Tuesday, 27 November 2018

DAK Light Artillery

Another quick post for a support weapon!  This time it's a 75mm LeIG 18.

This is a Warlord kit and, strictly speaking, the crew uniforms are better suited to the European theatre, but I think they blend in okay.

The kit wasn't a great fit so the gun shield is a little wonky but I guess if it's been dragged around the desert behind an Opel Blitz it's bound to get a bit of wear and tear.

My DAK had their first game very recently with top chums Mike (DAK) and Orange Dave (British), re-fighting part of the battle for Mersa Brega, one of the opening moves of Operation Sonnenblume ... details to follow!

Thursday, 22 November 2018

DAK Mortar

A quick post to show the first of my proper support weapons, an 81mm mortar.

It's a Perry Miniatures kit.  You get an extra figure, an NCO with an MP40, but I'll be using him as a 'proper' officer.

The spotter for this weapon will be built from plastics as I have a spare radio operator.

Friday, 16 November 2018

DAK Trucks (including a mini review)

The war in the Western Desert was a campaign fought across very considerable distances.  Both sides relied heavily on trucks and other vehicles to open new fronts, to bring up supplies, to pursue a routing foe, or in their own turn retreat from an overwhelming attack.  Whatever, the troops needed transport and our miniature soldiers are no different.
Iconic and classic ... Afrika Korps Opel Blitz trucks

There are resin offerings available (e.g. Perry's) but I fancied building some plastic kits.  Plus, the price (a key factor in this army) was good at a little over £14 each for these Warlord models.
Contents of the box

In the box you get the sprues (obvs!), a great little booklet on how to build your kit, transfers and some smoke/explosion markers.  As you can see the kit allows you to build either a half-track Maultier or the regular Blitz truck.

Also included are plenty of seated figures for the back of the truck if you want to leave off the canopy.  If not used here then I think the figures would come in handy for other vehicles with a bit of modelling.

I studied the instructions carefully before getting stuck in and decided that it would be easier to paint if I did not assemble it fully.  Here are the main components.

Tip #1 - You'll need to paint the driver and glue him into the cab BEFORE assembling the cab!

Tip #2 - Ensure when you glue the seating part of the cab to the chassis, that it is pushed fully in to place, you may need to be quite firm!  I didn't do this with my first build so if you look at the truck on left in the top-most pic you can see that the doors have quite a bit of "windage" :o)

Here's the truck; I've just balanced everything in place so I could take the pic.  The canopy is sprayed in a mid/light green and the rest is primed with Warlord Desert Yellow.

Painting was quite straight forward really.  Everything in Desert Yellow was given a coat of Foundry Boneyard shade then washed with GW Agrax Earthshade.  Paint the tyres black then highlight with grey.  Next, apply highlights of Foundry Boneyard Shade, then mid, then light.  The canopy was painted with VMC Russian Green, wash, then highlights of the base.  When it was all painted I carefully assemble the components.

I've yet to add any transfers but these will do for the first game soon!  Hope you found that interesting and/or useful.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Infantry Re-organisation!

Okay, so in my previous post I said the infantry was complete... Lol!  After checking the army selectors properly I see that my squads should be 8 men, not 10.  So that means I've been able to create an extra squad and a bit...

... then I noticed that I'd probably have enough for two platoons!  So I've decided to have one regular platoon and one veteran platoon, both of three squads.  The veteran platoon would also include an additional pioneer squad (with a flamethrower ;o)) in a truck.  I've also used a few extra figures to make a couple of MG34 teams, handy for keeping Tommy's head down.  A second platoon means a second mortar option so I've built a light mortar team.  So... plenty more still to paint :o)

Friday, 9 November 2018

DAK Veterans Part Two

Here's the second of my veteran DAK squads.  Like the previous squad, it's ten men, including one MG34 and a few extra MP40s.

I have three eight man squads of regulars but in order to benefit from the "at full strength" rule I needed to bring them up to ten men.  So here's another half dozen chaps.

That's the infantry complete now.  Three squads of ten regulars for the core of the platoon and two squads of ten veterans to support them, along with the CO, the Forward Observer team, the Sniper team and an AT Gun team.  Next, it's more support weapons then it's on to the vehicles.  These are (currently) two Opel Blitz trucks, a Panzer II and a Sdkfz 251.  I'd like to add a late model Panzer III for a bit more firepower!

Saturday, 3 November 2018

North Africa Scenery

A few key pieces of "evocative" scenery really help to set the tone of a battlefield, so whilst looking at almost endless documentaries about the desert war I spotted a couple of clips with what appeared to be ancient ruins in the background.

This seemed an ideal little scenery project and I was delighted to have spotted these very reasonably priced resin pieces on the trade stand of The Square at Bovington earlier this year.

Here are the basic models.

The bases are just pieces of thin plywood I had left over from some packs of trees I bought from 4Ground.  I've given everything a light spray of AP Desert Yellow just to prime the surface for painting.

Here I've based them with the usual stones/grit/sand mix and applied my desert theme of basing colours - Americana Country Maple, Americana Tan, VMC Dark Sand and Foundry Boneyard.

The columns were initially painted with a solid base coat of Americana Honey Brown.  Using this as a base colour should give me a subtle difference in colours/finish between the ruins and the base, yet still have them work together.  Two coats gives nice, even coverage.

Next is a heavy highlight of VMC Tan Yellow.  Again this colour isn't part of the basing scheme.  Be sure to leave plenty of base coat showing in all of the cracks and recesses.

Next, highlight with VMC Dark Sand.  Here you can see the pillars starting to blend in slightly with the base colours which was my intention.

Finally apply a light highlight of Foundry Boneyard as this ties the colour of the columns to the dusty look of the ground.  The photo doesn't really show how much the ruins differ from the base, but hopefully you get the idea!

Then add some clump foliage, tufts and few flowers.

Not bad for a fiver and few hours of painting & modelling!