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Category Archives: WWII

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

 

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And another game of Fall of the Reich

And another game of Fall of the Reich

So I am still catching up. This time it is another game of Fall of the Reich. This one was played during the first fine week (weather wise) of the year, so we could actually play outside. But even though this one has not been so long ago, my memory is even less precise than the previous one. I can remember, that the American fox consisted mainly of Shermans and infantry in M3´s, while the German force was mainly PzKw IV´s.

The beginning was not too good for the Germans. One PzKw IV was damaged right at the beginning another one blown up by the allied artillery. The Germans tried to repair the former, but failed, so it was two losses right at the beginning. So things did not look too well, but once the Americans got closer, the tables turned and the Germans could make good use of their position behind the railroad embankment. It became a real turkey shoot and in the end the American broke and the game was over. Unfortunately this is the best AAR I can come up with. Sorry! So I hope the pictures tell a good story instead.

Table seen from the American side

Table seen from the American side

Table seen from the German side

Table seen from the German side

Waiting for the enemy

Waiting for the enemy

Bergepanther trying to repair a PzKw IV

Bergepanther trying to repair a PzKw IV

American advance

American advance

American armour in the village

American armour in the village

American halftrack

American halftrack

German defensive position

German defensive position

76mm Sherman on the attack

76mm Sherman on the attack

Hull down PzKw IV

Hull down PzKw IV

SS HMG team

SS HMG team

 

Battlegroup Fall of the Reich Christmas game

Battlegroup Fall of the Reich Christmas game

“Wait?” you will shout… “Christmas game… it is only October!” And rightly so! But, as I have had to say so many times this year, I seem to have huge problems keeping this blog up to date. So, here it is, almost 10 months late:

Between Christmas and New Years last year Julian, Martin and I met up for a little game of Battlegroup Fall of the Reich. Please do not ask for the exact composition of the forces… it has been a while. But if I remember correctly, the Americans had a mix of truck and jeep mounted infantry, M10´s, Shermans and Greyhounds (the burning Stuart was scenery). The Germans were a rag-tag bunch of Panzergrenadiere, a Volkssturm platoon, two Hetzer, a Hornisse, a Luchs, a SdKfz. 251/22 and a SdKfz. 250/9. Both sides had some off-board artillery.

Table seen from the German side

Table seen from the German side

Table seen from the American side

Table seen from the American side

We rolled to see who would play which side and Martin got the Americans and Julian and I the Germans. We were playing the Road Block scenario and the Americans were allowed to set up the majority of their forces as far as the river. Martin put the armoured command car on he bridge with the M10s, some of the truck mounted infantry and a Dozer Sherman behind them. The Greyhounds were allowed to deploy on the German side of the bridge.

The German Volkssturm was dispersed throughout the village and one of the fields on the flank. The Panzergrenadiere and Hetzer were hiding inside the village, while the Hornisse was waiting at the edge of the village with the bridge in sight. We took a slight risk as the German players, by not putting any scout units on the table, which meant we would start the game by drawing a chit. In retrospect this was the best decision we could make, since we drew a breakdown counter, which we played on the armoured command car on the bridge, which got an immobilized result. So Martin had to start shuffling vehicles around to get the Dozer in position.

Things are about to get tough

Things are about to get tough

But while he was doing so, the Germans called in some artillery on the bridge, which took out the command car for good and set the M10 ablaze. So when the Dozer arrived, it had to start by pushing the tank destroyer aside.

American starting positions

Getting the other vehicles out of the way for the dozer

Getting the M10 out of the way

Getting the M10 out of the way

But this was not the only problem for the Americans. when it was clear, that the bridge would be blocked for the foreseeable future, the Greyhounds chose to dash into the village to hide. Which proved to be a bad decision, since the lead Greyhound drove past one of the buildings where the Volkssturm was hiding. A Panzerfaust into the rear was a reward, after which it blew up.

American armour burning

American armour burning

First moves inside the village

First moves inside the village

All in all it took the dozer three turns to even get into position to try to clear the command car off the bridge. During that time the came under constant German artillery fire. To minimise their losses, the American infantry dismounted to disperse and get across the bridge.

Sherman Dozer about to clear the bridge

Sherman Dozer about to clear the bridge

American Infantry pushing across the bridge

American Infantry pushing across the bridge

But while doing so, the American infantry became pinned by fire from the Volkssturm in the fields.

Volkssturm firing at the American infantry across the river

Volkssturm firing at the American infantry across the river

And to make matters worse, by now the remaining German armour had arrived on the table and were taking up positions to counter any American moves off the bridge.

German halftracks staging inside the village

German halftracks staging inside the village

Getting into position

Getting into position

Luchs and Hetzer securing the flank

Luchs and Hetzer securing the flank

With the bridge cleared, the Americans finally managed to get their own spotters to a place where they could actually call in effective artillery fire on the German spotters killing them, but it was too little, too late. By now the Germans were in positions where they could target anything moving across the bridge from three sides.

Hetzer moving to the front

Hetzer moving to the front

By now the American force was close to breaking to breaking anyway. And when the Dozer started to push the command car, i was hit by an eighty-eight shell from the Hornisse.

Turkey shoot

Turkey shoot

At this point no coordinated push would have been possible anymore and the Americans withdrew.

 

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

 

WWII German Jagdtiger

WWII German Jagdtiger

Following up on yesterday’s post, here is my next (Theme Round) entry for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

This weekends topic was “Epic Fail” and it gave me some headaches at first. I could only count out a Leman Brother Bank, since we are not allowed terrain in this Challenge.

Then I thought about the Death Star, but my better half insisted we had no space for a PS 2014 from Ikea.

So it was back to the drawing board. But then I had an idea… World War II produced so my tanks, there must have been one that was an epic fail, at least in my eyes.

In my humble opinion, this had always been the wrong type of tank for the time. It was very heavy and thus suffered from the same problems as its turreted brothers, the Königtiger. As such it took huge resources to build, was a nightmare to transport by train, had problems with terrain due to its high ground pressure and guzzled so much fuel, that the Germans did not have at that time. Even worse yet, most of them seem to have been used on the western front, were its 122mm gun was the overkill for any opponent, while on the eastern front where it might have been useful vs. the JS-2s and big ISUs there were hardly any.

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

But what really underlined its status as an epic fail was an incident that took place when a Jagdtiger from the 512. Panzerjägerabteilung (the unit depicted above) attack an allied column near Holzwickede in Germany, which incidentally was less than 10 kilometer from where I used to live until a few years ago. This Jagdtiger fired at a Sherman. By that time Germany had no smokeless ammo anymore and after the first shot, at maximum range, the whole tank was shrouded in smoke. Seeing this, the infantry accompanying the tank though that big beast had been taken out and ran. Without any support the Jagdtiger was forced to retreat as well. So in essence, the big tank, which should have instilled calm in its troops and could have taken out the enemy without them ever having a chance to fire back, had broken the units morale with a single shot. As such this was my epic fail.

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

Not much to say about the model here. It is a 1:48th scale Tamiya early model Jagdtiger straight out of the box.

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

Looking at period photos I found that most of them seem to have been painted in a simply soft edged three tone camo. So I went with a Dunkelgelb base with, red primer and green camo airbrushed on. Some chipped paint effects and washes & filters to enhance the worn look as well as the soft edged effect of the camo. Also added some rain marks to the superstructure to round off the slightly for look. (I do not like my tanks if they look like they have not been cared for for months.) Unfortunately I ran out of time, otherwise it would have received a slight coat of dust with the airbrush, but that will be easy enough to add in the future. While painting it, I remembered, why I usually hate to paint Königstiger or Jagdtiger. All those tow chains and spare tracks are a pain in the behind to paint.

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

Hope you like the final results.

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

 

Terrain and Star Wars Armada repaints

Terrain and Star Wars Armada repaints

I know this blog has been a bit quiet (again) lately, but I have not been idle, just too busy taking to take photos. There is also a batch of three points of Normans and Mercenaries for SAGA and a Lord for Warzone finished, but I have not gotten around to take any photos of them.

So without much further ado, here we go:

Right after Crisis I wanted to start kicking with a few small terrain pieces. Up first was a Celtic Cross for the Dark Ages. The model is by Timeline Miniatures. I loved the very intricate and detailed carvings on the stone, so it was a must have for me, even though it looks a little tall next to 25mm minis. The only letdown was the basic block it rests upon, which looked too basic and too much like MDT for my taste, but a little structured paint did the trick there. Just a little paint and presto:

Celtic Cross

Celtic Cross

Celtic Cross

Celtic Cross

Up next was the Village Fountain by Sarrissa Precision. Now this one was a little more complicated. I had put this together last year, always with the intention of adding artificial water. I did not want the moisture from the artificial water to soften up the white glue, so I used two-part epoxy instead of white glue back then. So far so good. So I painted it up and started pouring the first layer of Vallejo Still Water into the fountain. Everything looked good. The next morning I inspected my work and it still looked good. I picked it up and all the MDT layers came apart and the artificial water which had not completely dried started seeping through the gaps. Seems the two-part epoxy reacted with the artificial water as well. 😦 I quickly clamped everything together and for the next couple of days I kept it clamped together while pouring the next layers. The idea being, that the clamps would push it together and prevent if from coming apart again and that the water inside the fountain (and between the layers) would keep it stable and in one piece. After all this was done, the piece spend a couple of days atop the radiator to make sure it dried completely. After I removed the clamps it all stayed in one piece. Now I had to repaint parts of the fountain to mask the gloss where the water had come through, the spots where one could see the gaps in the MDF and the clamp marks. Then I added ripples with Vallejos Water paste and it was done. More effort than I wanted for this small piece, but in the end, it looks good.

Village Fountain

Village Fountain

Village Fountain

Village Fountain

And last… Martin and I have started playing some Star Wars Armada lately. Now we have decided to concentrate on one faction each. Martin will play the Rebel scum and I the glorious Empire (which does not mean we will not swap sides from time to time). Anyway, right now we have three core sets between the two of us (Martin has two, the other is mine), plus an extra set of Imperial fighters and one each of the ships from the Wave 1 expansions. And while I play the Empire, I felt this was too many Corvettes and Frigates in the Rebel fleet for them all to look the same (lets face it… I am not that likely to field 3 Victory class Star Destroyers in one game anyway), so I decided to give mine a repaint. I gave both quick diluted black wash to make the details stand out more. The Corvette got highlighted in tan and sand colours while the Frigate was highlighted in Ivory and White. For the Frigate I decided to paint the red markings over completely and replaced them with blue chevrons that run over the whole forward hull to enhance the shape of the ship. The Corvette just got the red markings overpainted in blue. Added some engine glow to both of them that was it. Nothing special, but it took less than an hour, which is fine by me. I guess starting December I will start (re)painting the Imperial ships and fighters, but I guess that will be more work, since I do not completely like the base colors of the ships (they do not look like they do in the movies to me).

Star Wars Armada - Corelian Corvette

Star Wars Armada – Corellian Corvette

Star Wars Armada - Corelian Corvette

Star Wars Armada – Corellian Corvette

Star Wars Armada - Nebulon B Frigatte

Star Wars Armada – Nebulon B Frigate

Star Wars Armada - Nebulon B Frigatte

Star Wars Armada – Nebulon B Frigate

 

Our game at Crisis 2015: Battle of Berlin

Our game at Crisis 2015: Battle of Berlin

So, after keeping you all excited for days now, here are the game shots from our Battlegroup: Fall of the Reich  demogame at Crisis this year.

To be honest, it is hard to make a coherent game report out of the game, due to all the chatting with people, explaining the mechanics, answering where the vehicles and models came from and so on. But I will at least try for a very short synopsis:

The Germans were a mixed Battlegroup formed around a nucleus of a Volkssturm platoon, beefed up, by a squad of Hitlerjugend tank hunters, a squad of SS Panzergrenadiere in a halftrack, some Wehrmacht Pioniere, a SS sniper team, a Pantherturm, 8.8cm Pak “Scheunentor”, a Borgward Wanze, a Panther and a Tiger II (Commander).

The Russians had a Platoon of rifles, with Maxim, Ratsch-Boom AT-gun and AT-gun team, an artillery spotter team for their onboard mortars and heavy artillery, a squad of Assault Pioneers, one of Scouts, three T34/85, two JS-II tanks and a lone T-34/76 (Commander).

Julian and I started the game in quite classic fashion. The Germans waiting for the Russians to run into the traps they had laid and the Russian tanks trading were shots with the Tiger and Pantherturm at long-range, while waiting for the infantry to catch up and protect them from the pesky Panzerfäuste.

During this time not much happened. Much like the Demo last year, both of us managed to alternate at rolling bad so we did not take out much with our long-range shots. (The funniest exchange was between the Pantherturm and JS-II who had problems spotting each other and one of the JS finally did and hit, he got a snake eyes for the penetration roll [he would have needed a three on two D6] only to roll a twelve the next round.) The most impressive exchange was the Russian sniper and one of the SS snipers killing each other, which left the lone German sniper to kill one the artillery spotters, pinning the other. When the Russina infantry command was also pinned, this effectively rendered the Russian mortars and Artillery useless (especially since the the participation gamers would continuously forget to unpin them). We also found out that a fanatic squad of Hitlerjugend can well take out a squad of Soviet elite scouts at short-range with their SMGs and a little help from the Panzergrenadiere. And that even with our gods eye view of the battlefield, it is easy to drive a T34 around a corner only to find the road blocked with Czech Hedgehogs and becoming a prime target for a PaK as a result.

Obviously things really picked up once the first participants came and played along, driving their tanks and infantry on without regard for losses. At that time tanks started blowing up all around the table and infantry perished left and right. This was also the first time I saw man-pack flamethrowers in use in the game and boy are they deadly assaulting buildings, especially on a squad sporting a fair amount of SMGs! All in all we had a cracking day and I hope the players had one, too. I will leave you with the pictures!

Der Russe kommt!

Der Russe kommt!

Hitlerjugend tankhunter squad besides destroyed Tiger I

Hitlerjugend tankhunter squad besides destroyed Tiger I

Pantherturm and Volkssturm MG-08 team in the front, Tiger II in the rear

Pantherturm and Volkssturm MG-08 team in the front, Tiger II in the rear

AT-gun position with the Volkssturm command looking on

AT-gun position with the Volkssturm command looking on

SS sniper in one of the tall buildings

SS sniper in one of the tall buildings

The Panterturm again

The Panterturm again

LMG position

LMG position

JS-II advancing

JS-II advancing

T-34s advancing

T-34s advancing

Hiding behind the rubble

Hiding behind the rubble

Hitlerjugend about to take out the Soviet scouts

Hitlerjugend about to take out the Soviet scouts

Russian Pioniere about to assault

Russian Pioniere about to assault

Enemy at the doors

Enemy at the doors

Volkssturm advancing

Volkssturm advancing

The 8.8cm PaK

The 8.8cm PaK

T34-85 taken out by the PaK

T34-85 taken out by the PaK

The end of the Pantherturm

The end of the Pantherturm

Tiger II waiting behind the barricades

Tiger II waiting behind the barricades

 

Battle of Berlin… small terrain items

Battle of Berlin… small terrain items

So as the last post before the game shots from Crisis… here are the extra items, to add some life to the table.

Before we start… I also painted a whole lot of Tamiya 1:48th scale lampposts, but to be honest, those are pretty boring to photograph as single items, so you will have to wait till tomorrow to see them.

Up first is some rubble heaps. Now these are simple pieces of pink foam cut to shape, covered with sand, plaster bricks, some wooden sticks and painted to match the other terrain. These are just there to represent the bigger heaps of rubble. I think in the long run, I will have to do a few more of these, but for now… these will have to suffice.

Rubble

Rubble

But another important feature in the battle of Berlin were anti-tank barricades. These took various forms. Some were just boxes made from squared timber, filled with rubble. Others were ramparts made from rubble with railway sleepers driven into them. I wanted some of either version. Again these were just done like the rubble heaps above.

Barricades

Barricades

Barricades

Barricades

Barricades

Barricades

In some places barricades were simply created by taking tram cars and rolling them into the street. At times these were filled with rubble to make them harder to cost or move away. Now tram cars are virtually impossible to get in 28mm. Well over a decade ago I found a 1:45th scale Tokyo tram model on eBay and bought it. The previous owner had already converted the kit, so it could pass as a German tram. So all that was left for me to do last week, was to actually assemble it and paint it. I am really happy I bought this all those years ago, since I never saw any again and it makes one really nice piece on the table.

The Tram

The Tram

Tram from the front

Tram from the front

Tram drivers postion

Tram drivers position

But what would any good defense of Berlin be, without a decent Pantherturm? This model actually came up as a left over piece. A couple of years ago I converted a Tamiya 1:48th scale Panther into a Bergepanther, using a conversion kit for a Solido model. This left me with the unused turret and upper hull. So a cut the hull out around the turret ring and build a bunker under it using plasticard. This was the based, and rubble added and I had the Pantherturm.

Pantherturm

Pantherturm

Pantherturm

Pantherturm

And last but not least… some objective markers for Battlegroup: FotR. One is simply an ammo cart from a Kettenkrad. Nothing special about this… just a place a soldier would seek out to get some more ammo.

The next is an eagle and Swastika ornament that has fallen off one of the buildings and scattered on the ground. I think this makes a good objective marker to show the final days of the Third Reich have come and it now lies scattered on the ground.

The last is a piano someone carried into the street from one of the houses. Whenever I see the opening scenes from Band of Brothers (or the scene in the episode,) or any photo from a warzone of a soldier standing besides a piano, I feel it is a stark reminder of how war changes the reality. In peacetime music and such fine instruments have a role our lives. It is about beauty and what humans can create with their imagination, their compassion and their soul. In war all that changes and no longer is life about things like beauty and creation. It is only about survival and destruction. So I felt a piano would be a reminder of that. I am still thinking about adding some weapon to the top of the piano, to underline this and enhance the conflict between the two. What do you think?

Objective markers

Objective markers
[Image was edited to comply with German law]

 
 

A big batch of WWII Berlin buildings and ruins

A big batch of WWII Berlin buildings and ruins

So here is the pan-ultimate of my “catching up with the work done ahead of Crisis” posts… the buildings.

For the Berlin buildings, I used MDF buildings from Commission Figurines. As some might remember, I had done two test pieces last year to see what could be done with them and a complete block this summer to see how the process could be speeded up. Last months it was time to do it for good and these are the results. In the end I was happy with the results and especially the time it took me. From the moment I put the first basic coat of paint onto these, to the moment I proclaimed them done, it took me about 4 weeks (obviously not nine to five work, but a few hours an evening and on the weekends), which I think was a good time. And I was more than pleased with the overall results when put on the table. Before anyone asks, the cobblestone playmat underneath is from Deep Cut Studio.

Before I start with the pictures, please note, that some of them have been edited (blurred out) to be in line with German law. It is illegal to publicly use (and posting photos of your miniatures and terrain would fall under that) Nazi symbols like the Swastika, SS Runes and so on here in Germany. It is a criminal offense and even in the best case, being found guilty would mean that I would no longer be allowed to work in the job I learned.

But here we go:

Up first is one of the intact city blocks. They actually come with slots for the ruined floors, but I felt the building was too intact for damaged floors. So the slots were filled with match sticks cut to length (exactly the right size) and I build an intact roof with chimney from MDF, some pink foam and plaster bricks. So far the building has no internal floors, but I think I might eventually add some to it. Although, this would mean that I could no longer store some of the 6 part building blocks inside. Lets see what I will do.

The building itself is meant to represent some party building so I outfitted it with some resin ornaments I bought off eBay more than a decade ago. Which quite surprised me, since their sale would have been forbidden under eBay rules, but somehow it must have passed them by.

Berlin building

Berlin building


Berlin building (rear)

Berlin building (rear)

This is one of the damaged storefront buildings. The signs on the left are a small homage to Walt from Commission Figurines, who used some advertising for the Schultheiss Pilsner brewing company on the buildings he showed off as samples for the Kickstarter campaign. The other is just the name of a local butcher in my hometown.

Since this building shows a lot of battle damage, I added a fair amount of rubble (but still little enough to keep the building playable) and furniture to the building. The furniture here and in the other buildings is just cheap 1:48th scale plastic doll house furniture.

Berlin building

Berlin building


Berlin building (rear)

Berlin building (rear)


Berlin building (inside)

Berlin building (inside)

And a residential block. Now this one is huge (almost 30cm tall IIRC) and provides an impressive central building to any game table.

Berlin building

Berlin building


Berlin building (rear)

Berlin building (rear)


Berlin building (inside)

Berlin building (inside)

And this is another ruined block. While the ones above and below have a one-piece-base, this one is actually 6 pieces, which allows for a little more flexibility when placed on the edges of the table or going for a diagonal layout. Two of the corner pieces (left in the first picture, right in the second) are actually the test pieces done last year. While taking these photos it dawned on me, that I did not put any rubble on the pavements back then… something which will be remedied soon.

Berlin building

Berlin building


Berlin building (rear)

Berlin building (rear)

And another ruined residential block… not as tall as the previous one, but still quite impressive. and the extra top floors I added, provide for a nice sniper nest.

Berlin building

Berlin building


Berlin building (rear)

Berlin building (rear)

And here is the second intact building block. I actually intended this as a normal residential building, but when choosing a scenario for Crisis we found that one of the Battlegroup: Fall of the Reich scenarios actually provides rules for a hospital, which may not be fired at. I like that idea, so I might fashion some red cross flags for the building that might be added in the future.

Berlin building

Berlin building


Berlin building (rear)

Berlin building (rear)

And the second store front building. Now I allowed myself a few puns on this one. The store on the left is a plumber and his name is Nothdurft which in a slightly different spelling but with the same pronunciation means “to relief oneself” in German. This plumber actually exists somewhere in the north of Germany and I decided to pick it up. The one on the right is an undertaker from my hometown. He is actually called Hellfeier which is actually pronounced like the English Hellfire.

Berlin building

Berlin building


Berlin building (rear)

Berlin building (rear)

And this is it. There are still two more 6 part blocks that I did not need for Crisis and that will be done in coming weeks, but otherwise, this is it.

I have to say, I was really happy to see Walt the owner of Commission Figurines at Crisis and seeing that he liked them! This was the first time he had actually seen his buildings used as a whole set-up in 28mm and he was pretty happy with their looks. Which really warmed my heart!

So, tomorrow I will show you the last few pieces done for the game (barricades, Pantherturm and objective markers) and on Friday it should be the game pictures from Crisis. So stay tuned!

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2015 in Terrain building, WWII

 

Battle of Berlin infantry… scraping the barrel

Battle of Berlin infantry… scraping the barrel

So in the effort to catch up with all the stuff done in recent weeks for the battle of Berlin game, here is the first step… the last additions to the German infantry.

After having played WWII for well over a decade now, I have been in the comfortable position not to need too many new miniatures for this years game. Having nearly 300 Russians and more again when it comes to Germans (regular Wehrmacht and SS), there was not much to do there. Except for some of the more uncommon troops that were sadly thrown into the meat grinder during the last weeks of the war.

I know many people have reservations about using these units in their games and for some time I contemplated this as well. But as sad as the use of children and the elderly in fighting units may have been, it is still a part of history. And at the same time, very few of us (as long as we play ancients) have reservations playing Spartans, who were taken for training as soldiers at a far younger age, or Romans, who would eventually sell their vanquished foes as slaves. So I made the decision to use units of Volkssturm and Hitlerjugend in the game as well.

Before I start with the pictures, please note, that some of them have been edited (blue dots) to be in line with German law. Here it is a criminal offense to show certain symbols in public on models and such.

Up first are a few Volkssturm I did about a decade ago, which formed the nucleus for the force (and which I wanted to show for completeness sake). These are all Victory Force miniatures. The NCO wears the uniform of an Allgemeine SS NCO. Probably someone who managed to evade being send to the front all war long and now finds himself leading a squad of Volkssturm during the final days. And who will probably disappear to “get some orders at HQ” when the bullets start to fly. This model is a Wehrmacht mortar operator with his uniform repainted. All the rest of this squad are from the French Resistance line. Some had their headgear converted to make them look less French and more German and all have had the Volkssturm armbands sculpted on.

Volkssturm

Volkssturm

Up next are a bunch of vintage Bolt Action Volkssturm miniatures. Always loved the guy with the old WWI Bavarian helmet and was very pleased to finally paint them up, after they collected dust for ages. The guy with the Greatcoat came unarmed, but I felt he did not look like a medic, so he got a Panzerfaust from Victory Force.

It was actually pretty funny when Paul hicks passed by the table at Crisis and actually spotted some of his old Volkssturm and Russian minis.

Volkssturm

Volkssturm

Now I needed some numbers to field them as a complete Volkssturm platoon under the Battlegroup rules, so more minis were needed. These days this is easy, with the set from Warlord, although I still needed a Wehrmacht LMG team. So all the minis in the following pictures are by Warlord. Some of these are regular SS or Wehrmacht soldiers, but those either served as NCOs for the platoon or as part of the Panzergrenadier squad also used in the game.

And these later minis are up first. I had some bad luck with the fat SA officer, since the mini was slightly miscast, but Warlord send me a replacement in time. The battle never got close to him on Saturday, but if it had, I bet he would have joined the Allgemeine SS NCO from above to get some new orders at HQ. The NCO in the middle and the soldier with the Luftfaust to his right feature heads from West Wind productions. At one point I had used up all the not-so-cartoonish heads from the Warlord set and had to find something proper. The gas mask on the Luftfaust seemed proper. I know some soldiers operating the Panzerschreck without the blast-shield would wear gas masks to protect against the backblast, so it seemed sensible for this mini as well.

Volkssturm (leaders and NCO)

Volkssturm (leaders and NCO)

SS Grenadier with curved barrel attachment on his StG-44

SS Grenadier with curved barrel attachment on his StG-44

SS Grenadier with curved barrel attachment on his StG-44

SS Grenadier with curved barrel attachment on his StG-44

And now the regular Volkssturm.

Volkssturm

Volkssturm

The guys on the left and right got field cap heads from Victory Force. Again, I had only the cartoonish faces left for the set, so this seemed sensible. Plus if you look at the guy on the right, he is sculpted in a way, not a single helmeted head would have fit him. Even with this one, he still looks a bit like Quasimodo. Anyway, between these three, the one in the greatcoat for the vintage Bolt Action set and the one from Great Escape games (see below), there is almost a whole squad in greatcoats, which is nice, too.

Volkssturm

Volkssturm

The platoon also needed a HMG and I loved the option to give them a MG-08. Rummaging through my boxes of minis, I found a WWI HMG team from Renegade Miniatures. The size of the minis was right and since they were lying on their bellies, no huge difference in their uniforms could be seen. So I just took their heads off and replaced them with ones from Victory Force. At first I had decided to just paint them in the brownish Feldgrau uniform, to represent the cheap uniforms made with cheap dyes late in the war and given to the Volkssturm. But with their regular headgear and a lack of rank insignia (the lowest Volkssturmmann would not get any) I felt they could still be mistaken for regulars, so the armbands were a late addition.

Vollkssturm MG-08 team

Vollkssturm MG-08 team

Vollkssturm MG-08 team

Vollkssturm MG-08 team

And last, some Hilterjugend (and Flakhelferinnnen). 6 of the boys and girls would form a tank hunter squad, with the rest of them (and the Volkssturmmann) beefing up the numbers of the Volkssturm.

Up first is the set from Great Escape Games, which was easily my favorite from all these minis, for all the character put into the youngsters.

Hitlerjugend and Flakhelferin

Hitlerjugend and Flakhelferin

And the remaining minis come from the Warlord set once more.

Hitlerjugend and Flakhelferinen

Hitlerjugend and Flakhelferinen