Monday, October 21, 2013

15mm WWII Late War Germans in Winter Gear


Being a complete muppet, I collect WWII in a variety of scales (five at last count <cringe>). There's really is no rhyme or reason to it. Like some caffeine-addled 4-year old with a credit card, if I come across a great model or an interesting figure I often pick it up without any sensible concern to its compatibly, theme, etc. It's really quite pathetic.

Anyway, Greg and I have been wanting to put together something for winter-themed WWII skirmish games for years, but I didn't want to commit to a larger scale for what would basically be a niche 'period'. While I usually prefer 20/28mm scale for infantry-based games, the cost in vehicles and terrain can quickly skyrocket out of control. So with this in mind I suggested that we go with 15mm as I think it's a good compromise between figure detail, table scale and cost.  I also liked the idea as it gave me reason to dig out some of my old Battlefront stuff that I've been sitting on for years. I'm not a huge fan of the FoW rules so this was a great excuse for me to repurpose their figures for something that I might actually get some use out of.

One thing I knew when deciding to go with 15mm is that while the vehicles and terrain are relatively easy to identify, many players find the infantry too small to clearly make out what they are carrying for weapons and equipment. With this in mind I drew upon what I've been doing with my greyscale WWI project, where I've been mounting the officers and NCOs on relatively easy-to-spot hexagonal bases (an idea I shamelessly nicked from the very talented Sidney Roundwood). So, for 15mm I decided to expand on this concept using a variety of base-shapes to denote various equipment and roles.

Hexagonal bases for Senior NCOs / Officers,





Square bases for Junior NCOs,



Round bases for Riflemen (I have about 36 of these fellows),



...and Oblong bases for Weapons Teams and Specialists,







I'm also using an octagonal base (not shown) for unique weapons that could be carried within a standard rifle unit. For example, late-war German Volkssturm could quite conceivably have a mix of rifles, assault rifles and SMGs within a squad. This dog's breakfast of equipment can cause a bit of a muddle when trying to figure out various weapon capabilities in the middle of a game. So I figure the assault rifles, SMGs, etc. would be mounted on octagonal bases for quick identification. I'm also using a larger round base for heavy weapons and spotters.

So with these different shapes of bases I'm hoping that our players will have an easier time identifying what's on the tabletop.

I also 'wintered-up' an early model Marder III to give the infantry platoon a little more punch against the mass of armour that they'll be facing. 



Marders abandoned outside Stalingrad, 1943.
I've always liked the topheavy silhouette of the Marder - it looks so ungainly yet still very lethal. Greg and I were chatting about the Marder's armour stats that we find in many rules systems and determined that any successful hit would require another roll to see if it struck the upper superstructure of the Marder. 


We reason that since the Marder's upper structure was nothing more than a glorified gun shield any strikes there should have a much better chance of penetrating than those hitting the better-armoured hull. This, we think, would better model the Marder: a formidable fighter but with a glass jaw.

Well, there you have it. A sample of my winter themed German force. I'm going to ask Greg to post up some of his Soviets in a few days, so you can see what he's come up with for this little side project of ours.


40 comments:

  1. Excellent looking troops, love the snow effect!

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    1. Thanks Phil! Being a Canadian I was raised with a great knowledge of ice and snow...

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  2. They look great, the basing idea is a good idea.

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    1. Thanks Simon, I hope it helps the guys out when we're playing with them.

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  3. Very nice job Curt.

    Like you, I hunger to do a winter terrain (same reasons I suspect). Fantastic job here. I wanted to do my Skraelings with something similar, but resisted as I felt I would not be able to field my Vikings against other war bands if they were snow based.

    Are these for CoC. I have a couple of games in now, and must say they are one of the best rule sets I have come across.

    John

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    1. Yes, Skraelings would look fabulous in snow basing. And you're right, you have to commit to two forces that will only be used in winter theme which is quite limiting. This is one of the reasons I went for 15mm as the time and expense would be minimal. I did these guys up in around a week of evenings (about 50 figures - not bad for me).

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    2. ...and yes, these are meant for an upcoming game of CoC that Greg and I are planning.

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  4. Excellent work - I really like the idea of different shapes of bases to denote unit differences / rank. I do something similar for command stands - the larger the circular base, the higher the rank.

    Your painting and terrain ability continue to amaze me - well done!

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  5. Beautiful work Curt! just love the snowy effect, maybe one day I'll do something similar??

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    1. They must have fought in the snow sometime during the Great Northern War / Nine Years War. :)

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  6. Great painting. The marder looks ACE. I think I'll borrow the basing idea^^

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    1. Cheers Moiterei! I'd be delighted if nicked it (though I'm sure someone has thought of the base idea before...).

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  7. Very nice paintwork there, particularly that piping on the panzer tunics. All looking very nice indeed.

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    1. Thanks you very much, Colonel. Much appreciated.

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  8. Nice work - the weathering looks very realistic. Best, Dean

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    1. Cheers Dean - I had a bit of fun dorking around with the weathering pigments...

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  9. Really, really sharp stuff dude!! I'm hoping my groundwork comes even close...and I'm ordering some bases to do a little re-basing...

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    1. Thanks Greg! I'm looking forward to seeing your Soviets. It's going to be a fun game.

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  10. Very nice, Curt. You are a Renaissance man, my friend, touching all the "arts".
    Fantastic the winter cammo.

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    1. Thanks Juan, I'm happy you like them. Some days I feel as old as the Renaissance but with none of the arty benefits. :)

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  11. Wonderful work! Great weathering and a winter theme is something on my to do list! I'll either do it for squad level 28mm or platoon/company level in 15/10mm.

    Your not the only one who does the same period in multiple scales so your far from alone Curt!

    Unless I missed it what system is this for? I'm assuming Chain of Command or is it something else?

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks Christopher, it's good to know that I'm not alone in this multi-scale silliness!

      Yes, I originally created these for an upcoming CoC game we have planned, but I can see their utility for systems such as Operation Squad , Bolt Action, etc. Basically any system that requires players to keep track of equipment/weapons on individual figures.

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  12. Brrrrrrrrilliant! Now off to turn up the central heating!

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    1. Har, har, you old card. Thanks for the comment Michael!

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  13. Great work again Curt. The differing shapes is a nice solution to the ageing eyes problem!

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    1. Thanks very much, Dave. Yes, I hope this will help those with the old peepers.

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  14. Very nice winter camo effects Curt well done.
    I know what you mean about collecting WWII stuff... Thankfully I am managing to keep to one scale for now though! ;-)

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  15. That is a lovely set! Nice touch, having the wounded fellow being helped off the field. Looking at this, I can hear the siren song of the East Front.

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    1. Thanks Monty! You're right in that the Eastern Front seems to generate a certain desolate mood about it.

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  16. Very nice, I have been working on my own winter collection but might need to think about more snow now having seen yours, I like the basing idea it will keep it simple for the small scale.
    Cheers
    Stu

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    1. Thanks Stu. I often find that folks overthink snow too much. I'd steer away from any 'flake' product. Snow is rarely fluffy - it packs hard with frost and gathers in solid drifts. I use a fairly smooth texture gel which gives a good effect (but I've seen great work done from simple white glue as well). I paint the cured gel with a basecoat of blue-grey which I then drybush up to light grey. I then add the tufts and exposed dirt patches with a two-tone brown drybrush and then give the whole base a final *light* drybrush of a bright titanium white.

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  17. These are great. Fascinating period of the war.

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    1. Thanks Cincinnatus. Yes, there was such great hubris being played out in the last few years of the war.

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