Thursday 30 August 2012

Soviet ISU-122 Assualt Guns

Every so often (not nearly as often as I should) I try something "different". For me it can be difficult breaking out of my established painting methods and trying a new painting approach; this was one such attempt which in the end has turned out OK, not the best pictures.

Models by Battlefront from their SBX12 Soviet Heavy Assault Gun Company box. Good sculpts with a few individual details, done here as ISU-122s.

These were painted largely by airbrush, base coat and highlight of panels and a few edges by brush, followed by a thinned oil wash over all of the vehicle to tone down the highlights and blend the colours together. The transition is too stark in places, though the lighting makes this more evident than would normally be seen.

The command IS-2


Saturday 21 July 2012

1st Army 25-pounders

Half a 25-pounder battery, these ones with the one-piece resin bases. Which I have learned to hate. Terrible things, BF should simply have made the scenic "dug-in" bits in metal and sold them separately, much easier.


Monday 9 July 2012

Hungarian Motorised Infantry Platoon

The first completed platoon of Hungarian infantry, painted to represent a platoon from the Motorised Infantry (blue collar tabs). These were done with Mid War in mind, though usable for Late War and the defence of Hungary in 1944-45 as well. Figures by Battlefront.

Naturally, just when I thought I'm done painting "English Uniform"...I choose an Axis force in the same scheme. The light equipment carried aids a simple, clean paint job, not much to distract from the main elements

The mix of poses is OK, some more variety would have been nice but the larger-than-normal platoon size also means you tend to see the same poses more easily. These do get rather monotonous; the whole platoon seems to take ages to get done. That and my project-ADD does not help either.

Zrinyi II assault guns and Toldil II recce tanks.

A 149mm Heavy Artillery Battery


Friday 22 June 2012

Feldherr Mini Plus Case - Quick Review

A brief review, more like a few notes really. So, after being on strike for the better part of six weeks...grrrr...the bloody Post Office slackers have decided to get back to work deliver, err, vitally important parcels. One of them contained the figures for my HG Panzergrenadier Project (more on that later), another contained something I bought on a whim, a figure case from Feldherr.

I remember hearing a review about Feldherr on WWPD (Episode 20) several months back, then promptly forgot about it. When Wayland Games announced they would be stocking Feldherr products, I though I'd give them a try. I purchased the Feldherr "Mini Plus" from Wayland Games in the UK, far better shipping from my perspective than buying direct, and Wayland had a free shipping promotion which was further incentive. The case and trays are bought as individual components, mine being:

1 x Feldherr Mini Plus bag (comes empty)
3 x Medium Tank Trays (hold 8 medium tanks each)
1 x Infantry Tray (holds 12 medium bases, 6 small)

The Mini Plus bag can hold a max of four trays with bases, mine being selected with my 7th Armoured Cromwells in mind. Each tray requires a base: the trays have a layer of self-adhesive contact-like glue and are 25mm/1 inch deep, meaning you can stack them if desired or simply glue to the foam bases. Trays for tanks have separate slots for storing turrets and, being 25mm deep, leaving the turrets on the hulls, even if magnetised, will not work for all but the smallest tanks or for assault guns. 

I took a few quick pictures below, but you can judge for yourself on the Feldherr website or on the Wayland Games website. The yellow paper is the backing to the self-adhesive, not removed here yet.

Pictured below are a StuG G, a Panther A with two turrets shown in the turret slots, and a Zrinyi II. The assault guns fit fine, the Panther is a tight fit, too tight really, and was placed for interest sake: the large tank trays obviously being better for large tanks. Standard Sherman, Panzer IV and similar-sized vehicles will fit the medium tank trays just fine. In front of the Zrinyi II you can see the small foam rasters which can be removed or left intact as desired.

The infantry tray can hold 12 Medium bases and 6 small bases. As shown below, they could also be used to hold smaller vehicles, pictured a Stuart and a Universal Carrier as examples. While the infantry trays may not be useful if you're fielding a Battalion of Soviets or something similarly large, they work well storing, say 2 x full British Rifle Platoons (12 Rifle/MG, 2 PIATS, 2 Light Mortars, 2 Command Teams) or a pair of German Grenadier/Panzergrenadier Platoons with some HQ bases.

The actual bag is very good quality, excellent materials and stitching throughout, a very robust feel. A small section on the top of the case has sufficient space for a mini Flames of Was rule book or any similar A5-sized book.

For my 7th Armoured force the three medium tank trays will work fine, though the infantry case is overkill (only one Rifle Platoon to support the Armoured Squadron). I intend to get another medium tank tray, leave one side as-is and modify the other half to carry a single rifle platoon: easy. This will allow me to carry the Squadron HQ with 2 Cromwell CS, 4 full Armoured Troops, 4 M10c Achilles, 3 Recce Stuarts and a Rifle Platoon, easily covering all the usually options I field.

With free shipping the case (with 4 trays and 4 bases) came to £28.45 for me. Considering the amount of time and effort I spend on my figures, I think some money spent on proper protection is well worth it. While maybe not suitable for larger armies, this size will work just fine for the average-sized forces I tend to field.


Tuesday 15 May 2012

Hermann Göring Panzergrenadier Company - Part 1: The Plan

The plan is...there is no plan. As with most wargaming projects I start, something catches my interest and a few days later I'm drowning in research material, writing list after list trying to fit in everything I want (what I want in the force, what I need, what is too cool to leave out) and planning purchases. It's a disease I tell you.

After establishing that I am going to do this. For real. Unlike the 20 or so other "planned projects", each of which has a folder with pictures, resources, books lists, relevant websites saved, and so on, and which I was equally serious about at some time or other and might still do in the future. Honest.

A quick look at the Battlefront figures and list in Dogs and Devils and a plan starts forming. Another infantry force, joy. Still, this one rates pretty high on the "cool" factor, and besides, they can "morph" quite easily to other HG and Luftwaffe ground forces in other theatres without being too inaccurate. Having Anzio and the subsequent breakout battles in mind as a setting for the initial force, they will work alright for HG troops after the division was transferred to the Eastern Front, the battles on the Vistula against the Soviets (and beyond), as well as for earlier battles in Italy (Salerno and beyond) and at a pinch for Sicily and Tunisia. I don't intend doing tropical uniforms for the latter two, though the units will be correct in number and organisation if not in uniform details. They can also be used for a Mid-War Luftwaffe Field Company for the Eastern Front. That is about as far down the "specialised force" road I want to go. Self-justification is an art.

Having a look at the examples on the Flames of War site, for instance the HG Panzergrenadier Platoon and HG Panzergrenadier Company HQ painted by Matt Parkes, the figures have a very "part historical, part aesthetic" look to them, something that appeals to me as a painter. Luftwaffe splinter mixed with some Luftwaffe blue item creates a very attractive mix to me, even if the amount of LW blue items are perhaps over-represented for later periods. Despite the fairly rushed nature of some parts of the painted figures (e.g. the quick splinter camouflage) the figures have a certain "pop" to them by the addition of line highlights over a simple single colour or at most two. Many are similar (if not identical) to the Luftwaffe Field Platoon figures I painted ages ago: cartoony in sculpting style, if quite easy and enjoyable to paint.

A few excellent colour plates by Dmitri Zgonnik (really amazing artwork) of Luftwaffe Ground Forces for inspiration...

...fantastic. I'm wishing my ordered figures were here already.

All for now.


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