Monday, December 10, 2012

More 15mm WW2 Stuff

"Which way to Kursk?" - 15mm Mark IV panzer models from PSC
Work has been pretty busy lately, so not many posts in recent weeks, but I have still been painting.  I am continuing to focus on more 15mm WW2 stuff. Here are some pictures.  Up first are a couple of vehicles from Plastic Soldier Company.

In an earlier post I mentioned that I had acquired on box of their Mark IV panzer kits.  I assembled one as a Mark IV-H, but built the balance as Mark IV F2/Gs (my panzer knowledge is lacking here - it is not clear to me what the differences are between the F2 and G variants).  I painted these two models to match the Mark III panzers I have from Battlefront.

The long-barreled Mark IV Panzer is one of my favourite models
I hope these suckers will provide some heavier-duty fire support to the late model Mark IIIs during a Kursk game.  I still have two more models from the box - I built them similar to these, as F2/G variants, but I will probably paint them with either a straight grey colour scheme, or grey with yellow camouflage that I have seen on some of the panzer references before the tanks started getting the yellow paint coating right at the factory.

I think the Mark IV-Hs were starting to hit the front lines in 1943, but I would imagine that the less-"favoured" panzer divisions still had panzer battalions with a mix of late model Mark IIIs and then a company of these suckers
When I first ordered from PSC, they has sent an incorrect box by mistake - a box of German half-tracks, the 251Ds which I believe are a later-war variant of the ubiquitous Hanomags.  Being fabulous folks to deal with, PSC let me keep the mistaken box, and followed up quickly with the right material.  Here is a test model/paint of one of the PSC 251Ds (almost a year later).

Vanilla late-model Hanomag from PSC
I gave it a straight up (read - boring) yellow paint job.  You get five of these in a box, with all sorts of stowage options and crew models.  The stowage is great, but I am less crazy about the crew.  PSC 15mm infantry models have very soft details, and in my case the detail very seldom survives the base-coat of black spray paint.

A great alternative to the models from Battlefront - cheaper too!
I will probably wait on assembling the other four models that came with the box in the hopes of adding one of the conversion kits that PSC has released allowing you to make some of the various half track variants with 75mm guns, 81mm, flamethrowers etc.

Despite the crew model challenges, I have to say that once again I am impressed with the quality/price ratio of the PSC vehicle products.  If you need/want to build up 15mm WW2 vehicle forces, you should definitely consider PSC!

Horde o' Russians - mostly painted, but you can see the pending stuff off to the side
I have also been painting Russians, and to do Russians, you need, well, a lot of Russians. A lot.  In nearly any game system, you need a lot of them, particularly infantry.  I started with a Strelkovy Battalion box from Battlefront, which gives you a huge pile of infantry models. Officers, AT rifles, riflemen, SMG troops, and even a couple of snipers.  Here are some pictures.

There are some AT rifle stands in this picture (hard to make out) - those particular models are not BF's finest - because they are two-piece jobs, the infantrymen look like they have separated shoulders...
Apologies for the quality on these photos - my house is wonderful, but the lighting appears to be specifically designed to be pleasant for visiting but useless for photography.

Some command bases, with a sniper base in the front
As you can see, I did a chunk of the figures on single bases. As with my Golan Heights project (also in 15mm), as well as significant bunch of my 15mm sci-fi stuff, I thought it would be fun to have individually based 15mm infantry for some WW2 skirmish gaming. 

Individually based 15mm Russians - you get SO many of them in a box set, I figured I would divide between group bases and individual bases
My feelings on this are mixed - I quite enjoy the individually based 15mm models.  I like keeping the ranges the same as with the 28mm games (with Bolt Action, for example) and this provides a better sense of scale, dispersement, and the perception of a more "realistic" engagement  look and feel on the tabletop.  It is also more economical - after all, I already have lots of vehicles and terrain, and allows for a game on a smaller, more convenient space when called for.

Russian infantry with SMGs
On the other hand, group basing for 15mm took off for a reason! Namely that individually based 15mm infantry are quite fiddly for the players, and a bit of a pain in the @ss to use, I think! So I am "splitting the difference" - I have done about 30 Russians up individually, and the balance on the group bases.  The Germans will receive similar treatment - I am painting up  platoon of them on individual bases, and the balance will be based in groups.

Another advantage of the group-style basing is that it allows the 15mm models to be used for Spearhead.  We tried this once earlier this year with the group, and I am aiming to use Curt's next painting challenge as a spur to finish a pile of 15mm WW2 stuff, enough to play some of the scenarios from the book "Where The Iron Crosses Grow."


Curt said...

Very nice Greg. Your groundwork looks great.

Alan said...

Great work on the Panzers! I really like Plastic Soldier Company's tanks as well.

As for the difference between the Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf. F2 & G, it's the same version -- it's just a change in the designation. It seems that the Germans wanted to make it clearer that the "new" model had the long-barreled, high-velocity 75mm main gun instead of the Ausf. F's short-barreled, low-velocity 75mm gun.

Chris said...

Greg do you play FoW? We're always looking for more players and with the possibility of Soviets I just have to try and get you to play!

Greg B said...

Hi Chris. We play FOW the odd time, but it is not a favourite of the group (or mine, at least). Too many special rules, off table assets right on the table etc. But I will try almost any game once!