Category Archives: German Airforce

Rebasing

The very mention of the word sends a shudder through us. We vow that we will never do it (again), so I haven’t been rebasing anything: just reorganising a few Eastern Front divisions to reflect mid war orbats … I’m not fooling anyone, am I?

You may remember the changes that began back on the 8th of January, 2016 to speed up moving the toys around? No? The essence is that you can use whatever you want to depict stands of 3 Strength Points. My current standard is using Flames of War sized bases because they are roughly the size of a 3SP vehicle base. Failing that, a couple of 30mm bases butted together  achieves the same objective. This is a WIP Soviet support base of 3SP, and the reorganised division that it lives in

Soviet NQM Mid War Reduced ORBAT

I still have older orbats around, but they have gradually been reorganising to the new leaner orbats. Here is a Fallschirmjäger Division.

The four bases on the right are Luftwaffe ground crew. Kudos to Will McNally, who has rebased squillions of Renaissance figures. I have managed about 420!

 

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Filed under German Airforce, Modelling, Soviet Army, WWII

Soviet Winter Offensive Jan 1943 Desantny

The Soviet Winter Offensive taxed the Luftwaffe to the limit, with servicability dropping as ground crews struggled in atrocious conditions to keep airframes ready for operations, and airstrips clear for flying.

Tante Ju

One such airfield (Flugplatz Lotti) near VELIKIE LUKIE, was thought to be safely beyond the reach of the enemy. It contained four Geschwäder : JG 54 (Bf 109), KG76 (Ju 88), StG 1 (Ju 87), KG zbV 102 (Ju 52) and a NaGruppe with Uhus.

Flugplatz Lotti

See Phil’s blog for his thoughts on the use of Soviet desantny forces. The two regiments that he deployed brought with them T-60 tanks and the spearhead of the tank and mechanised corps that had broken through from VYSHNY VOLOCHYOK.

The Outer Defences of Lotti are Assailed

Although the Airfield was defended by two reduced regiments of well-armed Luftwaffe ground troops, their morale was simply not up to the task of holding the airfield. An undignified scramble of aircraft and logistic units exiting the base was observed as the unlucky defenders desperately hung on to the perimeter

Logistic Units Scramble for Safety

Before long, Soviets were swarming over the airfield. They have been doing that a lot of late. Casualties were heavy

Game Notes

YesThatPhil got the chance to showcase his new Peter Pig Soviet Scouts. I gave my rebased Luftwaffe field division its second airing. It behaved commendably badly, as one might epect. The air base was laid out in advance and Phil’s brief was:

“commit what you think that you need to take the airfield.”

He finished the job in about an hour of playing, which enabled the whole scenario to be finished from start to finish in about two hours. Coffee, chocolate, cheese and biscuits stopped anyone from starving.

I rated the Luftwaffe division as conscript and the Soviets as veteran.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Air Forces, Axis War Diary, German Airforce, Land Battles, Soviet War Diary, Wargames, WWII

On the Workbench – Steroidal Scale Creep

I was looking forward to the PSC 15mm Fallschirmjäger pack and first impressions were favourable – it includes four of the 7.5 cm Leichtgeschütz 40. with crew ….. Animation of the kneeling figures is a bit flat, but nothing that grouping them around the guns won’t hide.

The standing figures are nicely proportioned, but hang on … 20mm figures are creeping back into my collection by the back door.  Imagine my surprise when a kneeling PSC Jäger proved to be nearly as tall (13mm ground to eye when kneeling!) as a Standing Piggie. The oversized little scamps are creeping in on their knees, because the standing figures on the same PSC sprue measure in between 14 and 15mm ground to eye. It is very poor, and simply won’t do!

A stand of three strength pointsThis is not an optical illusion. The kneeling PSC chaps are only two millimetres shorter than the correctly sized standing Piggie.

That’s not all; the 6 pounder is not much smaller than the Airfix 1/76 version, both of which I have in my collection. The  barrel should be 2.54m long or 25.4mm. It actually measures 33mm, making the gun about 1/76 by my calculations. The situation is the same with the German early war heavy weapons – they look noticibly overscale compared to Piggies, Command Decision and Zvezda.

I already knew that the PSC SdKfz 251 is over scale compared to everyone else’s. It must be to fit the new oversized  grenadiers into. That’s a shame because the PSC boxes are otherwise excellent, but I probably won’t be buying many more now unless they are offering something that is unavailable elsewhere. If I had wanted 1/76 scale, I would have kept my original collection. Sigh, I wonder how overscale the medium trucks will be, and if anyone does scalecrept 12mm that will fit in with my 15s!

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, German Airforce, Modelling, Wehrmacht, WWII

PSC Fallschirmjägers Announced

PSC FallschirmJaegers

I had been looking forward to the release of the Plastic Soldier Company Fallschirmjägers, and particularly their heavy weapons, so it is  disappointing to see that they have continued the 15mm trend set by Flames of War to produce stumpy figures with no abdomens. These figures have been “Warhammered” to scale a 20mm figure down to 15mm size.

*Sigh* Folk will love them; sales will boom and it is the sensible commercial choice, but my choice of true-scale figure packs is limited to the original two that PSC brought out. On the bright side, if I paint the faces green, they will be perfect for Orkschirmjäger ’45K™. Moving swiftly on …

It goes without saying that every time I get pompous about unrealistic, pumped-up sculpting, the net proves me wrong!

Fat para 2

Above: Realistic sculpt.

Fat Fallschirmjaeger

… The life model class that it was taken from.

The mystery of why the Luftwaffe felt obliged to develop the Me-323 Gigant transporter is solved at last; it was nothing to do with airlifting tanks at all.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, German Airforce, Infantry, Modelling, Off Topic, WWII

Ramke Arrives in Nord Afrika

I have painted enough Fallschirmjäger to begin to put the Ramke Parachute Brigade together.

Fallschirmjaeger RHQ with TransportRegimental Headquarters with Recce and an Airfield Security Detachment

FallschirmJaeger RHQArtillery and Anti-tank Batteries

Fallschirmjaeger AbteilungFallschirmjäger Abteilung x 3

Ramke is having to borrow  equipment from wherever he finds it at the moment, but I am sure that it is not going to daunt a dynamic chap like him. Troops in boxes close to him are doubling the pickets on their vehicle parks, just in case!

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, DAK, German Airforce, Infantry, Modelling, Wehrmacht, Western Desert, WWII

Megablitz – France 1940 – Part 1

Tim Gow’s latest Megablitz game was held at the Defence Academy’s Tank Sheds again. He offered me the role of Air Umpire once more, in the mistaken belief that it would “keep me out of mischief”. Unsupervised with Luftflotte 2 and l’Armée de l’Air! What could possibly go wrong? This time, after pre-game pestering, Tim brought ground crew along, but I added a few 20mm trucks of my own and left them with Tim afterwards (‘cos he clearly does not have enough!).

air04 A sleepy day on an aerodrome somewhere in France ‘NICOLE‘ SE

The French Général de Corps Aérien Bout de Souffle got off to a splendid start by deciding to name all 6 airstrips under his command after wives and mistresses. Unfortunately no-one else understood this, so referred to them by their locations of  north (east, centre, west) and south (east, centre, west). In general fighters were staged to the east and bombers to the west. The command structure, which proved key, imposed an extra level of command on the French compared to the Luftwaffe.

air00

A plan for air patrols was agreed in principal, and business of the day was concluded. Bout de Souffle had people who could handle that level of detail and headed  to PARIS for some well-earned leave. Mon General Bassett was astute enough to realise that orders issued one day in advance would be useful and two days even better. So when the first Luftwaffe airstrikes came in, the impotent French pilots could only watch from their deckchairs, with no orders to intercept!

IMG_1051The first heavy Luftwaffe strike of the day onto 53rd Infantry Division. NICOLE can just be seen to the top left of the picture

air03Home for beer, bratwurst and medals!

The Germans were dogged by the need to channel all requests for air support through HQ West and had decided early on to concentrate air assets rather than penny-packeting. This meant that when the Luftflotte turned up, it at least had some effect, but was limited to one sortie a day per unit. It wasn’t long before cries of  ‘wo is die Luftwaffe?‘ were heard across the advancing German panzer park as it rolled over the northern French plains at a brisk tempo previously unseen in modern warfare.

air14In the top left of the picture on day two, a Fieseler Storch recce flight struggles to keep up with the advance. In the lower centre, ground crew at CLAIRE (N Centre) destroy fighters prior to retreating.

This caused the Germans some problems, as the Luftwaffe recce reports sometimes ran along the lines of  ‘The town and bridge are full of panzers heading west!‘  The air traffic was not all one-sided on the second day, as a lone squadron of Bloch MB 210 bombers with fighter support caused havoc and delay amongst the supporting Wehrmacht infantry korps, if not actual casualties.

air07The ‘Landser’ scatter under air attack as bombers lumber overhead and air aces duel for possession of the sky.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Air Forces, German Airforce, Wargames, WWII

Hubert Pölz’s famous Stuka nose art in StG 2

Today was a big day for 15mm Hubert: He finally got his snake (Shlange) painted onto the side of, what is admitttedly, quite a lumpy Ju 87. He is now ready to wreak all sorts of diecast havoc on the Allies when they turn up. His Dyna-flite Stuka is so solid that if Hubert misjudges the altitude, he just bounces. I don’t think that I will write that into the rules!

Hubert Pölz’s famous Stuka nose art  in StG 2 , Ju 87, Not Quite Mechanised. Copyright Chris Kemp 2012

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Air Forces, German Airforce, Modelling, Western Desert, WWII

Quick and Dirty Balkenkreuze*

My stock of transfers has diminished over the years, so rather than wait for the post to deliver, I pulled out the paintbrush to slap on some quick and dirty Balkenkreuze. for Luftflotte 2. No-one seems to provide transfers of Hakenkreuze for tailfins any more since it became illegal in France (and Germany) to wander about in brown shirts with silly moustaches and armbands, so they had to be painted on too (the Hakenkreuze, not the silly moustaches).

Balkankreuze1All 3 stages of painting can be seen above. The ‘Ginga Francis’ markings are to remind me what the Ju 88s stand in as in the Imperial Japanese Airforce

Stage 1: After my previous comments about white paint, I used a Pentel Micro Correct to lay the white background down.

Stage 2: A black central cross followed by the black outer border to the white is blocked out, not worrying about how long the arms are.

Stage 3: The ragged ends to the crosses are painted across by a band of background blue or grey. Sometimes I use a craft knife to scrape a straight line to prevent an excess of thick paint at the end of the cross.

The final effect would look good when applied by a steady hand and eye. Sadly, I have neither, but the effect is not too shabby at battle distances.

Balkankreuze2

Luftflotte 2 drones overhead against the background of a stormy sky (if you half close your eyes!)

*Duty spellchecker Ludger Fischer (Thanks Ludger!)

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Air Forces, German Airforce, Modelling, WWII

KG26 and LG1 nearly Battle-ready

I had no idea that six coats of Tamiya white paint would be needed for the Mediterrranean theatre recognition bands on my aircraft! I’m sure the Luftwaffe only used one or two! It’s no wonder they lost the air war, they could probably barely stagger into the air under the weight of all that white paint. (Random factoid: This statement was true for the Soviet winter white laquer. It was so awful that pilots hated it and some refused to have it on their ‘planes as it knocked a few knots off their top speed). Notwithstanding, here is the progress to date:

Ju-87A5MK

This Dyna-Flites diecast Ju 87 from Stg 1 still needs a spinner and some spats, hence the carefully chosen camera angle. Author’s copyright.

JU88

Bar the addition of a serial and a hakenkreuz these Ju 88s from LG 1 are ready for battle. Author’s copyright.

HE111

My two He 111s are taking shape from KG 26 . Author’s copyright.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Air Forces, DAK, German Airforce, Modelling, Western Desert, WWII

Axis Airstrips in the Mediterranean – Castel Vetrano

CASTEL VETRANO airfield on Sicily was a pretty simple affair. A single runway with aircraft parked alongside make it an easy strip to represent with a piece of flat card, and is presumably typical of a hastily built airstrip. Here is a picture copyrighted to the Imperial War Museum as picture C 4183  “showing Junkers Ju 52 and Savoia Marchetti SM 82 transport aircraft, January 1942.” :

I can count about 68 aircraft parked around the perimeter, give or take a couple, so that’s two NQM aircraft models on the table. Here is CASTEL VETRANO in the mid-afternoon sun:

tankers 007

Zvezda Ju-52, scratchbuilt tanker, air traffic control van is an Austrian wooden children’s toy, two ground crew stands and a Liberator converted into a Z.1007bis Alcione

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Filed under Air Forces, German Airforce, Regia Aeronautica, WWII