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SisterMaryNapalm and Buglips paint German Infantry

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@SisterMaryNapalm and I both have some German Grenadiers (and I think he was some Fallschirmjager as well) that we are working on, and since that's a fine coincidence I thought it would be fun to share a thread with our work on them.  I know we're at least using somewhat different paints, and possibly also different methods, so it might be interesting to see how they turn out.  


These are mine from the Bolt Action Band of Brothers starter set.  I have another squad, but all of those are wearing standard Feldgrau uniforms so they're represented here by the Leutnant with binoculars and map, and the NCO with field cap and submachinegun.  Most of the others are wearing camouflaged tent quarters, so that should prove... challenging.  At this stage, I've assembled them, primed them with stynylrez, and they've got a coat of VMC Feldgrau that I darkened 50/50 with Reaper Brown Liner.  They're more assembled than I'd probably prefer, but I'm used to figures with fewer pieces so I haven't quite got a working method worked out for multipart multioption plastic figures yet.  I don't expect it will be too much trouble.  I hope not, anyway.  


Apologies for any craptacular photos, I'm compelled to use my ancient Galaxy S3 and haven't yet replaced my camera.  Frankenphone sometimes works, and sometimes it calls in sick.  

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Oh, Baby. And I just started assembling some Kingdom Death (which is all @aku-chan's fault).




Well then - let's paint war, not love.


But first - take a step back. Back in time ...


Further ...


Much further ...


... until 1944.


War is raging on all fronts, and the German Army is desperate to hold off constant attacks in war that Germany started only 5 years ago. Since then, they have come a long way, committing unspeakable atrocities and waging war against almost every nation on the European continent. And it's not over yet. Winter's about to come, and Winter will allow the Germans to start a number of ferocious counter attacks in both the East and the West, to prolong the war for a few months. In the end, it will be futile, but be honest - we all are happy it went that way. Who knows? Maybe I'd be guarding the Kremlin now ...


Well - why do I use this scenario as introduction? Well - Warlord Games' Bolt Action covers the whole period of the war, but the mid and late war phase are covered by their figures the best. So there was nearly no alternative when I started my Soviet Russian gals to counter the guys playing Bolt Action and Chain of Command in my town. (For a glimpse on what my girls look like - check ->here<-)


But some when it occurred to me that having my ladies struggle for the motherland would be futile without having an opponent for fast and easy games. I mean ... guys having to get their stuff to my house and then get it back home doesn't make sense every time. So I needed a second army.


Of course: Ze Germans. Coz zei arrr Eevil änd zei arrr ze onli wons zat wut be feiting against ewri won elz.


And as the theme of the Russians is Winter, that means, the Germans will be fitted for Winter as well.


As with the Russians, who are an all-female army only, the Germans also will be a theme army. Apart from the first set that started it all, the German unit will be a "Kampfgruppe" (battle group) that consists of remnants of battered units. (which means left over from people selling their stuff). So units will be not fully manned and equipped from what I can scavenge from different sets.


The first build of miniatures I already posted at the "Make it so!"-Thread, but to give you an overview of what's in the humble bundle so far, let's get over it once more:


First steps:













The assembly:




Fallschirmjäger and Grenadiere are done. I just noticed I don't have enough bases on me to finish them all. But I can finish at least 12 now.


I really love how every of those characters is telling his own little story and I am looking forward to painting them all one day and putting them on the battlefield for some more or less successful games.
















And the lot primed:


















I used GW white for priming, which was a terrible mistake at that time. Didn't cover very well, but like a wash ran into the recesses. Can't help it, so I will try to give it all I've got. Next step will be the application of the base colours, but that's a different story to be told another time.




How did I know that Glitterwolf would be the first to respond and even be faster than I? Must be magic.

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as @buglips*the*goblindidn't say anything so far, I take the lead :-D


By 1944, the German army was already feeling the extensive pressure that was brought on them by shortage of just everything. Clothing and equipment became less and less, quality was decreasing and basically everything that they could get a hold on would be taken to the front.


In those times, the quality and quantity of the clothing started to deteriorate, so that there was a wide variety of uniforms, trousers and jackets. That's perfect for my sloppy way of trying to paint, and offers a lot of possibilities.


What I begin with is the normal "Feldbluse", so the uniform tunic that was worn by the Soldiers during common duty. By the end of 1944, the availability of winter clothing was rather rare and a lot of equipment had to be improved or altered to live up to different combat roles. There are pictures of soldiers wearing their Feldbluse in the middle of winter, being protected by winter undergarment instead of a winter jacket. Some field clothing was already altered to create jackets out of the Feldbluse. Therefore it's not a problem to use my "summer" figures for a winter scenario.


The base colour is a mixture of Vallejo Russian Uniform and Field Gray Blue with a little, really - a TINY - bit of Field Blue, airbrushed on the figures as base coat.




The next step was to use a wash (in this case a thin wash of Field blue mixed with Army painter black wash) to create some depth - that was followed by an also thin wash of pure Army painter black wash.



(A comparison shot - front just field blue and black, behind second wash applied)




Now I could actually see what I was doing.


Next step was a dry brush with the base color mixture, but lightened by some Israeli sand. After that, I applied the same mixture with a normal brush, but more centralized, so that the dry brush worked as some kind of "highlights fading out into the uniform".


And on top of that came a top highlight of the base colour, but this time mixed with Panzer Aces Splinter Camo Base, which now looks like this:










Where I wasn't all too happy, I used the base color and blended it into the highlights to soften the contrast just a bit.


After that, I applied two washes of Army Paint Soft Color Wash and Black Wash to harmonize colors a bit. Darkened the uniform quite a bit, but that's okay. That's the reason I went so stark on the highlights.


For the face, I used Panzer Aces Flesh base, did some "highlights" using Vallejo Skin Base tone, then washed it with Panzer Aces Flesh Shadow. After that was dried, I did another wash using A mixture of Scale 75 Indian Shadow and Army Painter black wash.


Then I painted the eyes using Vallejo Deck Tan for the socket and some black for the iris.


The trouser was done using Vallejo Deck tan, the washed using black, then built up again using Deck Tan as some kind of dry brush, then Panzer Aces Splinter Camo Base and top highlight was done by using Panzer Aces German Winter Camo (or what it's called. Label is already fading ...)


And that's where we are now:






I am not super happy with it, and I think if I had been more patient, I could have done more. So why did I do it like this? The main reason is my now everlasting struggle to get something somehow done. I already imagined how I would do blends, do shading, build up colors, work on it hours for hours and present a wonderful figure in the end. Then I remembered how hard it has been in the last two years to get anything done, and apart from finishing one figure by mistake, I didn't do anything. As soon as I started, I felt that problem rise again and I lost track of what I had to do and how it actually worked. So I went over the thread of my Russian girls again and read how I did it there. I decided I would try it out that way instead of getting everything wrong again.


And the fact, that though it was just four smalls layers, my all-time nemesis "skin" has arisen from its grave, I feel actually good about doing it this way. Who knows? Maybe I would have thrown them into the bin otherwise and sold all my stuff.


That's how this project developed the way it did now, and I think I am making good progress. Next will be the trousers, boots and equipment of the guys, and after that we'll continue doing group no. 2.


- So - @buglips*the*goblin Would you like to continue?

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10 hours ago, SisterMaryNapalm said:

- So - @buglips*the*goblin Would you like to continue?


I will, but in the interest of full disclosure I haven't started the grenadiers in my OP yet becaue I've been trying to finish the feldgrau batch first.  They're almost done, so I'll go into more detail with the second batch, but here are some progress pics just so @SisterMaryNapalm isn't posting all by his lonesome in here.







And since I guess this is technically part of the team, this is the sdkfz 251/10 halftrack I finished earlier:







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So with the feldgrau section done, it's time to get back to the rest.  As I don't like to work on too many figures at once, I decided to tackle the four figures wearing their zeltbahn sections as ponchos.  These will get a splinter-pattern camouflage scheme, so will probably be the most difficult.  They're also fully assembled, which makes for many awkward places to reach, but I thought it best to complete assembly and will just work around the awkward bits.  As I do more of these types of figures I'll probably modify my methods for more efficient results, but presently I just don't have enough experience with multipart plastics.  You will also notice some pretty egregious moldlines, I'm not too worried about them for this batch but when I do the full box of grenadiers I'll have the tools (and will) to do a neater job.  Right now I just want these bits from the starter and their airborne foes done so I can game with them.  




So they already got a rough basecoat of Vallejo 70.830 German Fieldgrey mixed 1:1 with Reaper brown liner when I used up leftover paint from doing the fieldgrey batch above.  I'm using the Flames of War colour callouts as a guide for these, with some modification.  One such modification is that the callouts say to use VMC 70.979 German Camouflage Dark Green for the steel helmets and gas mask canisters.  I felt this was a bit too much on the green side, so I mixed it 1:1 with VMC 70.995 German Grey as a compromise.  This seems to better match illustrations that I've seen.  This mix was then also mixed 1:1 with brown liner to make a base shade.  Coverage at this stage doesn't need to be complete, this is just a basic roughed-in basecoat to save some work when I have to clean up after lining.  The lining, especially with hard to reach areas, is going to inevitably get a bit sloppy so it doesn't make sense to do the full basecoat yet, and if I lined over the primer and then did the full basecoat I'd be wrestling with coverage while also chasing down stray liner bits.  Doing it this way lets me get full coverage while cleaning up the lines without wasting time.




That part complete, I took some VMC 70.821 German Camo Beige, mixed it 1:1 with brown liner, and applied it to the ponchos and fabric-covered helmets as a base for the splinter camouflage.  Then I took some VMC 70.875, 1:1 with brown liner again, and put a coat on the rifle furniture and also the butt of the MG 42 machinegun.  That won't be the final colour of the machinegun butt, it should be a more chestnut shade, I just wanted some colour on it until I figured out what colour I actually want.  

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Well then ... that's where we are at the moment.




Let's have a closer look at what happened. I really didn't care about all the painting mistakes and so on and did a close-up-overly-highlighted series of pictures to illustrate what I am working on.


Splinter Camo, Splittertarn in German, was one of the first real camouflage pattern for infantry which was mass-produced. Consisting of a couple of brown and green splinter elements on a light grey background, it was supposed to break the appearance of a man.


For our Splittertarn we did a foundation of Panzer Aces Splinter Camo Base, which we highlighted using Panzer Aces German Snow Camo White, which we toned down using a wash and so on in the last step.


Using the colors of the Panzer Aces splinter camouflage set, starting with the brown, we applied the brown elements of the splinter camo. The brown elements can be on their own, as they are more or less freely put on the grey foundation in a horizontal manner. To get some more emphasize on it, we lighten up the brown using the splinter camo base color and paint inside the formerly applied splinter elements. Be advised: The brown splinter parts are rather small and applied in a more or less zick-zack matter.


The green elements are started by using the splinter brown and the splinter green to tone down the green a bit and apply it to the camo. The green is applied as single splinter. They are not put freely onto the surface, but always attached to a brown element. You can use them perfectly to cover up any mess you did which applying the brown. When you are done with that, we will also highlight the green by using pure Splinter Camo Green.


You can normally stop here. There's no need for you to continue and maybe ruin the pattern by trying to apply another element of the camouflage. But I did, just because I can.


The final segment will be the adding of the raindrops. Those are small vertical stripes that run all along the Splittertarn in a certain pattern in order to blur the overall pattern even more. For that I use a fine brush and Panzer Aces Splinter Camo Stripes, which I carefully apply in groups of 2-3 stripes and some space in between for a natural effect.


That's what the original Splittertarn looks like:




And that's where we are now:








Psssst ... he knows we are here ... Let's be quiet and sneak a little closer!




I am not entirely sure, but I think he might be related to some famous face ... I just can't remember who that was ...






As for the sub machine gun: A mixture of black and VMC natural steel was applied, then dry-brushed using first VMC Blue Grey Pale and then PA Splinter Camo Base. I finished the MP (Maschinenpistole) using a thin wash of black.






The other colors on the figures are just the base colors, so I will go over those during the next group of steps. As for now ... glad to be that far. Yay!

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Let's continue where we left last time. Our infantry has made some progress ...


The leather straps and ammo pouches were base coated using Scale 75 black leather. As of now I didn't do any highlighting and shadowing. First need to do some research on how to highlight and shadow leather. I did that with my girl in a lost world project, but my brain, you know? I already forgot how I did it there ...


The rifles were prepared using Scale 75 walnut. Need to read about highlighting and shadowing wood.


The Panzerfaust and MP40 pouches were primed using VMC Tan Yellow, which was highlighted by thin layers of VGC Khaki. After that a thin layer of Armypainter Strong Tone wash followed. Okay so far. Maybe some highlighting again in the future.




The helmet cover strap was painted using black base color from Andrea Color Black color set.




Let's have a look at the back side.


The spade and the mess kit were painted using the same mixture as the base of the green blotches of the Splittertarn (green and brown). Highlights were done applying some Splinter Camo Base to the mix. In the end, some pure Splinter Camo Base was applied to simulate rubbed off color.


The handle of the spade was made using VGC Khaki as base and then putting a thin layer of Scale 75 walnut over it. Next step will be highlights.


The bread bag was made the same way as the Panzerfaust and the SMG pouches.


The canteen was done in two steps: Step one was Scale 75 Iroko as base and a filter of Scale 75 walnut over it to create the lower part. The next step was the same mixture as with the mess kit and the spade for the upper part.


The gas mask container was painted using VMC London Grey, which was lightened by using Splinter Camo Base to simulate highlights. Next step was creating the shadows using a wash of pure black toning the whole thing down again a bit, then highlighting it up again. Works well so far.




For the Zeltbahn on the back I used the same colors I applied to the Splittertarn beforehand.




Next updates on finishing the equipment, then the weapons. After that the shoes and small parts and then the bases, and we are done with the first 5 man ... 40 more to go. Yay ...

Edited by SisterMaryNapalm
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Looking good.

As for grass on those bases, have you considered tufts?

Those come with a little adhesive and can be applied easily and look good.

They also stend on to stick better than loose grass.

I do apply a little extra PVA for that extra bonding..



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30 minutes ago, SisterMaryNapalm said:

I've got it all. ^_^


And I'll take the tufts because the moment I try to glue snow  on the base I'll rip down the grass again. I had that problem with my Russian girls.



I'm using tufts these days to enhance the jungle temple bases and the ones I make myself for my Lost World.

I find them quite handy.

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57 minutes ago, Glitterwolf said:



I'm using tufts these days to enhance the jungle temple bases and the ones I make myself for my Lost World.

I find them quite handy.


Well - the "natural" way of recreating grass normally is a mixture of tufts and loose grass, as within nature there are also patches of grass looking different from the rest of the green.

But for a 25mm base, that rarely makes any sense, especially when you have got stones and so on glued on the base.

As soon as you glue grass to it, everything else starts to disappear within the green.

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