You might be wondering what happened to the German support weapons and Stosstruppen I’d started in August after getting back from holiday. These chaps languished in black undercoat for a long time from the first flush of priming and basing in the summer while I finished off a couple of terrain boards.
However, I finally got around to finishing them in mid-October and was waiting for a good time to blog the final results.
So, the above photographs show (left to right) a Maxim MG08 heavy machine gun, a Mauser 13.1mm anti-tank rifle of late Great War vintage, a 7.58cm Leichter Minenwerfer n/A, a heavy flammenwerfer and a granatenwerfer m16. I was hoping that these support weapons would provide German forces with some different support options and concentrations of firepower in our wargames and mini-campaigns, particularly when faced with a significant number of allied tanks in late 1917 and 1918.
The figures are all from Great War Miniatures, and painted up very nicely. I’d painted each of the models before, so this was a little bit like déjà-vu coming back to the same castings and trying to add something different.
I decided that the easiest way to do this was to try and add some small touches. So, on the minenwerfer I super-glued a thin piece of wire from the gunner’s hand to the minenwerfer. Simple, I thought it added a bit of realism.
On the granatenwerfer I added a splintered chunk of reinforced concrete fortificiation, suggesting that the two-man granatenwerfer team had located to a disused concrete bunker on the Siegfried Stellung. I'd already done one granatenwerfer team with a similar chunk of concrete on the base, so this continued the theme. I also took this approach because I'd read that the granatenwerfer m16s tended to be deployed in a cluster, from four weapons to as many as sixteen, the distinctive sound of the grenades in flight being called "pigeons" by the French.
For the flammenwerfer team, I tried to create the effect of trench duckboards with some “grey-stuff” epoxy putty.
For both the maxim MG08 and the Mauser 13.1mm anti-tank rifle, I just added some ground detail to build up the bases.
Each of the support weapons was based entirely before painting. The big advantage of this approach is that when you have finished painting the figures themselves, you have really finished the whole model. There’s no figures hanging around awaiting basing (something I always dread and hate). The downside with gluing everything in place is that some part of the model can be very hard to paint because … well, because everything’s glued in place! I admit I did get frustrated painting the MG08 heavy machine gun because of this, but in the end it was adequately compensated (at least to my mind) up by finishing the model and not needing to base anything at the end.
One additional point in favour of the “glue everything in place first” approach is that while you do end up with a very small part of the being painted in shade colouring (such as, for example, where you can’t physically get your brush into a small nook, fold or crack), this is more than made up by you not noticing this when the models are on a wargames table 3 feet away.
Finally, I finished off a dozen Stosstruppen I’d been meaning to do for a while. Nothing remarkable about these. The figures are Great War Miniatures. The helmet designs are from the late war period (basically 1918). While the colours are a little bit speculative, they do look good and there is evidence for something similar on the Landships website.