When I first saw the units available in this box I just knew I had to paint it up.
5 Panzer IVs, 2 Tigers, 3 StuGs, an Armoured Panzergrenadier platoon, 2 8.8 guns and a Nebelwefer battery. Did I mention 2 Tigers… This box has a good mix of everything, the best Late War Starter Force in my opinion.
I decided to try something different when painting this force. I wanted it to immediately catch attention by using brighter colours, less emphasis on realism but more on a cartoony effect. I wanted it to pop when it’s on the table waiting to annihilate my opponents with style.
To achieve this I decided not to use any washes on the vehicles. And to brighten the models I carefully painted lines on surface edges. I Am very happy with how everything turned up.
I present to you Kampfgruppe Khairul!
Panzer IV Tank Company HQ
X 2 Panzer IV
Panzer IV Tank Platoon
X 4 Panzer IV.
The Starter Box comes with only 3 panzer IVs. I added another one to complete a 50 points list.
HQ of 2 panzer IVs, a platoon of 4 panzer IVs and 3 StuGs 7.5cm completes a 50 points list of nine teams shooting at AT9 and FP 3+. Show me those Shermans!!
StuG Assault Gun Platoon
X 3 Stug (7.5cm)
Tiger Tank Platoon
X 2 Tiger
Support unit – 8.8cm Heavy AA Platoon
X 2 8.8cm AA gun
Support unit – 15cm Nebelwerfer Battery
X 3 15cm Nebelwerfer
The force so far.
All that’s left is to paint the 10 infantry teams and 4 half-tracks.
Like many Flames Of War players, I have quite an interest in the German Big Cats (Tigers, Panthers and so on) and have featured them in many of my armies. I cannot put my finger on the primary reason for my love of these tanks, but it is probably a combination of factors including in-game performance, and real-world respect.
With the D-Day: German book I found myself really wanting to build a few lists (nothing like new plastic kits passing across your desk to get you excited) but thanks to my Big Four commitments I was reluctant to dive down the rabbit hole – that was until inspiration hit me! I have a box of partially assembled Tigers sitting in the man-cave (okay, garage) at home that I started and then stopped after being distracted by something else shiny!
Now, you cannot think about Tigers without thinking about Michael Wittmann and his exploits in Normandy. His actions have become somewhat legendary amongst the modelling and gaming communities. We even made a specific model for him back in the day (see the article here…)
I’m drawn to building a list around him for a few different reasons;
I can slowly build an all-Tiger force of seven (or eight) vehicles
Because it is a compact force, I can really go to town on the models
He faced off against the British and Canadian forces in Normandy and was probably killed in an engagement with a Firefly tank (AT 14 beats Front Armour 9 all day!). Having just finished my Firefly tanks it could make for a good match up.
It can be fun to build a specific real-world force, based on actual events, with no plans to growing the project outside its specific scope. Thanks to the internet I can actually track down all the tank numbers and details for the tanks that he rolled out with on that fateful day.
So what’s my plan? First step, start building the army. I am going to be heavily inspired by Blake’s outstanding article over on the Flames Of War site – stop reading this now, click this link and come back – which is overflowing with great ideas.
Next, do a little reading and figure out a how to paint them.
Lastly, find someone in the Studio to play a game against and hit them with seven Tigers and a small pile of Tiger Ace Command Cards!
It is had been a while since I last painted a German Army for Late War, my first being a Herman Goering from 3rd Edition. With D-Day: German‘s launch, I’m excited to start a new German army. I like to try and get my armies painted quickly and on the table so that I can get games played and then tweak my list as I go along. With my play style I like a balanced force that allows me to have some flexibility. Reading through the new D-Day: German book I settled on the Armoured Panzergrenadiers.
I spent a couple of afternoons hunting through the web to find German units in Normandy and found myself drawn to the 21st Panzer Division. I wrote a few lists and looked at Panthers and Tigers, but these did not really suit my need for a flexible army. With that in mind I hit the book again and the web and settled on 125th Panzer Grenadier Regiment commanded by Major Hans von Luck. In my army I started with my core choices and went with full strength Panzergrendier platoons with added Panzerfausts. They will either rush forward to take the objectives, dismounting and then digging in to make them difficult to shift off the objective, or be a mobile assault force against other enemy infantry.
I also want to make sure that I can pin enemy infantry down and have the ability to take out lightly-armoured enemy vehicles so I have chosen a battery of 6 Hummels, now this does take up a large part of my army points, I am then adding some a couple of Tigers to either refuse a flank or go enemy tank hunting trying to ensure that I can get on the flanks to make the task easier.
To round out my points I have taken some 7.5cm armoured guns and a couple of pumas to spearhead them onto the flanks and again cause my opponent to maybe alter their battleplan
I think this is a nicely balanced force that will give me some good options during the Hobby League, but I can also easily swap out anything that does feel right or not working well in the game.
My biggest challenge is getting this army painted is my infantry as it has never been one of my strong points, with my figures always coming across too dark and blending with the bases, so I am going to try working off a white undercoat and see if that brightens up the paint scheme.
In it, he takes you through a series of techniques and methods to reproduce truly characterful Tiger tanks, which he uses to represent the famous Wittman Tigers.
There’s a lot to learn, so make sure you have the article bookmarked if you’re planning to put together your own Tiger-based list… Although there’s nothing to say you couldn’t transfer some of the skills to our new Panther kit…
I’m currently starting a new force from D-Day: German, the Fallschirmjäger StuG Assault Gun Company. Instead of having it themed for Normandy, I’m using it to represent Fallschirmjäger & StuGs in the Italian Campaign.
Here’s how I’m painting the new Late-War Plastic Fallschirmjäger figures for my Italy themed platoon in tropical uniforms.
First I primed the figures with a black rattle can. Then to speed things up I airbrushed the figures Khaki. This gave me a light base colour to work over rather than trying to paint beige / tan over the black primer. It also meant I could drybrush on the German Camo Beige for the smocks to create initial shading. Then I simply block painted all the items, trying to be as neat as possible.
This step is simple as I just cover the entire figure with Black Wash. This darkens everything quite a lot, but I like the way it defines all the elements. It also makes it easy to re highlight with the same base colours without having to find lighter shades.
As mentioned above, I generally go back with the base colours and highlight the raised surfaces of everything. Then I sometimes do a second highlight with a different colour on some items.
See below for all the colours I used, but feel free to experiment with your own:
Quick Tip- Worn Leather
A simple way to achieve a worn leather look on straps and bags is to gently dab the edges with a lighter colour. It’s like an edge highlight but the dabbing action gives it a more irregular, worn look.
Now that I’ve figured out my colour choices, I’ve got a lot more figures to paint, and also all the StuGs! I think the platoon will look quite interesting with it’s mix of yellow and field grey pants, and the yellow un covered helmets.
Speaking of uncovered helmets, one last tip: Sponge on some German grey to show the yellow paint chipping off.
My first Flames Of War army was German, my Fortress Europe army was German, and when Hobby League started up and everybody had gravitated to the other three forces it seemed like I was destined for Germans again. Luckily for me, with D-Day: German on the horizon I was able to take a deep dive into all the exciting German forces and pick a unique and colourful force to work on.
The key to embarking on any project, Flames Of War or otherwise, is to latch onto something you find interesting. For me, that meant the opportunity to either modify units in my force or paint a colour I haven’t painted before- because after two lots of grenadiers in Field Grey, I was frankly not that interested in doing it a third time around.
A tabletop approximation of 16. Feld-Division (L) in Normandy, 1944, offers me both of these chances— an opportunity to paint Luftwaffe blue, and an opportunity to modify a few grenadier uniforms to reflect the very swish LwFD camouflage smock.
Having spent an afternoon spitballing with Phil and Andrew, I came up with a list representing 16. Feld-Division (L) roughly as they were during Operation Goodwood, supported by bits of 21. Panzerdivision.
I’m working out of the very exciting D-Day: German, which isn’t out yet—but then again, what’s the point of hanging out at the Battlefront Studio if I can’t get a little early access. With this in mind, here are my first 50 points:As I’m sure you can see, my first 50 points give me a playable formation, but it is also all infantry, which is something of a mountain to climb in only a month—especially since I’m also hoping to pull off some figure modifications to make the miniatures
A Brief History of Luftwaffe Field Divisions The Luftwaffe Field Divisions were raised from the ranks of regular old Luftwaffe ground crew. They weren’t the most exceptional troops on account of having never signed up for infantryman duties, and their inception as dedicated field divisions was more a response to suggestions that the German Army could do with a few hundred thousand more warm bodies than it was the establishment of a military unit full of guys who found their natural calling as foot-sloggers after making a brief detour into air force work (kind of like switching your major at university mid-degree because you found out anthropology was really more your thing than law). In any case, the LwFDs kept their organisation and remained under the leadership of Luftwaffe officers until late in 1943 when they were reorganised and transferred to the Heer.
Project Research Up until their transfer, Luftwaffe Feld-Division boys were outfitted with the traditional feldblau Luftwaffe Uniform, making them a distinctive blue on the battlefield, quite obviously different to the feldgrau of the Heer. After being subsumed into the army structure, the LwFD boys were outfitted with regular feldgrau Heer uniforms as their original blues ran out. This will give me the opportunity to paint a mixture of Luftwaffe and Heer uniforms and equipment for my force, as by 1944, there would have been a good mix of kit and uniform. A great source for uniforms is this here 18th Luftwaffe Field Division https://18thluftwaffefielddivision.weebly.com/our-kit.html> reenactment group (who don’t appear to have any info on their ‘About Us’ page, so I can’t thank them), and there is a full list of kit I could apply to my LwFD (you can follow the link and see the list yourself) and there is also this handy tidbit on the subject of mixed Heer/Luftwaffe uniforms:
“Very frequently we can see, especially as the war progressed into 1944-45, the use of Heer uniforms and insignia within the ranks of the LwFD. Not only was supply of uniforms and equipment transitioned to Heer supply, but also the replacements of men. It is for these reasons that we find such variance in equipment and uniforms through to the end of the war.”
Smock and Roll One of the key features of the Luftwaffe field boys was their iconically formless and ubiquitous camouflage smock. The picture at the top of the article shows a man of the Luftwaffe Field Divisions in one of these splinter-camo smocks. The plastic grenadier kit doesn’t happen to be wearing these smocks. If I were playing my LwFD as kitted fully in Heer or fully in Luftwaffe standard service uniforms this would be no problem, I would just paint then feldgrau of feldblau or a mixture of the two and be on my merry way. But no, I’m going to model a selection of my figures in this iconic smock—and that means Green Stuff.
The simple recipe is to trim off the bottom of the uniform jacket, slice off any pockets, and then with a rubber clay brush (as tiny as you can get it) start spreading the green stuff around the waist of the figure and down to just above his knees. The Luftwaffe camo smock did not have any breast pocket, so you could either shave those off the figures or very thinly green stuff around them to hide them, but in most cases there is enough webbing and extra bits of equipment already covering them. The smock did have a pocket on either thigh which you could model with two tiny squares of green stuff.
After priming, I painted the smock according to the instructions in Colours Of War, a mixture of German Camo Beige and Green Ochre, then highlighted with German Camo Beige. To separate my Luftwaffe camo pattern from the Heer I picked a slightly different colour combination, using Vallejo Panzer Aces Splinter Blotches I & II, which give a brighter colour palette and are a good colour choice for FJs too.
The guys in blue also benefited from Colours of War, as I followed the Luftwaffe Jaeger instruction in the book to get that bright blue I was so looking forward to painting.
The Rest of the Stuff in the List My 50 points of modified Luftwaffe infantry is certainly a bit ambitious, but it’s comforting to know that the following months will see me painting only a handful of tanks, so it’s not the end of the world. The 10.5cm guns in the support are being modelled as captured Russian guns from the Eastern Front just to add another point of visual interest to the list- they are close enough in use and effectiveness that it’s not beyond the pale to use the 10.5cm Unit Card for those models.
The elements of 21. Panzer that backed up the Luftwaffe in Caen will be represented by a pair of Tiger tanks, a handful of three or four StuGs, and a captured Sherman Firefly. Instead of keeping the list strictly to 100 points, I’m actually painting up a few more points worth of things so I have the option to switch and swap the odd unit or two to give the force a lot more modularity.
Make sure you check back on the Hobby League page each week to see what the gang has been up to, and to see how you can get involved with the Hobby League in your local store or club.
The Big Four Of Late War is a four-man journey through Late War starting with an army box each and working through every Late War release of V4.
With everyone in the Big Four selecting one of the four major Flames Of War Late War forces, it fell to Wayne to work on a German force which you can check out here on the Big Four Website…
Be sure to regularly check out the Big Four website during the course of the Late War journey- as you can see from the quality of Wayne’s painting here, the Big Four put a lot of effort into presenting exceptional armies.
All my figures are painted with the Vallejo range of paints. These are my personal suggestions only so please treat them as a guide and not “gospel”. I’ve also refrained from my usual technique of adding a little Deck Tan VP986 to the basic uniform colour and drybrushing highlights so you can see the actual colour more clearly.
The M1942 Uniform
The first combat uniform issued to US Airborne troopers, the M1942, was purpose designed for Airborne troops by Maj. William Yarborough (who was also the designer of the US Airborne parachute wings). The design included features such as pockets cut on the diagonal to allow easy access while wearing webbing equipment and large, expanding, bellows style leg pockets that became a trademark of the wartime US airborne trooper. The M1942 uniform was used only by Paratroopers and wasn’t issued to Glider troops. The Paratroopers taking part in combat jumps in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Normandy wore this uniform and even one battalion that jumped during “Market Garden” in Holland was still wearing this uniform.
This uniform was made from light cotton that was a pale greenish-tan colour and I must admit to spending an awful lot of time experimenting to achieve, what I hope to be, the closest match possible. I try to avoid mixing different colours to achieve my basic uniforms but this uniform seems to bring on my OCD (Obsesive Colour Disorder) to get it closer than just plain Olive Drab (887 gets). The Olive Drab (887) is close but a bit too dark for my taste so, eventually, I settled on a 50/50 mix of Khaki (988) and the Olive Drab (887)
The other colours I chose are:
Webbing & Equip.
Green Grey (886)
US Olive Drab (887)
Weapon Furn. (wood)
Beige Brown (875)
Jump Boots E-tool handle Pistol holsters
Flat Brown (984)
The M1942 uniform was practical to wear in combat when it was warm but it offered no protection from the elements when the weather turned nasty. Also, being made from lightweight cotton, the knees and elbows tended to wear out quickly so many an airborne trooper bribed his unit parachute rigger to sew patches over the elbows and knees. The material commonly used for this was cotton duck from old parachute packs and was green in colour. I’ve painted patches on the elbows and knees of this figure over an otherwise standard M1942 uniform with US Dark green (893). You could even mix these with “unpatched” troopers for a bit of variety.
The Glider borne troops were basically standard infantrymen who woke up one day to find themselves called Glidermen, there were no calls for volunteers here! With a job equally as dangerous as their Paratrooper brothers they were denied the extra “jump pay” until just prior to the “Market Garden” landings when, finally, they achieved official recognition of the hazardous nature of their job. The uniform worn by these intrepid airborne soldiers was almost exactly the same as the “leg infantryman”. The only allowance for airborne duties was the issue of jump boots to a few fortunate troopers and, other than those few, they are the same as an ordinary infantryman in the M1941 uniform.
The colours I chose are:
USA Field Drab (873)
Green Grey (886)
US Olive Drab (887)
Boots E-tool handle
Flat Brown (984)
The M1943 Uniform
After the US Airborne forces were withdrawn from Normandy they were refitted and brought back up to strength ready for the next mission. This included the widespread issue of the brand new M1943 olive drab uniform to the veterans of the 82nd and 101st divisions. This wasn’t just a paratroop uniform but the beginning of the US Army’s push to standardize the combat uniform. All airborne units received the M1943 uniform, even the Glider troops, but the paratroopers were quick to modify theirs by adding bigger
The new airborne divisions arriving fresh from the States already wore this new uniform and it was the
uniform seen dropping from the sky, or climbing out of a glider, during “Market Garden” in Holland and
“Varsity” over the Rhine and into Germany proper.
This figure is painted as wearing the new M1943 olive drab uniform. The uniform colour I used is US Dark Green (893). The rest is the same as for the earlier paratroop uniform colours details. For all the airborne equipment, like mortars and bazookas etc. US Olive Drab (887)
as the US Army used pretty much the same colour of Olive drab on everything.
I hope I’ve given you enough to help get you started on painting your airborne force and also a feel for the kind of troops that you’ll be leading, I’m sure, to tabletop success whether from the sky or as elite “leg infantry” with a bit of Armour in support.