Category: World War Two

WW2 French Support

Returning to WW2 models after a lengthy hiatus was, well, swift – It looks like I’m out of them again! Below are the rest of my fledgling French force for now, painted, of course, with the same techniques as the infantry shown before.


From left to right we have a medic, a senior officer with incredible whiskers, a forward ordnance observer (normally included with the anti-tank gun, but more useful in this role) and a henchman for the officer, no doubt ringing HQ for an update on the croissants.

Then, the artillery. The French were noted for relying on their field pieces and so, in Bolt Action, they can field a single anti-tank or howitzer without paying points. I decided to pick up the 47mm anti-tank gun, which was a joy to paint but quite tricky to fit onto the supplied base!


Finally, we have the sniper, anti-tank rifle, and light mortar teams. I generally don’t like prone models too much as they take up more space, but these are fine.

So that’s it! I have vowed to not purchase any new models until Crisis 2020 rolls around come Novembre, and in case you’re wondering: it’s a vow I have been upholding succesfully since Crisis 2019! After Crisis 2020, however, you can expect further additions to this project to grace this blog.

À bientôt!


WW2 French Infantry

A new project, because why not?


One annoying habit I do have is that, when abroad, I always want to visit any nearby hobby stores. My wife usually kindly obliges (she usually is in charge of organising all the other daytrips!) although the one where I bought these models was a bit harder as it was a freezing cold January day in Vienna to a store quite outside the city centre!


So why French? Well, ever since the film Dunkirk I have had the urge to collect a Fall of France/Retreat to Dunkirk army. These French from Warlord Games are the first of the small force – I plan, of course, to add quite a few British Expeditionary Force models, some Senegalese, some Belgians, and mix these models to truly drive home the theme of a multinational force of volunteers that try to stop the Boche from reaching the beaches.


These models were painted with the usual dirty cheap techniques you know me for. I started from a death guard green spray coat, painted the backpacks and legwraps ionrach skin, the skin tallarn flesh, the water bottles elysian green, the webbing and boots mournfang brown, the wood XV-88 and the gun metal leadbelcher. Then, surprise surprise, everything was given two successive washes of agrax earthshade, and the helmets a final wash of drakenhof nightshade.


Then, highlights: the greatcoats with death guard green, the legwraps and backpacks ionrach skin, the metallics stormhost silver, the boots and webbing steel legion drab, the helmets waaagh! flesh, the water bottles elysian green, and the wood zandri dust – adding some woodgrain effect – with a final wash of reikland flesh. The skin was highlighted tallarn flesh and then kislev flesh, with a dash of carroburg crimson on the lower lip for some subtle colour. And, of course, the sergeant got a nice Colgate smile to stand out from the other side of the table!


Lastly, the bases – really chuffed with these. I added two layers of sand mixed with a little grit to hide the rather thick moulded stands, washed this with nuln oil and then drybrushed them with pallid wych flesh. Some highland tufts from Army Painter were added and that was it. I tried to go for the look of the northern French and Belgian dunes in unseasonal weather, matching the bleakness of the atmosphere of Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, and I think it worked out well. The only thing I’m still debating is whether to paint the base rims, and if so, which colour?

More for these French soon, as I have an HQ nearly ready, and then some support teams and the obligatory 47mm anti-tank gun to stop those nasty Panzers!

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:


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.


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!