Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

I don't speak German, but I purchased some minis that represent those who do! My British troops need a foil and what better than the defenders of Pegasus Bridge? With this in mind I have purchased the Festungskompanie, an artillery battery, PaK 40 anti-tank guns and some StuG IV Gs. Turns out the StuG IVs were not present (I bought the wrong version!) but I can still create a decent Grenadierkompanie from what I have. I also enlisted a friend to teach me the basics of airbrushes. This was done quite quickly, with the minis to show for it!
Unfortunately, I don't have any "in-progress" pictures, I was too engrossed in what was being done.

Have a look at the far tank, the commander is emerging from the hatch and my friend was kind enough to add the radio antenna as well.

The German infantry wears a uniform that is not easily reproduced by the paint colours I have so once again I must experiment. Here are the test figures:

I numbered each figure so that I know what colours I used. Unfortunately I have since lost the page amongst my other gaming supplies. I'll post it once I find it.
To make my life easier I bought the Citadel Spray Gun and a can of propellent. After some testing I was able to get the darned thing to work correctly and base coated three platoons. One of the tricks I found was to submerge the can in water to keep the can from getting too cold and losing pressure.
Next post I should have another battle report to present as well as even more German figures and perhaps the remaining Airlanding platoon.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Taking to the Field

So did I hit my deadline? Two answers yes and no. I did play a game with fully painted miniatures on January 7th but there is still much work to do on the second platoon. I have included a "Battle Report" at the bottom of this post. A battle report is basically a play-by-play of the game. The good news is I am getting ahead in my painting, the Airlanding Armoured Recce Platoon is built and on the painting table.
Here is the second airlanding platoon.

I changed my "order of operations" when painting these teams. I added the drywall compound before finishing the figures. The reason I did this was to make cleaning up errant compound easier and to reduce the "touch up" time.I also slightly changed the colours I use as mentioned in my last post. The jacket is now painted using the Citadel Foundation paint "Tausept Ochre" with "Orkhide Shade" and "Calthan Brown" stripes. As a final step to added a brown wash using the Citadel Washes. I tried three different washes but settled on the "Gryphonne Sepia" wash. I find this treatment better mimics the colours I saw at the Juno Beach Centre.

In all cases a touch up of the original jacket colour was needed.

Here are the Tetrarchs, washed with soapy water and assembled in a dry run (no glue).

I originally was going to paint the tanks using the same method as the jeeps and universal carrier, but I just found that they were painted with a black and green camouflage scheme. Some picture research will be required. I am looking for the book "Airborne Armour" by Keith Flint, who is supposed to be the authority on these tanks.

I had some difficulty assembling these little buggers. The resin bits needed to be scraped and sanded. Note that resin dust is toxic, when sanding or scraping the resin, wear a mask and use a fan to blow the resin dust away from you. The mantlets also needed to have the flashing on the inside edge scraped away before they fit nicely on the turrets.

The commander was also fiddly to put together. He barely fits into the turret (the mini is a bit small) and the hatch needs to be notched at the bottom for it to fit on the turret. In the end I used hatch and the commander to prop eachother up (like two drunks!). A better solution would be to build up the turret opening with a bit of plastic card. I did finally get the tanks assembled and primed using Orkhide Shade.

Somewhere in France, August 1944...

British airborne troops attack the German defenses of a small farming town ...

My opponent and I are both new to playing Flames of War and we both used small forces, so the following battle report is a bit simplistic. Later I will upload some diagrams of the battle field each turn. On my side of the battle field was a couple of large hills. The centre was dominated by wheat fields and apple orchards providing ample cover for the infantry, while my opponents half of the table was covered in forests, hiding my objectives from view. My British Airlanding troops were attacking a German Grenadierkompanie in the outlying areas of a farming community from the cover of surrounding hills. Fields and orchards provided cover in the valley. The whole area was lightly forested.

The grenadiers had setup evenly across the board and advanced across a broad front in the first turn. Meanwhile the paratroops deployed in a refused flank (east/right side), with the artillery (howitzers and mortars) behind a hill in the south and advanced in to the cover of the wheat fields. Shooting in the first turn was light, resulting in the loss of a single gun from the howitzer platoon.

On the second turn the heavy machine gun platoon moved to support the grenadiers on the west flank while the second grenadier platoon broke cover and rapidly advanced on the lightly held eastern objective. The paratroops jostled for a better position to assault next turn under cover of a smoke bombardment from the howitzers. The recce and antitank platoons moved to the eastern flank and fired on the advancing grenadiers, destroying the platoon. The airborne mortar platoon was hit by fire from the heavy anti-aircraft gun (one of the dreaded 88s!) on the hill and two German antitank guns firing HE (high explosive).

The grenadiers and heavy machine guns dug foxholes in the beginning of turn three instead of firing through the smoke bombardment. The German anti-tank guns fired and destroyed the remaining mortars. The British Airborne broke through the cover of the wheat fields, both platoons pouring fire on the grenadiers dug in around the tree line, but failing to cause casualties. Since the howitzer's smoke bombardment was off target this turn Airlanding Platoon 1 carried on their assault on the German anti-tank guns instead of the grenadiers, finishing them off quickly and consolidating on the objective.

With the British on the objective the Grenadiers had to assault. The heavy machine gun platoon fired on Airlanding platoon 2 pinning them in the wheat field. Fire from the grenadiers and the Flak 36 was shrugged off by the paratroops on the objective, but the assault was very effective. Airlanding platoon 1 was reduced to two fighting teams. These two teams rallied and fought on, throwing back the counter assault and holding the objective at the start of turn 5, winning the game. We called it a draw, however, because the platoon had only two stands and considering how "green" we were it could have gone either way.