Thursday, 20 February 2014

15mm Fallschirmjager

The Story so far...

This square of cardboard holds effectively everything I've done so far with my 15mm Bolt Action and Chain of Command German forces. It has Officers, Specialists, Riflemen, Submachine guns, Light machine guns, Mortars, recoilless rifles and a kettenkrad. It doesn't look like enough but hopefully it is all going according to plan. I've played approximately 6 or 7 games of Bolt Action and the chaps above have easily provided for my lists.

Two officers with assault rifles, L to R: Peter Pig with FG42 and Peter pig with added Stg44.

I have a range of Officers, including my Hauptmann (Captain), wielding a range of weapons from pistols and rifles to Smg's and assault rifles. Whilst forces such as 6th FJDiv. in Normandy did have a good supply of AR's I didn't want to have too many of what is often seen as a WAAC weapon choice (and used in Bolt Action in numbers much greater than were reality by tournament gamers). I have a few Stg44 armed chaps (mainly officers) and a small squad wielding the FG42 who will act as my Pioneers or assault group. The main officers for my force have had procreate Stg44's added to increase the firepower of their small squads and as fitting equipment for the brave leaders.

Peter Pig Heer LMG with procreate paratrooper smock. Intended to look like an unbuttoned 2nd ed. smock

My force is equipped to have 2 LMG's per squad. Even though they are not fantastic in Bolt Action they are at least thematically and historically appropriate and because of this I will attempt to use them as intended in my games. 

I also have specialist troopers such as a flamethrower, a Panzerknacker team (Four chaps with LMG, Smoke grenades and a compound charge), a Medic, Sniper, Spotters and two HMG's. This force was built around a 'fantasy' late war FJ unit, where everything was initially intended to be Air-droppable. Whilst I have later added some support in the form of a Marder II, A Panther G and a Stug G, the support weapons are all small and portable. In order to increase my towing and transport capabilities I modeled up a battlefront kettenkrad carrying crew.

Can't honestly say I'd like to sit pillion on a 'krad (or if it's even possible) but unfortunately it was the only way any of the FoW SS Bikers would fit. A case of artistic licence over historical accuracy.

This Kettenkrad can represent a three man crew and tow a light howitzer (LG40 10.5cm) or a crew of two and a driver (for the Spzb. 41). It's an excellent little, air portable tow that can access areas wheeled vehicles can't. I have three modeled altogether, the one above, one with just a driver and an empty one (in case my opponent wants to steal it in CoC).

Motorcycle Recce vehicle.

I adapted a Battlefront SS Motorcycle into being a FJ Recce vehicle by re-heading and sculpting para smocks onto the crew and adding some stowage and an MG42. From my limited experience this vehicle is worthwhile for the disruption and distraction it can cause as much as anything.

Looks like a normal Marder........
..........But no! It was severely deformed and I only noticed months after purchasing and opening it. Rather than battle customer services (who I have never had a problem with) I decided to 'simply' re-sculpt it. Frustrating. It will now be used, no matter how rubbish in game, as I spent too much time on it not to.

With the infantry above and a range of armoured support representing attached or assisting Panzer regiments I should be able to represent a reasonably historically correct FJ force. I've only got a couple of Zvesda trucks as I realise by this point transport was a key problem for all forces, especially the germans. They will get to use transport but not excessively unless historically relevant.

In terms of painting, the late war period couldn't be any more unhelpful. Camouflage comes into much greater use and people slap everything but the kitchen sink to tanks to increase their survivability (although accordingly this often didn't work and sometimes made it more dangerous). Complex camouflage patterns in a small scale are difficult if not impossible (Aren't they?), especially when they have to be repeated at least 100 times. What you need to do is represent the expected pattern on the miniature. This will give the viewer the impression of the camouflage you're trying to represent (but will often be actually different shapes, shades or colours to the original - to increase or decrease effects). Painting in a small scale means you have to adjust your colour choices slighty to make such small pieces stand out on the battlefield (although I am a big proponent of good camouflage and hoping your opponent forgets about your units (and you don't). My fallschirmjager, for this reason and as far as I currently know, will be quite clean and bright (at least to start with) with a range of camouflage patterns from splinter pattern and water pattern smocks and zeltbahn, to tan, field grey and blue and Italian camouflage trousers.

My biggest problem now is simply starting. I like modeling and can get quite carried away and easily distracted. I also like to at least have a rough idea for paint schemes, that I'm comfortable with, before I begin and, if working on a large project, would rather do all the painting at the same time. I have effectively created a barrier to my own success ( something I am adept at doing) but I'm quite determined (mainly because as a reward I get to do Allies next) and intend to get the spray paint out the moment the rain stops in Wales. The joke is not lost on me.

It's a heavy and exciting B'day present.....
Full of bags of buildings, walls and even elastic bands.
The Threshing barn in construction. The newer kits have interior detailing and exterior plaster/stucco work to add detail. The whole level of detail in this kit is excellent.
 I also intend to get my 4Ground farm done (I did a barn, got distracted...) and get some pictures up for people to look at. Thank you if you took the time,


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