Thursday 10 February 2022

First World War Germans in 28mm

I completed painting a First World War British platoon last year and I then made a start on the Germans but only managed to paint a couple of NCOs and ten riflemen before allowing myself to become distracted.


My plan for January this year was to complete the rest of the German platoon and a group of Stosstruppen. The aim with the stormtroopers is to have just enough to substitute for figures in the regular platoon and make it look more like Stosstruppen than regular infantry. I didn't really need to have a duplicate platoon. 

I'm pleased to say I hit the January target and that's pleasing for two reasons - firstly, it's just good to have this project back on track and the core German platoon painted, and secondly, I'm going to try and make 2022 a year for completing projects, before I embark on anything knew. Now, I know, that's a foolish thing to make public, I think we all know how easily these sort of resolution are to break, especially in this hobby of all places. So far, so good, this First World War project has been very slow coming together.

Like my British platoon, all of the figures are from Great War Miniatures. I really do like these sculpts, they are full of character. While their British are very good I think the Germans are my favourites. 

My intention is to use these to play Through the Mud and Blood from Too Fat Lardies. I'm also interested in a variant they published in one of their Specials entitled 'CoCing up the Mud and Blood' which merged elements of Chain of Command with Through the Mud and Blood. As it happens the origin of Chain of Command lay in a request for the Lardies to create a Second World War version of Through the Mud and Blood. What started as an adaptation finally morphed into Chain of Command as we know it today, an entirely new rule set altogether and one I particularly like. So I'll be intrigued to see how that variant works.

Those rules and these figures are more suited to reflecting the units and combat from 1916-18, a period of great tactical development that saw the shape and composition of the infantry platoon in all armies transform considerably from the organisation in 1914. The German platoon is generally made up of four squads with between eight and ten men in each, sometimes these squads will each have two teams, one of riflemen and an LMG team; at other times it had a specialist grenade squad and at others a specialist LMG squad. Given the variation I've tried to put together enough figures to cover most options.

The men are led by a mix of NCOs and junior officers. I've based these on slightly larger bases than the riflemen and in some cases added terrain items to help record the leader's command initiative level.

Here is a ten man rifle squad, including two grenade specialists and the squad's NCO.

The Germans developed their own LMG, although to use the term 'light' might be overly generous, it was a bulky weapon based on the MG08 machine gun. Here is an LMG squad - essentially the MG08/15 gunner and his assistant with a group of riflemen to serve as ammunition carriers.

The Germans captured a number of British Lewis guns which they put into service after making modifications and Great War Miniatures include one of these in their German LMG set.

Talking of machine guns, no First World War collection would be complete without at least one of these and here is the mounted MG08.

The Great War Miniatures stormtroopers look splendid and many are festooned with sandbags brimming with grenades. I've gone for the camouflage helmet look with many of these.

Of course, having said the platoon is completed, what I really mean is the core platoon - there will always be more to add by way of supports for specific scenarios, so the project is not yet finished......but it's getting closer.

Talking of supports I have finished a couple of snipers.

A flamethrower team:

A granatenwerfer:

An anti-tank rifle:

Hopefully a few of the most common supports that I'm likely to be using at this stage of the war.

A 77mm field gun:

And, last but not least a few casualties, something I like to use to illustrate the action for the AARs I write for this blog.

The remaining figures in the paint queue include a handful of infantry wearing gas masks, but for now I have enough Germans to make up a platoon.

The British platoon is also composed of figures from Great War Miniatures and they match the Germans for size and the character of the sculpts.

With the painted Germans now added to the British platoon the project is really starting to come to fruition. It's been a long time coming but I'm finally getting there.