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Collins Does a German Winter Offensive

Collins Does a German Winter Offensive

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Project Blog by collins Cult of Games Member

Recommendations: 206

About the Project

I've decided to build a winter based army and I've never previously done a German army, so lets invade the Soviet Union or have a minor disagreement with the allies in a Belgian wood.

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This post for bolt action is Gerry Approved!

Tutoring 1
Skill 1
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This post for bolt action is Gerry Approved!

As we all know Gerry is a massive fan of tanks in small scale platoon based action… well as such he is exceptionally happy that my German platoon is mounted in these half tracks and supported by a Panzer III.

This makes 5 half tracks with a capacity of 39 people, a scout car and one supporting Panzer.

Nice.

Golden Button award!

Tutoring 1
Skill 1
Idea 1
1 Comment

The project isn’t complete and is pulling in the awards already! happy days!

https://www.beastsofwar.com/featured/community-spotlight-myconnid-mysteries-godtear-warbands-ww2-winter-germans/

Golden Button award!
Golden Button award!

Movement Bases

Tutoring 3
Skill 4
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Movement Bases
Movement Bases
Movement Bases

I came across this company at warfare reading in 2016/17 or something like that and didn’t have a need for their stuff at the time but bought them anyway (as is normal)

they have a website https://productsforwargamers.com/product/irregular-2p-round-tray-choose-size/ and this is the exact product you see above in the photos.

all I’ve done is add the ground cover material to them, didn’t bother priming them or anything (I may regret that)

bonus infantry and tank crew

Tutoring 3
Skill 4
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bonus infantry and tank crew
bonus infantry and tank crew
bonus infantry and tank crew
bonus infantry and tank crew

I cracked and got the warlord metal winter squad. the other metals were a better price but I quite like the half grey half white look and some of these ones have smocks over the top of greatcoats and that is a cool (or cold) look.

Whilst I was at it I also got the winter panzer crew as I have the tank war book and there are rules for them in that. also they make a good looking objective crowd don’t they!

250 no1

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
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Prime in grey and then airbrush German greyPrime in grey and then airbrush German grey

I ended up going heavier on the hairspray and on the white paint for this halftrack compared to the 222.

I’m not certain which I prefer, I like the muted tone of the white on the 222 but I went overboard on the chipping where as on this 25o I really didn’t like how when I tried to chip away it ended up taking much bigger chunks than I wanted to and left it folded up at the edge of the chipping mark.

the next time I’ll go lighter on the hairspray but also more of a finer misting of white paint on top of it too. I’ll hopefully end up with a happy medium.

I tried to get both the gunners shooting at the same target but it wasn’t to be, the angle just didn’t work out

Random Surprises with 'kitbashing'

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
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I was gifted 3 of the 250 halftracks over Christmas, there are 3 kits in total with options to make 7 variants overall. pretty neat really.

anyway, I started making one and I’m really only planning to have them as 250/1 variants (or rather, bog standard machine guns) so that leaves me with quite a few spare bits, guns, bodies etc.

Queue head scratching and kit bashing.

the options available the options available
this page was the one that caught my eyethis page was the one that caught my eye

it was this page that caught my eye… what is the frame under instruction ‘u’ for?

well I went off and googled a bit and found out that the cannon was a light antitank gun, well technically a heavy antitank rifle but often misidentified. It is called Panzerbüchse 41 and Panzerbüchse translates German -> English as Anti-Tank Rifle but due to the way the Allies viewed it, due to the gun carriage/sled and the shield, they often incorrectly called it a light antitank gun.

It works on the fascinating principle of squeeze-bore. that means that the loading end of the barrel is 28mm wide, but the muzzle break end of the barrel is only 20mm. why do that? well it means that the pressure inside the barrel increases all the way down the length which then means the bullety bit leaves the barrel at a significantly higher speed. that coupled with a super hard tungsten core leads to some very impressive momentum and penetration capability at short ranges but it does have negatives, namely it drops off rapidly over longer distances.

http://maximietteita.blogspot.com/2017/12/28-cm-spzb-41.html

here I found some interesting photos that explained what that frame was.

Now that we have that little nugget of info we can see whether the sPzB 41 (Panzerbüchse 41) has an entry in the rule book. obviously it does, and at only 60 points its dead cheap. Winner!

Now to break out the leftover sprues of winter infantry to get those all important kneeling bodies to help make the crew up with the arms from the 250/11 weapons kit.

Random Surprises with 'kitbashing'

As things didn’t line up well on the height of the arms and the height of the ‘weapon sled’ I had to improvise with cork matting and superglue to make a small makeshift dugout look.

The reason the wheels on the frame aren’t touching the floor (or at the lowest point) is because (I think) they are folding. folding down to move but when shooting can be folded up to allow the carriage/frame to take the weight and make be a bit more of a stable shooting platform.

Overall I’m quite happy with this little pleasant surprise. the only disappointing thing for me was that I wasn’t able to make it so the weapon could be mounted in the 250 and then dismounted onto the weapons sled. that would have been top banana but unfortunately I couldn’t work out how to make it happen due to the fragile nature of everything connecting together.

Someone call Recce? Sd.Kfz. 222

Tutoring 6
Skill 5
Idea 6
2 Comments
started with VMC German grey. its really dark!started with VMC German grey. its really dark!
dry brush a lighter grey and gloss varnish. apply decals with micro sol and set then revarnishdry brush a lighter grey and gloss varnish. apply decals with micro sol and set then revarnish
cover in your wife's best hairspray and then spray with off white paint (not primer!)cover in your wife's best hairspray and then spray with off white paint (not primer!)
use a wet brush to 'chip away' at the white paint. anything that doesn't come off when you want it to, hit with airbrush cleaner.use a wet brush to 'chip away' at the white paint. anything that doesn't come off when you want it to, hit with airbrush cleaner.

Infantry Done

Tutoring 2
Skill 3
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Infantry Done

first few squads

Tutoring 5
Skill 9
Idea 9
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Oberleutnant Collins and his small radio team Oberleutnant Collins and his small radio team
Squad 1 charge across the bridge spurred on by their officerSquad 1 charge across the bridge spurred on by their officer
Sniper team gives cover from the nearby houseSniper team gives cover from the nearby house
Later the anti-tank rifles moves up to the house on the corner of the woodsLater the anti-tank rifles moves up to the house on the corner of the woods
Squad 2 moves up through the woodsSquad 2 moves up through the woods
Squad 3 on the flank to assistSquad 3 on the flank to assist
coming underfire the 2nd and 3rd squads withdraw deeper into the woodscoming underfire the 2nd and 3rd squads withdraw deeper into the woods
proof of 3 squads being painted in the Christmas periodproof of 3 squads being painted in the Christmas period

What colours to use?

Tutoring 9
Skill 8
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What colours to use?

tunics, coats, trousers = German field grey washed nuln oil black and highlighted German field grey

breadbags, waterbottles = German cream beige washed nuln black highlighted German cream beige

helmets = German grey washed nuln oil

helmet whitewash = really watery white grey

map cases, shovels, rifles = flat brown washed black

metalwork = enchanted steel washed nuln oil black

snow smock, trousers, helmet covers  = white grey, wash with apothecary white and highlight white grey

gas cape, ammo boxes, gas mask tins = yellow green

panzerfaust = middlestone washed nuln oil black highlighted middlestone

skin = Cadian flesh tone, washed reikland, highlighted cadian and Kislev flesh

Building and Priming

Tutoring 9
Skill 11
Idea 10
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Building and Priming
Building and Priming

I ended up buying some cool metal models from the Stalingrad winter range sold by great escape games and picked up a few sprues from Facebook marketplace and eBay for the warlord plastics. I quite like the models to have as much ‘kit’ on them as possible. It irks me when I see toy soldier armies constantly fighting light when in my experience, if you don’t carry it, you don’t have/receive it and thus you got cold/hungry at night.

None of them came with bases so I pootled off down the bank to withdraw £1 in bases (2p coins)

Once built to suit the list I then primed everything in Halfords basic white primer and for those models in greatcoats of majority fieldgrey uniform I airbrushed over that with German field grey by Vallejo model colour.

In the top picture you can see my test models for the colour scheme, a sniper team from great escape games with what I feel are overly large heads… them boys are clearly the brains of this platoon

Building and Priming

with the 2p bases I also did a few tests of the basing materials I had picked up from my local generic model kit/train shop.

Im glad I did this as I observed some interesting effects, the snow diorama mix picked up colour from the maybe below it and so did the GW vallhallen blizzard paint too.

not an issue, I can varnish between the layers but im glad I did the test. check out the GerryCan videos on this topic, quite helpful.

1000 point list

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link to easy army list

I’ve decided I want to have a recon themed list. so I’ve gone for minimal infantry mounted in small halftracks (250 variants) and a 222 armoured car.

problem being that halftracks are quite expensive at veteran level but I expect (from memory) dealing with a lot of armoured vehicles can be quite difficult as BA is more of an infantry game. Sure everyone can have access to AT guns in varying sizes but you won’t take out 4 vehicles in 1 turn and they all come with machine guns which leans heavily into the germans strength in the game. all the shots, all the time.

so the basis is 1 officer squad, a light AT rifle team, 5 small 5 man infantry squads all with machine guns with a smattering of SMGs and panzerfausts, 3 of the smaller 250 half tracks and the 222 with the recce rule.

This provides 30 soldiers, half on foot and half mounted, and a small amount of AT, only really +2 on the pen value (from the rifle and the 222) so if they run up against a serious tank I might have an issue but I’ll be able to get 3 shots a turn at it from 2 angles so hopeful for some luck (and 6 fausts hitting +6 pen if I get close enough).

The big benefit for this list is the 9 machine-guns, that’s a silly amount of dice to throw each turn before adding in rifles or SMGs etc. I also refused to put assault rifles in the list as last time I played BA you couldn’t move for being peppered by assault rifles, apparently Germany didn’t use the Kar98k as far as BA players are concerned.

However I think the biggest weakness is the halftracks, if the infantry dismounts and then gets killed or flees the battle the battle-taxi will get knocked out with them almost by default so I’ll need to be careful with them in order not to lose points unnecessarily.

Research Artwork or Photos

Tutoring 8
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Ok, so as this is going to be bolt action it is going to be accurate to the point that I want it to be which means, not all that accurate in this instance.

I started by simply deciding I wanted to do a winter list of some sort with winter basing, that led me to warlord and looking at the winter options and just settled on the Germans because why not.

I then just started searching for very generic photos of German soldiers in winter gear, no idea what units/regiments/arms of service these people are from.

The purpose of the images above was to make me think about how I should paint the models.

Obviously the winter German boxed set contains a lot of greatcoats and not a lot else, my limited googling shows that it was quite common to see a heavy dose of white over smocks and trousers in the snow environment.

Although the above images show that usually everyone was equipped in a similar fashion, aka all had smocks or nobody had smocks, I wanted to add a little variety to the squads and mix it up, perhaps they’ve had a bit of a tough time on the front and so a few units have been amalgamated to create one understrength unit.

Back to the webstores I went, the next best box was the SS box as they have lots of smocks too. instead of doing peadot, oakleaf or Italian pattern camo just paint them grey and off-white instead, maybe a few headswaps with the winter box to get the wrapped up and a bit cold look. job done.

Then into the discord house of water #besthouse I went for advise on alternative shops for winter German models. they did not disappoint and sent me off to multiple stores to window shop.

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