Category: World War Two

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016!

End of year means yours truly takes stock to consider the past year of brushwork and how to continue doing what one does best – painting some models! I’ll cover each of my projects one by one and ramble a bit. No pictures of models in this one, so if you’re the kind of fellow who looks at shinies without reading the context – check back later! Here goes.

  • Napoleonic French: I’ve added a squadron of Chasseurs and one of Cuirassiers, two line battalions and a couple of vignette models over the course of the year. It’s my first historical project, and it’s still going strong. Next year I’d like to get at least two further line battalions ready for duty, paint up more cavalry as well as horse artillery. There’s also Napoleon’s Berlin Carriage…
  • Vikings: My second project, and one that could almost be considered finished, were it not for the fact that I continue to collect and paint Northmen for the sheer joy of it. I’ve actually sold off a portion of my Viking army this year – mainly duplicates and plastics – and I might continue to do so, just to keep the collection fresh. In 2016 I have no immediate plans to purchase or paint new Vikings.
  • Flemings/Crusaders: I’m fairly satisfied with my collection, so much of the past year was spent filling in some gaps; priests and pilgrims, a bishop, etc. What I did paint a lot of were Maltese crosses, with a decent number of sergeants and foot knights being added to the army. In 2016 I’d like to get some more cavalry done for the army, but it’s fairly low priority.
  • WW2: My Fallschirmjaegers and Red Devils both received a decent amount of attention this year, with a couple of big cats for the former and a big gun for the latter. More bodies, especially officers, for both sides as well. I have plenty of models on the lead pile to carry over to 2016 and I will certainly be adding further to both projects!
  • Late Romans/Arthurians: I’m deliberately keeping this army fairly small – I’ve painted up most of the infantry this year, and I just need to finish basing one last unarmoured unit to be done. Cavalry wise I have a unit of companions and of horse archers to be handled, and then a small selection of artillery. I’d like to handle all of these in 2016 and finally finish a project for once!
  • Dacians and Sarmatians: These were sidelined in 2015, with just one falx unit being completed. I purchased some cavalry at Crisis last year but still haven’t gotten round to them, and I also received some Foundry foot archers from a gaming compatriot which have yet to be handled. In 2016 I’ll try and finish them, but interest is currently low.
  • TYW Dutchmen: Well, shit. Nothing whatsoever was painted for this project in 2015. Better get going again or it’s Ebay time!
  • 6mm WSS Catalans: No loving for them in 2015, but just before writing these words I dug them out of the lead pile to recommence work on these imps, so how’s that for progress? I have just one foot and one horse regiment done, and my projected force will count four of the former and eight of the latter, plus artillery and commanders. At the moment I have everything but the commanders in my possession, so whils I’d like to finish the project this year I’ll have to figure out how to get a hold of more Baccus stuff. I don’t think I saw them at Crisis ’15…
  • ACW: Painted a couple of ACW units in 2014, but lost interest in 2015 completely – I guess all those Prussian uniforms put me off Union blue! Perhaps I’ll pick up the trail again in 2016, as I did see good progress on the Black Powder supplement for the ACW. Who knows?
  • Fantasy & Sci-fi: As you might have noticed on the blog recently, Frostgrave has grabbed me firmly and won’t be letting go in 2016! I’ve dug out many old Warhammer models and made some additional non-GW purchases to complement them, and I’ll continue doing so in the foreseeable future. On the 40k side of things, 2015 saw – shock and horror – a new project in the form of the Adeptus Mechanicus, but this has fallen by the wayside a bit. I just find assembling these newer models so bloody tedious, as even the infantry models don’t go together without having to look at an assembly leaflet and match numbered parts. Still, I’d like to pick up where I left off in 2016.
  • 12mm Great War models: These were a fairly cheap purchase at Warcon ’15 of which I have painted just a third of the models. They’re great sculpts, certainly, but the scale is difficult – neither my tried techniques for 28mm nor those for 6mm work well. I’ll probably get these finished in 2016, maybe buy officers for both sides, then shelve them.
  • Scenery: I built a couple of items in 2015 but didn’t finish them off and, as a result, didn’t show them on the blog. I’d like to collect and build even more, but with the small apartment we’ve moved to I don’t really have the room to store an expansive collection. Choices, choices… So my pledge for 2016 will be to finish and preserve what I currently have.
  • Commissions: 2015 was a busy year with a lot of Prussians (I reckon around 200 of them?) and some Arabs thrown in for good measure. As always, I’m stating now that 2016 will of necessity be a year of fewer commissions and more personal work; we’ll see how long I’ll keep that up!

 

So that’s the main overview of my futile attempt at coherently outlining my painting work in 2016. As ever, stuff gets dumped due to waning interest or laziness, new purchases are made because I am a wargaming magpie who likes shinies, and whole projects get shelved for a year or more because I have the attention span of a toddler in a liquor cabinet. Nothing is set in stone!

Still, despite moving house and breaking my elbow, my year of miniature painting was successful. The figure below will tell you just how successful:

855

That’s how many figures I painted, with each cavalry model and vehicle counting as a single model, and artillery pieces having the gun and each free-standing crewman count as a single model as well; and this across all scales. I was going for 600, so that’s not too shabby, eh? For next year I’m upping my goal to 700, but as I did last year I’m counting in the 255 surplus models from 2015. I’m devious like that.

Red Devil Characters

Similarly to the amazing Black Tree Design FJ which Flor gifted me for my birthday (scroll down on the blog a bit) I received some Red Devils as well. I’m going to be blunt: the new FJ models were great to paint and will see their use in my army, but these here Brits are an absolutely essential addition to my Red Devils. So thanks again, matey!

 

Models by Black Tree Design.

Models by Black Tree Design.

First up, here are four of the more belligerent-looking chaps. The guy on the left will probably join my force as a regular SMG trooper, to his right there’s a sergeant-like type, the prone one as well, and the one on the right will probably become an officer. Nice touch with the pipe!

 

The base edges still need a lick of paint.

The base edges still need a lick of paint.

Then the fun part: the observers! These are the truly useful additions – in Bolt Action (most) British armies receive a free artillery observer on top of the one you can pay the points for – and I’m going to go with two. All four of these can be readily used for observers, or for spotters for my mortars and howitzers. Check the leftmost fellow sitting on a tree stump – the essence of the unperturbable British officer stock!

That’s it for today – I’m working on a couple of things in one go but it’s all fairly rudimentary, so no more updates for a good week or so. Tally ho!

Fallschirmjäger Command Models

Birthday presents are wonderful, especially when they’re so late in the year that you’re no longer expecting them. My buddy Flor came round to my new apartment to help me move house a few weeks back, and he dropped a small box on my table (my new table!) for me to open. Inside? A number of WW2 models courtesy of Black Tree Design! I’d never painted that company’s models before, so I went straight to it. Let’s take a look.

20150903_160851

Models by Black Tree Design.

My first Black Tree models made a good impression on me. The castings were of great quality and I think they’d been newly cast up for the order. Almost no flash or mould lines to clean up either, and very crisp detail. Good stuff.

Plenty of potential for observers or spotters.

Plenty of potential for observers or spotters.

I really like painting these up, so much in fact that I’m of a mind to do a painting guide on them. So much so that I have some more in the mail – new plastics from Warlord and even some StuGs! In other news I’m finishing up some Red Devils as well – more Black Tree models.

Now to get started on the Frostgrave stuff!

 

Red Devil 17-pounder

Finally some serious anti-tank weaponry for my Paras! This 17-pdr arrived in my proverbial Christmas stocking last year and I’ve finally managed to get it assembled and painted up. My Fallschirmjaeger have been getting all the love recently as it seems all of my regular opponents have gone the Allied route, so this will likely mean a bit of dust collecting for this here gun. Let’s take a look at it, then!

A fantastic model by Warlord Games. An absolute chore to assemble though.

A fantastic model by Warlord Games. An absolute chore to assemble though.

 

I did some head swaps on the crew with some heads off a couple of Welbike riders, to make the latter unit a bit more diversified. Other than that it’s the standard model; not a lot you can do with it or to it, after all.

Looking up that barrel is not something my Panthers would like.

Looking up that barrel is not something my Panthers would like.

Painting was exactly identical to the rest of the army, although I did undercoat the models in GW zandri dust – before I used black, but seeing as how I do the denison smocks up from zandri dust it’s a bit of a time saver. All the other colours have better coverage over it as well.

 

A top-down view of the base. Hopefully it'll fit into some cover rich positions.

A top-down view of the base. Hopefully it’ll fit into some cover rich positions.

For the base I used an old CD-R with some black metal burned onto it; haven’t listened to that kind of music in a while so, sorry! I tried to use the open spaces on the base to cram a few different tufts in, and I do like how it ended up looking. Very Market Gardeny.

So that’s that then, another Christmas present finally squared away. I have more WW2 stuff in the pipeline soon, as my friend Flor gave me the belated birthday present of Black Tree Design Red Devils and FJs. Fantastic models, those. For now, though, it’s back to Napoleonics. Until next time!

 

 

 

 

Here, kitty kitty! Panthers!

I’m getting ready for a big Bolt Action battle against my mate Flor’s Airborne, and when he told me of the ridiculous amount of stuff he’s been churning out lately I knew I had to follow suit with my Germans. Here, then, are two lovely Panthers.

 

Plastic model by Warlord Games and Italeri.

Plastic model by Warlord Games and Italeri.

I got these two tanks in an Armoured Fury starter box earlier this year; the Shermans were sold off and I kept the two Panthers. I planned on building them earlier but I had somehow completely missed the fact that the construction diagrams are printed on the box itself – I have these moments sometimes.

 

The commander is a pretty laid back chap called Helmut.

The commander is a pretty laid back chap called Helmut.

Thankfully, the chaps over at the Bolt Action International facebook forum were friendly enough to assist me by sending me pictures and scans of a construction leaflet, so once again massive thanks go out to them!

 

A bit more simple this one, no commander.

A bit more simple this one, no commander.

Paintingwise I stuck with my guns on this one; I want a homogenous armoured force and so everything gets the same treatment. The edge highlighting is very cartoony, but then I’ve never been a fan of fielding gaming quality infantry paintjobs and super realistic vehicles with heaps of weathering powders in the same force. To each his own, of course!

 

Not all of the numbering freehands came out as well as intended.

Not all of the numbering freehands came out as well as was intended. The Balkenkreuze are fine, though.

So that’s that for these little cats. I realise that two Panthers in a standard selector will be a bit top heavy, but my Fallschirmjäger need the support. I’ll be adding more vehicles to the force at a later date to accommodate Tank War battles, but this will have to do for now. Up next are a couple more Fallschirmjâger and then it’s over for the Germans for a good while. Tschüss!

 

 

Sd.KfZ 251/10 Hanomag with PaK 36

As promised, here’s the third update in three days – my shiny new Hanomag. My German force may once again call itself ‘fully painted’, which I’m quite glad for.

A nice plastic/metal kit from Warlord Games.

A nice plastic/metal kit from Warlord Games.

I put this vehicle on my wishlist before all other vehicles Warlord makes because this is a plastic and metal kit as opposed to resin. While I certainly understand the need for resin, it’s not my preferred material to work with. The plastic 1/56 market is growing exponentially though, so good for me!

 

Knock-knock! The PaK 36 was nicknamed the doorknocker.

Knock-knock! The PaK 36 was nicknamed the doorknocker.

The paintjob itself was done identically to that of last year’s German vehicles, so no surprises there. There’s something profoundly absurd about taking a neatly painted and edge highlighted model and then splashing loads of mud over the bottom half of it, though. But if it works, it works!

 

Wistful about the Fatherland, Fritz?

Wistful about the Fatherland, Fritz?

Having said that, it’s part of the reason why I like painting vehicles so much these days. I’ve got the techniques I like down to a tee and there’s an increasing variety to choose from. I’m actually tempted to pick up the Armoured Fury box now…

Up next: Arabs, gladiators, and maybe a Beastman (!)

Plastic M4 Sherman from Warlord Games/Italeri

You know what I did when I first heard I was hired at my current company, back in the summer? I went out, walked around the block and popped into a modelling hobby shop where, lo and behold, some of the new plastic 1/56 scale vehicles from Italeri were present. I got a Sherman in an interesting package: 18 euro for the vehicle and a basic brush, a small pot of plastic glue and a small pot of paint. Warlord Games’ product is a bit more expensive and it doesn’t come with the extras, but I guess they do invest your extra cash into their rulesets and the like. To each his own!

I went with a Sherman since, well, the Cromwell wasn’t out yet. Still, there were Shermans in Market Garden which is what my Red Devils are meant for. An important disclaimer here: I haven’t done my research properly, and both the type of Sherman and the markings I applied while painting will likely be completely wrong. However, I’m a painter first, gamer second, and historical idiot savant ninth, so I really don’t care about having 100% accurate paintjobs – I paint for fun.

With that said, let’s take a look!

A nifty plastic kit by Warlord Games and Italeri.

A nifty plastic kit by Warlord Games and Italeri.

Assembling the kit was straightforward and a lot of fun. This is the second plastic vehicle of this kind of kit I’ve constructed, after last year’s Hanomag. Plastic moulding has come a long way, and you no longer need to have a 200-piece kit to have good detail. Still, I would’ve liked to have some separate bits of stowage to personalise the tank; it’s not a big deal for stock Bolt Action games in which this would be the only Sherman to be fielded, but in Tank War matters are different.

 

I lifted the markings from a quick Google Image search. Yes - I'm that bad.

I lifted the markings from a quick Google Image search. Yes – I’m that bad.

I undercoated black and then basecoated with castellan green, which is probably a bit too dark of a green but, again, I don’t care too much about that. I applied edge highlighting with elysian green and then washed the entire tank with AP dark tone, taking care not to let the wash pool up too much. The tracks were then rebasecoated with black and a quick and dirty runefang steel drybrush was applied to it. The same metallic was used on the tools and cables on the hull, and the two machinegun barrels. A nuln oil wash served to tone everything down again.

 

A closeup of the mud.

A closeup of the mud.

Finally, I went to town on the track sections with armageddon dust (a beige texture paint) and typhus corrosion (a textured dark brown wash). The combination of the two products provide a really dirty finish. I also applied the latter wash to any exhausts, around viewports, the turret ring, and in random sections as a form of greasy residue.

I based the tank on a piece of plasticard which was based as with my Red Devils themselves, and voilà, finally a tank for my Brits!