Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Regiments of Renown - Sourcing Models for Fallschirmjager

JU52 transport dropping Fallschirmjager
Last week I talked about writing up lists for Fallschirmjager. I tried out a variation of the list this last weekend at RIW Hobbies in Livonia. I do almost all my gaming at GS, but it is nice to get out once in a while. I had seen a post at WWPD that a local Michigan sarge (Paul) was running a demo / game day there so I showed up and I wasn't disappointed - I had a great game against an American force on some sweet terrain.

Bolt Action is somewhat different from 40K, WMH, Infinity, etc. in that you generally (if playing historically accurate) take your entire army from the same 'type' of troop. You're representing one platoon of a larger force, not an 'army'.  You may throw in an engineer squad or something like that but you generally don't see one airborne squad, one marine squad, one regulars squad, and one engineer squad in a Bolt Action list - it just didn't happen.

Fallschirmjager hang out.
Keeping that in mind (that you'll likely be fielding an entire force of the same type of troop) you can still provide some variety in your force because WW2 models are universal. Tons of companies make 28mm models. You can choose from whichever you like, although some are really 25mm and some are really 32mm - you just have to check first.

I decided I wanted to not only use Warlord Games' fallschirmjager miniatures (since I am a Sarge, and they make beautiful models) but I wanted to branch out and find some other smaller companies minis as well. I scoured the 'net to find companies that I haven't looked at before. At the end of the day I found quite a few suppliers that I'll list below. I bought way more models than I have space to show, so I'll highlight some things I really liked about each manufacturer.

Warlord Games

Warlord sells a TON of fallschirmjager models. They've been painted up with Luftwaffe blue helmets which I've read isn't really that accurate, but I can paint them however I like. I love the selection and the dynamic poses of so many of the models. They also have the benefit of being 'defined' in the manner that we need to play BA; although many of the other games have gone this route as well. The above photo shows the looted weapons that make the fallschirmjager look more 'patchwork' for the late-war impression. 

The medic model above is perhaps my favorite. He's advancing up the field cautiously, ready to help where needed.

I picked up this Kettenkrad over the weekend. It is a sweet looking model that can pull smaller guns onto the field and really lets me make my FJ force 'contained' in that I don't need to use vehicles from my other forces. The panzerbusche is a funny weapon as it is squeeze-bore. Check out the definition from Wikipedia:

Armour-piercing, composite non-rigid

Armour-piercing, composite non-rigid (APCNR), the British term, but the more common terms are squeeze-bore and tapered bore and are based on the same projectile design as the APCR - a high density core within a shell of soft iron or other alloy, but it is fired by a gun with a tapered barrel, either a taper in a fixed barrel or a final added section. The projectile is initially full-bore, but the outer shell is deformed as it passes through the taper. Flanges or studs are swaged down in the tapered section, so that as it leaves the muzzle the projectile has a smaller overall cross-section.[26]
This gives it better flight characteristics with a higher sectional density and the projectile retains velocity better at longer ranges than an undeformed shell of the same weight. As with the APCR the kinetic energy of the round is concentrated at the core on impact. The initial velocity of the round is greatly increased by the decrease of barrel cross-sectional area toward the muzzle, resulting in a commensurate increase in velocity of the expanding propellant gases. Although a full range of shells and shot could be used, changing the adaptor in the heat of battle is highly impractical. The APCNR was superseded by the APDS design which was compatible with non-tapered barrels.
The PZB41 was definitely on the western front in 1944-45 so it fits well with my FJ.

Black Tree Design

Black Tree Design is a company based out of the UK but will ship in-stock stuff out of Texas. They usually send it very quickly to me and I've never had a problem. There have been a few times they didn't have what I wanted but it came a week or two later.

Their WW2 selection is pretty huge. They have also collected models together that fit into the BA sections; so you have snipers, flamethrowers, panzerschrecks, etc. The photo above shows four snipers, of which you really only need one or two, but...

They have 50% off sales it seems like every other month. Those four models for $10 come down to $5. $1.25 a model for really nicely detailed miniatures vs $4 a model for a standard space marine... I'll take it. Shipped within a few days to my house adds to the appeal.

Artizan Designs

Artizan makes some amazing baggy-pants-wearin' FJ.  I really like the look of them. One thing to note is that many of the faces of their models look a little dated, but I don't really focus on the face anyway as I'm terrible at painting faces.

Look at the dynamic poses, again. These dudes are doing something and going somewhere.

Many of the AD models are featured in Painting War by Heresybrush. He is currently my favorite painter on the webs after reading through that mag three times. Consequently I fell in love with a ton of the AD models.

Wargames Foundry

Wargames Foundry produces amazing miniatures for many, many, many time periods (a fact true of most of the companies I'll list here). Their WW2 line is relatively small compared to their ancients, fantasy, vikings, etc. However, they do have a line of Germans sculpted by Michael and Alan Perry (my favorite miniature sculptors) that are amazing. 

They've been painted in a very early war scheme but they've taken to the late war camo just fine. I believe they're a little smaller than the other lines but if you have them all on the board mixed in you'll never know.

I love the MG perched on the dude's shoulder. So awesome. The only downside of purchasing from Foundry is that they're only available from the UK as far as I can tell, so it takes longer to get here.

Victory Force

Victory Force miniatures are unique in this list in that they're very customizable. You can purchase the model then choose what his weapons will be. I chose an officer and gave him a flare gun! That is awesome.

Many of the models out there with panzerfausts are just carrying them around. I love the ones that are actually shooting.

The only downside to these minis is that they're a little above 28mm IMO. They're bigger than Warlord's line. They do come from the US of A though so they're fast.


You'll notice that I haven't listed any plastic models. As far as I know there are not any plastic FJ 28mm models. It is unfortunate, but I've come to love these pewter dudes. Historical dudes definitely like their pewter and I don't see any issue with it at this point. I usually hate pewter because it chips but these dudes are varnished to hell and back. The other bonus is that there are so many options available, you don't have to worry about 'mono-pose' because you can just get four more riflemen with different poses for five bucks.

I took some snapshots of my models all together... I went a bit crazy. The sales from BTD and finding new, awesome models from WL and the rest really hit my wallet...

Check back later this week for some battle reports...

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