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Alex's Hobby League

Alex's Hobby League
The key to embarking on any project, Flames Of War or otherwise, is to latch onto something you find interesting. For me, that meant the opportunity to either modify units in my force or paint a colour I haven’t painted before. A tabletop approximation of 16. Feld-Division (L) in Normandy, 1944, offers me both of these chances— an opportunity to paint Luftwaffe blue, and an opportunity to modify a few grenadier uniforms to reflect the very swish LwFD camouflage smock.

Having spent an afternoon spitballing with Phil and Andrew, I came up with a list representing 16. Feld-Division (L) roughly as they were during Operation Goodwood, supported by bits of 21. Panzerdivision

Check out the start of Alex's Luftwaffe Feld-Divisions here...

Alex's Hobby League Alex's Hobby League

This week I finished adding camo smocks to a selection of troop, primed, and began base coating them. It has been a bit of a selective endeavour, with some figures getting all blue uniforms, others getting blue jackets or trousers with or without camo smocks. Figures not in or partially in blue then need to get field grey uniform items painted, or their entire uniform if they are in full Heer. The camo smocks pose another interesting challenge- I need to decide on a colour scheme for the Luftwaffe Splinter and a separate but similar one for the Heer Splinter, because from what I can see they are both slightly different in colour and I want to sort of imply that on the tabletop by giving them slightly different colours. 

For me the central tension has been deciding how to paint my splinter camo in such a way as to get enough variation between Heer and Luftwaffe uniforms. There is a semi-apparent difference between the Heer Splinter and the LwFD Splinter, which mostly has to do with the size of the pattern. I know that at 15mm I won’t be able to replicate the subtle pattern differences between the two styles, but after consulting my copy of Colours Of War, I found that the recommended method of differentiating the two is to paint the base coat of the Luftwaffe Splittermuster with a mixture of German Camo Beige and Green Ochre, and base coating Heer Zeltbahns with just Green Grey, thus having my grenadiers kitted out in Summer Splinter pattern.

They other variations between the figures include the gas mask cannisters, bread bags, and ankle covers; which depending on issue, could be Heer Green, Green Grey, or Field Blue. To pick the Field Blue items out against Luftwaffe Uniform WWII Uniforms, I’ve followed the Field Grey/Green Grey method of using a lighter colour, so I’ve gone with Field Blue for those items.

Luftwaffe leather appears, according to the reenactment boys, to have been brown as opposed to the Heer black, but I’m almost certain that supply issues and the absorption of the LwFD into the Heer means it doesn't actually matter what colour leather I paint. That doesn’t mean I won’t take the chance to paint some brown- every difference adds to the effect!

A Sample of Luftwaffe

Luftwaffe Stick 1

Luftwaffe Stick 2

I've finished painting the base coats on all the different uniform colours I'm working on (Khaki Heer smocks, Green Grey Zeltbahns, German Camo Beige/Gren Ochre Luftwaffe, German Field Grey Heer uniforms, and Lufwaffe Uniform blue Luftwaffe uniforms), and I've done the first highlight. The next immediate step is to start on the camo, second highlight, and then it's on to all the kit, flesh highlights, leathers, and boots. 

LwFD Week 3

Week 3 Luftwaffe

Next week these poor, beautiful fools get thrown into a meatgrinder of armour against Luke and his British battlegroup. While I'm sure that having every platoon kitted out with anti-tank weapons and supported by a trio of Pak40s will do me well, I certainly feel I will have to rely on bailing and assaulting to win the match. I doubt Luke is going to let my Pak40s chew through his force one by one from 35cm away while my infantry sits largely unfazed, so I need to be quick on my feet in squeezing every last drop out of the AT guns and hoping the mix of 'fausts and 'schrecks do their job when push comes to shove.

In any case, I'm nearing wrapping up my three main platoons, having only  alittle bit of flesh highlighting and weapon touch ups befor they hit their bases. Here are a few paps of my boys in blue.

Week 4 Luftwaffe LwFD progress

After being painfully mauled by Luke in our 50 point battle, I realsied that maybe I should hav epushed the mortars back in the painting queue given I was very likely to be fighting a tank force. Oh well, we live, we learn, and we come back with the fiery vengeance. 

Over the last wee while I've managed quite a lot: I've basecoated all of the armour in my force, I've finished everything on all of the infantry, and I've begun properly basing my newly painted guns. The examples below show my freshly filler-coated gun bases. I will chip away at the basing piece by piece, so I will make sure I have all the filler down on every infantry base before I get to sprinkling the sand, and I'll get the sand down on everything before the painting and the grass. This is to ensure I get a uniform look across everything.

The 25 points I'm working on to actually hit the 75 point mark are made up by a pair of Tigers, so I have been comofrtably chipping away at them as I generally rotate through my force's to-do list. I also have a handful of StuGs in the list, so they've been basecoated and all too so I can go through all the armour as one project.

Week 4 Luftwaffe
Middlestone Tanks

This week I basecoated all of my armour (except my lone Firefly, which I entirely forgot about) and began the task of basing my guns and infantry teams. Last week I’d gotten the filler down, this week I painted all the bases and began with the static grass. While not entirely finished, I could still field a full 75-point force with basecoated StuGs so I’m counting this month as a win. After biting off an ambitious infantry-based force for Hobby League with a whole lot of camo to paint, it’s gratifying to start to see everything come together. 

Week 4 Luftwaffe Week 4 Luftwaffe

The end is in sight! I have based every infantry team in my force along with all of the guns, so all that's left there is to paint the base rims to denote what team belongs to which formation or support unit and then a quick matte varnish to bring the gloss of the PVA underneath the grass right down. 

I was excited to churn through the final chunk of my force- my StuGs and Tigers, but after a few demoralising airbrush mishaps I found myself back to square one with them. Upsetting for sure, but nothing a little stripper and repainting can't find. My major disappointment is that paitning them again is a little more difficult since the tracks and the shurzen are glued onto the tanks so I'm stuck working around those. Oh well.

I did get a good clean basecoat and a little bit of drybrushing on my captured Firefly. You'll notice the brown patches on the front and side. In my head, the Germans who captured the tank painted a bit of brown camp paint over the British markings before throwing on their own- something I will be doing this weekend. 

Captured Firefly Based Infantry

Scrolling back through this Hobby League page shows I've been on quite the journey. Now, after a lot of guidance from Aaron I've managed tog et some airbrushing to happen to a degree that I'm pretty pleased with. Four StuGs and two Tigers that I'm hoping to finish up this weekend and I'm all done and dusted. I'm looking forward to demolishing Andrew during the Global Campaign, and since I'm the only Hobby Leaguer in the Auckland Studio who chose to do a german army I'm sure I will have plenty of chances to throw these boys against a variety of opponents.

Tiger Tank

Formation Completed!

My Luftwaffe company is complete… that is, the infantry component of my Hobby League force is all done and dusted, and now I’m moving on to the armoured section.

Alex's Luftwaffe Update

In the end, I finished up the HQ, three 5-team infantry platoons, a 6-team mortar platoon, four 7.5cm anti-tank guns, and four 10.5cm guns (modelled as captured Russian 122mm guns). Now, to give this force a little more flexibility I might hassle Chris for an sMG34 platoon and a 7.5cm Gun platoon. I don’t think the force necessarily needs these additions, but it would be nice to really fill the force out if I wanted to run the force as just a solid Beach Defence Company.

Alex's Luftwaffe Update

The armoured force I’ve got to back this up is on the way, with StuGs and Tigers for pushing objectives and a captured Firefly for a bit of flair and flavour. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed painting the Firefly without any camo, whereas it has taken me a considerable length of time to even get something remotely resembling German camo on my StuGs and Tigers- airbrush troubles and all that.

Luftwaffe Update

Anyway, to celebrate being on the last few steps of my Hobby League journey, I took a few pictures on Monday of my force set up like toy soldiers in the middle of battle. I’m not a photographer, but I did enjoy playing around in the photo studio for an hour or two. 

Luftwaffe Update Base Markings

I’ve included one photo that may be of general interest for people who play infantry armies. I always paint the rims of all the bases within a given formation the same colour, and then use coloured stripes to denote which platoon the troops belong to. It’s not worth numbering the support weapons within a formation because you’re never going to mix a mortar team up with an AT gun, but when multiple infantry platoons are in close proximity, it's always a good idea to be able to tell who is who. I don't believe for a second that anyone can remember which team belongs to which platoon in a three-platoon scrum unless they do something to set each platoon appart. You'll also not that I have painted the rim of my Formation Support green, to set it apart from the blue of the Formation. 

Last Updated On Friday, November 8, 2019