Sunday, May 29, 2016

World War II Afrika Korps

I've neglected this blog for far too long. Part of my problem is that I like to write very complete, detailed posts, and frankly, it takes a lot of time. So I am going to take a new approach, and see how it goes. Shorter, more frequent updates. I've thought about doing this before, but my compulsiveness is my enemy and I find myself going back to long posts. Since my attention span tends to waver, we'll see how it goes with the new effort...

I recently picked up copy of the Chain of Command rules for World War II battles from Two Fat Lardies. I've long toyed with the idea of getting into 28mm World War II gaming, and I had a copy of Warlord Games' Bolt Action as well as a box of Perry Miniatures plastic Afrika Korps figures (which I bought at Giga-Bites over a year ago!) in the house. Getting the Chain of Command rules has inspired me to get cracking, and assemble a DAK force.

I began with some of the command models from the Perry set. These are wonderful figures with a lot of character and detail. I love the fact that you can choose whether to equip your troops with sun helmets (which I chose not to use), field caps or Stahlhelme. I did find that the figures are a bit on the fiddly side in terms of assembling, in particular the models where both arms are holding one weapon.

Platoon commander with radio operator and a pair of NCOs.

One of the huge advantages of working with plastic figures is the ability to customize them. With just some glue and an X-acto knife, and some patience, you can create unique poses. I converted one LMG gunner to use his loader as a support.

Converted LMG gunner.

I assembled the entire box, and ran into a slight problem. Because of the distribution of weapons, it was not possible for me to assemble a complete, legal platoon using the Chain of Command DAK force list. No matter, as I will be getting another box of these figures anyway in order to assemble additional crewmen for weapons (Chain of Command support weapons usually come with a crew of five plus an NCO, whereas Bolt Action uses three-man crews for the most part).

Once assembly was complete, they were ready for the first step of painting.

Ready for the basecoat.

I used Army Painter Desert Yellow for the basecoat, as some of the uniforms will be that color, and it will save me a bit of brush painting later. The Army Painter sprays are very good, and go on smoothly and cover completely.

Army Painter primer coat - done!

Before taking the next steps in painting, I need to decide on some of the details. I've been researching Afrika Korps painting guides on the interwebs, and found some quite good ones. I hope to begin painting and have an update for you all in the coming week.

I did pick up the first vehicle for my force - a Kubelwagen. I bought an inexpensive diecast Corgi model (CS90080). I'd seen it advertised as both 1:50 and 1:72 scale. It measures 2.96 inches, so using 147 inches as the length of a real Kubelwagen, the model scales at almost exactly 1:50. Even though it is a tad oversized, I think it looks great beside my troops, and requires no assembly or painting. Bonus!

Corgi Kubelwagen

So, a new army is started. Hopefully I will have the discipline, desire and determination to bring this one to completion. Stay tuned...

'Til next time!
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