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.


And 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 flamethrower team; a grenatenwerfer; a 77mm field gun and crew and a handful of infantry wearing gas masks. For now though 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.




18 comments:

  1. While you may be able to resist starting a new project, you're not making it easy for the rest of us! They are so full of character it makes sense of doing it in 28mm. I know nothing of TtM&B and had only been tempted by WW1 with Ian Beck's 'Trench' rules which are at divisional-level but include a trench-raid variant. I shall keep an eye out for your first TtM&B game, or do you have to now manufacture an entire trench system for them first?

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    1. Thanks Rob. I think 28mm will work well for platoon level, as most of the action will be in a fairly confined space. I will indeed need some trenches but there are plenty of actions, particularly in 1918 that won’t always require it and of course there are several actions in ruined villages, in fact there’s a scenario set in Pozieres in the most recent Lard Magazine. I’m scratching my head at the moment about how best to do the trenches. Not ideal, but most practical, is an ‘above ground’ solution (modular boards with ‘in ground’ trenches is very appealing but I just don’t have the storage unfortunately). I’ve looking at what’s available but I think I can scratch build my own, I have a few ideas I’m mulling on.

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  2. A fantastic job on the paintwork on both sides of this collection and I look forward to seeing reports of them in a action soon!

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  3. Ooh these are simply superb! I have a painted WW1 British force, aimed at 1917-18, and like yours it’s all GWM. My German army is all primed but only a handful are painted. I’ll be following the exploits of your chaps very closely.
    Cheers
    Matt

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    1. Thanks Matt, the GWM figures really are very good and they have a great range. My Germans were based and primed for a loooong time before seeing paint, but I got there in the end!

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  4. What are your plans regarding a table and the terrain (trench, obstacles etc.) ?

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    1. Just mulling this over now, but as I replied to Rob (above), I will probably scratch build something, in which case I’ll record the build and post it here.

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  5. Great collection. No doubt there will be table set ups to drool over soon. Congrats on getting so close to 'done.'

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    1. Thanks, of course ‘done’ is such a relative term in this hobby, but progress is certainly being made!

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  6. Superb work Mark, tried the CoC mod but much prefer TtM&B for WWI, I find it more intense. Good luck on the nothing new front, my resolve lasted an whole month 😁

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    1. Thanks Phil. I’ve played TtM&B twice but not tried the CoC variant yet, so still feeling my way here but appreciate your thoughts and preference.

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  7. Very nicely done, superb sculpts fully delivering thanks to your brushwork.

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    1. Thanks Norm, it always helps when the sculpts are this good, it makes the painting less of a chore, that’s for sure.

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  8. Very nicely done, looking forward to seeing more of this project, and how you tackle the terrain too.

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  9. Stop it! I can't be tempted by another period! Can I?

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  10. They look absolutely brilliant! Really makes me regret that my own WW1 project never really got off the ground

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