Category Archives: Blitzkrieg

Yet more early war Germans… or rather, the end of the line

Yet more early war Germans… or rather, the end of the line

This post has been a long time coming. I actually started it early summer last year, but then decided to finish it after the last three models. So,let us dive into what I finished this spring.

First of all there were some loose ends to tie up. That is opened topped vehicles I did almost three years ago, but that were still missing their crews. Having used a lot of Tamika kits that came with a crew, it seemed sensible to use these. (Sorry, just a group shot here.)

The good thing is, that there were so many, I actually had some extras to fill some more vehicles. One of them is a Krupp Protze KfZ 70 Tamika) to pull some guns like the LeiG 18 or PaK 38 below. Technically the LeiG 18 would have been pulled by a KfZ 69 and the PaK38 by something heavier. But I felt this was a good compromise for an army already overflowing with vehicle models. This way I could use the if (or when) an extra transport was needed as well.

The LeiG 18 is actually a repaint of a model I did a couple of years ago. Back then I rather meant to use it mid war, which was represented by painting their uniforms this way and giving the grey a sun bleached look with a Dunkelgelb overspray. So I repainted them both to match my other early war stuff. One of the crew from the PaK 38 did not really match the gun IMHO so I gave that crewmember to the LeiG 18 and replaced the missing crewman on the PaK with a plastic one. Both of these guns are by Warlord Games, with the LeiG being an old now out of production version from their early days (or even the days before they bought the range from Paul Hicks).

The rest of the crew went to a SdKfz 251/3 and 251/18 (used as a regimental command vehicle) to give me more communications and command options. These are 3D printed models. I printed these out with my old FDM printer. Shame I did not print them out later. With my newer printer the lines would have been smaller.

Speaking for more command and communications options I also did a PzKw I command version (3D print), a SdKfz 263 and Opel Blitz communications van (both of the later are 1st Corps).

And while I was working on the SdKfz 263, I also did a SdKfz 232 to get a heavy armoured car. Both the model and commander are by Tamiya.

And to add some more armoured support for an infantry division I added three StuG III Ausführung B. These are Tamiya models as well. Stowage is scratchbuild using Tamiya parts and plastic are for the racks.

Now one of the last things missing was some armoured resupply vehicle. I opted for a SdKfz 252. Not the most common vehicle, but I always liked its shape over the SdKfz 250/6 it was replaced by. Again this is a 3D print and again I wish I had printed this later.

So far the only artillery I had was a pair of SiG 33. To round that off a little more and give me some more options I added a pair of leFH18 howitzers. Both the Warlord Games models.

At this point my early war force was virtually complete. About the only things still missing were a Panzerjäger I, a Bison and another tank option when Imneed to depict a Panzer Division not equipped PzKw 38(t) tanks. Since the first two did not really interest me, that only left me with some PzKw III tanks.

I opted for a PzKw III Ausführung F. Maybe not the most common version, but I really like the twin turret mounted co-ax machine-guns. The models are by 1st Corps, the commander is by Rubicon.

And this essentially brought me to the end of the line. A complete force which can depict virtually any German force from the Invasion of Poland to Operation Barbarossa. Infantry in strength for all operations either on foot or mounted on trucks or half tracks, as well as a Kradschützenplatoon. All tank options from PzKw I to IV. Artillery, AT-guns, reconnaissance, command, communications vehicles and planes. Putting them all on the table for a group shot made me realise how much it actually is.

And last here are the detail shots from the past few years (from their respective posts):


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.


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


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

A Storch and a Stuka

A Storch and a Stuka

It has been a long time, but I have started to start posting again. We have been involved in a quite heavy car crash late last year and I had decided to spend more time playing and less time posting.

Now Corona has changed that. Suffering from asthma, I guess I will have to limit social contacts to a minimum in coming weeks and months, so I decided to return to my blogging (and maybe rekindle my interest in blogging). Not sure how frequent things will be.

There are a lot of minis I painted in recent months, but I am not sure how much will follow in the near future, since I am one of the lucky few to work through the crisis.

Anyway… let’s start with two models I finished this weekend. These are two 1:48th scale planes for WWII. Both are very old kits… one just slightly 1 ½ years younger than myself.

Up first is the older one, a Fieseler Storch from Revell. For a kit from the late 70´s the quality was pretty good and the decals were almost as good as new. Given that the offering from Tamiya, which was released just a few years ago, costs around 60 Euros, this was a very good alternative.

The connection between the fuselage and the wings was a bit wobbly, but once the support struts were glued on, the plane itself became surprisingly stable.

Now this plane will have to serve in many lists both from early to late war. So I chose colours for the camouflage that were used for most of the war from roughly 1941 to 1944 (and since not all planes were repainted possibly till 1945) to give me the most mileage. For the same reason the areas painted yellow for recognition were kept to a medium level with just the undersides of the wingtips and a band around the fuselage.

The other model is a Stuka by Monogram. Slightly younger than the Storch. The model itself was nearly as good as the Storch, but the decals were a pain in the behind, with the glue being quite slimey and them requiring a lot of Micro Set and Micro Sol to work.

This one is supposed to be used for the very early period. From Poland to Barbarossa, possibly even longer. I went for the same colours as I did with the Storch. These will not work for Poland or France, but should be fine Greece or Barbarossa, which will see nearly as many games.

In this case I went for quite large yellow areas, since this plane will mostly see use during periods when the Germans had air superiority.

Both planes were weathered with oil paints. I replaced the propellers with clear discs made from blister packing (although I might replace the one on the Storch with which I am not entirely happy) and added aluminium pipes into their fuselages, so I can mount them on my homemade flight stands.


Early war Fallschirmjäger

As you will have noticed, I have been working feverishly on my early war Germans. Nowthis all regular Heer, but in the first years of the war Germany used their Fallschirmjäger as strike forces taking key positions during most offensives. Naturally this means, that I am also interested in sore Fallschirmjäger to complement my forces for those early campaigns. So far there have been no appropriate minis, as all minis on the market are geared up for the later years.

But there are some coming up in a Kickstarter:

If you want / need some early war Fallschirmjäger, I suggest you take a look.

Everything I have seen so far looks extremely nice, poses as well as detail. And there are some great vignettes as well.

They are also offering a DFS 230 glider as a pledge on the Kickstarter:

I would have loved to give you a detailed review of the minis as I was send some samples, but unfortunately they only arrived after we left for our holidays (thanks DHL), so the review will only happen after we return or in other words,after the Kickstarter has ended. Hope those pictures have caught your interest already.

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 26, 2019 in Battlegroup, Blitzkrieg, WWII, WWII: Germans


Polish Army 1939

Polish Army 1939

As I have indicated before, I am currently working on a big project and that is building a Polish force for 1939. Our club always attends Crisis in Antwerp and our plans for the next six years is to host a game based on an 80th anniversary from the Second World War. So this year it will be Fall Weiß, the invasion of Poland.

So for the last six or seven weeks, I have been working on the infantry component for my Polish army. All the minis are from Warlord games. Some still sculpted by Paul Hicks for Bolt Action Miniatures (mostly those soldiers in normal uniforms) some by different sculptors after Warlord bought the range (those in greatcoats, guns and support weapons). I have to say I enjoyed painting the Paul Hocks sculpts the most. They are not as refined as his current work, especially the faces. But the newer models often have weaker details and some suffer from a huge scale creep. All in all they are all good models though and the army has been fun to paint. All that being said, I only have time to paint during the weekends, so I went for a quick paint job on these minis. Before I get started on the minis themselves… yes I intentionally put white and red flowers on the bases. I felt they are a fitting decoration for Poles.

So, up first the regimental command team.

They are being followed by the regimental communication teams. A wire team and a radio team. I will later do a radio truck as well. BTW, I have no idea what kind of breed the dog pulling the wire spool is supposed to be, but he seemed closest to a wolfhound, so that is the way I painted it.

So let’s go for something heavier. The artillery. The only guns available on the market [Edit 07.06.2021: At the time when i wrote this post] are WZ 1897-17 75mm Howitzers. I shuffled some of the crew around between these and the Bofors 37mm AT gun. The loader for the Bofors was simply holding the shell too high to look realistic. The artillery spotter team are simply two normal infantrymen, one of them with binoculars. Nothing to special, but none of the other minis really looked like a spotters either or were more useful somewhere else.

Last for the support elements is a sniper team.

Up next is the infantry platoon. The platoon command actually packs a good punch. One of the men carries an AT rifle anyway and since I painted one soldier armed with a LMG too many, I allocated him to this team.

Next are the company support elements… medic, mortar team, HMG team, AT rifle tram and a Bofors 37mm AT gun. The later required some tricks. As I said before, the leader did not quite fit the gun and was transferred to the howitzers. To make up for the missing crewmember I added a kneeling rifleman covering the gun crew. The other problem is that the gun shield comes in two parts. Mine was a poor cast where the two parts meet, but I only noticed that problem when I was close to painting it. Some that was covered up by some camp netting. Which is a real shame, since the weathering on the shield turned out quite nicely.

The infantry platoon itself is made up of three ten men rifle section and three nine men support sections. The later include a LMG each. I am not going to bore you by showing you three virtually indentical teams each, so here is one each.

All in all, there are almost 100 minis in total here. Quite happy with my output. Ironically I finished these today, on the 80s anniversary of the invasion of Poland. So I thought I should share these with you today.

Hope you enjoyed these. Now I will have to tackle around 20 vehicles. Not sure I am looking forward to that, but they will get done.


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.


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 I posted 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 kit 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 trucks. 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 commanders 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.


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



Kradschützen mortar team

Kradschützen mortar team

Kradschützen messenger

Kradschützen messenger

Kradschützen medic

Kradschützen medic