spectacular here, but with the changes from SAGA 1 to version 2 it became moch more sensible to field four points of Levies for my Anglo-Saxons instead of three points of Warriors and just one point of Levies as I did in the past.

Since I wanted a unit of archers, this was all easy enough. Those three points of Warriors I used before were amalgamated into two points of Levies (since both added up to 24 minis). For the archers I picked up a set from Footsore Miniatures. I was really pleased with them. Mighty nice mini and a true joy to paint.

The biggest plus was that no two minis were identical. While there are only six different poses, each mini that shares the pose with another has a different face and head gear to make them all different. I kept the colours simple and subdued to make them appear like lowly peasants that could not afford any bright and expensive clothes.

In addition I had always fielded a Priest Warlord in the earlier edition to get enough SAGA dice. Now I felt I needed a fighter. Well or rather could afford one without having too few SAGA dice. I felt it made the most sense to pair him up with the Hearthguards, since only they can be sacrificed, instead of him taking wounds. Since all my Anglo-Saxon Hearthguards are mounted, he had to be mounted too, to keep up with them.

As with the Hearthguards, I used Norman cavalry from Conquest Miniatures modified with Gripping Beast plastic Anglo-Saxon parts to make them look the deal. The only thing I regret about them are the shields. I was running out of time ahead of the Grand Melee and simply did not have the time to paint the shields any nicer. And over the past few months, I simply could not find the motivation to repaint them or add more detail.

 
 

SAGA, French Grand Melee 2018

SAGA, French Grand Melee 2018

Well things have become a little quiet lately. Last month I finished a bigger batch of vehicles for my WW II project and right on the heels it was painting extra minis for the SAGA French Melee.

I had been wondering what to play. Out of my Age of Vikings era armies none were really playable under SAGA 2, so I first has to make the choice which army to expand. Only the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons could be done in due time and I was in no mood to play Vikings, so Anglo-Saxons it was.

I decided to play with a mounted Warlord, two points of mounted Hearthguards amalgamated into one unit and 4 points of Levies (3 of them with close combat weapons and 1 with bows).

What gave me some headaches though, was that I had hardly gotten any games of SAGA 2 in since its release… one in mid-August another earlier this month. So I was not expecting much, except for a good weekend.

Game one (standard Clash of Warlords)

The first game pitted me against Andy Lyons’ Welsh. I have to say, this was the game I had been both hoping for and dreading for years. For those who do not know him, Andy has played SAGA Grand Melees and Iron Mans all over the world and won a good number of them. A former U.K. and German champion and the current French champion, he was quite an opponent for the first match. That being said, I have known him for a man with great spirits for years, so no matter what, I was expecting a great game.

Andy was playing Welsh in an all mounted, all Javelin set-up. There was a Warlord, a Priest, 2 points of Hearthguards and 3 points of Warriors. Unfortunately I cannot remember how he arranged them.

Deployment method was A. Andy was first player and decided to take shots with his javelins at my Hearthguards. Which did not go too well. That turn and the next one too Andy rolled below average on his to-hit rolls, I rolled above average on my saves. This resulted in Andy having to keep his troops closer to mine than he would have liked. By the third or fourth turn my Levies were close enough to his troops and spread out enough to always be able to attack one of his units no matter where he put them at the end of his turn. So it was a close call all the time and in the end Andy won by a point.

All in all I was extremely happy with the result, which put me in the midfield and still gave me chances for a good result in the end. But in all fairness, had the dice been more average, Andy would have won by a bigger margin.

Game two (Clash of Warlords variant)

First things first. This scenario was based on the Clash of Warlords, but both players got to place two objectives each (at least L from a long board edge and at least M from another objective). Being in procession (having a unit within VS of an objective at the end of the game, without any enemy units within VS) gave you another two kill points per objective. This game I was playing a very good French player, who’s name I unfortunately forgot [EDIT: It was Dorian.] He was playing Normans. A mounted Warlord and a mounted Priest, 1 point of mounted Hearthguards, 2 points of mounted Warriors (spread into two units of 5 and one of 6 men), 1 point of Warriors on foot with close combat weapons and 1 point of Levy archers.

Deployment method was B and we both put the objectives in terrain in our home corner close to our respective Levie archers. I began in a strong round defense hidden from his Archers by a large hill in the middle, expecting such a mobile army to go on the offensive. Again I was player two and took a heavy beating for it. My opponent rolled well on his three SAGA dice and together with the use of We Obey managed to send his larger unit of mounted Warriors charging into my Hearthguards using two SAGA abilities (Charge and Pursuit) to beef their mettle quite a bit in additions to the benefits from charging with javelins. This cost me dearly, since I lost a total of 7 Hearthguards. My other troops were able to mop those Warriors of his up once it was my turn, but it meant we had traded 6 Warriors of his versus 7 Hearthguards (and I think a Levy or two) of mine. Which left me down four slaughterpoints on aggregate. Not a good start, since I had to go on the attack now to make up for that. So I left the bow armed Levies alone to guard the objectives, while the rest of my army began their journey to attack the enemy positions. All game long the dice were a reversal of the previous game. This time I rolled sub-par and my opponent better than average. But still my troops kept constantly closing the gap. Things still did not look too good until the fifth turn when he tried to take out my Warlord and failed, loosing a unit of Warriors. My counterattacks cost him his Warlord and now I was in the lead. My plan sometime during the game had become to contest his objectives with my Warlord (the only unit mobile enough) on the final turn, but all this fighting had left him with too much fatigue, so I just scrapped that plan. On the other hand my opponent did not manage to contest mine either since he was kept too busy on his flank. So in the end my lead in slaughter point gave me the victory.

Game three (Clash of Warlords variant)

Game three would bring another Clash of Warlords variant. This time one would only score slaughter point in Melee and each time your Warlord took part in a Melee it would be another two bonus slaughter points. There would be no slaughter point for a unit being destroyed completely.

After having had to play two armies that were either completely or mostly mounted I had been hoping for an all foot opponent. My wish was granted, but one should always beware what you wish for. Emmanuel (who came second overall [EDIT: He came third overall]) was playing Pagan Rus and this was not the kind of game I had hoped for.

He fielded a Warlord, 3 points of Hearthguards (amalgamated into two units of six), 2 points of Warriors (fielded as a unit of twelve and four mean respectively) and a unit of Gall-Gaedhil mercenaries.

Set-up was according to method B once more. Due to the Pagan Rus ability Frozen Winds my units were fairly spread out (but they still suffered from it for the first three turns), while my opponent deployed fairly compact.

I can no longer remember who was player one, but it did not really matter. Emmanuel made heavy use of Blizzard, Long Winter and Biting Cold all throughout the game, which over the first three turns meant that except for a volley by my archers against his large unit of Warriors I did not get any charges or volleys in.

So I simply positioned my units where they would be able to either attack next turn or force my opponent to withdraw. And I made sure I always had Valiant Hearts actived and had a mix of Defenders of the Kingdom, Closed Ranks and Clash of Shields on my board. Which paid off. His large unit of Warriors attacked my Levies with bows in rocky ground and took a heavy beating. Virtually the same happened when his Gall-Gaedhil followed up. They were now attacked by one of my Levies to my advantage. Now I was leading on slaughter points and his board became oriented towards the offensive which meant I was actually able to get two charges of my own choosing in. His attacks met a similar fate as before. But until the end of the game I was unable to attack with my Warlord. His formation was too compact to risk that and the easier targets were situated within ruins, making them too hard to attack. We had to finish the game after the fifth turn due to us taking a little too long, but the result was a solid victory for me.

Fourth game (Clash of Warlords variant)

The second day began with yet another Clash of Warlords variant. Every turn from the second turn onwards, one would get an extra slaughter point for every unit that was completely within the opponents half of the table.

I was facing Simon who was playing Normans as well. His force consisted of a mounted Warlord and Priest, a point of Hearthguards three points of mounted Warriors (spread out in a number units of six, five and four men) and a point of archers.

I was aware that to win this one, had to prevent my opponent from getting on my side of the table as long as possible, since I would hardly be able to contain, let alone catch, this many mounted units once they got to my side. So I tried to make the centre of the table as restrictive as possible by placing a large wood on the right flank, a swamp on the left and a field in the centre. I was player one and rolled a four as our deployment method (method B), but chose to shift that to method C. Due to his large number of units and the large cavalry bases he was using he had to spread his units out a lot, placing some of them either behind terrain the had to move around or at the very edge of the table. All in all this meant that during turn two and three I had more units on his side of the table than he had on mine. Special praise has to go to my Hearthguards who held on to my left flank on their own versus three units of Warriors and later on the Warlord and Priest. I had to laugh when Simon put a lot of effort into attacking them with a unit of Warriors aided by the Charge and Pursuit abilities only to find I still had Valiant Hearts active and had Defenders of the Kingdom and Clash of Shields on my board. All in all this fight cost me nothing while he lost his whole unit. But I also made a stupid mistake when I became greedy and had my last remaining Hearthguard attack his exposed Priest later on only to die in the process without doing the Priest any harm.

Only in turn four and five did the number of units on the opponents side shift substantially in his favour. But during the whole game I had done my best to both keep him back and bring his Warrior units below the four men threshold for creating SAGA dice. Which meant I was in the lead on real slaughter points. In the end he had slightly more points for units on the opponents side than I had while I got more from the kills. Again the game had to be called after turn five and we were equal on points. The tournament did not allow for a draw and since I still had vastly more men left on the table, I it was a minor victory for me.

Game five (Clash of Warlords variant)

This variant would give each player two extra slaughter points at the end of each of their own turns per unit for every unit partially within M of the table-centre.

This time my opponent was Jan who also played Anglo-Saxons. He fielded a Warlord on foot, a Priest on foot, a unit of Gall-Gaedhil mercenaries, 3 points of Levies with close combat weapons and 1 point of Levies with bows. I was expecting this to become a very bogged down game given the defensive orientation of the Anglo-Saxons.

Again, I was player one. I have to say, I did not care much for terrain, except that I wanted a field on my side of the table partially within M of the centre where I could place my archers and that the rest of the terrain I deployed (a hill) did not restrict the movement of my cavalry too much. Jan placed two small woods on his side of the table, also partially within M of the centre, one of which I moved away from the centre. Deployment was according to method C again.

I did not roll too well on those three initial SAGA dice. So there was no way I could do him some harm and I settled for two defensive abilities to get me through the first turn and moved two units of Levies and my Warlord within M of the centre. My opponent tried to expel as many of them as possible (and succeeded on the two close combat Levy units) and tried to kill my Warlord (which he did not, but which left my Warlord with three fatigue).

The next turn my Hearthguards together with two units of close combat Levies managed to push the enemy back, giving them a heavy beating. My Warlord was still very exposed, had two fatigue and had three units of Levies within S of him. Which made him a tempting target (both as a kill and due to the fatigue the other units within S would get upon his death). So Jan tried to brush one unit of Levies away with his Levies and Gall-Gaedhil (which he managed) and kill my Warlord with the later (which he did not). But this had left his Mercenaries with three fatigue and they were wiped out by my Hearthguards without any losses of my own the next turn (I used two of his fatigue to raise my armour to seven). My Levies regained their position against their oposites and the dollowing turn my Hearthguards about faced and pushed another unit of Levies out. From then on it was only securing my position (gaining ten slaughter points per turn) and harressing the enemy. In the end I won by a margin for 39 points, for a superior victory. What really made me happy was that in this very last game, my Hearthguards were able to enact their envisioned role of shocktroops for the first time.

The results

All in all I ended up with 62 tournament points and made fifth place overall. With which I am mighty happy, given both my lack of preparation and the quality of the opponents.

The later was really amazing. I have played in a number of tournaments over the years and always have I had one opponent that only gave me an easier game. Not so this time. They were all very good players and there was not a single game that one could just play it home easily. Even the very last game was much harder than the result would suggest. The general sportsmanship, not just in the games I played but also what I saw on adjacent tables, was very good. Being provided with lunch on both days and dinner on the first day as well as cake was a huge bonus.

So all in all, it was a very taxing, but friendly and enjoyable weekend. One I will certainly try my best to repeat as often as possible in coming years.

Merci beaucoup!

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2018 in Anglo-Saxons, Medival, Normans, SAGA, Welsh

 

Panzerkampfwagen I Platoon and more

Panzerkampfwagen I Platoon and more

So to keep up the dark grey theme… here are some more.

They nice thing about the early war period is, that you can get virtually every vehicle in my preferred scale, 1:48th. There are a few exceptions and the PzKw I and it’s variants are one of them. Those are only available from small companies with small production runs and cost a lot. At first I had planned to use some 1:56th scale model after all, but when Martin got himself a 3D printer another option became available.

PzKw I platoon

PzKw I platoon

While one can see the layers and the detail could be higher on some parts, they still do a job, and to be honest… just looking at the cost of the material, these five tanks cost me less (probably half as much) than one of those from a small company would have cost me.

PzKw I platoon

PzKw I platoon

Martin was not sure if I wanted a command version with or without the antenna assembly, so he printed both and one hot pressed into service as an armoured ambulance.

PzKw I command and ambulance versions

PzKw I command and ambulance versions

Over all I was surprised by the 3D prints. I would have thought that the layers would have been more visible after the wash and filter. I know they stand out on these photos, but when not enlarged as much as they are on our screens you hardly notice.

PzKw I command and ambulance versions

PzKw I command and ambulance versions

 

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

 

 

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