Saturday, 22 June 2019

Finished: 15mm German HMG42 teams

Hi folks,

Finishing up the German units which I had squeezed onto the paint desk for the Utah beach game, I've managed to finish my two platoons of German Tripod Mounted MG42's.

Completion of these two units bring my total number of German HMG teams up to 12...

To quote Wikipedia: "The MG 42 (shortened from German: Maschinengewehr 42, or "machine gun 42") is a 7.92×57mm Mauser general-purpose machine gun designed in Nazi Germany and used extensively by the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS during the second half of World War II. It was intended to replace the earlier MG 34, which was more expensive and took much longer to produce, but both weapons were produced until the end of World War II."

These models are a combination of two sets of Battlefront models. Some were from an older 'early war' set, while the others are from a later set. I replaced some of the figures on the right hand teams, as the third figures for them were pretty poor.

The left hand platoons, I have tried to go with a mix or regular uniform and splinter camo kit.

There is a reason for so many teams - honest! With the size of tables we play on and the nature of the games, we tend to use a lot of MG42 teams with Pak and infantry support (although we have had a farm complex defended by a full platoon). As such, four teams just aren't enough. Martin has painted quite a few, but I had also started these for my own collection.

With these guys off the table, I'm on to the Sherman Crabs - hopefully an update on these won't be too long!

Friday, 14 June 2019

Finished?!: 15mm Battlefront Sherman DD tanks

Hi folks,

Still catching up on some of the finished models from last week. This time, I've some DD Shermans to show off - both landed and swimming:

So a couple of things with these chaps:

- I'd initially done the canvas screens Khaki, but having seen Dave's and looked again at my pictures from Bovington, I went with a Desert Yellow drybrush over the Khaki.
- I had planned to put some tufts on the bases, but they just did not look right. As a result, with these tanks I am very tempted to go to Dave's smaller bases (60mm by 40mm, I think) as there is a lot of empty space around the models.
- Bases are Desert yellow with a drybrush of Iraq Sand. I then painted the edges Desert Brown. I recognise that the shade is quite close to the screen colour though, so may have to review if I do switch to a smaller base.
- I've another two of these to do, but might just make them up to a full squadron - because why not. I think I'd need another 3, and 4 Fireflys.

These tanks will be representing Canadian Shermans for Juno beach - possibly the Fort Garry Horse. Lack of places to put decals makes these pretty vague however. I may consider going for 1st Hussars though, as I have plans to do a FGH squadron with Sherman III's later.

To represent these (briefly) on the table while they swim in, I also finished another three swimming DD's. These are cheap resin models from Ebay, and are nowhere near as nice as Dave's Battlefront models. However, they will do for now.

That's it for DD's, unless I revisit the basing. Now onto finishing off the HMG42's and blocking in the colours on my three Sherman Crab Flails!

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Finished!: 15mm Pak36 + Anti-tank teams

Hi folks,

Just wrapping up some of the units I painted for the Utah beach game. I've a load of German HMG42 teams to still complete, but in the mean time I've some anti-tank assets to display.

First up, a small unit of three Pak36 anti-tank guns. These are 3.7cm guns nicknamed 'door knockers' by the Germans. Obsolete by Normandy - they will struggle to take out a Sherman versus even side armour unless at very short range. At almost point blank range they can use a alternative ammunition round with a AT rating of 12. Other than that you had better hope for flank shots or use them versus lightly armoured units like carriers or halftracks.

I know that some of these guns were still in use by second line formations, and thought that from a scenario game perspective a few of these guns would be useful.

They are properly dinky compared to even the Pak38's (the 5cm guns). A 4 man crew makes them a bit of a squeeze on a medium base, but they will do! Annoyingly, I have enough parts to make 5 and a half of these guns. A full unit would be 6, but I am missing the gun trail (same part as for the Nebelwerfer) on one of the models. Meaning I have only 5 full guns. I'm still in a quandary over whether to spend a silly amount of money getting just one more complete gun!

Whilst also looking at useful 'scenario units', I had wanted to do some 'ambush' team markers for those terror's of allied tankers in confined terrain - Panzerfaust and Panzershrek teams. Specifically, small two men teams.

This might be even more useful as it appears that in the late war v4 books, the Panzershreks will be small two men teams attached to platoons - much like the Bazooka's, rather than a medium base with two teams as per v3.

Nothing too fancy about these guys - just more useful additions to the types of game we play. I seem to have a huge number of spares for these guys as well, so using some in this way wasn't too much of an issue. Popping a base of these down in a hedgerow somewhere should give Allied players a shock!

Currently, I've 8 HMG42 teams to complete - which seems a silly amount, but in the scenario games we play these guns form a key part of German defences, as they do in many of the accounts from Normandy.

It is important to note that for German defenders we tend to have penny packets rather than full platoons. So we would be unlikely to have a platoon of 4 HMG's defending an objective (although that might happen, depending on the objective!), but rather some grenadier teams, a couple of HMG's and a Pak or two attached. Effectively forming a full platoon for morale purposes, but made of various units. It's not quite what you would find in the rules, but works for us. We also do not to play competitively, rather running umpired scenarios - so the break from the standard rules works fine.