Saturday, 26 September 2015

Secrets of the Third Reich British: Finished.

A slightly shorter, and yet again a work delayed blog update!

I have finished the last batch of miniatures for my Secrets of the Third Reich British Army force, finishing the entire project. Over the last week and a half I have painted 12 Riflemen, 4 PIAT armed soldiers, 7 Assualt Bren Gunners, a Bazooka team, and (converted) Heavy Mortar Team.

I have enjoyed collecting and painting them, and they have made a pleasant change. Although I don't play West Winds 'Secrets of the Third Reich' game, I like the Weird War Two setting, and the miniatures have a great post-apocalyptic feel blended with a World War Two aesthetic. I must admit though, like all uniformed armies, they did get a little 'samey' towards the end, but I'm happy with the overall look of the miniatures and pleased to have completed something I have wanted to do for a number of years.

Enjoy :)
 The last batch of painting.
 Bazooka Team.
 Four soldiers armed with PIAT's.
The PIAT, (The Projector, Infantry, Anti Tank) was a British re-useable man portable anti tank weapon designed and manufactured during World War Two. 
Looking at them I think that if I was to have painted up in silver or gold they would look very Sci-Fi, like something out of a 1950's B-Movie!
 Three Assault Bren Gunners. 
As I mentioned in an earlier update, I think this is a purely Weird War Two weapon. As far as I know the British never made a Assualt Bren Gun, althuogh I understand there were wartime prototypes. I think it is meant to be a form of Assualt Rifle, the British equivalent of the German StG 44.
Four Assault Bren Gunners.
 Converted Heavy Mortar.
I had two 'spare' kneeling soldiers (that is I only used two crew for the heavy weapons teams), and so I added an old Citadel plastic Imperial Guard Mortar to make a heavy mortar.
 Twelve riflemen
 The whole British Force. 
I split the force down into four 10 man squads, each with one Sten gunner, one PIAT, two Assualt Bren gunners, and six riflemen (including an NCO). I also made 'Assualt Squad' of five comprising two 30 Calibre machine gunners, two riflemen, and an NCO.
In addition, there are the various heavy weapon teams, sniper teams, officers/command personal, and of course the Sherman Firefly.
 10 man Squad, split into two 5 man Squads.
I have one with four riflemen and the PIAT, the other with the Assualt Brens, Sten, and a pair of riflemen.
The 30 'Cal' squad. 

At a later date I might add a suitable looking Weird War Two Mech, and maybe another tank, but for the time being I'm keen to move onto other projects. 

On that subject I have been wanting to return to painting more of the Slann army. I have already been tinkering with shield replacments for one of the Jungle Brave regiments. However I have also been painting up some more Pygmies, with a slightly different approach.

Monday, 14 September 2015

More Secrets of the Third Reich: British Army, and a Firefly.

A slightly delayed blog update again this week due to work commitments. I've had some time to do painting but not enough time to blog. Still, at least I have got the painting done. :)

Carrying on from last week, I have been painting more Secrets of the Third Reich British, and also a Sherman Firefly tank. I have managed to paint 23 infantry and a tank. The infantry were much the same style as the last batch, but they included two Officers, a Medic, another weapons team, two Snipers, as well as four Sten Gunners and ten Riflemen. All of the miniatures were painted in the same World War Two style paint scheme.

The Sherman Firefly was bought from Warlord Games rather than West Wind. They do produce a Firefly, but I bought the Warlord Games tank as an impulse purchase from a (relatively) local model shop. I bought a Sherman Firefly as in World War Two it was a British conversion of an American made tank which was fitted with a bigger British gun. The Firefly was one of the few allied tanks which could take on German Tiger and Panther tanks, and so I thought it would be still around in a Weird War Two genre.
Enjoy :)
 Infantry and Tank.
 Commanding Officer with Pistol.
He is from the command pack, and has a seperate head from a special command head spure.
For those who are more familar with World War Two, I painted the Officers with regulation brown boots!
 On the left, an Officer with Sten Gun.
Right is a Medic.
 Anti-Mech gun team.
This model is designed to be a portable anti-mech gun team. The model seems to be based on the real lfe Boyes Anti-Tank gun, used in early in World War Two.
I like theses two miniatures, the have a lot of character and the camo cloak look good. The heads are from both the command head sprue and the sniper head sprue. 
Two soldiers with 'Packed 30 Calibre Machine gun'.
This seems to be a 'sawn-off' verson of the American made 30 Calibre machine gun. I like the pose of both of the miniatures, looking mean, and meaning business.
Two Sten Gunners.
Two more Sten Gunners.
Ten Riflemen.
These are all armed with the Lee-Enfield Carbine. They are the standard four sculpts from the basic Trooper pack, with one exception,the Soldier waving his arm in the background. He is from the Command pack.
Close up of a couple of the bases.
Mostly I have used the model 'barbed wire' and bricks, and a few pieces of model plastic fence (as above on the right) or painted match sticks.
Sherman Firefly.
This resin model (with metal barrel and headlights) is from Warlord Games, and was fun to paint. It is a good quality sculpt, but I was a little disappointed with the prep work needed (as detailed below).
I painted the Sherman Firefly in standard World War Two colours, and will probably add some number detailing a little later.
The odd swirley pattern on the tip of the gun barrel was used in World War Two to disguise the end of the barrel and break up it's outline in an attempt (apparently successful) to convince the Germans that it was an ordinary Sherman Tank. This was because normal Sherman stood little chance of destroying the German Tiger or Panther Tanks, but the Firefly could, making it a priority target.
Front view, with a British soldier for scale.
The tank came with a metal turret commander as well, but I decided not to use him as it meant messing about with a head swap to give him a gasmask head.
The main disappointment with what was a nice kit was the post casting sprue pieces on the front of the tank. They were very thick, and close to some important front details. It was only because I have a thin bladed saw that I managed to remove them successfully.
Although I like the model, it does put me off buying any other resin tanks from Warlord Games.
...and finally another Weird War Two Space Ork, painted up in World War Two colours. I did give him a little more of a technological feel with the display panels on his left arm. 
He is the Citadel Rogue Trader LE1 Space Orc miniature from 1987. 

Next weeks update will be the last of the Weird War Two British. I have thirteen nearly finished, including a Bazooka team, Piat's, and Assualt Bren guns. I also have another twelve Riflemen to assemble and paint.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Secrets of the Third Reich: British Army.

After painting the Rogue Trader first releases, I have been in a more Sci-Fi mood. So the other week I submitted a small mail order to West Wind Productions for some of their Secrets of the Third Reich Range.
Their website can be found here:

I have wanted to buy some of these for a while. The premise of the game is that World War Two carried on beyond 1945 due to the development of advanced sciences and the use of Occult forces, and fits into the wider genre of 'Weird War Two' that has been gaining in popularity in the last few years. I could be wrong, but I think that West Wind were one of the first companies to pursue this genre.

A lot of the background is based on much of the well documented history written on what the Third Reich were up to with regards to technology, as well some of the more esoteric ideas surronding their Occult interests. I have'nt the space or time to go into everything, but it is fairly well known that the NAZI's were developing some very hi-tech technology, and that the SS had a interest in Volk-ish based Occultism and a pre-occupation with the Spear of Destiny. The Allies had interests in these areas too.  In the UK there was Frank Whittle's Jet engine, enigma de-coding/computing, and in the area Occult with Churchill working with Mediums and Occultists.

Now I don't (yet) intend playing West Winds' game, but I wanted to collect and paint a semi Sci Fi/post apocalypse force along the lines of World War 2. I was'nt keen on collecting the NAZI's, but was drawn to the British and Commonwealth forces. West Wind also produce USA and Russian forces.

The design approach is to base the miniatures in a World War Two aesthetic, but to add more hi-tech elements. For the British this means the infantry dress in late war uniforms, but also with a degree of body armour. The weapons include an assault weapon version of the Bren Gun, an anti-Mech gun, and a magazine loaded mortar. The British infantry are armed with a carbine version of the Lee Enfield. Like some of the other forces, The British, have access to basic Mech Suits, and Occultists, but I have'nt purchased any of these as I just wanted to have the Infantry, and I was'nt too struck on the design of the Mechs.

Sculpting wise, the miniatures are basically World War Two British/Commonwealth miniatures, but with a form of body armour. They are supplied on 30mm lipped bases.  Also, the miniatures come with seperate heads, which for the Secrets of the Third Reich range are gas mask wearing heads and wearing the Brodie (Trench) Helmet.

Price wise they are'nt too expensive, £1.75 per infantry man, and £6.50 to £8.00 per heavy weapon crew. Normal World War Two miniatures will be cheaper, but I liked the slightly different style from the Weird War Two look. If you are on a budget, then West Wind do sell packs of the seperate heads seperately for all the nations, and so could be used to convert up other normal World War Two ranges. Warlord games do plastic British and other nations, although I have no first hand knowlage of the miniatures themselves.

Most of the casting is good quality, although there were one of two miniatures with a few lumps of heavy flash. In addition the helmets on the seperate heads are'nt always crisp casts all the way around, and have a heavy cast line on the top which requires cleaning. In addtion I found the heads a pain to glue on. The heads need to be clipped from the sprues carefully to not destroy the pug needed to fix to the body, and some of the bodies require a little drilling. However, if you are used to basic modelling, there's nothing to worry about.

All in all, I am very pleased with them. They look great, and are fun and easy to paint. I still have about 50 of them to paint.
Enjoy :)
 A little batch of British Infantry. 
I went for the standard World War Two British paint scheme and decided on 1940's, pre concrete cities, urban style bases, with tiny bricks, barbed wire and mud.
 There are four types of basic infantry with Lee-Enfield carbines. 
He are two of them...
 ...and the second two.
All of the infantry have what at first look a little static poses, but with the posing of the heads, they look a lot more dynamic, advancing, and more battlefield aware.
 Infantryman with an Assault Bren. 
The Assault Bren seems to be a Weird War Two invention, a sort of 'sawn off' Bren Gun.
Vickers Heavy Machine Gun. 
 Side view.
 British Mortar.
This is an unusual looking Mortar and is magazine fed. It does'nt look like the Mortar used by the British forces in World War Two, but does look a little like the Italian Brixia Mortar. 
 Rear view, showing the rear of the infantry body armour.
 I had a 'spare' miniature from the Heavy Vickers Machine gun (yes, I know that in reality they had three crew but after years of 40k I thought two crew were enough. And anyway there's still a war on so manpower must be short!).
So, with the addition of a GW Catachan radio pack and using the radioman head from he command pack, I converted up a comm's trooper.
 Close up of the barbed wire. 
I bought two metres of this wire, snipped it to size, curled it around a paint brush handle, and glued them to the base. Then once dry I painted it brown and light drybrushed silver.
I bought some really tiny bricks, made from actual brick, from a dolls house supplier from e-bay. £9.99 for 250.
Ok, not a Secret of the Third Reich (well, probably not!), but a bit of fun.
I have several spare Rogue Trader 40k Orks, and have painted up this one in German colours, and based him up the same as the British. I have a vague plan to paint up the spare Orks (and, ahem, the few ones I have bought from e-bay recently) to act as a foe to the British. Also, like the solid bases Gnolls/Goblins, I wanted to paint up a few of these miniatures to on a more releastic paint scheme and on an individual basis. 

Next update will be more of The Secrets of the Third Reich British, including a Warlord Games Sherman Firefly I bought yesterday and glued together this afternoon. 
I will be getting back to painting Goblins in about a month or so.