Thursday, September 13, 2012

Scenic bail out and bogged down markers

As a fan of Steel Panthers computer game there is one thing I missed so much in FOW - the view of shocked crew running away in panic from their machine under heavy fire... In FOW we use tokens to mark crews that decided to temporarily give up their duties or vehicles that broke down. Wouldn't it be nice to have a scenic version of such markers? Why not?

Today I would like to give you a short report from making a bunch of such scenic markers for my German forces.

Bail out 

Making bail out markers is straight forward thanks to Battlefront's dismounted crew sets (e.g., German dismounted tank crew GSO196). All you have to do is to place couple of these guys on a nice base.

It is also a good idea to paint edges of the base to clearly mark that it is a marker and not a regular infantry base. For bail out markers I decided to paint red-white stripes. You can see the results in photo on the right hand side and couple more photos in Gallery at the end of the post.

Bogged down

When it comes to bogged down markers there is no ready to go solution in Battlefront offer. There is more room for new ideas :)

I decided to create three types of such markers:
  • track repairing - guys trying to repair the track of a tank;
  • rocky area - your vehicle came into a pile of rocks and one of the crew members has to navigate it back to the safe ground;
  • too much mud will make you stuck - a simple universal marker.

First of all we need to prepare some spare parts of vehicles and crew members. Probably all of you have many of these things that were not used.

Now it is time to convert figures, so they look more like tank crew members. I used the German soldiers from the artillery group and swaped their heads with tank commanders from tank blisters.

Now, it is time to plan the layout... For the mound of mud I decided to use a piece of foam to model the shape, because it should make an impression that vehicle stucked in mud for good.

Now, it is time for basing. Standard procedure. Sand plus PVA glue. To model mud I use the sand from sea side beach. It has really tiny grains.

Base coat with chocolate brown and dry brush with beige brown and german cam. beige.

A little bit of oil-paints wash (a mixture of black and brown)...

Mud effect. I decided to model clay mud. For that purpose I use Vallejo natural sienna pigment. The process takes two stages. First, I mix the pigment with the matt varnish and goes all around. When it dries it looks like dry clay. At the top of the mound I would like to have fresh wet clay. The solution is simple. Mix pigment with gloss varnish and apply it only on the top of the mound.

And this is how the markers look just before painting the edges to black-yellow stripes...


Couple of ready to use markers...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

SS-Anti-Aircraft Platoon: 3.7cm Flak43

Since the introduction of the new aircraft rules in Flames of War V3, none of the German super-tanks can feel safe at the battlefield...
Well, it's high time to invest in anti-aircraft protection my friends. You can do it either by having your own aircrafts ready to intercept enemy planes or think of some AA guns.
When you play 2nd or 12th SS division,  the first possibility is not an option as you can't take air support for this units. Don't worry,  you can take a very useful SS-Anti-Aircraft Platoon equipped with great 3.7cm AA guns. The platoon is quite cheap, because you will pay 115 points for 3 guns and additional 5 points for trucks. So it is an inexpensive way to increase the number of platoons in your SS infantry company. The second thing is that it could support your infantry in defense. The 3.7cm gun has AT 6 with ROF 4 and FP 4+. As a result, it can effectively knock out light vehicles and bail / destroy most of medium tanks in defensive fire. Of course it is also marvelous against planes. It can easily protect your troops even from flying tanks. The platoon in Earth & Steel has additional advantage. For 5 points you can add Opel Blitz trucks, which make the Flaks portees. It was a very useful option for my SS Panzerpioniers, because I could also take AA guns with my half-tracks in attack. Instead of poor 5+ save, your opponent has to pass a FP test. However, a small remark here, you have to protect your portee guns from artillery fire (still 5+ save).

In order to model the platoon I bought a blister of Battlefront's SS 3.7cm Flak43 (GE548) and three Zvezda 1/100 Opel Blitz trucks.

The Battlefronts guns are sculpted quite nice, however, the gun-shield is a little bit tricky to construct. You have to glue two parts together. You can also think about adding some magnets to enable gun elevation and rotation.
As you can see below each gun is composed from seven parts. You will have also four crew members.

I didn't want to damage the trucks by glueing any magnets, so I cut a piece of blister package that fits exactly to the truck cargo compartment and glued a magnet there. Works like a charm :)


Couple of photos below...