Thursday, November 20, 2014

British WW2 1st Airborne in 15mm

British Airborne platoon & support in 15mm for Chain of Command etc.
Here is a group of British WW2 paras from the 1st Airborne Division in 15mm.  The figures are all from Peter Pig, and they are based for individual skirmish games like Chain of Command, Bolt Action, etc.

"Should only be some light resistance...fellows on bicycles!"
Like so many gamers I enjoy the ill-fated Operation Market Garden as a scenario for WW2 gaming, but this is the first time I have painted my own figures for the setting.  I expect these fellows could participate in some D-day-themed games as well, although I must say I know little to nothing of their role in that massive operation (shameful ignorance) (update to my shameful ignorance - apparently a different Airborne Division was involved in Normandy, not the 1st - see comments below).

Rifle sections, supported by a Bren gun team
The heroic dash and stand at the bridge in Arnhem, and the grinding and futile wait for XXX Corps to arrive in Oosterbeek provide great scenario possibilities.  Dallas was kind enough to let me set one up a few weeks ago with his beautiful 28mm figure collection.  I know he purchased a 15mm SS platoon at some point last fall, so I'm hoping he may paint them up and set the stage for some 15mm games in the future too. 

The two hex bases have the senior leaders of the platoon - I really like how the senior NCO turned out...
There is a full platoon of three sections (well everything but a sniper) and a few extra goodies - another PIAT team and a Vickers machine-gun.

PIAT team on the right and a light mortar team on the left
The basic Vickers team pack from Peter Pig has a three-man crew, but I painted a few extra fellows with Sten guns to go along with them - in Chain of Command these weapons are often a five-man team. 
A Vickers MG team - that will keep Jerry ducking!

Another view of the Vickers team - I will probably have to re-base that near fellow now that I look at this photo...he's an NCO...
The senior officers of the platoon are on hex-shaped bases, while the other NCOs, section leaders etc are on square bases.  Everyone else gets a 20mm round base.  I considered a different shape base for the Sten gunners, but in the end my obtuse aesthetic gaming preferences could only accept so many different base shapes, so we'll just have to squint a bit :) That is the main weakness of skirmish gaming with figures of this size - those fellows with the Stens blend right it in - but I enjoy many other aspects of it a lot, so I'm sticking with it.

Extra PIAT team - such a bonkers weapon, but fun to use in games
Between the Bren guns and the extra senior officer in the platoon this force would actually be pretty nasty on the table in a Chain of Command game - hopefully we can try that out sometime and see for ourselves. 

Another view of the Bren section - two Bren gun teams, would be quite useful in Chain of Command
Painting the camouflage smocks of the paras was not particularly easy, and I can't describe my technique as much more than a few different browns, tans and greens, washed and re-highlighted, in a mushed pattern that on a 15mm size figure doesn't look too terrible.  I don't think I could manage these guys in a larger scale...

Bren section - two Bren teams - lots of firepower!
Once again, Peter Pig provides the best 15mm WW2 figures to be found, and some of the neatest figures generally.  Sometime I will add some more support for these fellows from Peter Pig's extensive WW2 range.


Admiral Drax said...

These look superb: I love individual basing at 15mm and you've made a cracking job of it, I must say!

As for "I don't think I could manage these guys in a larger scale..."?

Yup: there's a damned good reason I stay away from 28mm historical!

Dallas said...

Outstanding, dude! I'll have to get cracking on that SS-Panzergrenadier platoon!

DaveV said...

Great work!

RE: Camo: there's a reason why most of my 28mm figures have solid colours (albeit highlighted and shadowed) for their uniforms.

David Larkins said...

1st Airborne didn't participate in Normandy, but definitely take some time to read up on the actions of the 6th Airborne during and after D-Day. Google "Pegasus Bridge" and "Battle of Breville" to get started.

One of the cooler aspects of doing Red Devils in Normandy is that you can totally include some green-hatted Commandos alongside, as the 1st Special Service Brigade linked up and helped defend the bridges against attacks from the 21st Panzer Division (which is a whole other fun modeling project).

DeanM said...

Great looking force - they look like 28mm in the images, the camo and other details are so nice.

Kevin Holland said...

Great looking figures, Greg! You took on the "Denison smock" challenge! I have a bunch of Bolt Action 28mm Paras, and the thought of trying to replicate those smocks is a real hurdle. Well done!

And you can always call them "1CanPara" if you like - they were DEFINITELY present in Normandy!

Dallas said...

+1 to Kev...
The only differences in uniform/insignia that immediately pop to mind are the yellow slip-ons for the shoulder straps, shoulder titles, and cap badge, none of which are even visible in 15mm!

Moiterei_1984 said...

Very nice work! Tried british paras in 28mm but they're a real pain in the ass.