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Colditz – the board game upgrade

Colditz – the board game upgrade

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Project Blog by skiptotheend

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About the Project

I plan to change the meeples used in Colditz the board game for 20mm sentry germans and POWs

This Project is Completed


Tutoring 2
Skill 3
Idea 4
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Picture 1 of the boardPicture 1 of the board
Picture 2Picture 2
Picture 3Picture 3
Picture 4Picture 4
Picture 5Picture 5
Picture 6Picture 6

How do you get an american army to join the war...

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…you tell them it’s almost over!

So I finally got on to the americans, very much similar colour choices to the rest, muted blues, leather browns and army greens. I did try the new citadel contrast paints for the face (guilliman’s skin colour) and it is quite good.

I painted on the bases the stars and stripes which I’ll tidy up in good time..

you can see on the right of the first picture a commando taking out a guard. This is going to be the miniature people transfer in if they try a “DO OR DIE” card choice (basically a one shot escape where if you dont reach the end your miniature is captured/killed

the last of the POWSthe last of the POWS

below are a few more pictures of the americans and the last picture on its own is the majority of the meeples.

I will finish this completely on the weekend by taking some inital pictures on the board to see if it works well!

lastly the colditz POWs and sentries in one space, quite striking!

the full colditz gangthe full colditz gang

A quick Update

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I have now painted the bases in the french flag colours which I will tidy up at a later date, but i like the effect

French POW 1French POW 1
French POW 2French POW 2

I also bought some new miniatures from this website:–flags-218-c.asp

which will look like the below

US CommandersUS Commanders
British Command 1British Command 1
British Command 2British Command 2

The French Tunnel Escape gets started

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These will probably get swapped out when I get better french miniatures but for now these are the first draft. I went for more civilian as there were french politicians in there, but having looked at pictures it looks like quite a few french officers were in there too…

For paint I used a generic skin tone,  oak brown and used the new ultramarine contrast paint, which did a quick job.

To make them more french I decided to add the flag where I could, just to give it a quick identifier when on the board game table as I am worried there will be too many drab colours

These are half done I will probably paint the base in the french tricolour again to add a ‘pop’ from a top down view.

If it looks good I may re-paint the polish bases in the same manner (i fear the british bases might be too hard)

French POW 1French POW 1
French POW 2French POW 2

I like adding in the french flag in places as I like that it symbolises subtle resistance (or the larger subterfuge going on) which seemed to fit the idea of the game (and from what I’ve read – which is filtered down to “Annoy the guards as much as possible”

the pieces start to come together!

Tutoring 4
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It has been a while since my last update – however i have managed to make some headway.

3 units have now been completed these are:
1) The RAF ‘the few’
2) The Polish
3) The British Army

The first was the RAF, these were completed namely with game colour sombre gray (As this is a nice bluey gray), oak brown for the leather, random colours for scarfs and hair

I used model air yellow ochre, army painter deep blue, army warpainter pure red and matt white for the base

The Completed RAFThe Completed RAF

The next was the army which again I painted in flesh colours, using yellow olive by game colour and oak brown again. The bases i found harder for this, i finally found a method my shakey hands could do at this minute level, paint the white, then the red st georges cross, then the blue, then the white and red diagonals over the top. They’re messy but they get the job done!

The British army.The British army.

Lastly were the polish, which i painted pretty much like the english, but using the warlord games guide on polish uniforms:

however finding 20mm passive/pow polish is very hard to find. So instead I used a mix of german (the officers mainly as they have the puffy trousers/caps mix which looked similar to the polish uniforms in the above) and some russians. I then painted the polish flag on the base. I like how these came out considering no polish POW figures available!

Polish 1Polish 1
Polish 2Polish 2

On a sniping range the lieutenant says to a soldier "He'sa good shot that chap over there"...

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Soldier says to Officer: “Yes indeed, but I have a feeling that we should better check his personal background..After every shot he carefully removes his fingerprints from the rifle”.

I have been getting some paint on the POWs now.

I decided to do 3 groups so far:
2 x British POWS (these are mainly the plastic miliput guys – i am buying more to get more variation (one of these might be done as a polish unit)

1x Brill cream boys

Below are the ‘The few’

The Few aka The brill cream boysThe Few aka The brill cream boys
1st set of POWS1st set of POWS
2nd set of POWs2nd set of POWs

General to Private "Have you come to die?"...

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…Private to General “No Sir! I came ‘ere yester-die”

So the miniatures came, they are a perfect size for what we want, however they are in resin, I am unsure if these will not be strong enough for the wear and tear of board game play (but they sure are nice!)

Picture of Size comparison and detailPicture of Size comparison and detail

I cut away some of the bases and put them on the little mdf circles. They look lovely but I am unsure how long with board game use they will:

1) stay stuck to the base
2) not break

I love the designs and the websites i listed below have SO many casual posed military people that i could ligitimately have one pose per meeple. However the tactile-ness of metal means I might go back to one of the first websites I looked at to get some more poses. I will have to think about what to do in the future…

all based upall based up

"Hitler and Goering are atop a Berlin radio tower..."

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“…Hitler says he wants to do something to put a smile on the Berliners faces. So Goering says “Why not jump?”

So since last time I did a few sprucing up things of the german sentries. I tried doing the base in swastika colours but it didn’t look great so i painted them black… However once dried I thought I would add something a bit to give the base a bit more life… (i love how these turned out) you can see above I added Nazi flags to the base and also gave them the SS armbands and hat decorations (As best I could) – I have a fairly shakey hand for 20mm as I found out! But I’m pretty happy with the overall stylings it gives the model. I will probably do the bases of the POWs in the colours of the meeples and the flags of each nation as well.

I varnished the new areas I painted (Armbands and helmet decorations and the base)

next I started getting base colours down on the POWs. I had a go at three areas:

1) Light blue RAF officer uniforms – I didn’t have the correct blue for this so I mixed miniature warpainter deep blue with game colour sombre grey (as this is a blueish grey) at about 1:1 and this gave atleast somewhere to start with (in the picture below these are the two duplicate officers on the left

2) The second lot were the ‘army’ POWs – at first I was going to paint these as the civilian french Prisoners within Colditz but it didn’t look great with browns, reds, muted grays etc. So i then went back and coloured them in game colour caymen green as I want the teams to have a vague uniformity to help when playing top down with these. There are duplicates here so in the future i will move some of these out with new miniatures I’ve bought.

3) The Navy at the back, these are a place holder but I quite like how they turned out (mainly they are a place holder as 14 models for 7 pounds was too cheap to not go for initially) Again I didnt have the correct blue but got close mixing Army warpainter heavy blue with army warpainter matt black at a ratio of 1 matt black drop to 3 warpainter

The groups initial paintThe groups initial paint

I also mentioned previously that the bases on some miniatures were already circular in the correct size, I decided to break most of the bases off and file the corners down to put them on the same bases as all the others (the mdf ones) to create uniformity… which you can see in the last picture with the downed pilots (below)

I’ve only done half as my hand started to hurt – some of the bases are quite thick!!

The downed pilots now also on bases The downed pilots now also on bases

Lastly I found this website:

which has an area stating 1:76 to 1:72 – unsure exactly how big or small these will turn out but they had some great army soldier is passive positions:

British soldiers on parade:

and British AFV crew in casual poses

If these are a similar size, I’ll go to town and buy lots so there is as much variety as possible!

"Knock Knock" "Who's there?" "SHUT UP WE ASK THE QUESTIONS!"

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The Germans arrived and were a good size in comparison with the meeples.
Below is a picture of the POWs which arrived in the week after, they are of similar proportions – however some have circular bases of about 10mm whilst others have no bases or rectangle bases.

I sorted them into 5 rough teams of 8 and german sentries.


I bought some 10mm metal discs as these would fit in with the miniatures with bases already, however i didn’t read that these were magnets, once they arrived I realised they would cause some havoc sending minatures all around the board!

I then ordered some 10mm mdf discs which looked good and proceeded to glue all the miniatures that needed bases onto them. However later on i may glue all onto the bases but I would have to cut and file back alot of metal!

A picture on the old boardA picture on the old board
POWs on the boardPOWs on the board

I then went to paint these miniatures.

I painted on air spray surface primer (i live in a flat and havent bought a suction fan yet for my airspray gun)

I then took the german sentries and went to town on them first.

I took:
1) game extra opaque heavy charcoal and painted the uniforms in this
2) painted the faces in nocturna natural flesh
3) painted packs and straps in military warpaint paints Oak brown
4) guns in nocturna burned flesh (for some difference to the oak brown)
5) washed the model in dark tone
6) touched up and then washed the uniform in a blue ink
7) highlighted the faces with army warpainter monster brown
8) highlighted aspects of the gun in gun metal (then dark tone wash over the top)
9) because they were to be handled i then put a varnish on the top to protect

image 1 on sentriesimage 1 on sentries
image 2 of sentriesimage 2 of sentries

Initial Stages (round up the usual suspects)

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My initial thought was imagined was to upgrade the meeples to miniature sentries and POW people.

The amount you would need are:
16 geman sentries and 5 sets of 8 POWs
altogether 56 miniatures are needed

Upon the new release of the game I was so happy to find that a miniatures box to upgrade the components was available – but I baulked at the cost!

Many Moons past until I found some sentry models, scouring miniatures pages for ‘passive’ ww2 miniatures which is relatively hard in itself!

I decided to go for 20mm as it is similar size to the meeple but also small enough to play with but big enough for some detail. I thought 15mm would be too small for what i want and 25-28 too large.

I found some at a 20mm scale, the german sentries suprisingly were from a company called table warfare:

This is for a marching troop of german infantry 14 figures for just under £8 – bargain!

not only do they do marching germans but they also have a few i could use, for the initial phase of this I went for a pack of their german sentries too:

which brings me up to the number needed for the germans, however in the future i feel i will also go back to get a couple of their sentry vignettes:

I also picked up a similar set for naval miniatures:

although not historically accurate their at attention pose is great for POWs I may use these to spread through just to add a bit of variety for the POWs

with the germans completed it was on to the POWs!

the best miniatures for POWs I could find at 20 mm after much searching were found at a company called CP Models

They have a whole range for Downed Pilots including British, American, Russian and German

The best by far are their British POWs:

This is a great find as it means I can theme the 5 groups of POWs, in the original game the 5 different groups of POWS were:
American, British, French, Dutch and Polish

Now American and British will be easy, the other three would be harder to do, so i may change the teams slightly

the biggest problem here is that there aren’t 8 different models in the link above and i want a bit of variety with the POWs

However the company also does WW2 civilians with the best miniatures being:

generic POWs:

russian civilians:

and male civilians:

However there will be more i presume as there are many more miniatures on their site i could use for both sentries and pow’s

Size of Meeple vs 20mm tablewarfare german sentrySize of Meeple vs 20mm tablewarfare german sentry

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