Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Fall of Berlin: Volkssturm Units

Wow! Well, I'm back with some more completed units for my Adepticon Doubles army and a story. You see, I didn't plan on painting these up this soon, as I actually took on a commission just after New Year's. However, as I was right in the middle of cutting to do a headswap on the NSDAP officer pictured below, I slipped with the Xacto and cut the knuckle on my left hand! Thankfully, the blade was brand new and extremely sharp, so the cut was clean and actually took several minutes to start bleeding. However, it was long (about 1.5") and quite deep (I could see bone!) so my amazing wife immediately drove me to urgent care where I spent several hours getting looked at, stitched up, and given a tetanus shot.

Now, this is the first time I've ever had a cut needing medical attention in 25-odd years of modeling and it was because I wasn't practicing shop safety. So, let this be a lesson - always cut on a cutting matt and always use the minimum amount of cutting force necessary.
So, being bandaged up, I focused on some light painting work and this is the result. As with the last Fall of Berlin post, I won't be detailing every single technique and specific paint I used here because there are just so many. However, if you are interested or want to know how I painting something specifically, please feel free to leave a comment and ask and I will do my best to remember.

First off are the the Feldgendarmes. They were standard German uniforms with the deep green lapels and shoulder bands of the Gendarmerie. These are Warlord miniatures and will likely be intermixed with my Volkssturm in infantry squads.


Next up are the Last Levy "officers" - an Stg44-wielding Priest (Footsore VBCW conversion), a Luftwaffe Officer (Great Escape Games), and a NSDAP "Officer" (Footsore VBCW conversion). The Priest is very much an anachronism - the clergy was excluded from Volk conscription - but I felt it was oddly appropriate to have a "man of the cloth" defending Deutschland from the godless Communists. The NSDAP officer is a Footsore BUF officer, with Footsore Anglican League headswap (this is where I cut myself!), and his Bergmann SMG converted to a VG-1 SMG. And if you enlarge the pic and look very closely, you can see the title of the book he's holding (painted to resemble a "first edition")...

Next off are two Hitler Youth (both Warlord Last Levy). I'm usually loathe to use child soldiers, even in a game, but I had them and they are VERY nice miniatures. Not to get too political but, as I grow older, I tend to not worry so much about controversial issues and I feel that, if we are to get a fuller understanding of history, that it doesn't help to whitewash or ignore the truly vile parts of warfare. If anything, these pieces should stand testament to the truly desperate and deplorable actions of the failing Third Reich.

This Volkssturm medic has been sitting in my bitz box for probably 8-10 years. Astute readers will see that it's actually a GW 40K mini. I swapped the head for a Great Escape winter German and gave him a pistol from the Reaper 20th Century Weapons pack. He wears German uniform pants and a Pea Dot camouflage smock.

Next up is the Volkssturm Tank Hunter team. The Bund Deutsche M├Ądel (Warlord Last Levy) is wearing a captured stock uniform consisting of Norwegian M40 helmet and WW1-era French overcoat. The Panzerschrek-armed Volk (Great Escape Games with Footsore headswap) wears a French Adrian helmet, Heer overcoat, and Spring Palmenmuster camo smock.

The Volkssturm MMG Team consists of three gunners (all Footsore VBCW) armed with an old MG08 MG mounted on a homemade tripod.

Volkssturm Squad One consists of 12 figures (a mix of Warlord & Footsore) all wearing a mix of civilian dress, uniforms, and camouflage dress. Both tan helmets are, again, captured stock of Norwegian M40. The dark gray helmet with white crest is painted to resemble an M34 fire dept. helmet. One Hitlerjugend is wearing rather baggy Spring Oak Leaf camo pants, while the firebomber is wearing Liebermuster pants, and the last Hitlerjugend is wearing a complete Spring Rauchtarnmuster suit. They are armed with a mix of K98 and foreign captured rifles. The NCO is wearing a full Liebermuster camo suit, a repainted Luftschutz helmet, and carries an an Italian Beretta M38.

Volkssturm Squad Two consists of 12 figures (a mix of Warlord & Footsore) all wearing a mix of civilian dress and uniforms. I wanted to try to stay away from camouflage in this group. They are armed with a mix of K98 and foreign captured rifles.

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Fall of Berlin: 8.8cm FlaK36

I'm happy to announce my latest army build for Adepticon Bolt Action Doubles - a Volkssturm army during the Fall of Berlin, 1945. This model is the excellent Empress Miniatures 8.8cm FlaK36 with "Militia" crew from their Spanish Civil War range. It's a beautiful model, well priced, and suited for both SCW and WW2 gaming. The majority of the crew are Empress (with the addition of greenstuff armbands), but I also included a Warlord Luftwaffe spotter and Bund Deutsche Madel assistant from Warlord's "Last Levy" boxed set to meet the requisite number of models required for Bolt Action.

The gun itself in Testors Acryl Schwarzgrau (with rain "streaking"/highlighting in 75% Schwarzgrau/25% pure White). I opted for a Dazzle camouflage scheme for the gun shield in Testors Acryl Lichtgrun. The kill rings are in pure White, tires in Pavement washed with Secret Weapon Soft Body Black Wash.

Each of the crew is painted slightly differently and to list every and all paint and techniques I used would take up most of the space on this post. I will say that, as this is meant to be a Luftwaffe gun, I wanted each figure to have either blue and/or gray in their outfit to carry a color scheme through the disparate parts and unify them. Even the gunner, who was meant to stand out, has a very light blue shirt on!

The bases are all scratchbuilt, mimicking the same urban rubble aesthetic I did with my Hungarian army so that the two forces could be intermixed. I should also note that I will be using the Kriegsmarine units I painted several months back in this army as well. More to come....

Thursday, January 5, 2017

1/48 Dieselpunk German & Hungarian Mechs

These two mechs started life as DUST walkers I bought on clearance for use with Konflikt '47 and other Weird War 2 games. They were initially two different walkers - the Ludwig and Lothar - but, by swapping one arm on each, I was able to make them similar models. The base models, while having an excellent aesthetic, are very rough and needed a LOT of clean-up of flash, mold lines, and misaligned parts. There is some poseability in the joints and I was able to get the Hungarian model to look like it was "stalking" something among urban ruins, while the German model has more of a resting, ready to spring into action feel. Both models have the originally MG-mounted IR sight removed and placed unto the AT gun arm. I also swapped out the barrel of the Hungarian MG to make it look more like a Schwarloze and made a new perforated muzzle brake for the AT gun, similar to the one mounted on the Zrinyi assault gun.

The Hungarian model is painted in Testors Acryl Green Drab overall, with drybrush "rain streaks" in a subtly lighter shade. The base is built and painted exactly like my other based Hungarian units. Bare metal is Testors Acryl Steel, gunmetal is Pavement washed with P3 Armor Wash, and IR sights are done in VGC Scarlet Red.

I did a much heavier oil wash weathering overall than what I normally do, as I wanted to make both models seem like they have seen heavy combat, without a chance for much refit. Decals are a mixture of Mad Bob, GW, and I-94.

The German model's only difference is the commander figure, part of JTFM's German Panzer Crew. Mounting him required chopping off the cupola, removing the hatch, gluing a small washer to the underside, gluing the commander to the washer, and then regluing the whole thing back down.

It is painted with a basecoat of VMC Middlestone (a darker toned Dunkelgelb than the Testors I normally use - again to add to the heavily weathered appearance), with soft edged camouflage of VMC German Camo Dark Green and Testors Acryl Rotbraun. Commander is VMC Flat Flesh, washed with Secret Weapon Flesh. His cap is VMC German Uniform, highlighted with 50% German Uniform/50% White, washed with GW Green Wash. Winter smock is basecoated Granite Grey, with successive highlights coming up to pure White. Bare metal is Testors Acryl Steel, gunmetal is Pavement washed with P3 Armor Wash, and IR sights are done in VGC Scarlet Red.

Again, I did a much heavier oil wash weathering overall than what I normally do, as I wanted to make both models seem like they have seen heavy combat, without a chance for much refit. Decals are a mixture of GW and some very old Revell.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Spanish Civil War Republican T-26

This is one of two Die Waffenkammer models I recently received for participating in Weekend General's excellent "World at War" Bolt Action tournament - a T-26 mod 1935 painted in the style of a Republican tank from the Spanish Civil War. It's a nice model overall though the running gear is a little rough.

The model is basecoated in Testors Russian Armor Green with highlights done in 50% Russian Armor Green/50% Testors Acryl Lightgrun, with heavy drybrushing to give it a worn look. Bare metal is Pavement, highlighted with GW Boltgun Metal and washed with P3 Armor Wash. Wood parts are basecoated Melted Chocolate with grain lines done in Reaper Amber Gold and washed with Secret Weapon Brown Wash. Muffler is basecoated Chocolate Brown with heavy washes of Testors Acryl Rust. Headlight is Reaper Candlestick Yellow.

No decals here, all numbering and insiginia is done by brushwork. Weathering is done in oils with dry pigment "dust".

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Freikorps Beutepanzerwagen Mk. IV

Eventually, I have aspirations to start heavily playing the Interwar Period as I build up forces at an almost glacial slowness. The first unit were Tsuba's excellent "Red Marines" from the German Revolution and I will likely be expanding upon that force with the newly released Spartacists. But, as I covered in my review of this Trenchworx Mk IV kit, I got an almost free heavy hitter for the Freikorps.

I did a lot of research going in to painting this project but ultimately decided that, although the Freikorps had very few tracked AFVs in their fighting during the 1920s, I really wanted something a little more generic than the famous Marie Chen or Ermil present during the January Uprising. I ultimately ended up using the Fahrpanzer 5.3cm as a basis for the distinctive hard-edge, lined four-tone camouflage as well as Marie Chen's insignia for the skull and crossbones.

The problem came in looking at this picture before painting and not opening it again until painting was done. As such, the orange is too orange, the yellow too yellow, and the red brown is too brown! Oops - the green looks good though! So, let this be a lesson, check your source material several times throughout the painting process to ensure your colors are correct.

The four-tone camouflage is done in VMC Orange Brown (should really be 50% VMC Middlestone & 50% VMC Orange Brown), VMC German Camo Dark Green, VMC German Camo Dark Brown (should be a Red-Brown like Testors Acryl Rotbraun), and Reaper Candle Yellow (should really be Reaper Amber Gold). Lining is done using a 000 brush with plain Black (really painstaking). Bare metal is Pavement drybrushed with Pewter Grey and washed with P3 Armor Wash. The exhaust is basecoated in Chocolate Bar with successive heavy body washes of Testors Acryl Rust.

No decals here! The Skull and Crossbones insignias are all individually done with a brush. I'm actually really quite proud of these. The trick was to draw the ovoid outline of the skull in White, fill it in completely, and then paint the eye/nose sockets, teeth, and cross in the color underneath the skull. The bones are simply two heavy lines crossed at low angles and then two large dots are painted on all ends.

Weathering is done in oils and finished with Secret Weapon dry pigments.