Thursday, November 08, 2012

Normandy Firefight: 54mm Germans

Earlier in the year I got hold of a copy of Warwick Kinrade's skirmish rules, but other than reading them and thinking 'oh, these look like they might work' theye'd idled on a shelf.

However, Gaz at the club posted that he was in the process of painting some old Aifix 1/32nd scale British infantry, and wondered what he could do with them.  Which encouraged me to get the rules back out and think about painting some figures.

Not however wanting to use the slightly uninspiring Airfix figures myself, I looked around for alternatives.  Initially I toyed with using Dragon or Tamiya infantry kits, but I did feel for wargaming they would prove a little delicate, unless stored with the greatest of care and handled more delicately than I could expect of players.  Obviously on price and weight, metal miniatures were out; so it was back to plastic.

Fortunately, the toy soldier collector market in 1/32-35th scales is almost as vibrant as that for 1/72nd (20mm) and several specialists in the scale exist, who were completely new to me.

A little searching on the net, and some eBay action later, secured me a half pack of German infantry from Toy Soldiers of San Diego (TSSD):

What I liked about these models was the depth and dynamism of the models compared to the flat posing of most older toy soldiers.  My favourite being this chap and his ready standing pose:

The figures were well sculpted and cast in some sort of '3D' block mould - akin to the type Caesar Miniatures uses for it's 20mm plastic figures.  Sure at £1.50 each they were kind of expensive, about three times the price of Airfix models; but the jump in quality is surely worth it.

Painting at this scale led me to go for a super detailed style of my 28mm models.  Using up to 5 layers of highlighting.  To begin with I painted just half of the models:

There is you can see a little bending in a couple of the weapons, but this is after correction of worse.  Admittedly in soft plastic taken hot out of the moulds, the parts can set in unpleasant bends.  Dipping in hot water, straightening and then dipping in cold water is an effective remedial; but it has limits.

I like the overall look of the models, and their appearance is suitable for a wide period of time.  Although they wear jackboots, the rest of their uniform implying winter allows for use right to the end of the War.  I imaging they are intended for Stalingrad, but they would equally suit the Gothic Line, the Ardennes or Berlin.

Returning to the submachine gunner again, you can see how crisp the models are here, and how much detail can be put in to them.

It's all layering, except for the MP40, which had a black was added to lower the shine.  I rejected washes in general, as pooling at this scale would be a real issue...

These, despite being yet more Germans for WW2 - a topic I seem to perennially find myself painting in all manner of scales - were a great change of pace and style.

Now to get them on a table!

1 comment:

  1. Very nice work on those. The Conte Germans might interest you as well, they're quite good.