Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving in Normandy

After eating our Thanksgiving dinner, my son and I settled into our first ever game of Disposable Heroes. This also is the first time my 15mm figures have seen actual action. All the figures are from Peter Pig's World War II line. It took me nearly a year to finish a platoon of German and US figures. Progress was on and off during that time, plus I was learning as I was going. I am still a newbie painter.

The buildings are all from Landmark's Normandy line. I'm still working on scenery, so we used what I had on hand. A bit abstract, but it worked. The table changed a bit after I took the upper-left photo, with more hills behind the buildings in the left foreground. That's from where the platoon of US infantry was approaching. There goal was to secure the east-west "road" on the northen section of the town between the church and farm house. They knew the farm house was occupied by a German platoon HQ and machine gun, but had no idea where the other rifle teams and MG's had been deployed. They were about to find out! And learn the benefit of cover. I played the Germans and Jeremy played the Americans. We didn't finish the game tonight because we both had to wake up early for Black Friday!

The Figures
I used the Vallejo German and American paint sets. Flesh is P3 Midlund Flesh. I gave the figures a coating of black magic wash and then applied highlights. I individually mounted the figures on half-inch fender washers, textured the bases with wood putty, dipped in sand and painted (US) or dipped in Woodland Scenics brown ballast (German), flocked, and added some scenery bits here and there.

Because many of the weapons are small and DH differentiates between them, I used small stones to mark all US infantrymen carrying carbines. To me, 15mm carbines look too similar to Thompsons. I also tried using the same poses for different ranks, though US sergeants and lieutenants have the white stripes on the back of the helmets.

It was a fun and sometimes frustrating project. The US infantrymen are my favorites because they took so much work. The Germans were dead easy compared to the US. All I need now are a few Shermans, a Panzer IV, a Stug, and an 88. I also need more terrain!

I hope you enjoy the photos.

1: Using the cover of a wooded hill, a BAR team approaches the southeast outskirts of the village at sunset. So far no signs of the Germans anywhere. The village was eerily quite. Why hadn't the village been shelled prior to their attack?

2: The BAR team spots a group of Germans behind the wall in the back yard of some row homes. That MG42 is going to be a bear to take out!

3: There they are--the Germans and their MG42. That wall is going to be a problem for the Americans! Eventually, the two units of Germans will totally take out the BAR team and pin two rifle teams while suffering only a couple casualties themselves.

4: A heavy machinegun finally arrives, giving the Americans some needed firepower. The machinegun will pin down the Krauts behind the wall, allowing some rifle teams to get into a better position to flank the defenders.

5: A rifle team maneuvers through a patch of woods, getting a bead down the street and into the church yard.

6: In a gutsy move, a depleted rifle team finally flanks the Germans behind the wall. In a few seconds, they will pull the pins on their grenades, giving the Germans a little Thanksgiving surprise!

7: Meanwhile on the other end of town, a German MG42 team waits behind some sandbags.