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.
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.
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!
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.
I got into the office late one day and Victor ambushed me and said “Chris and I have been talking, and we’re doing an Axis-Allies detour… and by the way, you’re doing the Finns… all you need to paint is 11 Sturmis”, and just like that I had another army to paint.
Everyone has or needs a gaming friend like Victor ‘The Enabler’ Pesch.
As it so happens, I was actually already tempted to do a Finnish army at some point anyway, this just moved it up the schedule. Finns are an often romanticized army, reflecting their David versus Goliath struggle that we all love, which is why they’ve always been a popular and requested army in Flames Of War. I’ve personally been interested in them since watching Talvisota (The Winter War) about 15 years ago, I’ve just never had the time to paint the army.
As Victor said when he pitched the detour, all I need to paint for the army to start with is 11 Sturmi assault-guns. I’ll bulk the rest of the army out with the whitewashed Soviets that I have been painting lately, but will probably paint more T-34s for the army later anyway. Sure, they don’t have Finnish markings, but I’m ok with that. The only other thing I have to paint is an ISU-152, but I’m planning on painting a unit of those at some point for my Soviets anyway. but this list comes out to roughly 100 points. I’m going to paint these in their traditional 3 colour camo.
The Sturmi assault-guns are nice models. They combine Battlefront’s awesome StuG kit with log and concrete armour add-ons, as well as the iconic stowage bin. All that is required is a little bit of clipping to remove the Schurzen mounts.
The other way I could go with the Finns is to go Soviet tank heavy with a mix of T-34s (76mm and 85mm) and KV tanks, supported by some Sturmi assault-guns, with a few points left over for command cards. The great thing about this army is that it’s Soviet gear in competent hands. I’ll be interested to see how they perform.
While the others are racing along to get their armies done by the Axis-Allies launch, I’m going to take a bit longer because I still have some Soviets to finish for our Panzerschreck tournament in 6 weeks, and I’m also trying to finish my winter gaming table in time to have a battle report and take on Victors Hungarians with my Soviets soon, so that’s going to be my immediate goal.
My first book as a Graphic Designer at Battlefront was ‘Stalin’s Europe’ back in 2010. This was the first book to introduce Hungarians to Late War, and they were my first Flames Of War army.
That army has since left my collection, so with the new Bagration: Axis-Allies book, my painting improving, and models now being in plastic, there’s 3 good reasons to recreate a similar army.
The new plastic Zrinyi is a great plastic kit, and the Zrinyi formation is the most flexible of the assault gun formations in the book.
I want a full allotment of 10 Zrinyi’s, and I’ll also paint an extra one with the 75mm barrel option. This will give me a second HQ when I choose to run two formations.
As for what to add next, I’ll repeat history and go with Panthers and StuGs again. Panthers are always good and give me some decent guns, while the StuGs add a good direct fire option when I want to use the Zrinyis as artillery.
With those two black box units added to my Zrinyi formation, I end up at this as my first 100 point list, and if I want a little more anti-tank, I can add the 75mm barrel to the HQ, and swap the 3 StuGs for 4x Hetzers.
If I want to go all in with assault guns, I can drop the Panthers and run two Zrinyi formations. It might not have the punch to deal with some lists, but it looks like a lot of fun!
This means my first batch of painting will be:
11x Zrinyi assault guns
5x Hetzer assault guns
3x StuG assault guns
3x Panther tanks
Later down the road I want to paint 3 PaK40’s, and also a rifle platoon to give me the option to swap them into a Zrinyi formation using the ‘Assault Artillery Rifle Platoon’ command card. I’d also like to do Csaba armoured cars, but maybe not in blue this time…
If you spent any time in the Battlefront Studio over the past 8 or so years it would come as no surprise that a number of us have soft spots for the Finns, Hungarians and Romanians. Whilst they may not be one of the “Big Four” nations many of us have built Axis Allies armies of the years; from Andrew’s winter Finns, to Victor’s, Wayne’s, and my Hungarian armies, to a Mid War Romanian army that I painted before joining the team. Needless to say when Victor suggested a small detour project I thought “Why not!” The only question was what do do?
Thinking about all of our armies it was Phil’s Late War Romanian Panzer IV based force that I faced years ago whilst we were play testing the Red Bear Compilation that stuck in the back of my mind as a force I’d like to replicate. The suggestion of a detour was the final reason to get around to painting this “small” and somewhat contained force.
Full disclosure, whilst it was Phil’s army that pointed me down this path I was really tempted to do a StuG (or TA) force but as I have never painted one of plastic Panzer IV’s this seemed like a good opportunity to do so, and in numbers that could put a little fear in to my opponents.
After a little list noodling I came up with a pretty basic plan that involved maxing out the T-4 (Panzer IV) Medium Tank Company with an HQ, four platoons of T-4’s, one platoon of TA (StuG) assault guns and an Armoured Rifle Platoon of infantry in Sd Kfz 251 halftracks. Boom! 91 points spent, 18 tanks, 10 stands of infantry and 5 halftracks.
This was where I found myself on the horns of a dilemma. I really wanted some TACAM T-60’s as I think they are cute little models but I just didn’t have the points. Likewise the PaK40 and Reșița anti-tanks pack a lot of punch but were also out of my budget.
I turned to a platoon of AB (Sd Kfz 222) armoured cards (for 3 points) as every army likes some Spearhead and a Command Card unit of HS-129 aircraft. These lack the bombs of the Stukas but still give me another cool model to add to the mix and something that can hunt those pesky teams that try to hide at the back of the table.
I now have a pile of models that need assembling and a painting plan/scheme that needs testing… and Victor wants the armies finished by the end of June! If anyone needs me I’ll be out the garage building and painting!
The Big Four of Late-War are getting excited about Bagration: Axis-Allies. We’re preparing new armies, add-ons to old forces, and even some terrain. Join us over the next few weeks to see our progress on Instagram, and stay tuned for some live content on Twitch.
With the new World War III: Soviet book out I have an opportunity to try a few things out with my Soviet forces. At the moment I have a bunch of T-72 tanks, a large BMP-2 Motor Rifle Company and a mix of supporting elements painted up. At 100 points I’ve been running my T-72s in to companies of 6 or 7 tanks with a BMP-2 Motor Rifle Company, a pair of SA-13 Gophers, two Shilkas, some more BMP-2 scouts and a battery of three 2S1 Carnations. I been playing with some sort of combination of these since Team Yankee first came out, so I thought it was time to change it up.
I plan to put together a force based around the new T-80s. These are better protected than the T-72s, more mobile with their Advanced Stabiliser, and can also fire the AT-11 Sniper gun launched anti-tank guided missile. The AT-11 is particularly impressive with a range out 120cm as well as being able to fire on the move, as long as to keep your tactical speed under 10”/25cm.
The other new things I’m tempted by are the new 2S6 Tunguska AA Tank, BM-27 Hurricane rocket launcher, and the BMP-3. With the BMP I just gabbed three to get me started, which I can either mount some of my already painted infantry in, or use them as a scout unit. As a scout unit they also make quite good tank destroyers with their AT-10 Stabber ATGMs.
This is my initial 100 point force.
The Big Four Of Late War have also been discussing playing some large point games, with the idea of focusing of the more expensive tanks and playing with a decent number of them. With this in mind I also made this 150 point force.
With the T-80s being quite meaty and expensive it won’t take me long to paint the 11 I need altogether. I’ve so far painted six and have another five sitting on my painting desk at home. I also already have my BMP-3s assembled. I just need to grab the BM-27 Hurricanes and the 2S6 Tunguskas.
I’ve done my T-80s in a camouflage scheme, which is probably post-cold war Russian rather than Soviet, but I wanted them to be completely different to my T-72s.
With this force I toiled for a while about whether or not to do camouflage or plain green. There are some really cool camo schemes out there for Soviet tanks, and it was very tempting. However when my army lists started to contain more and more vehicles, I settled on plain green to ensure I’d get them all finished in the time frame. But what shade of green?
As you may know there no one green to rule them all. I’ve painted plenty of drab olive greens before, so I aimed for something more vibrant.
I started by airbrushing a dark green, and then panel fading with a pale green, intentionally going quite light. Next was a dry-brush and a wash to tone it all down, followed by a second dry-brush to bring back the edges. This is a really quick way to get a lot of tonal depth on your tanks quickly.
The result is quite an intense green, more towards blue than yellow. It won’t be for everyone tastes, but I’m quite happy with it and it pops on the table.
I chose to paint the rubber parts to add another colour to break up the green. In reality they would likely be painted the same time as the tank, but there are examples with bare rubber. Same goes for the wooden un-ditching logs, tools, and exhausts where paint might have come off and rusted over time.
Another additional colour I used was an olive drab, which I used for anything consumable (MG ammo tins, fuel drums, missile canisters, etc).
So even with a “green horde” I’ve managed to get some other colours in there which hopefully add some visual interest without looking too patch work.
That’s 34 vehicles completed in 18 evenings, the largest army I’ve ever painted, and the fastest. Time for a break before I work on the infantry to ride in the BMP-3’s. I’m looking forward to using these all in a game soon!
Like most of the Big Four Of Late War I was super-jazzed with the T-80 arriving in the WWIII: Soviet book, and decided to join in the fun and paint up a new army for the launch (evil glares at Chris for not participating).
Now I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to painting which means I’m normally a slow painter, so I thought I would just this as an opportunity to challenge myself to pump out an army quickly.
Rather than noodling an army list to build my army around I decided to just paint some of the new models that I thought looked cool, points and army composition didn’t really make me decide what to paint.
The core of my force are some T-80s. I figure 10 should be enough to cover me for most situations. Next up are some BMP-3 Scouts, again because they are new plastic and look super cool.
One of my favourite new units in the book is the TOS-1. I have been badgering Wayne, Phil, Chris, Evan, and Pete to make the TOS-1 since the start of our WWIII journey, so now that we have it I thought it would be rude not to paint some. As well as looking cool, game-wise I think it will be a good choice to have available to my Soviets since I tend to run tank heavy armies and struggle to deal with infantry. Their Brutal bombardment will certainly help with that.
Lastly, I’m painting a platoon of 2S6 Tunguska AA tanks, mainly due to rule of cool, I just think they look awesome.
Plugging this into Forces it comes out to an inconvenient 101 points, so I’d probably have to drop a BMP-3 if I were to take it to a tournament.
Amongst the Big Four Of Late War we have been discussing playing big boy games of 150 points using the more modern equipment that has started appearing (T-80s, M1A1 Abrams, Challenger I’s, Leopard 2’s etc). Luckily I can make this a 150 point list just by making them Heroes and adding the Mi-24 Hinds that I have already painted, a few infantry stands, and a pair of Gophers for a bit more AA. The TOS-1s are probably a suboptimal option given that none of the guys are going to go particularly infantry heavy for these games, but sometimes you don’t always get given the tools that you need to do a job and just have to make do with what you have available.
As far as the fast paint challenge has gone, I’m about 3 weeks in and I’ve managed to finish the T-80s apart from the tracks and the rest of the army is not far behind. With another week I think I’ll have the army completely finished. The army is definitely not painted as well as I would usually paint, but I’m pretty happy with it, and I think looking at effort vs reward it’s pretty good. I’m just looking forward to putting it on the table for a few games.
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