Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Pack of (Desert) Foxes


Well, hello there, it's been awhile!  Sorry for that, I've had a big bag of real life on my hands, primarily centered around some business trips to Oklahoma City and Washington, DC, with all the requisite Family Time that falls on either end of those trips.  I haven't gotten in any gaming lately, but I have taken advantage of the spare minute to hour here and there to be a painting and basing fool, so I figured I'd post the recent fruits of my painting loins (disgusting).

So, what do we have here?  It's a DaK battlegroup/army/force, AKA some of Rommel's finest for the German Afrika Korps for the Desert War in North Africa during WWII.  The entire force is Pendraken 10mm.

 Here's the entire force, with infantry on the left, armor in the center, and HQ and Weapons on the right.

Let's start with the infantry.  I've got fifteen stands, or 5 three-squad platoons at one stand equals one squad.

 A closeup of a DaK rifle platoon.  As always I used bathroom tiles for the basing, then my own proprietary blend (yuk yuk) for desert basing.  I paint the guys on popsicle sticks, pop them off, and superglue them on the tiles (which I usually spray-paint khaki or brown, first).  Then I smear Elmer's Glue all over the base, dip it in sand, then flick off the excess.  I let it dry awhile, usually overnight, then paint it sand or yellow.  Once that's dry I throw a wash on the figs and the base, then I use Elmer's Glue to stick bushes on, which are clump foliage of the model railroad variety.

A closeup of a single stand.  Great figs from Pendraken, with an MG-42 LMG team on left (I love the fact they are moving, which is perfect for my rifle squads), far right is from one of the rifle packs (they actually have two, and each has two different poses!), and the next guy in is from the MP-40 pack (which, sadly, has only one pose).  Painting wise, you can see that I never paint my Germans in a uniform manner.  For these Afrika Korps fellows I mixed and matched tunics, trousers, and hats/helmets in a mix of khaki (far left and far right trousers), sand (almost off-white, far left tunic and MP-40 helmet), desert yellow (far right helmet), and a faded olive green (obvious, I hope).

Moving on to the HQ folks...  At far left is the CO (with Sdkfz 250 on the base), center is three company commanders and the FO, and at right are nine platoon commanders.

 Closeup of the CO.


 The company commanders and FO (top right, though there's no practical distinction, I just chose the one with two kneeling figures).

 The platoon commanders.

Heavy Weapons.  Two 75mm field guns, two Pak-38 50mm ATGs, one FlaK-36 88mm ATG, three sustained fire (tripod) MG-42s, three 80mm mortars, and three 50mm light mortars.

 The dreaded '88.'

 Opposite view.

 The two PaK-38s.  I love the fact Pendraken is now providing three crewmen per gun; I could be off base here, as it seems to me this is new, that I recall only getting two crewmen per gun in the past.  In any case, it's fantastic!

 The two 75mm field guns.  I'd previously done a good job of ignoring field guns in my forces, but now I've got them and there's no looking back (I also bought a pair for my 'normal,' i.e., non-DaK Germans, and I bought some 75mm pack howitzers for my US troops.

 The three MG-42 teams.

 Three 80mm mortars.

 And three 50mm mortars, though I should have one per platoon, so need to get some more.  Also, I didn't get any AT rifles for my DaK or Desert Rats.  I figure by the time the Brits and Germans are going at it in the desert they've become obsolete (if they weren't when the war started!).

The armored fist of my Afrika Korps battlegroup.

The recon element, with a Sdkfz 234 and two Sdkfz 222s.  It might bother you that I did them in different colors; it wasn't the plan, just ran out of spray paint, and I'm more of a 'what else do I have around so I can get this done?' type of guy then a 'let me wait until next week when I can get to the store to get the proper color' type of a guy...

If the different colors on the recon vehicles bother you, check this out: not only am I impatient, I'm cheap to boot!  If you look closely, you'll see that only one of these is actually a PzIVD.  One is a PzIVG I had lying around, which I simply snipped the barrel off of to make a short 75mm.  The most heinous of the group is the top right; this was actually a PzIVH, i.e., not just a long 75 but also side skirts on the chassis and turret.  Snipping the barrel and getting the skirts off the chassis were no problem, but I had to conduct some serious surgery to cut/file the skirt armor off the turret.  Looking closely you can see the remainder on the bottom of the turret, which I just couldn't get off (without doing real damage to the turret itself as the turret skirt armor is molded on).

I can't believe I 'outed' myself as an impatient cheapskate, but in your hearts you already knew, and besides, at least I have my integrity ;)

Lastly, there are four PzMkIIIJs, which are some of my favorite tanks.  They just look damned cool to me.

As you can see, I picked up a pack of Pendraken's German tank commanders.  They're pretty damn cool, too.  I like to use them to delineate platoon commanders, so I need to put one on one of the PzIVs and on the Sdkfz 234 as well.  As you can also see, I'm using washes on everything now, but I need to get better at it...

Well, that's my Afrika Korps battlegroup, hope you like them.  I've got four other groups finished that I need to photograph and post here, which I'll get done this week, so keep your eyes open!


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