Thursday, June 24, 2021

15mm WWII Germans for Early through Late War


Well, if you thought my British force for NW Europe is big, just wait until you see this!  Like the Brits, this force is set up along the T/O&Es of the Rapid Fire Reloaded rules, with a three-battalion infantry regiment and then various and sundry supporting vehicles, guns, and armor.  This force is large, but only because I did my best to keep one set of infantry to serve throughout the entire war.  So, rather than a gray uniform/helmet for early war and camo for later war, I went with a gray-green uniform with camo helmet covers (kind of a PanzerGrenadier Grossdeutschland look, maybe?), hoping that help me slide by from the beginning to the end, and then I took some liberties with softskins and other support weapons and painted them a dark green, as a sort of compromise between dark gray and dunkelgelb.  I hope it works, and would love to hear what you think, good or bad.

As with the British, I did a lot of painting myself, but I also bought a considerable amount of stuff already painted (particularly from my buddy AJ) to help round it out.

Enough yakking, let's take a look!

Here it is, the whole mess.  The infantry, softskins, and various support weapons are in the big box at left, early war armor in the box at top right, and late war armor in the box at bottom right.

Infantry, softskins, and various support weapons.

Late war armor.

Early war armor.

But wait, there's more!  Stuka!!!  So I bought these models off Ebay for about $10 and painted them myself, but they didn't come with any decals, so I had to rape and pillage what I had lying around.  As with the British Typhoons, I busted out the Scotch tape and went to town with the spray paint, and I'm quite happy with how they turned out!

Have you figured out where the fuselage decals came from yet?  Look at the tail...  Yeah, I had some 15mm Panzer III Afrika Korps decals lying around, so I stuck them on.  The fuselage stuff is nothing more than a regular cross you'd put on a tank, and I took the turret numbers (211, here) and cut it apart, putting one digit on one side of the cross and the other two on the other side of the cross.  I threw the Afrika Korps emblem on the tail just to have something there; it works as long as you don't look too close ;)

The other Stuka.  Alright, enough of the vaunted German Luftwaffe, they won't be around that much anyway, let's get to the ground forces.

Some command stands.  The Sdkfz 250 came in an Ebay purchase, I should have repainted it.  Everything else was painted/based by me.

The overall brigade commander.  The sentry at left shows the uniform as I was talking about (yeah, I put a camo smock on the damned officer, didn't I?  And looking at subsequent photos, looks like I did a lot of the officers in camo smocks...), gray-green tunic and trousers with three color (khaki, green, and brown) helmet cover.

A three-man command stand.

And another.

A Forward Observer stand.

The bog standard German infantry battalion, organized for Rapid Fire, of which I have three.  Each has a three-man command stand (don't think I need it), six rifle stands, two MG-34/42 stands, one 8.0cm mortar stand, one Ig18 7.5cm Infantry Gun stand, and one PaK-38 Anti-Tank Gun (ATG) stand.  Additionally, each battalion has a 5.0cm mortar stand and an Anti-Tank Rifle (ATR) stand for early war, and two Panzerschreck stands for late war.

A look at the battalion command stand, officer in camo smock, peons in gray-green.

The ATR stand (right) and 5.0cm mortar stand (left)

To be later replaced by two Panzerschreck stands.

A look at the rifle stands.  I painted every one of these infantrymen myself (rifles, mortars, command, MGs, guns, etc...).

Another look at the Landser.

And one more.

A pair of German MG teams.

An 8.0cm mortar team.

A 7.5cm infantry gun; pretty much everything else is Battlefront, but these are from Plastic Soldier Company.  Nice models, but the crews are a bit flat, and noticeably smaller than Battlefront troops, especially the old lead ones, which are veritable monsters.

A 50mm PaK-38 ATG, one of the new plastic ones.

Some heavy weapons and equipment.

A pair of Nebelwerfers.  These were painted and based by my buddy AJ, I just re-did the helmets to put camo helmet covers on them.

A pair of 10.5cm howitzers.

A pair of Flak-36 88mm ATGs.  These are actually Afrika Korps models that I had left over and so I painted them up for more temperate climes...

Four Sdkfz 7 prime movers.  I just noticed that, having bought them at two different times, I actually painted the seats and covers slightly different colors on the two pairs...

I picked up a couple 88s in travel mode, to go behind my prime movers.  I wish I had a version of every single one of my guns (for all nations) to do this, I hate turning manned gun bases around and 'dragging' them around behind their tow vehicles...

A bunch of softskins.  This is what I was talking about, you can see I painted the arty, the 88s, the prime movers, and these softskins a dark green, rather than dark gray or dunkelgelb.  The three Kubelwagens in dunkelgelb were painted by my buddy AJ.

An Opel Blitz and a Steyr Heavy Truck.  I've got a somewhat odd assortment of trucks because I bought all of them in lots off of Ebay; most were painted, but then they were all coming in painted different, so I just stripped them and started over.

A couple... whatever kind of trucks these are (sorry, I don't know they names of any of the German softskins).

And a look at another type of German truck.

Opposite.  Sorry, guess I didn't take a picture of all of them together, but I actually have eight of these.

The three Kubelwagens AJ painted for me.  I wish my colors were as bright as his, but when I try it they turn out neon ;)

A company of motorcycle troops.

Two of the stands are from the Afrika Korps collection...

You can see the driver's shorts in this photo, just painted over...

And two 'regular' motorcycle stands.


And one more time.  I think they turned out well, but man they are a pain in my ass to put together and paint.

Ahh, I also have four stands of Pioneers with flamethrowers, also from Plastic Soldier Company.

Nice poses.

Yeah, I got kinda silly with the flame tanks, but I wanted them to stand out on the table.

One more.

Hopefully we need lots of these!  Two baled out panzer crew stands.



One more.

Isn't that special? ;)

Just as with the British (and will do for the Americans and Soviets), I picked up some Old Glory casualty figures.  Yes, I know the bases look goofy, but I wanted them to stand out, and I wanted to be able to use them for both temperate and snowy battlefields.

I have three of these stands, which I'll use to show units surrendering.

A closeup of the litter bearers and "Kamerad!"


Not looking good, Hans.

Some of the 'regular' casualty figures.


Another one.  Pretty sure these dudes were on the receiving end of some Typhoon-launched rockets.


Nice little sculpts I guess, if a bit gruesome.

And one more.

Now let's get to the heavy metal, starting with the early war vehicles in gray.  I painted everything here except the five Sdkfz 251 halftracks.

Two Sdkfz 222s from Zvezda, which I added Battlefront vehicle commanders, Jerry cans, tarps, etc..., and decals to.

And a note about painting.  I really don't like painting vehicles, and was not looking forward to doing these.  I'm not good at drybrushing, and I hate painting wheels and tracks.  But I looked at the halftracks AJ sent me and I noticed something: he paints the wheels and tracks, but then he weathers over them.  Well, I'm nowhere near the artist he is, so I didn't paint then weather them, I just picked out a muddy color and slathered it all over the wheels, tracks, and sides of the vehicles.  And regarding drybrushing, I was at my FLGS and this guy recommended using ladies' makeup brushes, and that stuff works like a champion, I can't recommend it enough.  Drop a couple dots of paint on the pallette, smuch the brush in the the paint, working the brush back and forth a few times on a paper towel, then go to town on the model, so quick and easy!  It's the first time I've ever tried either of these methds and I'm happy with how it turned out, but I'd love to hear what you think, it it looks alright or if it looks trashy.

A pair of Battlefront Sdfkz 232s from Battlefront.

A pair of Sdkfz 10/4s, anti-aircraft vehicles mounting 2.0cm cannons, from Battlefront.

I love Battlefront models, but they do drive me a bit crazy.  Who the hell needs FOUR of these damn AAA weapons?

The halftracks painted by AJ, I re-did the helmet covers.

Three Stug IIIs with short 7.5cm guns from Zvezda, with Battlefront commanders, MG, Jerry cans, tarps, spare tracks, and decals.  AJ is painting up some Stug IIIs with long 75mm guns, no sideskirts, in gray, for me as we speak, should have them by the end of this summer.  Along with some other cool stuff I can't wait to show you.

Another look.

 A platoon (well, company in Rapid Fire) of Panzer IIs from Battlefront.


A pair of Battlefront Marder IIIs.

And then the big boys, all painted by me.

Five Panzer IIIs from Battlefront, three with short 50mm guns and two with long 50mm guns.

A closeup.

Four Panzer IVs with short 75mm guns.

A closeup.

Four Panzer IVs with long 75mm guns.


A trio of Tigers.  Man, I have no idea how I got so many Tigers, but I've got three in gray and three in dunkelgelb camo.  In any case, more than I should ever need, hopefully not more than my Allies can handle.

A close up.  I bought them on Ebay (got a great deal, painted them myself) so I'm not sure, but I think these are the Michael Wittman special set.

The tank commander.

And now moving straight into the late war armor, a pair of cammied up Marder IIIs from Battlefront, painted by me.

Two more Zvezda Sdkfz 222s, painted by me.

Two more Battlefront Sdkfz 10/4s, painted by me.

Four Battlefront Sdkfz 250, which I bought off a Russian dude on Ebay.  They looked good in the photos, but when I opened them they were this weird orange color, and the guys' uniforms were a really really light gray, so I had to pretty much redo the whole things, and then I added decals.

A closeup.  Cool little models.

A pair of Battlefront Sdkfz 232s, painted by me.  I'm not so sure about my camo on these and the Sdkfz 222s...

A group of Sdkfz 251s from Battlefront, which I bought off a dude on TMP.

Three Sdkfz 251/9s with short 7.5cm guns.  Two are metal vehicles from Battlefront, one is plastic from Plastic Soldier Company.  I added decals and had to redo the men, but the vehicles were nicely painted.

Closeup, which shows I didn't paint the hair showing under the cap of this young man...

A set of ten plastic Battlefront Panzer IVHs with long 75mm guns and sideskirts, beautifully painted by my buddy AJ.

A closeup.

A gang of five Plastic Soldier Company Panthers, which I bought painted off a guy on TMP.

Three Battlefront Panzerjaeger IVs with long 75mm gun, painted by my buddy AJ.


A pair of metal Hetzers, manufacturer unknown, I bought painted off of Ebay, just added decals.


A trio of Hummel with 15.0cm guns.  I bought these from a Spanish dude on Ebay, and they looked pretty good, but not so good when they arrived.  They appear to be homemade, like he built molds himself, and the paintjobs didn't look so hot, so I threw some dunkelgelb and decals on them, then added some Old Glory figures I had lying around as crew members.

I had an extra Battlefront Panzer II lying around so I painted it up as a Lynx recon vehicle.  It'll probably never see the table...

A group of seven Battlefront Stug IIIs with long 75mm guns and sideskirts, which I built and painted.  Not that happy with the camo, definitely not my best work...


Another trio of Tigers, this time for late war (though don't think I won't use these for Tunisia!).  The bottom two (the brighter ones) I bought off a dude on TMP a couple years ago, and I had one left over so I tried painting up to match.  It's not bad, but it's too dark and my lines are too thick compared to the other two.

Closeup of the one I painted.

And now for a little fun: two Zvezda King Tigers I painted up in 'ambush' pattern.  Yeah, cheesy, but I couldn't help myself.

A closeup.

And that brings us to the final exhibit...

A pair of Zvezda Jagdpanthers, painted by me.

I got all the Zvezda kits off a Russian store on Ebay, and they were super cheap.  I'm glad to have them, but I'm not much of a model builder, and so my complaint is that I wasn't always able to get the Zvezda kits together the way I was supposed to, there are some real gaps in quite a few of them.  But, I hope, nothing that will stand out on the tabletop.


So, whaddaya think?  Worthy of hitting the table and (hopefully) getting its ass whipped?  I certainly hope so ;)  It's been a long time coming, but I'm finally ready to play, now I just need to hop in with both feet, and it's weird, I'm kind of scared, like I don't know where to start.  Which, if you follow my blogs,  you know that's not typically an ailment that afflicts me, I usually hop in and hit 20 to 50 fights before I even realize what happened.  Part of the problem is that I want to follow a particular British unit (brigade, probably) through the fighting in NW Europe, but then I think, "well, if I'm going to do that I should start in France 1940, then do some North Africa, Sicily, and Italy, before they hit the beach on 6 June 1944."  Sound crazy?  Yeah, it is, but I've already found myself looking for some Vickers light tanks, A10s, and Matildas in green (already got'em in desert colors).  It's definitely a sickness...

I still have some US troops and vehicles and German FJ, all for North Africa, to post in the coming days.  Anyway, hope all is well, and please drop me a line to let me know what you think.



  1. Lovely stuff Jack. As you've probably noticed from my blog, I'm a big fan of the Zvezda kits, but they can be a bit fiddly.

    I also paint all my running gear mud coloured (and it makes a nice contrast on the Panzer grey vehicles) and I did almost all my softskins and artillery in dark grey or green, so they are good for the whole war.

    I think it is actually correct to paint the early war guns dark green, I've seen a few museum pieces done in RAL6006 (field grey).

    1. Martin,

      Thank, I appreciate the kind words. I like the Zvezda kits, too, just ended up with some gaps, gaps that a more-skilled model maker would probably have had little problem with. And yeah, just slapping some mud on wheels/tracks/running gear is SOOOOO much easier and quicker than actually painting all that stuff! I am converted! ;) And I'm happy to hear there is some precedent for it lasting into late war, saves me a ton of time and money.


  2. Great work, that's a mammoth collection. Should take you a while to get all them on the table. I don't see a problem fielding soft skins in grey as they would have been well down the pecking order for field resprays as the new colours were introduced. You could liberally give them a dust weathering finish and they'd probably so for North Africa and Tunisia or the southern steppes of Russia. As for camo infantry kit, I believe the LAH wore camo in May 1940 and I'm pretty sure early camo uniforms were issued pre-war. All looking very nice - I'd look out for a Jagdtiger from Zvezda, they should strike fear into the opposition - until they run out of fuel or ammo.

    Cheers, Andy

    1. Andy,

      Yeah, but it should be able to carry me through the entire war (well, mostly; AJ is painting some PzJgr Is and some Pz Mk IIIs with 37mm guns for me), and I think the dark green works pretty well to keep the softskins/guns going throughout the entire war. Good point about super-weathering them, and then it doesn't really matter anyway! ;)

      Regarding camo, yeah, LAH wore camo early on, but I am definitely NOT wanting these guys to be an SS formation, just 'regular' old Heer.

      Yeah, that Jagdtiger would be quite ferocious, but I think I'm just going to stick with the King Tigers. We'll see (famous last words, right?) ;)


  3. And more Germans than I have two. You really need to play! Even with RFR that is going to be a lot of stuff on the table to move around. At least RFR is fast. One thing I can see you possibly doing is adding in some activation rules into RFR. You may not be able to help yourself and RTR lends itself well to adding want to want in.

    1. Shaun,

      No kidding? Nah, I don't believe you anyway ;) Certainly the point was never to get all this stuff on the table at once, it's just so much gear because I wanted to be able to cover from beginning to end, and make sure I had more than I would need. Looking at the scenario in the RFR book, it's actually a little bit of a letdown in terms of size, really just a British battalion (reinforced) against an understrength German battalion (reinforced). I figure the target for most of my games would be a brigade vs brigade, but that doesn't mean anything is on the table.

      From my standpoint, that means games will be an attacker with two battalions of infantry + support vs a defender with one battalion of infantry + support, since an attacking brigade should have one battalion in the assault, one supporting, and one in reserve, whilst the defending brigade should have two battalions in the line (but not really able to support each other very well due to having to hold so much ground, if the attacker selected the correct location to attack), with one in reserve.

      And I agree, the RFR rules are begging for some activation modifications to break up the 'IGO-UGO' mechanisms.


  4. Replies
    1. Hopefully that's a good 'blimey'? ;)

      Thanks Jim.


  5. Words escape me, Jack. Seriously awesome collection with an outstanding paint job on ALL. You'll literally never have to purchase another German for NW Europe or Eastern Front again. Makes me want to redo all my Landsers again!

    I like the look you achieved with your units looking like combat units and not parade ground units.

    Remember the scenario in the RFR book is "introductory" so as not to scare off newcomers :) they have lots of bigger scenarios in their scenario books.

    I really cant wait to see these guys on the table!

    1. Thanks Steve, and I certainly hope I never have to be anything else, but the problem with the Germans is they just have so many different vehicles; think about it, I don't have any Wespes, Sig33s, Nashorns, Stug IVs, Pumas... And whatcha talking about with re-doing your German infantry? They look fantastic, you'd be a fool to mess with them.

      And no doubt, the fights can get much bigger, and I'm quietly buying up PDF versions of all the scenario books I can find on Wargames Vault and the RF website.