Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Painting Challenge Submission 4 - 28mm WW2 Germans in Winter Kit

Squad of WW2 German infantry in winter kit - 28mm figures from Warlord Games.
So far during AHPC X I have posted WW2 themed submissions in two different figure sizes - 15mm and 20mm.  Time to add some 28mm to the mix, right? Here is a squad of German WW2 infantry in winter kit.  The figures are 28mm metal castings from Warlord Games.

For periods that I really enjoy, such as WW2, I often paint subjects in multiple scales.  I like to think there is a pseudo-rational reason for this, in that miniatures of different sizes and scales often lend themselves to different levels of abstraction on the gaming table and therefore different gaming experiences with different rule sets.  That's true.  But...I think the much bigger reason I do this is that I love painting miniatures and when I see neat figures, I just want to give them a go...hence the huge pile of lead, plastic and resin in my basement. Squirrel!!

It's hard to see in the lighting, but the figure at the front has a pair of garbage mitts hanging from his belt!
Anyway, for all of my multi-scale nuttiness, this submission represents my first-ever unit of 28mm WW2 figures! Why has it taken so, so many years?

Well, I am fortunate that many of my good friends here in Winnipeg already have amazing 28mm WW2 figure collections.  You see them often right here in this blog - Dallas, Frederick, DaveV, just to name a few.  I have always been able to enjoy 28mm WW2 games with them and their wonderful collections. It seemed like nothing I could paint would really add anything constructive to the group dynamic for 28mm WW2 games. Because of this, a strange sensation - recognized by normal people as "rational thought" - would overcome my otherwise hard-wired squirrel tendencies to just "make an order" of 28mm WW2 figures and start painting.

Excellent animation and posing on these figures - just awesome.
Over the years the range and scope of options for 28mm WW2 figures have really exploded in terms of available figures. Periods and settings that maybe were hard to find figures for back in 1999 are much more accessible now, and new options are emerging all the time. One such setting is the North African theatre - at one time very niche and limited, but now you have many options to choose from if you want to start a 28mm collection.  

Five years ago (or thereabouts) I purchased the plastic boxes of 28mm 8th Army and DAK infantry from the Perrys, keen to open up the North African front in 28mm for our group.  But those figures were...well, I generally love Perry products, but those specific plastics were just terrible (for me - YMMV, horses for courses etc).  So those disappeared after a couple of test models were completed.  

I always meant to try again using only metal figures from the Perrys' North African 28mm range, but I just haven't yet found the motivation - and besides North Africa is more fun using tank battles in smaller scales anyway...

View from the back, showing assorted bits of kit.
Another new and ever-expanding niche is winter-specific figures.  My good friend Dallas, who has a very extensive and beautiful collection of 28mm WW2 figures, had said to me - years ago - "well, you could do some winter guys, that would be great." And he was right...many of the aspects of WW2 that fascinate me the most - the period of 1943 to 1945 on the Eastern Front - included much heavy fighting amid winter scenes.  Of course there is also the fighting in "The Bulge" on the Western Front, which took place amid much snow and cold conditions.  And the collections of my friends contain (relatively) few winter-specific figures. A chance to indulge my inner squirrel and make a useful contribution to the gaming group!

Love this MG42 team.

Running the LMG looks like tough work, would be even worse in the winter I expect...I should have sourced a belt of ammo to run down the side...might try to do that later.
Over the years, I have painted snow and winter-specific figures in 6mm and 15mm, but never got around to larger scales.  For some time I hoped to do so in 20mm, a scale/size that I have really fallen in love with.  But I have not yet found a nice, comprehensive range of winter figures for that scale - particularly for the Russians.  The most comprehensive range I have yet come across looks to be the 28mm one from Warlord Games, so I thought I would give it a try...here is the first product of that experiment...

Nothing says "late war" like STG44s...some classic late war Germans here.
I loved painting these figures. The sculpting is just great.  They have lots of character, and to me they reflect well what I imagine the misery of fighting in winter must bring.  These are later war figures (my personal period of interest in WW2), and this is reflected in the mix of rifles, assault rifles, panzerfausts and the MG42. They are dressed in layers, wraps of cloth and scarves around their necks and faces, a blend of the formal (reversible smocks) and the improvised (white cloth tied on helmets, or just white-wash on the plain metal helmet).  One figure even has a pair of garbage mitts stuck to his belt!

I didn't do a great job painting the face of this figure preparing to use his panzerfaust...but maybe his face just froze :)
The Warlord sculptors really nailed the winter look with these fitures. If you took away the weapons, this group might as well be waiting at a bus stop in downtown Winnipeg in January when it's minus 30 degrees outside.  Of course, under Winnipeg's current mayor, weapons wouldn't be the worst idea, but I digress...

Painting WW2 Germans is always intimidating - even the relatively straightforward winter gear leaves many variations, and in 28mm you are always more likely to see the mistakes you make. But this feels like a good start!

Balance of the squad is equipped with standard rifles...ready for some doomed assignment during the later period of WW2.
For the scoring purposes of the Challenge, there are 10 x 28mm figures in this submission, which should work out to 50 points.  While I hope my distraction-prone squirrel brain will focus for a time on this project so I can get a workable force of winter figures together, who knows...perhaps some 3mm and 10mm WW2 subjects await :)  


Bluewillow said...

Nice Brushwork on those, well done.

all the best for your 2020 projects


Bartek Zynda said...

Your Germans looks great!

Neil Scott said...

These look great

Michael Awdry said...

Beautifully done Greg.

Wouter said...

Awesome sculpts, very detailed and beautiful work.
I do not necessarily agree that different scales have different uses, but if you enjoy collecting in multiple scales I'm definitely not going to argue with you ­čśŐ.

Dallas said...

Super figures there dude. It'll be fun to get out the winter stuff for a game - the -30C weather here today certainly puts one in the mood :-)

DaveV said...

Great looking figures, Greg!

Are they based for Chain of Command? I see a square base for one figure.