Wednesday, August 10, 2011

FOW - Panzergrenadiers

Last year I assembled and painted a Flames Of War Early War Light Panzer Company, in around 20 hours from start to finish (over a week). I was quite happy with how they looked and with how quickly they painted up. So happy, in fact, that I resolved to paint up some infantry to go with them in my "New Year's Hobby Resolutions" post.

Well, I'm finally ready to get to the infantry.

Part of the Blitzkrieg book that I really liked (and immediately understood, as opposed to the rules, which I'm still learning) was the cool picture of the Early War German soldier (reproduced above). For my Light Panzer Company I used this scheme to paint the crew on my Bunkerflaks. It looks good, and it got me thinking...

...and a few months later I was chatting with Warren from Beasts of War at Salute. He mentioned hearing from a few folks that Flames Of War was a bit daunting to get into because there were so many options, starting with Early, Mid, or Late War, then German, British, Italian, American, Soviet, Finnish, Hungarian (etc etc), then Tank, Armored Infantry, or Infantry (and dozens of specialist lists). Where is a potential FOW gamer to begin?

This also got me thinking...

...then Battlefront released their plastic rubble bases, and I knew it was time to stop thinking and to start acting.

We all know that the really cool thing about WW2 15mm armies are the huge amounts of very detailed tanks you can put on the tabletop. For many armies (particularly the Germans), their tank technology evolved rapidly during the short span of WW2 and many new tanks were put into service in an incredibly swift arms race. There's really nothing you can do about that. For each period there's a slew of new tanks to have fun with. So I figure I'll just talk about the infantry.

My plan for this project is to build a collection (rather than a particular army) of German infantry stands and support that contains as many elements as possible that can be used across all three (or only two at worst) of the periods. I'm going to use the rubble bases for my collection, which means that I'll be building forces for the European theater. For Early War they could be part of the invasion of Poland or France, for Mid War they'll be invading Russia, and for Late War, they'll be back peddling all the way to Berlin.

As you may have already surmised from reading about the other armies I've built over the past few years, I'm usually all about the story of the army. But as you've also seen, most of these stories I've made up myself. History is obviously a little different, but as Flames Of War allows for some ahistorical armies to be fielded, I'll be putting aside the larger story and concentrating on having fun painting up the infantry and creating lists that are feasible and cross as many periods and styles as possible.

To get me well on the way, I stopped by the office today and picked up the bulk of what I'll need.
• There's the Motorised Rifle Company that gives me two of my Rifle platoons that will form the core of my army (useable across all periods). It also contains a Mortar platoon that is also useful across all three periods, an MG34 platoon that is good for Early War, a bunch of support AFVs (most useable across two periods), and quite a few trucks (also useable across all three periods).
• I added an MG42 Platoon, which replaces the MG34 platoon in Mid and Late War lists.
• And an Infantry Gun Platoon, using the 7.5cm leIG18 gun that was used in all three periods.
• And a Platoon of the famed "88s", the 8.8cm Flak 36 Anti-aircraft guns, again used in all three periods.
• You can see a bunch of trucks, thanks to my friend Rob who hooked me up with some figs he didn't need anymore.
• And in that brown box are 12 SdKfz 251/1C halftracks. Panzergrenadiers used these halftracks during the Mid and Late War period, but they'll also work well for the SdKfz 251/1 halftracks that were used during the Early War (or so I've been told).

I'm going to learn an awful lot about building and painting 15mm infantry, and a lot about building armies for Flames Of War, and an awful lot more about how the German army was equipped and operated during WW2.

Wish me luck, and please, be gentle with me ; )



  1. Hey Dave, something worth mentioning is Battlefront sell Artillary Groups seperately as well as part of artillary pieces (e.g. RSO101 Romanian Artillery Group). So you can buy the group and base them up with room to swap in and out the particular artillary piece you want.

    Even better some of the artillary pieces (e.g. ISO506 100/17 howitzer) where used by multiple nations.

    So will a bit of careful planning of your bases you don't have to limit yourself to just one country.

  2. I reccomend adding a motorized artillery battery with the leFH18 10.5cm howitzers. They are used early, mid and late so a good addition to the army. I play mostly Soviets but have had to march my figures thru 10.5cm barrages enough to know something usefull when shot at me.


  3. I gotta get some 88s. I am focusing on mid-late war as I like the later armor, but good on you for trying to do all the time periods, the troops shouldn't be too hard, but in Feb 1943 vehicles went from grey to yellow as the primary paint color, tanks and front line armor were all more or less repainted by summer of 43 but some trucks and other vehicles went to wars end in grey.

  4. Honestly Dave, in that size you CAN use the MG34 teams as MG42 teams for late way, especially prone teams.

  5. I'm interested to see what you're up to with those sticks?? They seem a bit big for this scale.

    I go to an american fine dining restaurant called McDonalds(You might have them over there too) and pick up some coffee stirring sticks. They're half the size in width and fit the scale better.


  6. Doing 20mm myself but will have a look for tips.

  7. Warpaintguy ... I believe he is using those sticks for painting assistance. I use them to place a stand worth of figures to prime and paint. It works great ...

  8. Hi guys

    Thanks for your comments

    @Glassboy - I hadn't thought of that, good idea!
    @ColKillgore - I was looking at those as an option (primarily due to their "three period" potential) but if they can crush some Soviet hordes I'm all for it ; )
    @John - Yeah, my transports etc will remain grey, but once I get my tanks for later periods I'll start to work in the dunkelgelb.
    @Jake - You are correct about them looking the same, but the MG42 platoon gives me a chance to start working in some of the later camouflage on the infantry.
    @Seb - jmezz is correct, I'm using them to "hold" my infantry while I paint them, arranged in stand groupings.
    @jmezz- spot on.


  9. It'll be great to see some FoW dudes painted by you. Does this mean we can rope you into a few games?! :)

  10. @Joe - don't go putting the cart before the horse my friend ; )

  11. Never thought of that dave but then again I don't do flames of war (yet). It makes sense though as I'm using those wooden paint stiring stick you get for free at the DIY store to prime my models on. I stick them at both sides when I do bigger batches.


    I'll keep an eye on this because I want my own panzer force one day but I have too many unpainted models already.


  12. If I remember correctly, the Sd kfz 251/1C versus the 251/1D variants is pretty much (visually) in the slope of the rear hatch of the half-track.

    I run about 15 251/1D's and they simply slope down in the back (as it was quicker and easier to produce towards late war) as opposed to the Early/Mid war variants which sloped out then down. I would have gone with the C's in hindsight had I known it at the time.

    Long story short, you could play them late war and 97% of people won't notice. The 2% of those who do, like me, won't care.

    I loved your last Flames of War showing, I'm looking forward to more!