Taking To The Skies!

Over the past few months I have been clearing out a few projects that have been lingering on my painting desk, trying to make some space for some upcoming plans. One of the projects that has been weighing heavily on my mind is my Romanian force from Bagration: Axis Allies. Thanks to all sorts of disruptions this year around the world and with our factory in Malaysia the army only got so far before everything ground to a halt. This resulted in the last two units (the aircraft and infantry) sitting on the side of my desk or a seafreight container in the Pacific ocean.

Thankfully one of those two units has finally made the leap from painting desk to the tabletop..

Originally I was only going to paint a unit of HS-129’s, they are cheaper after all, but I decided to paint a pair of Stukas as well since four planes doesn’t take that much longer to paint than two. It also gives me an option for aircraft with bombs…

whilst the HS-129s are my cannon option. They are also such wierd looking aircraft (compared with other WW2 planes) that I just had to have them.

I also tried something new by flocking up the flight stand bases, and making a set of tall stands for the Stukas (since they are dive bombing) and short stands for the HS-129s (for those low cannon passes).

I chose a simple two colour scheme with a dark green and light green, along with the iconic King Michael’s Crosses and yellow fuselage bands. The crosses help to make them look a little less German.

I’m not entirely happy with how the planes came out in the end and there are definitely some things I would do differently if I were to paint them again. However I am putting them in the win column as they are done and they provide a really interesting unit to the army.

~Chris

German Supplied Hun’ Fun

Here’s the last of my AFV’s I plan to do for my Hungarian force. These are all the German supplied vehicles, so it was fun to do a mix of different looking units to go along side my Zrinyi’s.

The Panthers were the first ones I painted, and I’d say the ones I’m least happy with. I applied too much green camo, as I was trying to tie them in with the Zrinyis. I think this was a mistake and made them too dark, but otherwise they turned out ok.

I’m much happier with the StuGs. They’re very simple, but I find the plain dunkelgelb suits the models.

For the big numbers on the shurtzen, I used the Gulf War number decals from the WWIII: Britsh pack. I made the “7” using part of an “A” trimmed down and painted the top line.

Lastly was the Hetzers, which I went for a mix of the above two, using a simple green camo but with plenty of dunkelgelb still showing.

I now have a lot of options for running different assault gun formations (or even two at once!). Later down the road I will add infantry to this army, as well as some recon. But for now, it’s time to get back to my Americans…

~Victor

Back To The Romanian Grindstone

With Panzerschreck well and truly done for the year I figured I should stop being a softie, put on my comfy pants and head out to the (fairly cold) garage and finish off my Romanian half-tracks and recon elements.

With everything that is going on at our factory in Malaysia right now I don’t have my infantry so the half-tracks are looking a little bare – I’ll go back later and add one or two figures to each one just to give them a little more life. But even without some figures I like how they are looking!

My Sd Kfz 222 recon platoon is my only non-plastic unit (so far) but is an absolute no-brainer. Cheap machine-gun carriers that can also take out other armoured cars and light armour.

On both units the use of the Michael’s Cross really adds some colour and pop to the vehicles which have other been airbrushed Vallejo Olive Grey (888) with some drybrushing to help the colour pop a little more.

I can’t wait to see how they look on a table alongside my German Yellow Panzers!

Next up on my list are the HS-129s and (maybe) a pair of Stukas for when I want bombs. I figure that if I am painting two planes, then four can’t be that much extra work…

~Chris

Autumn Snows – A Twitch Battle Report

Casey, using his Big Four Soviet army, and Victor, with his brand new Hungarians, threw down in a game of Free For All on Casey’s freshly finished table.

Can the Hungarians hold back the tide?

 

Casey’s Winter Table… In All Its Glory

So here is my winter table in its finished glory!

I liked the idea of doing a winter table but didn’t want to make a completely white table, as it would make the table too specific, so I decided to make it in a transitional period, either autumn or early spring, so quite arid but with a scattering of snow. This added a lot of extra work though.

I’ve always felt that railways are a significant feature, but tend to get lost, or just slapped down on a table as decoration, which is why I decided to build them up and have a junction worth fighting over.

I wanted the hills to represent undulating terrain, rather than slab sided hills, so when I was designing them I started with quite large pieces of MDF, glued some polystyrene to it and then shaped it so that the highest point wasn’t much taller that a large tank. Since they are representing undulating terrain rather than just hills, I also decided to build forests/woods onto the hills to make them more dynamic, and because I don’t think area terrain should only be one thing.

It’s taken a lot of short bursts over more than a decade to make… but I think it has been worth it, and I’ve learnt a lot along the way and intend on taking that experience on board and starting a summer table next year to go with it.

I’m looking forward to christening the table against Victor’s Hungarians on Monday. I’ve chosen to take a relatively balanced list that I would be happy to take to a tournament for our battle, rather than design a list to counter his force… given that I know exactly what he has painted and available.

Tomorrow we will take a look at our forces!

In the meantime you can enjoy a few close up shots of the table from some of our recent books!

~Casey

Huszár Progress Report

Things are going well with the painting of my Hungarian Huszár Squadron. I have now finished all the cavalry teams. I’ve added the extra two platoons to the one I already had, you can spot the older one easily by the fact it is made from converted Romanian and Cossack cavalry miniatures, which was done before we even had Huszár miniatures.

I had a bit of time up my sleeve, so I converted my Formation Commander by adding fur collar and cuff trim, as well as lace loops to his tunic. I also added a sword hand from a Cossack and a scabbard attached to his saddle. I just used some GF9 grey epoxy putty for this detail work.

I already have the 7/31M Machine-gun Platoon, 81mm Mortar Platoon, 40mm Anti-tank Platoon, 75mm Huszár Battery, and Toldi OP painted, so I just have the 7.5cm Heavy Anti-tank Platoon to complete for the tournament. Then I can finish the Turán tanks at my leisure.

See you soon,

~Wayne

King Michael’s Panzers!

When I think of the humble Panzer IV is isn’t at the top of my list of “must have” tanks. There is of course one thing that I have learnt during the course of the Big Four project and that is more is good! One platoon of 3-5 Panzers in a German army… meh… 5 platoons of 3 (and a dash of StuGs for moral support), now we are talking!

I still have a way to go with the rest of the the army, between us I have stalled a little as the lure of a warm fire inside is beating the cold garage, with my recon, 251’s, infantry and aircraft but I still feel like I have hit a milestone with these.

The “army” shot..
The HQ Platoon
First Platoon
Second Platoon
Third Platoon
Fourth Platoon (you guessed it)
Everyone wants to live the StuG life!

I’ve taken a mixed approach with my painting and decals, using a filter for the first time. This meant I really went quite light with my colours and used the filter to bring it back down.

I also took (perhaps) a bit of a liberty with my tank numbers. I haven’t seen Romanian Panzer IVs with German-style numbers but I wanted to be able to tell my platoons apart and since historical pictures are a little few and far between I thought “what the heck, they look cool”. I also added the white Cross of King Michael I to the side of the tanks and the coloured air recognition cross to the top of the turrets or superstructure. On an otherwise fairly plan tank I think these add some visual interest to the army.

Next up the Olive Green portion of the army.

~Chris

 

Rohamágyús Üteg

Here’s my finished Zrínyi Assault Gun Battery. I love this little assault gun. It’s like a Semovente on steroids, or a StuG trying to hide behind a wall…

I chose to go with plain green as I thought the shape and details of the kits are interesting enough (glorious rivets!), and I think it helps the markings stand out. However, part of me is still tempted to do a second formation one day in 3 colour camo…

I’ll do a future article about some of the research I did, and some of the unique markings and details on the Zrínyi, but for now, here are each of my units.

Formation HQs (see text below)

I’ve painted two HQ options, one with the long 75mm barrel. There was only one prototype built, but I’m glad we included it in the kit. It’s a cool option for the HQ to have an extra direct fire threat.

44M Zrínyi Prototype

 

1st Platoon
2nd Platoon
3rd Platoon

 

You can see some work in progress pictures on our Instagram. My next step is to add some Panthers and either Hetzers or StuGs, and challenge Casey to a game!

~Victor

Huszár!

I’ve been collecting and painting Hungarian forces since the we first published out first Flames Of War Hungarian intelligence briefing back under the 2nd Edition of the Flames Of War Rules. With both the Bagration: Axis Allies for Late-war, and Hungarian Steel for Mid-war coming out I thought I’d revisit my Hungarian forces and see what more I can add. The new plastic Zrínyi is very tempting, and I’m sure I will paint a few of them, but I have one glaring hole in my collection, some cavalry. The Hungarians are famous for their horsemanship as well as being the inspiration for the introduction of a type of light cavalry to armies across Europe, the Hussar, or Huszár in Hungarian.

Back when we added the first cavalry units as options for the Hungarians I converted and painted an entire troop (Unit) using a mix of Soviet Cossack and Romanian cavalry by doing a few head swaps. However, now I don’t have to go to all that trouble as Evan has sculpted some nice Hungarian Huszárs to go along with the horses that James originally sculpted for our 1939 Polish cavalry range.

To make my force I will be using two command cards. The first is the 1st Cavalry Division Huszár Squadron which lets you build a formation of Huszárs. This lets you take 2-3 Huszár Troops from page 69 of Bagration: Axis Allies.

The other card is the 75mm Huszár Battery. This lets you field horse artillery battery armed with little 75mm Skoda M1915 mountain guns. It is worth noting you can field this battery as a mountain battery as well, and also as a horse artillery battery in Mid-war from Hungarian Steel. In fact you can field the whole Huszár Squadron in there too.

So my list will consist of the following:

Huszár Squadron HQ
2x 31M MG & 95M rifle teams 2 points

Huszár Troop (LH127)
7x 31M MG & 95M rifle team with Panzerfaust 11 points

Huszár Troop (LH127)
7x 31M MG & 95M rifle team with Panzerfaust 11 points

Huszár Troop (LH127)
7x 31M MG & 95M rifle team with Panzerfaust 11 points

7/31M Machine-gun Platoon (LH121)
3x 7/31M HMG 3 points

81mm Mortar Platoon (LH122)
4x 81mm mortar 6 points

40mm Anti-tank Platoon (LH125)
4x 40mm gun 7 points

75mm Huszár Battery (Command Card)
4x 75mm mountain gun 13 points

Support Units

7.5cm Heavy Anti-tank Platoon (LH126)
3x 7.5cm gun 11 points

Toldi OP Observation Post
1x Toldi OP (MG) 1 point

The 1st Cavalry Division had their own tanks. These were the Hungarian Turáns.

Turán Tank Company HQ
2x Turán I (40mm) 5 points

Tank Platoon
3x Turán II (75mm) 11 points

Tank Platoon
4x Turán I (40mm) 9 points

Total 100 points

To find out more about the 1st Cavalry Division check out the article on the Flames Of War website here…

~Wayne