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Late war Strafbattalion

Late war Strafbattalion

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Project Blog by jesusjohn

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About the Project

So starting next week I'm starting a late war Strafbattalion for Bolt Action. I'm aiming for a mixture of captured Soviet equipment to show the desperate nature of the defence of the eastern front. Hopefully there will also be lots of information too as researching penal battalions is hard as photographers were kept away from them. They will be based on the 500 battalions rather than the infamous SS battalions.

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Taaannnnnk!

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Taaannnnnk!

So the StuG turned up yesterday….it got painted in a couple of hours….

Base of dark sea green. Blue gray pale highlight. All Vallejo.

Tracks are Vallejo gunmetal with gw mournfang brown, nuln oil and agrax earthshade.

Metals chips are Vallejo gun metal.

The brown wash bewteen plates and to give shadow….That’s My new favourite thing. I hate contrast paints, but…..

If you want dirt in cracks dear God is contrast wyldwood beutiful. I cannot regiment it enough for shading, pin washing or just grime. It’s quite good thank you very much.

 

1k list

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Right minis ordered. So what am I adding to get to 1k?

Well obviously another Strafbattalion squad with smg nco,  panzerfaust and lmg.

Heer Grenadeir squad. Nco assult rifle, plus 2 more ARs. LMG, Smg, and a panzerfaust.

And what better to go with the urban ruin theme  than a StuG iii Ausf G?

Will hopefully get them painted and built over the next week.

I’ve picked up the late war boxed set. The grenadeirs will be all from that set, and the straf will be built from them, however will be mixed in with the winter ones to make them look less uniform.

And finished.

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And finished.

And that the first 500 done.

Going forwards next thing to do is to expand to 1k.

I was going to shut the project down, but I think I’m going to expand it to a total of 1250.

Once we hit that I’ll close the project down.

 

 

MMG Team

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So next up the joy of a big base. This makes me happy.

The bricks are plaster breeze blocks with black ink.

So with a big base I may as well make it a vignette, cause it’s cool. This one is based around the team moving to set up in ruins.

To give them a raggedy look I’ve mixed helmet, helmet cover and cap so they look as if their kit is scrounged. This extends to ammo. It’s a mixture of drum mag and belt, as if they are down to whatever they can get their hands on.

Colours

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So here is a step by step. I’ve intentionally gone with muted colours and tried to avoid harsh highlights or contacts to make the figures feel more ‘grounded.’

I may post some fantasy stuff for contrast tommorow to give you an idea why I’ve gone for muted tones.

Base colour.Base colour.
Helmet.Helmet.
Scarf.Scarf.
Wood and leather.Wood and leather.
Gun, buttons and strap joining.Gun, buttons and strap joining.
FaceFace
Main ink wash.Main ink wash.
Face wash.Face wash.

Highlights and weathering.

Finished table top ready. Once the army is done I will go back in and add more highlights and insignia.Finished table top ready. Once the army is done I will go back in and add more highlights and insignia.

Squad 1.

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So getting this update done on my lunch break, the joys of teaching…..

My plan is to give a bit more detail in the next squad post with a colour break down.

But for now the first complete (ish I’ll do insignia once the whole force is done) squad.

SQWWWWADSQWWWWAD

Snipers ho

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So sniper team. The base is some gw basetex with nuln oil and white highlight and a breezeblock with some ink wash on it.

The base is just card.

So one thing, I’m slightly worried this project maybe finished by the weekend….leaving me with nothing to paint till next month.

 

Snipers ho
Snipers ho
Snipers ho
Snipers ho
Snipers ho

Once more with highlights

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So. Highlights. Honestly not that technical. After the ever present null oil wash (I normally use oil washes but I wanted to avoid that as white spirits inside suck) I just highlighted with the origonal colour.

Following that i added metal scrapes to any metallic objects like helmets etc using random gw metallic paint near me, using the same metal for cap badges.

The ncos are the same colours other than the great coat where I’ve used Val deep sea green (Which isn’t green, it’s grey….).

First night painting.

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So first night painting. I’ve got as far as washes pre highlighting and weathering.

The greatcoats are Val field grey

The helmets and entrenchment tool handles are Val bronze green

Metals are Val gun metal.

The fixtures and browns are gw journeying brown.

Light cloth is Val pastel green.

 

 

Back view Back view
Front viewFront view

One of the things I have decided to do is to paint non strafbattalion personnel, such as NCOs in darker greys to make them stand out. I Think the first one may be a little too dark....

First night painting.

Anyway more later this week.

One night of building

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One night of building

So after an evenings building I have a lot of grey.

One slight problem popped up….of course. My Soviet parts are missing. I am some what irritable.

Plus point though I had some German para sprues knocking around so there are some odd bits of kit still.

I’m using one box so my mmg team is set up as moving into position and my mortar team is boxes and bipods getting ready to set up.

Hopefully this week I will get a team painted as a test peice/first go and get the pics up.

I’m still waiting on very small bricks to turn up this week so I can add walls and rubble to the team bases.

More soon!

History bit.

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So finding information about the Strafbattalions online is not that easy. Things that seem to be clear is they did not wear the red triangles of prisoners, although I’m happy to be corrected in this.

 

One of the reasons for this is the German propaganda machine stayed away from thease units. So where you can find information on the Waffen SS or British regiments, the Strafbattalions seem not well documented.

 

I’ve chosen to go with Bewährungsbataillon 500as a basis for my force.

 

This was made up of convicted soilders who had shown bravery or meritorious conduct. The penal battalions were tough though. Suicidal assaults, mine clearence and the like.

 

If they did not follow orders their sentence was executed, potentially being sent to Labour camps.

 

A quarter of the force including the officers and NCO’s were in charge of the probationary soilders. From a list building point of view this means I’ll be adding at least one Heer squad when I go to 1000 points. This will allow me to show the difference in equipment through cleaner painting, a more uniform look and a couple of assult rifles.

 

So why did they do this? Well not only was it a way back to perceived ‘honour’ but also a way of regaining the rights to citizenship. Leading to moral being high.

 

To simulate this I will be using them as regular troops and not shirkers.

 

There where of course other famous Stafbattakions. 999 was in Africa and was made up of political prisoners….as you can imagine they were not comited and many deserted. I imagine this looked somewhat like ‘nah mate, we are literally not dying to fight people we agree with.’

 

Far more infamous was SS-Sturmbrigade Dirlewanger who were made up of some of the worst prisoners to be put in a uniform. Their atrocities do not need repeating here and the fact they were deployed against civilians says a lot about why thease prisoners were given this roll, I certainly won’t be using thease monsters.

 

So the troops that made up the penal forces of Germany were varied in quality and ideology.

 

The 500 however seem the best choice to go for a ragtag platoon using whatever resources they can find in the defence of the East as Soviet forces push back.

History bit.

The list.

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So the list.

Regular Second Lt and minion.

2 regular full size strafbattalion squads with nco smg, extra smg, Panzerfaust and lmg.

Regular Light mortar

Regular MMG

Regular Sniper team.

The whole of this comes to just under 500 points which is great as a starter. The added bonus is also the whole lot should, with conversions for the mmg and mortar, be built from a single german winter box.

Why do that? Well it gives me an opportunity to be creative and also allows me to show 40k playing freinds how cheap bolt action is.

So everything is purchased. 1 box of German winter fellas, some 1/48th bricks and a couple of random waffen sprues for different head options. Should be here Sunday to start a bit of work.

In the mean time research…

EDIT: Although I’m using a generic platoon. I am only selecting units available in the defence of the East theatre selector.