Home Forums WWII World War II project, with some nostalgia

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  • #127039
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    When I first started historical wargaming 20 years ago, 20mm WWII was my first period and scale. I got out of the scale a few years ago, thinking I wanted to convert to 15mm for skirmishes and 6mm for mass battles; the 6mm project fanned out nicely, but 15mm fizzled. So here I am back at Ye Olde Scale of 20mm.

    20mm has some great features: relatively inexpensive, with good detail and small footprints for vehicles, it’s essentially a cross between 28mm and 15mm.  The downside is that there are relatively few suppliers in the US (but FAA, and AB Miniatures, have most of what you need). I have a lot of old 20mm at home, some of it my uncle’s, and will be acquiring most of it next time I’m home. But before that, I’ll be making the British at Arnhem my first endeavor in this new old scale.

    I went with AB Miniatures (available in the US from Eureka Minis USA) because they are goooooorgeous and with Combat Miniatures for Germans, available from Stonewall Minis in the UK. The Combat Miniatures aren’t as nice, scultping-wise, but they have a lot of character and many of the poses really look at tired soldiers, carrying heavy loads of gear. Combat Miniatures were my first 20mm’s back when I was 12 or 13. I was only ever able to buy a couple packs, because that’s all the gaming store in St Louis had, and I never found them for sale anywhere else in the US.

    Here are my first few—some British paras and one test German. They are based on magnetic bases from Shogun Miniatures, with flock by Frontline Games.

    #127045
    Thomaston
    Participant

    These guys blend right in to the ground. I’m hoping you play your games outdoor.

    Tired is enough.

    #127105
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Looks really good!

    I started my WW2 and Vietnam is 20mm as well.  I went with SHQ figures, they are really great and very realistic (especially their Nam range, those M16s are fragile!).  I don’t know how they will mix with what you have, but they are EXCELLENT figures and vehicles.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #127114
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    @Thomaston, I took those pictures as a lark but actually started thinking that the slope down from my house would make an excellent site for a hill fight!

    @Darkest, I do like SHQ’s stuff, but moved away from them due to the fragility of the guns…I had a platoon’s worth of their Vietnam Australians rendered unusable due to damage to the fragile FN barrels. 🙁

    Work continues! Here is my tray of in-progress minis, being cleaned and gesso-primed. I also found my other German uniform color, which has to be almost 15 years old…but is still liquid and viable! Now I can easily mix my German uniforms between drab grey and a livelier green-grey.

    #127131
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Great looking troops, Nate!  What rules are you going to use?

    V/R,
    Jack

    #127166
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    Hi Just Jack,

    I plan on a trio of rules sets for WWII:

    1. For small scale skirmishes, 1:1 (platoon, reinforced platoon a side with some armor max), I think I’ll use a set I’ve been working on for Vietnam, expanded to be playable for WWII as well.
    2. For platoon to company sized actions, with half squads and weapon teams as the main maneuver elements, I’ll use my rules A Sergeant’s War (they were written for this anyway!) However, those rules are somewhat crunchy, so for big convention games and really fast play…
    3. …I’ll go with Hammer of Democracy, to let me do big, fast, messy combined arms games.
    #127219
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Almost forgot, you could also check out Adler for 20mm WW2, excellent stuff!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #127818
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    Some more minis painted!  So far I have completed about 70 infantry for this project. I have also painted up several Hovels buildings from the UK—beautiful models.

    Should have a small game report to post soon, too.

    #128992
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    I haven’t updated this very regularly, mainly because as soon as I get stuff painted I have been getting it on the table for a game! However here are some armor and ATG reinforcements. The holiday season slowed down some of my UK orders, but my big Britannia/Grubby Tanks order came in, as did a US-made 3-d printed pair of StuGs.

    Pictures below are the first batch I painted: a 3-d printed StuG, two armed German halftracks by Britannia (resin and metal), and a pair of metal Airborne-pattern 6pdr ATG (metal by Britannia). On deck for painting is a Pegasus-brand plastic Tiger II, a second 3-d printed StuG, a Britannia resin StuG (with close support 105mm), and an ancient all metal German halftrack I have had for 20 years and is on its third repaint/refurbishment.

    Something I dig about WWII gaming is all the eclectic armor: American tank destroyers, British Bren carriers and armored cars, and all the German light armor weirdness from the late war.  The Arnhem fighting (my current WWII focus) saw a great deal of this German light armor so is another reason I enjoy gaming that campaign.

    Also pictured are the next batch of infantry awaiting Gesso primer and paint, British paras and German infantry, mostly Britannia.

    Also, two painting asides:

    1) The new GW contrast black (and cygor brown) are great for painting tracks and wheels.

    2) I’m not that crazy about weathering my German vehicles, as I like the quirky German camo to be clearly visible!

    #128998
    Tony S
    Participant

    Interesting to see the contrast on that Tiger II.  I was thinking that those paints would not be so good on large flat surfaces, but perhaps I should rethink that.  I like that it seems to leave a lighter line on the edge automatically, instead of having to laboriously paint lighter colours on the edges, which is what I’ve been doing.

    Nice to see the 20mm scale.  I started with that, in my teens, as Airfix was the only option as far as I knew.  And about the only thing I could afford!

     

    #129068
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    Thanks, Tony. Yes, I think the contrast paints do a decent job of simulating that sprayed on look (without me having to learn how to use an airbrush).

    #129266
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    More German armor rumbling in! A Tiger II (plastic 1/72 by Pegasus) and a StuH 42 (resin and metal by Britannia). My plan for the second Tiger II (there were 2 in the box) is to winterize it for some planned Ardennes/Soviet Winter 1945 Offensives games in the coming year.

    I used contrast paints (the brown is my own mix of red, yellow, and raw umber inks mixed with matte medium and flow aid; the green is a mix of Creed Camo and Militarum Green) for the camo.

     

    #129268

    Proper nostalgic wargaming models, just like it used to be. No pretension or desire to be lauded as a master modeler, clean, neat and well painted …

    proper wargaming priorities, getting some heavy armour on the table without worrying if all the bits and bobs will fall off and get lost in the lichen bushes, when a Para nobbles ’em with a PIAT/Gammon bomb!

    "Wot did you do in the war Grandad?"

    "I was with Harry... At The Bridge!"

    #129272
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    Thanks, Harry! I don’t particularly like painting vehicles so I want them quickly off my painting bench and ready for play.

    … when a Para nobbles ’em with a PIAT/Gammon bomb!

    The hell with that noise, we got 6pdrs!

    #129290

    The hell with that noise, we got 6pdrs!

    "Wot did you do in the war Grandad?"

    "I was with Harry... At The Bridge!"

    #129618
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    Thanks for the help, Mike!

    TL;DR: I got some 3-d printed tanks. I liked them. Painted pictures below.

    Obviously as a WWII gamer, I would want AFVs and other vehicles on my table, but I have a problem: I don’t terribly enjoy painting vehicles, and really don’t enjoy building the models. I solve the former problem by keeping my vehicle painting simple, without trying advanced weathering, markings, and usually leaving crew out (except for open topped vehicles).

    One way to get around the second problem, the assembly, is something I’ve explored. Even the quick-build sets by Armourfast and PEgasus do require SOME assembly (not much, but more than I like). There are some one-piece or two-piece resin vehicles out there, which I’ve tried and been satisfied with. But I wanted to try some of the 3-d printed models available now, having seen plenty of the Butler’s Printed Models ads here. (And having eye-rollingly enjoyed the indignant  commentary about those models on a certain other wargaming forum.)

    I ordered a sampler of the Butler’s models, including a Panther and a Marder I’ve included below. I really like these models. On the pro side:

    *virtually no assembly (other than cleaning of plastic flash)
    *good heft (more so than a 1/72 plastic kit)
    *good fit for the Panther turret
    *good detail on the panther hull
    *models are durable (I did a series of test drops on different surfaces)

    On the con side:

    *print layers are visible (I didn’t sand/fill), though painting did cover some of it up and it’s hard to see it at gaming distances)
    *detail on parts of the Marder is weak (the wheels/tracks)
    *some roughness on some bottom edges (especially under the Panther’s gun mantle)
    *it would take significant, precision cutting to make the Panther cupola accept a tank commander mini
    Overall, though, the ease of assembly, model heft, and model durability all make me a happy painter/gamer and I’ll be getting more.

    #129920
    Dave Crowe
    Participant

    Very nice stuff. I could be easily tempted to go 20mm lookig at these.

    #130300
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    I finished some more German infantry, including some Britannia 20mm zeltbahn-wearing troops. These are some of my favorite minis, with some evocative poses and loaded up heavily with weapons, equipment, and ammo.

     

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