15mm Flames of War DAK Grenadier Zug – Battlefront Miniatures

15mm Flames of War DAK Grenadier Zug - Battlefront Miniatures

Back to Flames of War/15mm WWII for a moment, and I’ve also managed to finish off the first of the three Grenadier Zug (Platoons) that I started back in the day. As with the 88s I showed off recently, these didn’t have much left to go on them, so I’m only counting them as one “figure” each, despite the 35 individual figures across the eight bases. (Don’t worry, I’ll be counting each and every one of the next ones that have most of their work to do!)

15mm Flames of War DAK Grenadier Zug - Battlefront Miniatures

Now, it’s been fucking forever since I’ve played FoW, so I may get the odd name wrong – but these two stands represent the platoon command as well as the light mortar attached as fire support.

15mm Flames of War DAK Grenadier Zug - Battlefront Miniatures

Next up, we have the six stands that represent the 3 squads or 6 sections that makes up the bulk of the platoon. For my particular DAK force, I wanted it to represent a “campaign” force, so the uniforms are a mixture of tones – representing new uniforms, old sunbleached and worn uniforms, bits of uniform purloined from the attached Luftwaffe – not to mention captured apparel from the Commonwealth troops that the DAK spent their time engaged with. One thing I do remember about when I was building and conceiving of this army was one report that described the amount of captured and rag-tag gear the DAK were wearing in terms of it “looking like two Commonwealth Armies chasing back and forth across the north of Africa.”

15mm Flames of War DAK Grenadier Zug - Battlefront Miniatures

That mental image stuck with me and I wanted to reflect it with my army looking very much like that – so the models are a mix of the early types available (all metal, at the time) to give each stand and unit a more diverse look with more sculpt variation. This gives it a more interesting look and makes it more of an interesting paint project, but at the cost of being a lot more painful to paint – as I found out.

Ah well, on we soldier…

edit – I’ve just noticed something else that I’d completely forgotten – and so it’s not evident in the pictures either. Three of the infantry stands are in “combat” poses, while the other three are in “deployment” poses – the three “combat” stands are supposed to be in front, while the others would be behind them. Such small details that even I’d forgotten them!

15mm Flames of War DAK Luftwaffe Flakartillerie 88mm – Battlefront Miniatures (Mechanismo May)

15mm Flames of War DAK Luftwaffe Flakartillerie 88mm - Battlefront Miniatures

Continuing the recent reawakening of my old DAK Army project, I got out my pair of 88’s to give them the final touches that I hadn’t gotten to back in the day. Where the Univeral Carriers from the other day had quite a lot left to do on them, these artillery pieces and their crew were much closer to what I’m happy to call a finally completed state.

15mm Flames of War DAK Luftwaffe Flakartillerie 88mm - Battlefront Miniatures

This (and some infantry stands that will be shown here soon that were in a similar state of almost-completion) led me to a fundamental question – one that would be silly to a non-wargamer or painter, but one that many of us really will intrinsically understand – how many models do I count these as? I mean, these artilley pieces have six crew plus the actual artillery piece. Do they count as one? Or Seven? The individually-based figures that I’m using for markers count as one each, and they are literally the same figures as these crewmen in some cases. After pondering the question for several days, I came up with an answer that satisfies me.

15mm Flames of War DAK Luftwaffe Flakartillerie 88mm - Battlefront Miniatures

If a multi-based piece requires very little work to complete, it’s one. If I have to do a substantial amount on it, especially to each of the models, then it’s however many are on the base. I’ll worry about cavalry another once I start painting a bunch of them. /handball problem into the future. So for my “counting” purposes, these two pieces are two completed models.

As far as paint choices go, I found that the crewmen of the 88s in the DAK were drawn from Luftwaffe troops, and so they got the slightly lighter tones of the Luftwaffe uniforms compared to the other elements of my DAK. This also leads to the two stands being much more uniform, as the rest of the DAK infantry have a much more rag-tag appearance that I’ll discuss when I show my completed units later on.

15mm Flames of War DAK Luftwaffe Flakartillerie 88mm - Battlefront Miniatures

These two stands are not the only part of this unit, as I have a few more pieces to come in the future. A pair of transport vehicles, as well as the artillery pieces’ road wheels as a pair of entirely-decorative bases to go alongside the transports.

15mm Flames of War DAK Luftwaffe Flakartillerie 88mm - Battlefront Miniatures

I also designed just the slightest bit of interactivity to go between the two stands. One stand having a crewman shouting off to the side, while the other with a crewman aligned to be waving in response. Little touches like that (and the road-wheel thing that I’ll finish at some stage) keep it all interesting to me.

15mm Flames of War DAK Universal Carriers – Battlefront Miniatures (Mechanismo May)

15mm Flames of War DAK Universal Carriers - Battlefront Miniatures

Something I found intriguing when I first started collecting my 15mm models for Flames of War in the Wayback Times of 1st edition was that you could just take enemy vehicles in your army, and call them “captured”, and it was alright to do so. This intrigued me after playing so much 3rd Edition 40k around those days that I decided to take the most game-breaking, overpowered, cheaty thing possible for my Afrika Korps army. The British Universal Carrier. I swapped out the crew, puttied on some “flags” to act as vehicle recognition drapes (rather important on the captured vehicles) and got to painting!

15mm Flames of War DAK Universal Carriers - Battlefront Miniatures

And then, like every other part of that army, bought and started so long ago, they were never finished. I did a fair bit of the work on them originally, but in completing them recently, I did need to go over every part of both models in some way or another, and gave them a new upper level of highlighting and lower level of shade. As a pair of completed Mechanical devices, they also qualify for Mechanismo May – which is good as my stuff for the month’s challenge was looking a little shy once again.

15mm Flames of War DAK Status Markers #2 – Battlefront Miniatures

15mm Flames of War Dismounted DAK Panzer Crew

After I painted the pair of dismounted vehicle crew a few weeks ago, I went into the shed to find the rest of my FoW stuff, and see what else i could dig out for quick and easy wins (aka models I could finish fast). Well, the first thing I found was the other two of the dismounted crew models, which I’d entirely forgotten existed.

15mm Flames of War Dismounted DAK Panzer Crew

Here they are, reunited with their two comrades. As you can see, I’ve vaguely gone for a pair in black Panzer crew-style tunics, and a pair in Feldgrau-(ish) uniforms that could pass for Artillery – and so prime to be used for StuG crew should I need to differentiate.

15mm Flames of War DAK Pinned Markers

I also found the other twelve(!) models I had picked out to slightly mod (in some cases) for specific uses. I managed to get four of them, four more are still on the go and will hopefully be done as part of Neglected July, and the other four still have their bases being built up – so might be July or sometime after that. These four that I did manage to paint are (unsurprisingly) “Pinned” markers. Three made from artillery crew of whatever sort, and one from a motorcyclist.

15mm Flames of War DAK

And here they are – the first eight of my Flames of War DAK status markers. Complete after only …uh, yeah, maybe better not stop to work that part out.

15mm Flames of War Dismounted DAK Panzer Crew – Battlefront Miniatures

15mm Flames of War Dismounted DAK Panzer Crew

Do these count as 2 models? That’s what they are, after all! This pair of tiny dismounted crewmen came from some pack or another of FoW models, many years ago and were individually based to serve as markers, before such things were commercially available. I think they were for “crew shaken” or “vehicle stunned” or some such (it’s been a LOOOoooOng time since I played FoW) – basically, the idea being that when an armoured vehicle was “stunned” for a turn, I’d put one of these little guys next to it to represent that the crew had bailed out temporarily.

15mm Flames of War Dismounted DAK Panzer Crew

So far, so uninteresting. I know.

Anyway, when Marouda and I had a muckabout game of TANKS! a few months ago (how time flies when life is shitful), I got out my old, half-finished DAK army for FoW and we used one or two of the tanks. I think I used the Tiger I as a Panther. I also got these two out, and they were used as counters. I think. Anyway, they ended up out, and seeing how simple that they are, they got transferred inside to the painting desk so they could be ignored inside instead of in a figure case outside. Cut to me actually noticing them recently, and re-realising that they could be finised with probably only a few minutes of work. So I (finally) did that.

Scheme was simple. Basic DAK-desert-y clothing & boot colours, and a black Panzer Corps jacket and beret for one of them. I should probably dig out some more of the little markers I made for things like pinned and dug in and whatnot and finish those too. Small wins are almost always worthwhile…

Zvezda KV-1 Platoon (MechaNovember ’18)

Zvezda Soviet KV-1 Tanks 1/100

A quick one today. I’m still trying to do some painting some nights at home, but work is now in insano-mode – so most nights I have no energy to paint, let alone blog, let alone read blogs or go through comments – so that stuff is super-scattered at the moment. I’ll catch up when I can, but it’ll be a few weeks before work eases off, and no break until we finish on the 21st of December. At which point all that Christmas junk takes over, so no normalcy until perhaps a week after that when I can go to sleep for a week or so and not have to deal with people…

The models are from Zvezda, which is (appropriately) a Russian company. I got five of them – probably in a set of five. I know tank platoon sizes varied by nation, time and even size of tanks during the war, so I’ve just painted the five of these as a set, with consecutive numbers. Speaking of markings, I have managed to learn a little about Soviet tank markings, so I’m quite aware that these wold not be accurate. (Often Soviet armour had no markings, the red hull star was not especially common, I’ve got guards icons on one side, etc) – but like my T-34/85 platoon, I’m okay with going with “easily recognisable as Russian tanks by my non-modeller or treadhead wife & friends even if there are also American/British/German tanks all over the table.” Which we can call “Hollywood WWII”, if you like.

Zvezda Soviet KV-1 Tanks 1/100

The thing is that I find armour markings are a horrible minefield, even if you’re trying to get everything right. Soviets seeming like one of the easier ones to get right. I’ve got British tanks here where trying to work out the “correct” markings have cockblocked me for more than a year. There are people out there who definitely know their shit, but even with a guy online willing to answer questions, knowing exactly what to put onto (and not put onto) a tank so that it’s accurate is a bloody nightmare, especially when there are ones that you’d like to get right to a specific kind of vehicle in a specific unit in a specific theatre. “Hollywood WWII” is much easier…

Zvezda Soviet KV-1 Tanks 1/100

The painting on these was pretty straightforward. I assembled them months ago, and even sprayed them months ago, firstly with a custom spray can matched to an image of the “bottle green” type of Soviet Armour colour, then zenithally sprayed with a lighter shade of same. They then sat unloved for several months until 2 weekends ago, when I did everything else over the Sunday.

A couple of layers of drybrushing Reaper’s HD29812 Meadow Green over the entire things, then Vallejo Coloured Primer Dark Panzer Grey on the road wheels and tracks (the worst, most tedious part of painting any tank, IMO). Then added the decals (Zvezda tanks don’t come with any decals, so I picked up some from Battlefront, which were hard to find in stock). For their choice and placement, I pretty much followed the lead of the aforementioned T-34/85s. The main difference was that given these tanks are 1/100 rather than 1/56, I used decals for the crew’s graffiti and turret numbers.

Next up were two layers of sponge weathering across the hulls and turrets to represent paint chipping and general wear on the surface of the green paint. The first in Vallejo Model Colour 70.994 Dark Grey followed by Vallejo Game Colour 72.045 Charred Brown. I painted the stowage in Vallejo Model Air 71.017 Russian Green, gave the tracks a light drybrush with Model Air 71.072 Gun, then hit the whole lot with Vallejo Model Wash 76.514 Dark Brown, thinned down with “Dr Faust’s Magic Wash Base” – which you make yourself out of 1 part Pledge with Future Shine and 4 parts Distilled Water. (Keep it in a large dropper bottle).

Eventually, I’ll get to play with them. Need to get more armour in this scale done, first – but rulesets I own and would like to use with them include Flames of War, Bolt Action’s Tank War (shrunk down to 1″=1cm), TANKS!, and probably What a Tanker! in the future – as I continue to follow Mark Morin’s adventures with the game.

Done!

Flames of War M4 Sherman Tank Platoons (Battlefront Miniatures) (June-it ’18)

These ten M4 Sherman models are some of Battlefront’s early product – resin shermans with metal guns. I picked up these two platoons secondhand, and so they lack turret MGs (if these early models even had those). I picked these up as two sets of 5 tanks for £15.00 each back in 2012 – they were old and long OOP even then.

And that’s where this story ended. Or took a rather long intermission until very recently. While I was looking for something else, and had Marouda helping me look through the boxes and tubs of figures in storage, I spied the two sets of Shermans, and then decided to pull them from the shelf, and also grabbed out all the plastic Open Fire! Shermans as well (sadly, they’re the dodgy ones from the first edition of OF!) Thanks to Just Needs Varnish, and his endless stream of cool looking 15mm stuff, I decided it was time to get a few little tanks painted up.

They’re really nothing special. I got two versions of OD spray made up at the local paint store (I’ll need to get a Brown Violet match made as well, but I need to get the Vallejo paint first!). I used the darker as the base, then the lighter as a zenithal shade. I used the Battlefront decals (they’re fucking awful to use – they take forever to lift off the sheet, they’re thin and crinkle and tear easily) as I couldn’t get the PSC ones. I can out of Allied Stars and so found a larger-scale sheet of them from Warlord, and used the smallest ones. I’ll have to buy a bunch more of the Warlord ones, as they were great decals to use.

The ten Shermans have been painted in a rather generic style. I’ve gone for all-Allied Stars to save the ringed stars for later units. I figure I can use the turrets with top-stars on them as Platoon leaders as needed. Not that I’ve played Flames of War in many, many years now. Not since 1st edition, in fact. While I can recognise a lot of WWII armour in it’s basic forms, I don’t know them well enough to know where exactly to place all of the optional markings, or which of the many variants that these Shermans are.

Battlefront Shermans imitate the start of a typical round of World of Tanks.

What will I do with these? Well, I have a few different 15mm armies worth of figures and armour to build and play with one day. There’s obviously Flames of War out there, and plenty of other WW2 rulesets besides for that scale. At one stage I hoped to play Bolt Action with a bunch of 15mm models, using cm for inches, but it never happened. I have a DAK army that’s been in storage for well over a decade now that could probably be a project for both “Finishing Units” months as well as, obviously, Neglected Models. The problem for me is painting 15mm troops. Because as cool as they can look when complete, I find them painfully boring to paint.

I painted the turret ring area to visually represent destroyed/burned tanks.

I’ve been considering picking up that TANKS! game by GF9 as a bit of a light game. It would certainly give me an outlet to use some of these tanks with, not to mention potentially giving me some motivation to paint some additional 15mm armour. I suppose there’s also the Bolt Action side-game, Tank War.