Saturday, 24 September 2016

More Fallschirmjäger support weapons

Despite some rather busy weeks at work I've still managed to continue work on my my Fallschirmjäger platoon in the form of some more support weapons. The Fallschirmjäger list released in the "Duel in the sun" supplement for Bolt Action doesn't allow for support in form of vehicles and heavier anti-tank guns than the odd 3,7cm PaK 36 or schwere Panzerbüchse 41. Thus when wanting to field this list I'm rather limited when it comes to anti-tank capability. At least till the new Armies of Germany supplement for Bolt Action 2nd Edition is released in November that is.

As there's currently no PaK 36 with Fallschirmjäger crew out there, at least none I'm aware of, the choice for my anti-tank gun obviously fell on the tiny schwere Panzerbüchse 41 I already mounted on my captured Bren carrier. While it's just a small anti-tank gun in Bolt Action terms it still does pack some punch due to the "Squeeze-bore" special rule. At ranges below 12" its PEN value is increased to +6 giving it the theoretical chance of taking on even the heaviest of allied and russian tanks.

Of course there is also a drawback to this weapon in the form of its limited use at longe range as its PEN is reduced by two instead the usual one when firing at over half range. The rules only does give you a crew of two for this weapon but as Warlord Game sell these with three figures to a pack I felt the visual effect of a bigger crew was well worth the extra work.

Wikipedia tells us that the 2,8cm sPzB 41was based on the squeeze bore principle meaning the calibre of the barrel reduced from 28mm at the chamber to just 20mm at the muzzle. The projectile had two external flanges which were squeezed down as it proceeded through the barrel thus reducing the diameter of the projectile. This meant the pressure in the barrel didn't drop off as quickly as with normal guns, leading to a higher muzzle velocity. The projectile featured a tungsten core still used in  modern German (and of course other nationalities) Anti-tank rounds instead of the cheaper depleted uranium used by the US. This, together with its quite obvious obsolescence, led to the discontinuation of production of this gun in 1943 as there was simply not enough tungsten available in Germany anymore.

If I'm not completely mistaken only the kneeling figure actually was sculpted by Paul Hicks while the other two were sculpted by someone else who, quite successful to be honest, tried to emulate Mr Hicks' style. These two figures also came with separate heads I replaced with some from the plastic Fallschirmjäger as the faces were in Warlord Games' more comical style which is definitely not my cup of tea.

Next in line is my sniper team. These too seem to be no Paul Hicks sculpts but still painted up quite nicely. Here too I replaced the separate head supplied with one of the figures with one from plastic. Actually I quite like how he (the prone guy) now seems to talk to his comrade in low voice.

While snipers are rather useful in Bolt Action that's not the reason I almost never field a force without one. It's just the fact snipers are cool! I guess most of you will have seen the movie "Enemy at the gates" so no further explanation is necessary I think. for all of you who don't but do have only a passing interest in WW2 I strongly recommend you give it a shot.

While not being as famous for its snipers as the Soviet Union the Reich still had quite a reputation on this area. Germany was the first nation to field specially trained soldiers as snipers in the trenches of the Great War. In between the wars this special trade was all but forgotten by all the major powers as the sniper seemed to be only of use in the special environment of trench warfare. It was the Finns during the Russo-Finnish Winter War who demonstrated of what invaluable use cleverly deployed snipers could be on the modern battlefield. This led to the Soviet Unions great emphasis on well trained snipers which was to cost the Germans dearly in the upcoming war.

It took the Wehrmacht till well into Operation Barbarossa to actually realize the need to train and field its own dedicated snipers in order to counter the threat posed by the able Russian marksmen and markswomen. Germany was soon able to close the gap and German snipers built a reputation of their own again. It was especially during the retreat when these marksmen really came into their own, harrying the enemies rear from well concealed positions.

And last but not least a weapon of rather cruel reputation: The flamethrower. The figure usually comes with flames coming out the barrel but I don't like the look of such sculpted on effects and thus decided to simply cut it off. Again the flamethrower guys head was swapped for a plastic one while the SMG gunner recieved a captured russian PPSH 41 instead of his MP40.

Flamethrowers were for the first time employed en masse during the Great War by Germany. These early models were heavy and cumbersome as well as difficult to handle due to the need to hold the pressure constant by use of hand valves. No automatic valves were available as yet.
While France and Great Britain ran some trials with this kind of weapon they finally concluded it not beeing worth it. Still the flamethrower (when it actually reached its target that was) proofed to be a devestating weapon in the confined space of the trenches.
Not unlike the snipers, flamethrowers were rarely employed in the wars between the two big wars but with the outbreak of the Second World War they were seen more commonly again.

Being highly efficient in urban warfare as well when used against tanks (due to the flame oil seeping into the fighting compartment or motor block, not due to 'cooking' the vehicle) the flamethrower soon became a weapon of sheer terror. But due to its limited use when on the defensive it was later in the war almost exclusively used by the allies

The model here is depicted carrying a Flammenwerfer 41, or FmW 41, which was an updated version of the Flammenwerfer 35. It had a range of about 32 meters and weighed in at about 29 kilogram.

With these finished I'm slowly but surely nearing the end of my supply of metal Fallschirmjäger and I've to seriously consider going down the plastic route with further reinforcements or to order some more lead. Tough choices ahead it seems.

So for now I do wish you a nice sunday and may your brushes flow freely!


  1. Stunning job, painting and favorite is the sniper, just wonderful!

  2. Really really impressive work, these figures are simply beautiful ... love them

  3. Masterclass once again! O love sniper team, too!

  4. Excellent work all round on these guys!

  5. Great post :)
    Really brought those figures to life!

  6. Such Greate work !!! Love your painting and builds!

  7. Beautiful painting! Really great work :o)

  8. Fantastic figures, done to your usual high standard; all the figures are admirable, but the sniper vignette really shines.

  9. Superb looking FJ's Nick! These guys will look great on the table next to all the other fantastic ones you have all ready done.


  10. The amount of colours you put into your minis never ever ceases to amaze me. Excellent work!

  11. Absolutely stunning work Nick! I've always loved how you do your splinter camo.