Monday, December 30, 2013

Fallschirmjäger Artillery Battery

I just finished painting this Flames of War fallschirmjäger artillery battery, which was a birthday gift from my family. It seemed like a good opportunity to dust off the blog and share something that has always interested me-- painting miniatures.

German paratroopers ready to range-in on their target.

Battlefront no longer makes this set, so it really appealed to the collector in me. You can still order the individual bits and pieces from their online store, but that's a more cost-prohibitive route in an already expensive hobby.

The set comes with options to build either the standard 10.5cm leFH18 or the more compact 10.5cm leFH18/40. I opted for the latter. The 18/40 version is mounted on a PaK40 carriage with a stubbier barrel and modified gun-shield. These modifications made it far more functional from a historical standpoint, as it was lighter and easier to maneuver into position. It's a funky little artillery piece in the end.

The 10.5cm leFH18/40 version
This artillery battery was a lot of fun to assemble and paint. Lots of dynamic figures, and minimal flash. There were some thick mold lines along a few helmets, but nothing too worrying. I used Vallejo model colors for the paint scheme. The guns were painted in middlestone, followed by some blacklining, and then a highlight mix of 50:50 middlestone/white. I did not add the standard 3-tone camouflage to the guns as I wanted them to stand out a bit from the heavy foliage on the base.

The crews were my first ever attempt at German paratrooper camouflage. I consulted various online sources and the books I have at home and just decided to wing it. I'm satisfied with the end result. A full fallschirmjäger infantry company may be in the cards for a future project. The paratrooper smocks were a nice change from the grenadier uniforms I'm used to painting. 

The staff team consults their ballistics charts.

I used the staff team table as an opportunity to add a bright color accent to the battery. Also, this is my first time using medium-sized shrubs on all the bases. It helps to tie all the teams in the battery together.

Experimenting with more foliage to fill out the bases.
I didn't get a good photo of the observer teams, but the box came with two bases, each with their own radio. These extra bits really help set the spotters apart from other independent teams.

Overall I'm happy with the results and looking forward to getting these guys on the table. I have plans for the four extra 10.5cm leFH's that came in the box. I only need to find crews for them.