Monday, December 22, 2014

Third Painting Challenge Entry - 15mm WW2 Germans from Battlefront

15mm late war Germans from Battlefront
As noted in Byron's first entry to the Analogue Hobbies painting (and seen here and here), our groups does some WW2 skirmish gaming in 15mm (sci-fi as well - see here).  Generally not thought of as a skirmish gaming scale, 15mm actually works wonderfully as an economical way to approach skirmish gaming, and also provides a very nice look on the table as the visual appeal of the engagement ranges is increased. Also, the sculpting quality of 15mm figures is getting better and better. Finally, 15mm stuff paints up really, really fast, so that is a big bonus too.

This entry has two PAK40 guns with crews, an MG42 team, and an infantry section.  All of these are late war 15mm size figures from Battlefront.

Gotta form that "PAK front"!
These figures are late war Germans. As with the Tiger tank from the first theme entry, and I hoped to make their bases look "winter-ish" as opposed to full on winter in January, with a hope they could be used on tables/games stretching from the late fall to early spring, while not being too badly out of place on a winter table itself.  In particular I am working on setting up for some "Battlegroup: Fall of The Reich" games, and these figures were painted with that in mind.

Gun number two
For this period of the war, I tend to be completely exasperated with the Germans' bonkers variety of camouflage, as well as their wide spectrum of uniform types (great coats, smocks, helmet covers, reversible smocks, reversible pants etc).  That is another bonus of 15mm figures - I can do a terrible job on the camouflage, and it still looks OK. On some of these models I experimented with a much brighter shade of green to hopefully make the cammo jump out a bit, but I'm not sure it really worked out.

MG42 team ready for a last stand in the Seelow Heights
Even though there is some snow on the bases, and a touch of frost here and there on the grasses, I imagined these troops determining that, overall, there is a lot more brown and yellow around in the terrain than white, and therefore they are keeping their grey/camouflage aspects of their uniform exposed for now. 

Hapless least the MG42 teams will come in handy...
For the PAK 40s I split the crew up a bit on to different bases to accommodate different rules systems - for each one the gun commander is on a separate square base, to represent the junior leader in charge of the weapon (needed to use these guns in Chain of Command), and one of the loaders is on a separate base (to represent the option of extra ammo loaders for Battlegroup).  But of course these will still work fine for a game of Flames of War, which I enjoy from time to time.

These late-war guys are some of Battlefront's best castings

Ready to be overrun by like 100 T-34s...
I have to say I continue to be disappointed with the quality of the plastic that Battlefront is using. For the latest example I have included a photo of the gun shield that broke while clipping it off of the sprue - this either happened or nearly happened for ALL of the components, and is a key reason why there are only two guns painted from a box set of four. 

The guns themselves almost broke in two coming off of the sprue, and were quite bent as they were clipped off and had to be carefully bent back.  And this IS with "careful" clipping.  The plastic is brittle sh*t. I have experienced this with Battlefront's other plastic accessories as well - the new plastic German tank schurzen is particularly terrible (and mindlessly complicated for a 15mm size model), as are the half track accessories and other plastic bits. This is pure crap quality, and I really wish Battlefront would do something about it.

A plastic PAK 40 gun shield. Battlefront plastic SUCKS - this happened despite careful clipping - I wish they would do something about their crap plastic
Also, something seems a bit off with the PAK40 model design...there is some kind of bracket or brace or something on the barrel that doesn't match photos I have seen of the actual gun...but there were so many weapon variants out there, I'm not sure...could have been some alternate variant from a different factory perhaps...

Ready for Flames of War, Chain of Command or even Battlegroup

So there are 26 15mm size figures and two guns - I think this works out to 60 points. We are soon to be off on our Christmas vacation, so Merry Christmas to everyone out there.  I'll be packing my paints too, so I hope I can get some more painting done in between bouts of gift-wrapping and eggnog consumption!


Stan M. said...

Great painting...the bases are all very well done.

Braxen said...

really nice and effective painting. I agree with the previous poster, the bases are very well done.

Millsy said...

Some of the best work with BF 15s I've seen in ages mate. Well done!

Kevin Holland said...

Great work, as usual Greg! Smart idea on the spare models for the Gun bases as well.

Arrigo "the Crazy" said...

Extremely good! BF plastic is not thebest, but you have produced an excellent force anyway.

Stuart S said...

Great work, love the winter effect, but still functional enough to use in most club terrain layouts.