Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Peter Pig Heer Platoon

Having purposefully re-headed and based my Peter Pig Heer Infantry platoon (for Chain of Command) to use in my most recent gaming binge they were comically inept (It's interesting I apportion none of the blame upon higher command and my ability to roll amazingly bad dice in flocks on occasion). Having felt overwhelmed and generally stalled by the massed presence of my FJ's sat on my printer (all 123 re-headed and numerous conversions or bits of sculpting) I decided to attack this smaller force with gusto.

Based like all my other 15mm minis on washers using Gorilla superglue and modified bird sand, they were given a basecoat of Feld grau (Plastic Soldier Company spray can). I then blocked in the black, dark green, flesh, brown and grey parts and applied a liberal wash of GW's Nun Oil and Anthrax Sunshade. After it dried I lightly highlighted the soldiers, using either the original colours or a lightened version thereof, and lightened the base with light grey drybrushing. I'm trying to remember as I paint that they're for gaming not display and only need to look good on the table.

Whilst light grey seems an odd and, if not unrealistic colour (how much of WWII was conducted in Welsh slate quarries?), it does however make the model 'pop' slightly better when looking at it. The effect can be nicely muddied if you find it too light with the aforementioned brownish wash. With bright coloured spring/summer vegetation this effect can be increased and still make a correctly coloured mini that at once blends in and stands out on the tabletop.

The basic Chain of Command platoon minus the Pandashack.
A top down view shows the flower based squad differentiation: white squad, yellow squad and yellow/white squad. Other specialist chaps can have either as they're easily discernible from the grunts.
I have found during my introduction into WWII gaming in the last year or so information concerning WWII to be fraught with misconceptions and incredibly complex. If I've learnt one thing it's that everyone was a shade of brown/green/mud. Whilst it's at least an attempt to be realistic it's not great to look at or even paint. I settled on a colour scheme from a colour picture of a german force during WWII that I happened across on the net. I realise that someone may have hand-coloured the picture but it seemed to match up with how I thought they should be (through endless net trawling and absorbing osprey books). Also they had to be able to represent forces on both fronts from '43 to '45 as much as possible. I'm not going to have any less fun leading them into almost certainly assured disaster just because of their anachronistic in appearance. I've purposefully left the gaiters dark green (I believe that they would be faded in field use) because it means at a gaming distance these chaps could easily be wearing the long, riding style, early war boots if they have to fill in for chaps I don't have.

They've then been varnished using an old and at one time thought immortal can of GW Hardcoat. That stuff was awesome but presumably nasty as they stopped selling it (it's cynical to say that it protected your miniatures too well, so you didn't need replacements when they explode/melt/chip, and thus you weren't then spending enough for GW's tastes). Then Dulcote to remove the shine. Testor's Dulcote is excellent as its beautifully matt and goes on well in thin coats. It's also a good surface to paint on, meaning you can effectively protect your paint scheme, so when you get your hands all over your pride and joy paint job you don't end up damaging and crying.

It's not colossal progress but it is a small usable force which expands the variety of games and scenarios I can play drastically as my other force is predominantly veteran.
I wouldn't say the paint job is awesome but it seems pretty serviceable and looks good so far at table distance. If they prove themselves in future combat, I may even add further highlights and details such as the collars and shoulder tags. But for now they can stay at a decent tabletop standard. There is a small collection of supports cluttering my gaming desk including trucks, half tracks and additional lmg gunners to make a panzer-grenadier platoon (and allowing me to get the most use out of them).

I have some questions about the colours for a couple of things that I haven't been able to answer with google satisfactorily. I'm going to ask the venerable and knowledgeable TMP'ers to help me out (But they're repeated below in case anyone randomly looking at this can help).

What is the object on the officers left breast? I think its supposed to be a torch but it could be something else (Like a medal or compass). If you know or at least can take an educated guess please chip in.

 Next up I'm going to tackle the missing Panzershrek team and some more support options, although I'm nearly out of German heads, I'll then go back to painting the more complex FJ's. After that I'm going to allow myself to do some allies.

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