Finally ready with my latest US platoon – went a little berzerk with the camera…
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Tonight I finished this Kubelwagen that I built ages ago, at last I felt the urge to get this done. Hope you like it.
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“…Several kilometers to the south an American spearhead unit captured an intact bridge on the river Selune at Pontaubault. The Germans launched counter-attacks, in a last attempt a kampgruppe commanded by Colonel Bacherer was kept in check. On 31 July in the evening General Patton did not hesitate, he rushed forward his divisions through Pontaubault bridge and fanned them out in Brittany and toward the river Loire.”
As I started to repaint my germans I also wanted to make sure I have vehicles for them if needed. So while I have made 3 new Sdkfz. 251/1 (and at least 3 more on their way, maybe six), I’m also refreshing some of my old stuff. I got a Stummel which I’m quit happy with but that needed figures – that I have fixed. I have been experimenting with some new techniques (oil paints and pigments), this I have done on an old Sdkfz. 251/1. Maybe I’m not too satisfied with the result, but I feel that the techniques can be very useful and will make my vehicles more beautiful in the future.
I’m also making a Sdkfz. 250/3, from Italeri together with a 251/7 and a 251/10, both from Dragon. The Dragon models are highly detailed, which is very cool, but it takes time to build them.
And finally I’m also painting a US squad – I have to do several things at same time otherwise I’m too bored.
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At the same moment as I dipped the first figure in the acetone I knew I would regret my stupid idea to repaint my germans…
But now, several days later the first platoon is ready. I go for a company so there’s a long way to go. At the same time I paint GI’s and will do fallschirmjägers and SS too. Sometime in a near future I want to do british too.
I paint my figures for wargaming, so I keep detais to a minimum. I use 12-15 colors, I use Army Painter and give them at least one layer of dull coat, usually helmets get some extra layers as this is the first place to loose paint.
Here’s the result.
(Click for bigger pictures)
HQ plus a sniper to the far right. He’s a tank rider from the AB Figures range modified to sit on his knees. I have also added a gun sight. He’s jacket is borrowed from the SS to give him better concealment.
9 of April, a day where all flags in Denmark fly at half mast and have been doing so since the Second World War to mark the day when Nazi Germany occupied Denmark.
The action that was taken to stop the germans was not very strong, few skirmishes near the boarder and some fights near the royal palace where the royal lifeguard did a bold but short resistance. The germans had promised to bomb Copenhagen, the danish capital, if the army and government refused to co-operate. A country with a size as small as ours and with no allies or a landscape that is easy to defend there where nothing to do but to surrender, but before doing so the Navy sunk all their ships so that they couldn’t be used by the enemy.
The following years with german occupation was relative quit compared to other countries occupied, but one german officer wrote in his memoirs that of all the places he had visited occupied he had never met a people where the hatred towards them felt stronger then from the danes.
Sadly not very few young danes choosed to fight for the nazi regime, most of them ended up in SS Wiking fighting on the Eastern front. More proud are we when talking about the resistance that grew in size for every year, and not to forget all the people that took big risks to help danish jews escape the SS.
What a lovely surprise… Guess if I was happy when I heard about this movie!
Bocage country at the Cotentin Peninsula, this is what I aim for. (Image: World War II Database)
This is one of my ongoing projects that involve terrain making, model building and painting of both vehicles and figures. I will show some techniques (grass, trees and hedges) that I have learned from reading tutorials by Alcal, a super talented terrain builder.
I am a huge fan of Skirmish Campaigns (don’t let the webdesign fool you to belive it is bad). They have made four good campaigns for Normandy:
– Normandy ’44-First Hours
– Normandy ’44-Heroes of Omaha and Panzer Lehr
– Normandy ’44-Monty’s EPSOM
– Normandy ’44-Red Devils of the Orne
As my interest is focused on the Germans against US I will start with the two first mentioned. I think when I am ready with building terrain for this two books I’ll probably have all the bocage terrain I ever need.
I never liked terrain that is a green piece of sheet with hills, houses and trees glued to a piece of cardboard, or roads and rivers also made out of cardboard. I have a big problem getting in the mood when playing on boards like this. For a couple of years ago I made small pieces of terrains on boards in the size of 30x30cm. This boards could have a house, a bunker, a hill or some trees on it – all fixed to the board. I also made a system for where road and rivers starts and ends on the boards so that they could be put together in lots of different ways. This worked quite well for a while. But the problem was that because of the small size of the pieces there would be many edges that disturbed my eye. Also a slight bump in to the table and all the boards moved around which was extremly irritating.
So later on when I started up painting and building for this Skirmish Campaigns Normandy books I also started on a new terrain board system. The idea is still the same but the pieces is much bigger – 60x120cm. Again I have made a system where roads, hedges and rivers starts. I have been using a great amount of time converting the maps of the campaign books to my terrain system. The size I choosed for my terrain pieces works well together with the map sizes in the books.
The first board (Ranger Relief)
I will show you pictures of my small pieces of maps that I use to make the terrain boards from. And also pictures from the first piece of terrain that is ready.
(Click to enlarge the pictures)
The blue areas is where I can place a hedge and the red is where to place roads. If a road on one board leads up to another board where there is no road, it will look funny, that’s why every place on every board, that can be placed up to a road on a different board, need to have some kind of natural ending of a road – some extra work for me, but by doing so I will be able to combine all my pieces as I want to. The system is not perfect, but after playing around with my small map sketches I guess it will work quite well.
The terrain pieces are made on polystyrene boards. The grass is fake fur (the same type of fabric that is used for making teddy bears), cut down with scissors and a beard trimmer. The stone walls will be the base for the hedges, I used cat litter, a product that when painted looks like big stones and that cost almost nothing. For the road, that is a bit “sunken” I used gravel and sand, when I had carved it out of the polystyrene I needed to make a base to where I could glue the gravel. I made that out of plaster with some sand mixed in it.
This is after the road and stonewalls has been drybrushed. To make the road I have first glued gravel on the board all the way upp to the stonewall, and then added sand in the middle of the road. The stonewall which later will have hedges on top of it, is cat litter (8 litre for only 1 euro).
I made more trees than i need for this first terrain piece, some will be used in the bocage, and small trees will be used in the apple orchard. It is quit simple to make them actually. The tree-trunk is made of pieces of branches, the tree-top is made of horse hair mattress glued to the branch and dipped in flock.
The next two boards (Bluff at Easy Green)
This is the next two boards that I’m working on right now. It is the first scenario in the Skirmish Campaigns: Heroes of Omaha and Panzer Lehr.
The scenario takes place just above the beaches in Easy Red and Easy Green sectors, in the outskirts of St Laurent-Sur-Mer. A small mission with a US platoon and only 13-15 germans with 2 LMG…
One complain I have on Skirmish Campaigns is the detail on the maps. But by following up on the bibliography for this campaign book I found several maps of this spot, one of them was in a article from National Geography, besides that I also found the place on Google Maps, which even if the area doesn’t look 100% similar today, this is still quite useful. With this maps I had a better starting point when making the board.
Quite soon I found out that this map should be two boards instead of one, some landmarks that must have played a role in the skirmish was cut out (half of the road for instance), adding an extra board also helped me to get this map working with the system for my boards. Beside all this, doing the needed research for this changes on the map was really fun and gave me a greater picture of how it must have looked like in 1944.
Here I have drawn the map onto the two boards… Just after this picture is taken, I carved the sunken road into the polystyrene and added a layer of plaster to the surface where I can glue my gravel and sand.
This is the first I show on my terrain. There will go a couple of months before we have moved to our new apartment and I again can work on the terrain!